Cyril Ramaphosa is not only the President of South Africa, he’s also a very shrewd, and wealthy, businessman.
And he reportedly had over R10 million more reasons to smile following the annual auction of his famed Ntaba Nyoni Ankole, Baron and Bonsmara cattle this past weekend.
Ramaphosa’s Ntaba Nyoni Ankole farm in Mpumalanga put 72 of the president’s cattle up for auction on Saturday, 5 March, including 16 (10 cows and six bulls) of his prized Ankole breed.
In addition, 26 Boran (six bulls, 20 cows) and 30 Bonsmara (10 bulls, 20 cows) were up for grabs.
In the Ankole category, the star of the show was Fafa, a young pregnant heifer with horns that measure 32 inches.
The three-and-a-half year old cow was sold for a staggering R2.1 million to South Africa’s third-richest man, Patrice Motsepe.
Motsepe just happens to be Ramaphosa’s brother-in-law as his sister Tshepo is South Africa’s First Lady.
Motsepe, who is the owner of South African football giants Mamelodi Sundowns and president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), made his fortune after founding African Rainbow Minerals.
The 60-year-old billionaire spent a total of R4.7 million on four female Ankole cattle.
The Ankole breed is believed to have been first introduced to east and central Africa between 500 to 700 years ago and today are to be found in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and parts of Tanzania.
Ramaphosa first spotted the cattle on a trip to Uganda in 2004 and is today the biggest Ankole farmer in the country.
“They each had long, white, beautiful horns glinting in the African sun, and I suddenly became fixated and couldn’t stop looking at them. I was intrigued and in awe and fell in love with these creatures immediately,” Ramaphosa wrote in his coffee-table book, Cattle of the Ages: Stories and Portraits of the Ankole Cattle of Southern Africa.
The cattle, besides their regal appearance and long horns, have meat high in polyunsaturated fats and omega oils and produce rich milk.
The demand for Ankole cattle appears to be on the rise with this year’s auction raking in over R10 million while last year’s cattle ‘only’ sold for a total of R2.7 million with the best seller fetching a comparatively low R700 000.