SAUBA’s vision is to highlight the benefits that companies or brands which operate in South Africa have to offer the communities and the significant role the public and the targeted market have in improving the economy of the country.

After a long search that started in 2012, 11 women from different parts of South Africa were chosen as finalists for South Africa’s Ultimate Brand Ambassadors 2013. SAUBA 2013 reached a climax in the form of a prestigious and entertaining finalé event that took place in the north of Johannesburg at Montecasino in Fourways on Sunday, 4 August.

The finalists were taken through physical, mental and emotional challenges. This journey of the finalists has been filmed as a reality competition. Part of their task was to create projects that empower, mentor and create awareness while giving back to local charities. The challenge was that the contestants had to do all of this without any budget and were not allowed to self-finance the projects. This meant that they had to draw up winning business proposals to get companies involved and get sponsors to support their individual projects.

One of the finalists, Myra Manganye, said it was really not easy, but it was a journey worth walking. “I have been transformed from an individualist to a community developer and a leader while making an impact in society - that on its own is a reward,” she said. She continued by saying that she will definitely continue with her mission, because the community of Mamelodi has shown that they need the campaigns she initiated during the SAUBA competition.

The brainy 26-year-old from Mamelodi walked away with the title of South Africa’s Ultimate Brand Ambassador 2013 alongside first runner-up, Zimkhitha Soshankane from Eastern Cape. Soshankane said: “It was not easy. I had to divide myself into 4 people, but now I can proudly say that SAUBA succeeded in grooming me into a young entrepreneur and one of South Africa’s Philanthropists that I didn’t know I was.”

Second runner-up, Cindy Seeber, from Mogale City, said: “SAUBA is a wonderful competition, which I recommend to every woman, entrepreneurs like myself and the youth of South Africa. They can learn a lot from this competition, be it through buying the book, watching the TV show or even participating in the SAUBA program.”

Additionally, public choice winner, Melissa Habbas from North West added that she is very excited that she was chosen and that she didn’t see herself winning, because this was not easy - let alone doing an event with no budget. “I didn’t know my strength. Thanks to this competition not only have I met a lot of business people who supported my projects and gave away two University bursaries in 2013, but the SAUBA competition have enlightened me and groomed me inside and out. I’m ready for my 2013/14 mandate.”

Myra Manganye’s mission for 2013/14 is Youth, Social and Economic Development as she continues to represent different brands associated with the SAUBA program.

Details of Manganye’s journey (including the programmes that she initiated) and that of the other winners and finalists for SAUBA 2013 can be found in the upcoming SAUBA book (SAUBA 2013: Prepare to Learn, Release and Receive) and TV reality competition.

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