Meet the mentors and contestants of Future Leaders Series 3
Future Leaders, the reality series that takes a look at the lives of real South African teens and their battles to make a positive change in their communities, has returned to our screens for its third season. For the 13 weeks, each teen is assigned a mentor who will help them along the way. The contestants are each gifted with energy, ideas and vision, but have each had their own personal struggles, many of these around underage drinking. Each teen has set themselves a goal of realising a project, but with very little money, knowledge and contacts it’s going to be challenging. This is where mentors can help.
“As mentors, you’re not there to make sure your mentees do a brilliant project.
You’re there to make sure they are confident and together enough to do a brilliant project!"
This was the advice was given at a workshop for the mentors early in the series, guided by head mentor Shaka Sisulu. Mentorship is an important element of the programme and ensures that each contestant has someone to offer not only guidance, but also challenge them on every step of their journey. General development support such as communication skills, coping with stress, project management, financial savvy and negotiation techniques are also part of what each mentor brings to the relationship. Each of their mentors has been chosen as someone who has achieved their own success in trying situations, is well versed in tackling modern day South African social, economic and political issues, and comes from the same region.
Dikeledi & Sechaba
Sechaba’s craft initiative
Mentor: Dikeledi Makhongoana Dikeledi (also known as “DK”) is a radio personality and sports fundi, recognised with several industry awards. She also comes with years of experience in training and mentoring youth in her community. In her 14 year career she’s been mentored herself by some of her industry’s most respected, she believes that mentorship is a valuable tool for self-development. Future Leader: Sechaba Mthombeni, 16, from Bodibeng Secondary School in Kroonstad, Free State Sechaba was raised by his maternal aunt and grandmother. He has a keen interest in singing and has already shown promise as a leader by starting a community choir for the youth in his area. He believes there is a lack of recreational activities for the youth in his community, is why many turn to loitering on street corners and abusing drugs and alcohol. His Future Leaders community project will aim to teach young people how to sew and design. He hopes that this will help them to evaluate and grow confident in their own talents.
Loyiso and Chanlyn
Chanlyn’s list to combat gangsterism
Mentor: Loyiso Mdebuka Loyiso (also known as DJ Loyd) is a TV and radio presenter, voiceover artist, MC and social entrepreneur. He has presented youth shows on both TV and radio, co-founded a township market and hosted the 2014 ‘Live Out Your Dreams Tour’, which seeks to help youth discover their hidden talents. Having grown up in a rural township, and having been mentored himself, he understands the importance of being a vessel of knowledge, wisdom and inspiration for other young people. Future Leader: Chanlyn Biggs, 16, from Atlantis Secondary School in Cape Town. Chanlyn lives with her family in Atlantis, and has experimented with alcohol before. She believes that the biggest problems facing her community are drugs and unemployment, and resulting gangsterism. Chanlyn has planned several initiatives for her Future Leaders community projects, hoping they will deter teens from her community from getting involved in social ills.
- Restoring used computers and distributing them amongst children in her community
- “Project Stepping Stone”, an initiative which sees mentors facilitating motivational workshops for the underprivileged
- A fitness programme in public parks to encourage healthy lifestyles amongst the youth
Makwena and Monicca
Monicca’s talent centre
Mentor: Makwena Makgakga Makwena (known to his listeners as Kwenisto) is a dynamic young media personality. He currently hosts a youth show empowering young people on Thobela FM, where he has worked for the last four years, and recently won Best Radio Presenter at the 2015 FAME SA Awards. His own experience with adversity has motivated him to instigate several community initiatives aimed at empowering and mentoring the youth of his community. One of these is Youth on a Mission, active in several schools in and around Limpopo. Future Leader: Monicca Malebana, 15, from Khaiso High School in Polokwane Monicca was raised by her mother and believes an absent father, low self-esteem and a feeling of inadequacy led her to experiment with alcohol. Today she leads a much healthier lifestyle and enjoys drawing, presenting, modelling, and watching TV. She has dreams of becoming a youth leader by using her experience as a cautionary tale and establishing a youth recreational centre. Monicca’s Future Leaders community project is “Fix My Life”, a recreational centre at her school. She hopes this will help learners showcase their talents in an environment where they can be counselled.
Sihle and Hlengiwe
Hlengiwe's library and recycling programme
Mentor: Sihle Makhanya Sihle is a qualified Quantity Surveyor and a top 5 Miss South Africa 2015 pageant contender. Together with the Mayor of UThungulu District and First Lady of KwaZulu-Natal, Sihle raised the registration fees for university students who were affected by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) crisis. She is passionate about bringing change to the lives of women education, business and health. Future Leader: Hlengiwe Mcoyi, 15, from Silver Heights Secondary School in Northdale, KZN Hlengiwe is a bubbly, confident class representative for the Representative Council of Learners at Silver Heights Secondary School in KwaZulu-Natal. She has a love for talent shows and is involved in drama and dancing competitions. One of her greatest concerns is that people in her community do not value education. Hlengiwe’s Future Leader’s project is centred on community improvement through the establishment of a library and getting youth involved in recycling. She hopes to get the help of help of local companies and councillors.
Jessica and Lionel
Lionel's community fun run
Mentor: Jessica Tims Jessica Tims is best known as a presenter on youth shows, YOTV Live and Blue Couch. Her involvement in youth development began during her high school years when serving on the executive committee of the Johannesburg Junior Council. A creative at heart with a strong interest in youth culture, she also works part-time as a creative contributor at HDI Youth Marketeers, one of Africa’s largest youth marketing agencies. She spends a significant amount of her time as a motivational speaker and workshop facilitator for young people across South Africa. Future Leader: Lionel Malaji, 16 from Bokamoso High School in Johannesburg East Lionel lives with his family in the east of Johannesburg. He’s a popular guy, well known at school, with a keen interest in athletics and rapping. He has big dreams for his future, including a career in metallurgy. Having previously been involved in underage drinking he is concerned about alcohol abuse and violence at his school. During Future Leaders he plans to organise a community fun run, with regular training sessions in the lead up to the event as a recreational outlet for fellow students.
See these pairs take the challenge on SABC 1 every Sunday at 5:30pm.
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About Future Leaders
Future Leaders is a 13-episode series which follows the lives of five ordinary teens from all walks of life who have each been affected by underage drinking. The show documents their journey to becoming positive change agents and role models within their respective communities and schools. The series is a result of SAB You Decide, a partnership between SAB, the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), and youth marketing agency, HDI. The show was first launched in 2013, and 2015 sees the third series runs from 16 August until 8 November 2015. Find out more about what SAB is doing around alcohol responsibility at SAB Stories.