Dorran Bungay – a colourful Jack of many trades

Reading Time: 3 minutes

He travelled the world, did many things and settled in the Lowveld. In his book; Macadamias – An overview and guide to Preservation Principles and Engineering Practice, the following paragraph sets the scene of his life:

  • For our Heavenly Father
  • Who gave us our abilities and
  • Who continues to guide and teach us
  • His love and Truth so necessary to navigate the Way
  • Through the endless lessons of Life
  • That are preparatory for the next

AmberMacs sat Dorran down at Yoon’s Eatery in White River.

There was a BMW 1200 parked in front of Yoon’s on my arrival. I just knew instantly that it belonged to the man I am about to interview. I was not disappointed.

As he walked me through the many adventures throughout his life, one thing had become obvious. As he moved from one career opportunity to the next, is seemed as if coincidence guided him to be at the right place at the right time, every time. And often, throughout our interaction, the emotion and gratitude that come with the acknowledgement of these synchronicities surfaced and forced a momentary silence and reflection.

He told me about a frightening experience soon after he landed his first job on a yacht, and how on his first every voyage they got caught in a vicious storm out at sea, which just about destroyed the vessel. “In the pitch black I was scared, wet and cold. I prayed and promised God that I would follow his way if He saved us from this storm.” Drifting out at sea, and finally getting the engine started to make it back to shore was but one of many experiences that set the tone for his trust in God.

He grew up in Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia, and studied radio technology. But of course, growing up in the bush developed a deep love for nature and animals, which nurtured a love for wildlife and medicine. He completed his military conscription, spends two years leading tours in the Okavango and then started training to become a medical pathologist. It was during this training – which he later abandoned – that he discovered his love for that which one can only see through the eye of a microscope.

In 1972 however, he joined NCR and the world of computer technology. Two years later, he started a TV company with a German partner introduced to him while still at NCR. Now – do you remember HAAS DAS SE NUUSKAS? Then I need not say anything more…

Fast forward. Dorran worked as a tour guide for Atlas Tours, was a hotel manager, barman, electrician, sign writer, Mokgoro tour guide, got married, divorced, raised 5 kids and qualified as an electrical journeyman in Zimbabwe where he worked for ZESA. In 1981 he was introduced into the macadamia industry while installing a pump and other electrical equipment at a nursery.

In 1983, he immigrated to South Africa and joined Eskom eventually qualifying as an electrical engineer. “It was here while working at the Agrelek division that I found my niche. It introduced me to the various disciplines within the Agri environment.” It was here where his innovative mechanical & electrical skills together with his understanding of complicated concepts and systems brought many rewards and, awards. With this knowledge at his disposal, it was long until the first BUNGAY System was installed on a farm right here in the Lowveld, in the year 1989.

Since 1999 he has lectured in Australia and other countries. All of this eventually lead to him publishing Macadamias – A guide to On-Farm Post Harvest Care in 2003. In 2018, he published Macadamia – An Overview and Guide to Preservation and Engineering Practice.

His sense for adventure and the quietness it offers for contemplating life is ever present. This held true for when his wife passed away in 2005, after which he qualified as a wildlife guide. Following this, he spent 6 years as an overland guide – Cape Town to Kenya.

His first love, though, eventually got the best of him and he is back serving the Macadamia industry.

He relates his time and experiences in Israel – his Damascus Gate experience – in the pursuit of becoming a member of the Zimbabwe Ministries. After recovering from a severe illness in an infectious disease hospital harbouring yet another awakening experience, and how now, when reminiscing about all these experiences, he realizes that these experiences contributed to who he is and what he does.

He concluded with the five principles that will ensure successful high quality, high yield macadamia production. It is as complicated as it is simple. It will teach you about psychometrics and much more. Learning and applying this knowledge will not just change the dynamic within your business; it will take it to the next level.

We concluded our truly insightful interview.

Dorran is a master at what he does and how he does it. His adventurous and inquisitive nature will however allow nothing but constant investigation, observation, fine-tuning and sharing his passion and knowledge for the industry.

But of course for now – he is off on his bike….