From being seen delivering food parcels to child-headed households in KwaZulu-Natal, to meeting leaders of the ANC’s ward 11 branch in Newlands East, Duduzane Zuma has been working quietly behind the scenes – drumming up support to realise his presidential ambitions in the governing party.
With the seemingly preferred presidential candidate in the run-up to the ANC’s December elective national conference being incumbent President Cyril Ramaphosa – now embroiled in his own farmgate scandal – South Africa has not yet seen a truly strong contender for the party leadership position.
While some critics have dismissed Zuma Junior’s bid due to lack of political clout, the son of former president Jacob Zuma, has been putting on a charm offensive – grabbing any strategic platform to promote himself and sell his leadership approach – offering a solution to a myriad of the country’s challenges.
Among keynote speakers in the upcoming TEDx event to be held in Sandton in September, Zuma Junior will be sharing the stage with media personality and actress Amanda du Pont, Forbes 30-under-30 list maker Zareef Minty, and Miss South Africa 2022 finalist Tamsyn Jack.
With origins in the United States, TEDx is a local version of TED – an acronym of technology, entertainment and design – featuring local leaders and community influencers, sharing ideas relevant to a geographic area.
Duduzane’s dream for South Africa
Reflecting on his vision for South Africa, Zuma told The Citizen: “My ideal South Africa is one that is built by South Africans from all walks of life – putting their racial, traditional, religious, social, economic differences aside.
“We can only build this country by working together and attracting people that may have lost hope and that have emigrated – to being a part of our reconstruction. A country of peace, prosperity, safety and security – not for some, but for our entire population – is what I am building towards.
What is the South Africa of the future?
Under the theme “South Africa of The Future”, the topic of the upcoming event is meant to offer a solution to the country’s socio-economic challenges, with each speaker given 20 minutes to share thoughts and plans for a better South Africa, while educating the audience.
Jack, who has recently been announced as a Top 10 finalist for Miss South Africa 2022, said she was “extremely excited to headline the event”.
“It’s been a dream of mine to do a TEDx talk and I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity,” said Jack.
Minty said he believed events like TEDx played “a crucial role in contributing to South Africa going forward”.
“It’s an absolute honour and privilege to be speaking at this TEDx event. We need more of this, more round tables, more seminars – more events that will educate our people and get them ready for what the future holds,” he said.
While an audience of 200 people will attend the Sandton TEDx, the event will be recorded and shared in online media platforms.