The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) and brewing and bottling company South African Breweries (SAB) launched the second season of the local reality television series, Future Leaders, which aired on SABC 1, on October 14.
A month-long nationwide search has yielded five contestants who will be featured in the 13-episode series, which follows the lives of the teenagers, from all walks of life, who have each been affected by underage drinking. The show documents their journey to becoming agents of positive change and role models within their respective communities and schools.
Season one of Future Leaders was broadcast in late 2013.
The Future Leaders for 2014 are Ayabonga Jacela, of Mdantsane, East London, in the Eastern Cape; Boitumelo Masimole of Waterworks Informal Settlement near Protea Glen, in Soweto, Gauteng; Lungani Mthethwa of Ntoyeni, Empangeni, in KwaZulu-Natal; Nthateng Tsotetsi of Embalenhle, in Mpumalanga; and Werner Esterhuizen of Potchefstroom, in North West.
Future Leaders is the extension of You Decide, an initiative to help curb underage drinking in South Africa, facilitated through a partnership between SAB; NYDA; provincial departments of Education in KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Free State, Eastern Cape and Limpopo; and local youth marketing agency HDI Youth Marketeers.
You Decide raises awareness of the dangers and consequences of underage drinking through targeted interventions aimed at the youth and the broader communities they live in, including parents, teachers and tavern owners. The programme has reached more than 500 000 learners across the country since its start in 2012.
Future Leaders aims to identify and develop young leaders, while creating awareness around critical social and economic issues, namely the problem of underage drinking. Viewers experience the teens’ personal daily struggles and the decisions they are faced with making as they work towards making a positive difference in their own lives and that of their peers.
The show is based around specific community projects each of the five contestants select and set out to implement. By providing a more constructive recreational environment through these projects, they believe teenager’s choices to consume alcohol and engage in irresponsible behaviour will be affected.
“The NYDA is encouraged by the empowerment of young people through the You Decide and Future Leaders initiative, and we are confident that we will see young people working together and influencing one another to engage in responsible behaviour,” says NYDA executive chairperson Yershen Pillay.
Jacela, Masimole, Mthethwa, Tsotetsi and Esterhuizen are supported throughout their Future Leaders journey by personal mentors who are selected from the successful and popular One Day Leader reality show on SABC. The mentors in this season are Ndumiso Hadebe, Johan du Pisanie and Anele Ndzimande. The mentors are, in turn, guided by South African social activist, entrepreneur, author and columnist Shaka Sisulu.
In this second season, Future Leaders contestants meet with inspirational public figures who offer leadership advice and career planning. Contestants spend time with, among others, Public Protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela and mining company Kalahari Resources founder and CEO Daphne Mashile-Nkosi.
“South Africa must implement programmes that bring awareness to the issue of underage drinking and provide the youth with the right tools to avoid the destructive effects irres- ponsible behaviour can have on their future.
“SAB is proud to be a part of a programme that can contribute towards our country’s youth growing to become valued members of society who can act as role models to their peers so that this positive change is replicated and has a sustainable impact moving into the future,” concludes SAB corporate affairs director Monwabisi Fandeso.