PMB ‘Future Leader’ on a mission

2015-08-27 06:00

HAVING experimented with alcohol at a young age, 15-year-old Silver Heights Secondary pupil, Hlengiwe Mcoyi, is determined to turn her life around and those of her peers through education.

Hlengiw is representing KwaZulu-Natal in the Future Leaders season III reality show which started on SABC 1 on Sunday, and is among five teenagers from other provinces who are on the programme.

The programme, part of the “You Decide” campaign was founded by SABC in 2012, in a bid to combat underage drinking. It focuses on teenagers who previously experimented with alcohol and through the programme its creates an awareness on consequences of underage drinking.

Contestants are each assigned a personal mentor with celebrity status who will help them through their journey for 13 weeks.

Hlengiwe is mentored by Sihle Makhanya, a quantity surveyor and a Top 5 Miss South Africa 2015 contender. Makhanya said while the show is aimed at combating underage drinking, it is also aimed at bringing out the future leaders within these young contestants.

“Hlengiwe’s life has not been plain-sailing like many teenagers her age. She grew up with an abusive father who pushed her mother to alcoholism. She moved to Pietermaritzburg to live with her grandmother who is currently supporting her with an old-age grant.

“She wants to be a lawyer, and I want to teach her that she can attain whatever she sets her mind to. Like any teenager she has weight issues and has a low self-esteem because of being bullied at school.

“Throughout the programme, she will be taught about eating healthily and taking better care of herself.”

Mthembu said Hlengiwe’s concern is that most people in her community do not value education, so as part of her project she hopes to establish a library­ for a disadvantaged school with the help of companies and councillors

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