Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

Johannesburg.  27 September 2016. The reality television series, Future Leaders, which follows the lives of six South African youths tackling issues of alcohol abuse and other related social problems, will broadcast its 4th Season this coming October.

Future Leaders is a 13-episode series which documents the teens’ journey to becoming positive role models and agents of positive change within their respective communities and amongst their peers.

A nationwide search for the new season of Future Leaders contestants was undertaken in schools, which shortlisted Khutso Mamabolo of Limpopo; Michaela Witbooi of the Eastern Cape; Bandile Mabuza of KwaZulu Natal; Nomfundo Mahlangu of Mpumlanga; Mantshadi Khoadi of the Free State and Siphesihle Matungana of Gauteng.

Viewers will be given weekly access into the six youth’s lives as they deal with day-to-day life, providing much needed inspiration to others tackling similar issues. This is anchored by their work to develop a community project within their respective community, offering alternative recreation for the youth in these areas. Along the way, contestants are assisted in their mission by local personalities and local government officials.

Each of the contestants is guided throughout their Future Leaders journey by a dedicated mentor, some of whom have featured as contestants on the reality television series, One Day Leader. The mentors are One day Leader contestants, Sydney Madibo and Samantha Beynon; entrepreneur and motivational speaker, Palesa Mosiea; founder and director of the Training Institute of Customer Service Excellence, Ludwakazi Ndlazi; Youth TV presenter and personality, Jessica Tims; and Thobela FM presenter, Makwena Makgakga (Kwenesto).

The mentors are in turn guided by South African social activist, entrepreneur, author and columnist, Shaka Sisulu, who has served as Future Leaders Head Mentor since the second season of Future Leaders. Sisulu will also provide guidance to contestants throughout the series. In addition, they are offered support by South African Social Worker, Faith Kuta, who has served at various NGOs including Childline, Christelike Maatskaaplike Raad and Johannesburg Child Welfare.

The launch of Future Leaders IV was anchored by a panel discussion focusing on underage drinking in South Africa and the critical importance of stakeholder engagement in addressing the problem.

Discussion panellists included SAB Executive Director Corporate Affairs and Transformation, Bongumusa Makhathini; and former Future Leaders contestant, Boitumelo Moropa and Oros Mampofu, local television personality and actor.

The panelists gave their personal perspective on how the problem of alcohol abuse in South Africa can be resolved and how South Africa’s youth can take up a leadership role in the country.

“Underage drinking is a complex issue and no single stakeholder can deal effectively with the problem. All sectors of society, including government, business and NGOs, amongst many others, all have a responsibility to tackle the problem. SAB alone cannot do it alone because initiatives work most effectively through collaboration, ” says Bongumusa Makhathini, SAB Director Corporate Affairs and Transformation.

Boitumelo Maropa, a Season 2 Future Leaders Alumni contestant believes, through her experience, that alcohol is seen as something fun amongst young people and that Future Leaders helps to discourage this behavior. She has come a long way since her Future Leaders journey in 2014. “During my time on Future Leaders, I learnt to be a leader and to be selfless and less self-centered. With Future Leaders I could be the breadwinner at home and this would not have been possible without the guidance I received throughout the programme.”

Oros Mampofu, a former actor on local television drama, Skeem Saam notes that there is power in mentorship of South Africa’s young people in discouraging alcohol abuse. “Through mentorship and role models young people can learn the best way of progressing through life. We can create dialogue and meaningful discussion amongst them on important and difficult social issues especially underage drinking allowing young people to discover that there is a level of responsibility needed and an understanding of the repercussions of abuse.”

The Future Leaders programme was first broadcast in late 2013 and has since been renewed for consecutive seasons.

The first episode of Future Leaders IV will air of SABC 1 starting Tuesday, 11th October 2016 at 9pm.  The show will run every Tuesday thereafter for a total of 13 weeks.

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Twitter hashtag: #SABYouDecide



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