Zareef Minty

National Youth President, Patriotic Alliance

Since he was eight years old, Zareef Minty wanted to influence society in a positive way. At just 20 years of age, Minty has already achieved more than most – from his own clothing line and talent company to being president of a political party’s youth league, and even writing a book.

Minty says he always knew that law and politics were closely linked, and that to become involved in community, regional and national issues as a politician, a law degree would be crucial.

Now in the third year of his law degree at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Minty’s list of titles and organisational experience already reads like a resumé: he is the National Youth President of the recently formed Patriotic Alliance, a former treasurer of the Law Students Council, a former chairperson of the Student Disciplinary Committee’s Legal Representatives, the current chairperson of the Black Lawyers Association (Wits branch) and he is currently working on his book, Empire, which he refers to as a coffee table book of motivational and success tips.

“I see a great future for myself in politics. I can see myself actively making a huge difference to society, helping to rectify the mistakes made during and after apartheid,” says Minty.

He has also registered the Zareef Minty Build a School Foundation, through which he aims to create an education link between state and the private sector.

Minty firmly believes that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Choose the people you want around you wisely, he says, as their morals, values and ideas indirectly become yours.

“Leadership in South Africa should follow the ‘lead by example’ approach, and be held accountable for everything they do.” — Linda Doke