Ayanda Bandla, ambassador for the future

Play Your Part ambassador Ayanda Bandla, a familiar face to some of us, is a television personality and businesswoman who has a genuine passion for developing South Africa’s youth and helping them overcome their biggest challenges.

Ayanda Bandla on set
Ayanda Bandla’s work to empower the youth makes her perfect for the role of Play Your Part ambassador. She joins a group of individuals paving the way to a better South Africa. (Image: Ayanda Mandisa Bandla, via Facebook)

Play Your Part reporter

Reality television personality and businesswoman Ayanda Bandla has joined the ranks of our Play Your Part ambassadors, a group of individuals recognised for setting an example of active citizenship and embracing the spirit of giving back to the community.

Bandla’s interest in television took root when she participated in the first season of One Day Leader on SABC 1, a reality television show that pitted six young leaders from across the country against each other in debates on issues that affected the development of South Africa.

Topics ranged from education and health, through to unemployment – all subjects where good leadership could positively affect the growth of the country.

“I made it to the season finale, where I earned myself the second runner-up position,” Bandla recalls.

Shortly afterwards she joined e.tv as a sub-editor for Sunrise, an early morning news show, and hasn’t looked back.

Bandla went on to study for her Bachelors degree in political science, specialising in international relations, at the University of Pretoria. This was followed by founding the Mandisa Group, a company with a diverse range of interests that include media, communications and event management.

Youth development

Perhaps most important among the company’s interests is its involvement in the education sector and in youth empowerment through the Ubuntu Sessions.

“Under youth empowerment, I, together with my partners, have established and implemented youth-empowerment mini-seminars titled Ubuntu Sessions, designed to push boundaries, inspire thinking and generate new solutions,” Bandla explains.

Through this, she has helped to give a voice to township youth facing some of the many issues that are part and parcel of living in South Africa’s townships.

It is for this work that Brand South Africa recognises Bandla, and is the reason the organisation chose her to be a Play Your Part ambassador.

The Ubuntu Sessions seminars are held in Johannesburg and Durban, and the Mandisa Group hopes to spread their influence and take these seminars to youth across the country.

Ubuntu Sessions seminars are aimed at inspiring positive thinking among the youth, generating relevant solutions to the problems they face, and putting them in a position to actively play a role in their own upliftment.

The sessions also give the youth an opportunity to engage with various leaders from the government, business and civil society sectors. This gives them a platform to ask critical questions and receive direct responses and guidance to help them navigate the many obstacles they face.

Ambassador material

In the hopes of making a difference in the lives of even more South Africans, Bandla has set in motion plans to establish an education non-profit organisation aimed at highlighting and celebrating the progress made in the education sector.

The organisation will also tackle some of the challenges faced by youth in navigating the country’s basic and higher education systems.

All this considered, Bandla fits the description of a Play Your Part ambassador, setting an example of how empowering others is one of the best ways to make South Africa a better place for us all.

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