This week's edition of On The Red Couch, we are joined by Founder & CEO of Zanele Power House, Soweto Diamonds Model Academy and Co-founder of Soweto Royalty Foundation, Zanele Phakhati. 

Born and bred in Soweto. Bara hospital to be specific. Zanele's journey started at the tender age of 12, she entered Little Miss Dobsonville 2011.

After being crowned Little Miss Dobsonville, Her mom then entered her into pageants. She is now signed with BOSS models and Gaenor Artist for acting and has done a few adverts tv. Travelled to the USA in 2013 and India in 2017, she obtained her biggest title yet as Miss Pre Teen South Africa in 2013.

" it all started as a conversation with other girls, with the buzz of having Miss Dobsenville in the area, so I just decided to get into it, I asked my mom for a R50 and that was the beginning of it all," said Zanele

She works with a lot of charity organisations but the one closest to her heart is the Glorious Care Center which is in Soweto. She spent her 19th & 20th birthday with them, her family & friends joined her to donate. It is a children's home for orphans and children with HIV.

Soweto Royalty foundation is a foundation which was founded in 2015. It focuses mainly on empowering the youth, mostly focusing on the physically and mentally handicapped teenagers residing in Soweto.
SRF has 3 co-founders  Naledi, Zama and Zanele. They all met in high school, Rand Girls' School. They saw a gap and grabbed the opportunity to bring change with both hands.
They host events to empower the youth, passionate about education, modelling and the youth making a difference. They've have hosted a pageant for handicapped kids in the eyethu home based in Mfolo.

" My compassion for people really was triggered by modelling, because in Pageant you are bound to do charity and so forth, so that brought so much joy in my heart seeing how being a helping hand to someone who can't repay you is. So I then decided to make it my lifestyle, whether I am being a mentor to someone or a helping hand to less privileged, my life literally is all about giving and helping someone, I cannot help everyone but by just touching one person's life, I find fulfilment and joy from that, thus I decided to open Soweto Diamonds and Za Power House, which both organizations are about giving back and being helping hand in their own perspective " she said

Soweto Diamonds. Is a modelling academy that Zanele started from the time she was 15 years but this year she officially announced it and chose the name last year. As well as
Zanele Power House (Za Power House) which is an NPO that aims to change the lives of young people especially in Soweto. It is all about inspiring the youth by creating opportunities for them founded in 2018.

Her compassion and love for people at the very young age has gotten her quite a few recognitions such as being crowned leader of the pack at Massiv metro radio earlier this year, 2018 Woman of stature SA awards nominee in the  youth ambassador category, 2018 Young Lead SA top 20 female change markers as well as  being the ambassador of the Thuli Mandonsela Foundation.

Zanele has found herself nominated yet for another prominent Award at the 2019 SA Heroes Awards.

" As this is my second nomination, the first one I couldn't make it because I was involved in an accident at that time, so this is actually the first time that I am being nominated and will be there. I really do not do what I do to be recognized but it really warms my heart to see that my passion for helping others is being recognized, as much as I am not doing it for a part in the back, this nomination  gives me a drive, a push to do more and keep changing others' by doing the little I can, so I am really honoured to be amongst people who are doing great things in our communities to make our country better. With that being said, I would like to pass my gratitude to SA HEROES AWARDS for this platform for us and the whole country to take note of our everyday heroes and the work they are doing, really thank you so much, to everyone voting many thanks to you " she concluded.


To vote for Zanele, SMS  “Hero A2” to 45633, SMS costs R1.50

South African Heroes Awards take place on the 27th of April at Uncle Toms Community Centre in Orlando, Soweto. Tickets are R150 general & R250 VIP – available at ticketpro…/7b468dfc-6282-563e-ae96-5ca45…

Performances include Puleng March, Amstel, Mude Mude, APS D, & many more.

By Bradley Brizzy

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