Witsie hopes to be the next ‘One Day Leader’

“MANY leaders lead, but they have never been through what they are leading people through”, Octavia Prince Shabangu, the only Witsie on the “One Day Leader” show, told Wits Vuvuzela this week.

Shabangu’s obstacles have helped him to share and give advice to other people. “You’ll find leaders advising people about poverty but they don’t know about poverty. I’ll never advise you on something I do not know”, he said.

“One day Leader” is a show aired on SABC 1 that is dedicated to uplifting young leaders by providing them with the skill-set and knowledge they need to tackle social, political and economic issues in South Africa through debate and other leadership activities. The six contestants compete with each other for the coveted title, “One Day Leader”.

Born and breed in Mpumalanga, in a small town called Gedlebane, Shabangu has  climbed up the ladder to be the only Witsie and one of the top six “One Day Leader” contestants. but Shabangu’s climb has not been without difficulty.

Shabangu is in 3rd year, studying a bachelor’s degree in accountancy. He is the eldest of six children. His mother is a retired domestic worker and his father a part-time employed truck driver who just recently got employment in 2013.

RISE AGAIN: Octavia Shabangu on the road to becoming the #1 leader of the "One Day Leader" show.

RISE AGAIN: Octavia Shabangu on the road to becoming the #1 leader of the “One Day Leader” show. Photo by: Lutho Mtongana

“Growing up was tough but I think it’s something that I needed to prepare me for the harsh reality of what life had to offer,” said Shabangu.

He believes a great leader should be resilient.

“Don’t give up on yourself, don’t give up on your dreams, don’t give up on the people around you,” he said.

One day [last year] he and his family were evicted. “When we arrived home and we found everything in the streets, my parents at the time were both unemployed and there was nothing they could do. Me and my family were rendered homeless, I was still in school, I had to leave school for a while, for about four months so I could just find a job and stabilize everything. I never thought that I as an individual, I could be hopeless,” he continued.

However, despite the hurdles he faced last year having tried to get on the show, and not making it to the top 20 of season two, Shabangu went back to school and decided to try and enter the competition again.

He was in a taxi rank when the phone rang for an interview with him. Later that same day, he heard he was again not on the top 20 list of candidates who made on the show. After hearing the news he decided to beg for a second chance. “Let me debate all 20 of them,” he said.

After being allowed to debate one of the top six candidates, Siphosenkosi Malimela, he made it to the top six.

“I just keep on coming and coming as hard as I can. I’m true to my values and I believe in the power of inspiration,” he said.

He draws his inspiration from big problems in his hometown for example, the poverty, high pregnancy rate, including  no running water.

When Shabangu is not juggling school and the show, he plays basketball for the Wits Noswal Residence and is involved in the Campus Outreach Programme.

One Day Leader is broadcast every Monday at 16:30 on SABC 1. To vote for Shabangu sms “Leader 6” to 34020.

Two Witsies make top six in SABC’s ‘One Day Leader’

Seadimo Tlale (left) and Anele Nzimande (right) top in 'One Day Leader' reality show on SABC One

Seadimo Tlale, above, in the ‘One Day Leader’ reality show.

SEADIMO Tlale and Anele Nzimande, LLB Law students at Wits, are part of the final six contestants on the reality show, One Day Leader.

The show airs every Sunday at 6.30pm and sees young people tackling economic, social and political issues. They compete against each other in an effort find one future social leader for South Africa.

Wits Vuvuzela spoke to Tlale, a first year at Wits and the youngest in the competition. She explained how being on a TV show is not as glamorous as one would think.

“It’s more work than it is glamour. It’s that one hour on Sunday when you’re on TV, and three hours after that when your inbox is full because everybody’s texting you. That’s the glamorous side, then after that it’s just work, work, work,” Tlale said.

Despite the work, Tlale is thankful to have been given this opportunity to be on the show.

“I actually get to inspire a lot of people. So many people look up to me, I walk around on campus and people are like ‘Sea right? One Day Leader!’ and I’m like ‘what? Do people even watch the show?’.”

Tlale told Wits Vuvuzela that one of the major issues affecting students is that some of them express apathy towards politics and feel like political issues don’t concern them. They think someone else is dealing with the country’s challenges and they can remain ignorant of what is going on.

“I think politics is the one thing that brings us together, despite our differences as people. It’s the one platform where we can come together, be one and take a stand to actively shape our own future. To change our communities, to change everything that’s happening in our lives as students,” she said.

Tlale manages to balance her studies with being a TV star and accredits this to her passion and love for what she does.

“If you know what you want and keep focus, it’s easy to do everything and that’s how I do so much.” Tlale is part of the Wits debating team, the Black Lawyers Association, the ‘One Day Without Shoes’ initiative and a member of the model UN.


Anele Nzimande, also in ‘One Day Leader’

Wits Vuvuzela could not get in touch with Anele Nzimande. But on her One day Leader website profile, she said: “My gender, age, socio-economic status and accomplishments are secondary to my South African-ness. I am a South African first, and we have a history of revolutionary leaders who were unapologetic and uncompromising about their vision.

“There is no mathematical formula that exists when it comes to leadership but it is important to have a healthy balance of humility and fearlessness,’ Nzimande said.

Tlale explains that a leader is someone who stays relevant to what is needed within a community. Someone who is persistent but humble and someone who others feel inspired by.

Both girls want to use their influence to encourage change and give people access to opportunities and stress the importance of education.

To vote for Seadimo on One Day Leader, SMS: “Leader 2” to 34068. To vote for Anele, SMS: “Leader 4” to 34068