YOLANDA Buthelezi (25) from Ulundi, KZN has won an opportunity to work as a backstage presenter at this year’s Samas.

As part of its aim to grow and nurture young talent, Sofn’free, the sponsor of the Sama27 Best Female of the Year Award, ran a Youth Month initiative where one talented and aspiring TV presenter, videographer and journalist could bag a backstage pass to the awards.

Yolanda, who’s been a guest presenter on SABC1 lifestyle show HotspotSeli and presented for Soweto TV, won the competition.

Applicants had to share a video of themselves presenting the Samas Female Artist of the Year award on Facebook and Yolanda was chosen.

Speaking about her win, Yolanda said she was passionate about TV presenting. “It is something I want to get into because I love telling people’s stories. I love learning what motivates people, and I’m always inspired by people who go for their dreams, want to do better and never give up, whether it’s selling fruit on the side of the road or making big business moves,” said Yolanda.

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She said she looks up to media personalities such as Zola 7, Bonang Matheba and DJ Zinhle.

“Growing up, I idolised Zola for being able to change lives, and at the time, every girl wanted to have the class and tenacity of Bonang. I also look up to women like DJ Zinhle, who are chasing the bag from all angles,” she said.

Sofn’free said they wanted to empower the youth by hosting the competition.

“The brand champions the freedom of self-expression, and through this Youth Day initiative wants to empower an aspiring young person in the arts industry, giving them the tools and confidence to express themselves.

“Our youth hold the key to the exceptional entertainment industry of the future, and the brand team is delighted to provide one young, aspiring person a chance to fulfil their dreams, and maybe even walk their own red carpet one day,” they said.

The Samas will be broadcast on Saturday, 31 July on SABC1 at 8pm.