"I wasn't comfortable at first after winning Miss Teen Soweto because I thought people were probably asking themselves who is this girl. But I realised that I had to be comfortable with who I am. Trying to imitate someone wasn't going to help me. Being myself was the most comfortable thing I could do. I realised I won't be the next Bonang, but I will be the next Zanele Ngcobo."
Building lasting positive relationships
Zanele believes that it is very important for women and girls to build positive relationships with each other as at the end of the day we understand our struggles. "It's important that we connect with each other, that we don't throw shade towards each other and that we rid ourselves of all negative vibes," adds Zanele. "I made a very good friend through Miss Teen Soweto and even now we still talk and help each other. I wouldn't say all platforms do this, but this is definitely possible through Miss Teen Soweto.
Plans for the future
Zanele is currently completing her IIE Higher Certificate in Information Technology (IT) in Support Services at IIE Rosebank College. Her goal is to combine IT and medicine and to also bring coding to her community. "In the next 5 years I would like to have my own APP which enables children 6 years and older to design websites, code and learn programming, so that they too are ready for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. I would also like to have my own computer centre where children can broaden their perspective and learn how to code and therefore use their time more constructively during school holidays.
Written by Karabo Keepile