The Mail & Guardian 200 Young South African’s 2012 supplement celebrates Young South Africans under-35 doing extraordinary things.
These future leaders are accomplishing amazing things at an age when many people are still trying to figure out what to do with our lives; they are just doing it — and soaring.
M&G see this project is a gift to the nation. It stands as a reminder that the future, with these young people on our team, is looking exceptionally well.
Liezel van der Westhuizen - radio, television, print journalist
Mention the name Liezel van der Westhuizen and you get a mixture of responses. Wasn’t she that Idols presenter? Doesn’t she present on 94.5 kfm? Isn’t she the morning host on SABC 3’s Expresso? She’s all three and a print journalist for The Next 48 Hours.
“I love interacting on three different media platforms and being able to engage with a variety of people,” says the 32-year-old Pretoria native with a master’s in communication management who plans to tackle her PhD next year. Van der Westhuizen may be top of the VIP list, but she knows about starting at the bottom. She juggled the graveyard shift at 94.2 Jacaranda FM with a fulltime job in PR. She loves a good challenge. She completed the Ironman in 2010 and the equally tough Dusi in 2012. But more than her tall, elegant physique and stunning beauty, it’s this strong work ethic and passion for communicating with people that makes her a true idol in so many people’s eyes. — Cat Pritchard
If you’ve tuned into 567 Cape Talk on a weekday, you’ll remember Africa Melane. He’s the guy with the velvety voice and contagious laugh; the one who creates a “warm and engaging environment” while celebrating “this beautiful life”. You might have heard him discussing the 68 professional theatre productions he watched last year, a number likely to increase now that he sits on the panel for the Fleur du Cap theatre awards. What you probably won’t hear is him reminiscing about the four years he worked as a trainee auditor following his BCom. Not that he minded it. True to his community- driven nature, Melane enjoyed the people he met and the small businesses he helped to set up systems for. As a talk-show host, he’s still helping people but in a way he hopes will empower them to become active citizens that will, like the initiative he supports, go out and “Lead SA”. — Cat Pritchard