Zongezile Qeba, was born and raised in a fairly small village called Verdwaal in the North West, about 30 minutes from Mafikeng. He is currently completing his final year BSc in Chemical Engineering. Qeba has made it to the top six of the popular educational youth show One Day Leader. The show airs from February 8 at 21:00.

What is One Day Leader and why is it important for young people?

One Day Leader is a debate competition show organised and run by SABC 1. It aims to showcase the leadership skills of young people around South Africa. The debates essentially revolve around socioeconomic matters such as expropriation of land without compensation, unemployment, and racism.

It’s a very important competition to the youth purely because it provides a platform for us to share our ideas, stories, models, and solutions that speak to the status quo matters.

What prompted you to enter the One Day Leader competition and was this your first time entering?

I was genuinely prompted by the urgency of addressing the reality in rural areas and townships in the most authentic form possible and share what should be implemented, because it’s not  just things I’ve read about. It’s experiences I’ve been through and witnessed other hundreds of people go through.I’m also a leader in my community. I have started a project that aims to teach children in primary schools how to play chess, and I’m a debater. I’ve been debating since grade seven.

In 2015, I made it to the top 20 of One Day Leader season four but I couldn’t attend the debate due to an important exam on the same day.


How do you balance the demanding hours of shooting One Day Leader as well as balancing your academic life and other endeavours?

It’s honestly about getting my priorities straight and remaining consistent and committed to what I want to achieve. I have friends who are going to assist me with some school things that I’m going to miss out on and mentors who will be guiding and advising me so that I don’t lose balance and focus.

What kind of entrepreneurship are you involved in?

I am passionate about farming and agriculture in general. In 2017, I registered my company called The V-Farm Partnership. The V stands for Verdwaal. It essentially aims to partner with anyone who has the seeds and other resources to farm. We have a small portion of land in the North West and we want to start doing business there urgently.We are currently doing more research and working on raising adequate start-up capital, perhaps next year we can make our first harvest.

 What do you hope to gain out of your experience from One Day Leader and what have you learned thus far?

I’m hoping to enhance my leadership and communication skills, share the unrecognised solutions with South Africa, share the untold stories, inspire children from rural areas and townships to realise that when they say “your background doesn’t define your destiny”, it’s really not a joke.I have experienced the different styles of leading from my competitors, and different styles of debating. I’ve also learnt different approaches on how we can actually tackle issues that South Africans encounter every day.