Dorothy Atkinson and Stephen Faria got married in 1974 and as a dowry got from her parents –
Nash and Tassie Atkinson- ten heifers. These ten heifers were the foundation on which Kawa
Shee Farm was built.
In 1978, four years after their marriage, Steve as he was better known, Dorothy and their first
two children moved into their tiny thatched roof home built on a hill 1.5km south of Nash and
Tassie’s home - Santa Cruz. This first building served as HQ for many years as it morphed into
what the farm is today, through extensions and renovations and eventually being demolished
altogether to be replaced with the modern farm buildings standing on the original site a few
kilometres outside Sand Creek Village in South Rupununi. The name Kawa Shee comes from a
kind of waterlily which grows in abundance in the lake, also named Kawa Shee, a few hundred
meters south of the farm buildings.
Through careful planning and strict farm policies the ten original cows started to grow into the
farm herd. The golden rule which served as the guiding beacon for Dorothy and Steve was “Buy
cows, sell steers”. This motto, which stands even to this day on the farm, ensured the slow but
constant growth of the herd. Steve having come from the coast of Guyana did not have a
ranching background or a single head of livestock to his name. He did however have very sharp
insight and always looked for opportunities to increase his livestock numbers. One particular
example is his very first calf. Steve had a pair of Dunlop shoes which he had acquired in
Georgetown. A young man offered to buy his shoes in exchange for a small calf. The deal was
made, and Steve had his first cow. Another addition was when one of his brothers in law bet him
to ride an untamed stallion. The prize if he did? Another calf added to the herd. Such was
Dorothy and Steve’s fervour to build their legacy in the form of their family farm.
Kawa Shee Farm over the years produced peanuts as a cash crop, vegetables and a number of
livestock other than cattle. The farm bought Large White pigs for intensive rearing, Black Belly
sheep and free-range chickens. Due to logistics and other issues, the decision to focus on only
one major livestock was made. Today Kawa Shee Farm produces only cattle and a few horses for
Kawa Shee Farm also offers Bed and Breakfast services which include the option of a hammock
to experience an authentic night on a livestock farm.
Kawa Shee Farm is currently run by Dorothy Faria with the help of her sons who live in the
From its humble origins to present day, Kawa Shee as it is most commonly referred to, remains a
hub for entrepreneurial livestock farming, integrating modern technology with traditional
knowhow, hospitality and through Dorothy’s commitment, the preservation of indigenous culture
through dance in the form of the Katiwau Dance Group.
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