Durban-born Kuhlekonke Watu Ntuli wants to build on her success on SABC1’s One Day Leader to help other women.
Durban - A Strong foundation and consistent faith were the main focus during a conversation with Durban-born reality show contestant Kuhlekonke Watu Ntuli.

The 22-year-old, originally from KwaMaphumulo, grew up in New Germany with her five siblings, one of whom is older sister Minnie Ntuli, a contestant in this season’s Idols SA.

Ntuli is flying the KZN flag with fellow KZN contestant Sibonisile Ngubane on the SABC1 show One Day Leader, currently being filmed in Johannesburg.

The show develops young leaders by having them tackle and debate real issues affecting South African society.

While growing up, Ntuli said, they were not the wealthiest family, but her parents made sure they were all well taken care of.

“Our parents did not buy us the most expensive sneakers but instead they invested in our education and bought us hockey sticks,” she said.

On her way to becoming the SRC president at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Howard College campus, and a qualified geographer, she said she had always been a leader.

“Even in primary school I was a prefect,” she said. In Grade 12 she received honours in exceptional leadership at Pinetown Girls’ High.

The go-getter is reading towards a master's degree in housing at UKZN but admitted that keeping up with her studies has been a challenge.

Women’s rights and gender equality are the centre of her focus.

She said her inspiration comes from women, like the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who spoke up for themselves and used their voices to influence people.

“I am also inspired by the women who led the SRC before me because they paved the way for me,” Ntuli said.

She added that all mothers who wake up early every day to support their families were a big inspiration for her.

The 22-year-old is keen on establishing a leadership academy for girls which would run during school holidays after her stint on One Day Leader.

“The academy would be for girls from different backgrounds and they would learn how to use their voices to empower themselves and others,” Ntuli said.

The aim, she said, would be to bridge the gap between girls who go to private schools and those who attend government schools, as she felt women could learn different things from each others’ personal stories.

She said she was grateful to her family and God for shaping her life, saying she had remained on top of the viewers’ leader-board on One Day Leader for four weeks in a row because of all their votes.

Catch Ntuli in action on One Day Leader every Thursday on SABC1.

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