A star in the making

Victor Mecoamere

Assertive Gauteng high school student, Rorisang Thandekiso, is continuing her role as an ambassador for South Africa's excellence.

As you read this, Thandekiso - who is the reigning champion of the Anglo American and Sowetan Young Communicators Awards - is representing South Africa in the Global Young Leaders' Conference in the US, which started on Monday and ends on July 3.

Taking place in Washington DC and New York, the conference is a unique leadership development programme. This Grade 12 pupil at Riverside High School in Vereeniging is being sponsored by the transport ministry through the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) and the South African Rail Commuter Corporation (SARCC).

The conference gives participating young people from around the world the opportunity to learn from and exchange ideas with some of the world's top business leaders, policy officials, lobbyists, journalists, diplomats and academics.

Thandekiso pipped eight other national finalists of the Young Communicators Awards with a robust speech titled, So What! (in the prepared section)and an impromptu sectionon the word "Play", which lasted for two eventful minutes. Here, Thandekiso warned that we dare not forget to press the "play" button if we want to engage fully in the game of life.

For her prepared speech, which was about six minutes long, Thandekiso made a poignant declaration of confidence in oneself - warts and all.

The Young Communicators Awards is one of Anglo American's many corporate social responsibility projects and part of the Sowetan's Aggrey Klaaste Nation Building Foundation.

l For pictures and speeches from the Young Communicators Awards finals go to www.sowetan. co.za and for more information visit: www.thepeoplespeak.org/activities/youth-leadership-summit.html