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KwaZulu-Natal Future Leader gives library to her community | Marketing


A passion for her community and desire to introduce them to the wonderful world of books prompted 15-year-old Future Leader, Hlengiwe Mcoyi, to renovate and fill her school library.

The third season of the popular Future Leaders reality television series followed the lives of five avid youngsters who were committed to upliftment projects within their communities. The series ran on SABC 1 with the final episode airing on 8 November.

The Future Leaders programme is facilitated by South African Breweries (SAB) and partners, the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) and youth marketing agency, HDI Youth Marketeers. The first season aired in 2013 with the success prompting another two seasons.

“The show follows the story of five ‘ordinary’ South African teenagers whose lives have been affected by drinking,” explained XXX of SAB. “The 13 episodes document their journey of implementing positive change within their respective communities.

“Future Leaders provides the platform and necessary support for these youngsters who have so much potential, but are possibly held back because of social circumstances. The show has gained a big following and the participants go on to become Future Leaders ambassadors.”

Each of the five participants were carefully selected by a panel of judges made up of First Lady Madame Bongi Ngema-Zuma; director of operations for the NYDA, Nthuseng Mpahlele; SAB exective director of corporate affairs and transformation, Monwabisi Fandeso and South African television personality and activist, Sizwe Dhlomo. Once selected, each candidate focuses on an upliftment project and, with the help of a mentor, gets the projects off the ground.

Hlengiwe Mcoyi, a resident from Northdale in KwaZulu-Natal, was chosen from hundreds of applicants because of her cheerful demeanour, passion and determination. Coming from a troubled past, witnessing abuse and alcoholism in her household, Hlengiwe has risen above her difficulties and is hoping to improve the lives of others. Her dream is to follow in her cousin’s footsteps and study law, focusing on Family and Human Rights.

Currently living with her grandmother and cousins, the Silver Heights Secondary School Grade 8 pupil is in a much happier place and says was “overwhelmed” when she discovered she had been chosen for Future Leaders.

“At first I was so nervous, as this was the first time I would ever be on camera, but I got into it,” said the cheerful teenager. “For my project I decided to improve a school library. In my community there is a lack of experience with books and I want to change that.”

With assistance from her mentor, Sihle Makanya – 2015 Miss SA contender and qualified quantity surveyor – Hlengiwe achieved the impossible. Through her perserverance, and with the necessary guidance, Hlengiwe arranged for the fumigation of the nearby Siyahlomula Secondary School library at a cost of R10 000, as well as the donation of R10 000 worth of books from SAB with a further R100 000 worth of books sponsored by Shuter&Shooter. The monumentous book handover was held on 25 November.

The new library will benefit some 1 000 pupils at Siyahlomula, many of them from disadvantaged communities.

Primi Chetty, CEO of Shuter&Shooter Publishers, said the company was passionate about education and the development of the country’s future leaders. The 150-year-old organisation publishes in all 11 of South African indigenous languages, bringing books of every culture into every home.

“After being approached to partner with the Future Leaders programme, we were blown away by both the magnitude of the project, as well as Hlengiwe’s clear vision for education and learning in our country,” said Chetty.

The Future Leaders programme is in line with Shuter&Shooter’s mission statement which seeks to serve the educational needs of a changing South Africa.

Chetty continued: “It is really an honour to be part of SAB’s initiative and we know that, by equipping the library, we are not only supporting Hlengiwe’s vision, but also empowering many other young minds who will use this facility.”

A range of suitable books valued at R100 000 were donated to the library. The publishers have also organised a proposed library management programme and provided the necessary library training.

“I am just so happy and proud of what we’ve achieved,” said Hlengiwe, who herself is an avid reader. “I’m now looking forward to my next project which is a recycling initiative. I want to make this a community event where we create awareness about the need for recycling water, plastic and paper.”

She said she was working on getting sponsors for recycling bins to be placed throughout Northvale, as well as collection trucks.

Future Leaders is an extension of You Decide, an initiative aimed at helping to curb underage drinking in South Africa. You Decide is facilitated through a partnership between SAB, NYDA, local youth marketing agency, HDI Youth Marketeers, as well as provincial department of Education in KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Free State, Eastern Cape and Limpopo.


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