Zareef Minty is a final-year LLB student, he was in the Mail & Guardian Top Young 200 in 2014 and he made the top 50 of South African GQ magazine’s Best Dressed in 2015. He is an author of a book called Empire and he was the chairperson of the Black Lawyers Association in 2014, he was the treasurer of the Law Students Council previously.He is currently participating in a show called One Day Leader on SABC 1.

Why did you decide to enter One Day Leader?
Ok, so what happened was that I tried to enter the year before, I didn’t even make it to top 90. I just always wanted to enter, I watched the show, before, saw Season 3, and I really enjoyed it. I felt it’s a really good platform for someone to build their leadership.

So far, what have you found challenging in being a part of the show?
So far it’s literally been just our vision statements and it’s quite simple. It’s what you believe in. We also tackled the #FeesMustFall campaign and we presented our solutions to the department of higher education into how can we solve the financial crisis. We looked at removing failing parastatals and cutting down the state wage bill. We also looked at how we can use solar energy for instance and cut down on the expensive way electricity is made at the moment. So these are all different concepts we’re looking at to make enough money available so that students will then have access to free education.

How has the journey so far affected your personal life?
I’m really starting to feel the leadership. I’m starting to feel the whole concept of being more accountable. I used to give myself a longer time limit to get things done, I think now being on the show and noticing that you have two days to do a task, and things need to be implemented, it can happen [in a shorter time].

What do you hate most about the show?
I really don’t have any huge criticisms of the show, I think it’s produced very well. The team that’s running behind the show is phenomenal. The tasks are very uplifting, so I really don’t see any cons to the show. Some room for improvement could be maybe lengthening the time of our debates. [This means] giving us more time to engage because you can’t say that much in two minutes.

What do you want people to know about Zareef by the end of the show?
I want people to know I’m here to stay. I’m not a one-hit-wonder that’s going to appear on a reality show then disappear, I’m going to be around for years to come. I’m here mainly to uplift society, show people the positive change you can create, but to also build a brand that people can understand that this is a future leader, and people [will be able to] identify in 5-10 years from now. I want to be an important stakeholder looking after society and making sure that communities succeed.