Zizo Beda got in the industry as Miss SA Teen and she had never looked back since then. She has proven that doing what you love and working hard it, it will pay off and open other doors for you. Zizo is a business woman, Selimathunzi presenter and she also dedicate her time engaging with young people in the issues that affecting them today. Read this interview to know more about Zizo Beda.
Describe yourself in sentence?
I AM A VERY SINCERE PERSON
Growing up how were you like as a kid?
I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN GOOD WITH GETTING ALONG WELL WITH PEOPLE. I AM A NATURAL BORN LEADER AND GROWING UP EDUTYWA WAS AMAZING BECAUSE OF THE CLOSE KNIT COMMUNITY AND MOST HOLIDAYS WE SPENT IN THE RURALS AREAS OF ENGCOBO WITH MY GRANDPARENTS AND ALL MY COUSINS. LIFE WAS SIMPLE AND WONDERFUL.
Why did you enter Miss SA Teen?
IN MY OPINION, THE EXISTING IDEA OF MISS SA TEEN THEN WAS NOT INCLUSIVE OF THE IMAGE AND ATTITUDE OF THE MAJORITY OF SOUTH AFRICAN TEENS AND SO I WANTED TO CHALLENGE THAT
As a reigning queen at that time did you had to deal with some of the youth issues? If yes, please tell us about them and how did you deal with them?
IT’S NOT ENOUGH SPACE TO ADDRESS THEM ALL BUT ESSENTIALLY EACH TITLE HOLDER WAS AS INVOLVED WITH ANY PARTICULAR ISSUE AS MUCH OR AS LITTLE AS THEY WANTED TO BE. JUST A FEW OF WHAT I DEALT WITH WAS THE ISSUE OF TEENAGE PREGNANCY, SELF CONFIDENCE AMONGST TEENS, CAREER GUIDANCE, SUBJECT CHOICES IN SCHOOL, DRUGS, THE IMPORTANCE OF VOTING, WORKED WITH TEENS IN JAILS ETC. MOST OF THE RESOURCES CAME IN THE FORM OF WORKSHOPS AND MOTIVATIONAL TALKS.
You are among the few Miss SA Teens who have actually managed to remain prominent in showbiz and society despite handing over the crown. What are you doing different?
I HAVE ALWAYS ACKNOWLEDGED THAT EACH MISS SA TEEN WANTED THE TITLE TO USE FOR DIFFERENT PLATFORMS, IT JUST SO HAPPENS THAT I DEVELOPED A CAREER IN ENTERTAINMENT AFTER MY REIGN. I WOULDN’T SAY THERE IS ANYTHING THAT I DID RIGHT AND THEY DID WRONG OTHER THAN TO SAY ENTERTAINMENT BECAME AN OPPORTUNITY FOR ME THAT AFTER LOTS OF HARD WORK BECAME A SUCCESS FOR ME.
How did you get into TV?
YO-TV COVERED QUITE A FEW OF THS PROJECTS I WAS INVOLVED WITH THROUGHOUT THE YEAR OF MY REIGN AND A YEAR LATER I GOT A CALL FROM THE PRODUCERS WITH THE OFFER TO BE ONE OF THEIR PRESENTERS, AND THAT WAS THE FIRST STEP IN MY TELEVISION CAREER.
What have you learn from being on Selimathunzi?
THAT SOUTH AFRICANS ARE RESILIENT BEYOND COMPREHENSION. THAT THEY CAN FIND A REASON TO CELEBRATE DESPITE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES WE FACE AND JUST A REMINDER THAT WE REALLY DO HAVE A PHENOMENALLY BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY I HAVE BEEN BLESSED TO BE ABLE TO TRAVEL IT EXTENSIVELY.
Throughout your career in entertainment industry you have kept your hair natural, do people judge you for wearing your hair natural? And has it hindered you from getting other jobs?
THERE IS SO MUCH DIVERSITY IN OUR INDUSTRY AND WE ALL HAVE THE CHOICE OF HOW WE WANT TO WEAR OUR HAIR. ANY PARTICULAR HAIRSTYLE DOES NOT MAKE ONE PERSON BETTER THAN THE OTHER. I HAVE PRIDED MYSELF ON THE QUALITY OF MY WORK AND THAT HAS GOTTEN ME WHERE I AM NOT WHETHER OR NOT I HAVE NATURAL HAIR. I DON’T BELIEVE THAT I HAVE LOST OUT ON ANYTHING THAT I PERSONALLY WANTED TO ACHIEVE IN MY INDUSTRY AS A RESULT OF MY HAIR CHOICE. IF THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO HAVE JUDGED ME, I DO NOT KNOW BECAUSE NOBODY HAS EVER SAID ANYTHING TO MY FACE ABOUT IT.
How did get involved with Legit and Garnier come?
LEGIT APPROACHED ME WITH THE OPPORTUNITY THEY ALWAYS SOURCE THEIR OWN GIRLS TO COLLABORATE WITH. THEY DON’T AUDITION PEOPLE. WITH GARNIER I WENT INTO A MEETING AT THEIR SHORTLISTING STAGE. I HAD AN INTERVIEW WITH THE SOUTH AFRICAN BASED BOSSES AND WE HAVE WORKED TOGETHER EVER SINCE THEN.
What does it mean to be a black woman in South Africa?
I HAVE LIMITLESS OPPORTUNITIES. THAT DOES NOT COME WITH FEELING ENTITLED, IT COMES WITH HAVING TO WORK HARD AND PROVE YOURSELF. BEING A WOMAN IN MY INDUSTRY COMES WITH HAVING TO ASSERT MY TALENT OVER MY AESTHETICS TOO. I AM TREMENDOUSLY BLESSED BECAUSE I HAVE AN INCREDIBLE WORK ETHIC AND I HAVE A STRONG GRASP OF WHO I AM AND WHAT I WANT, SO MUCH SO THAT I ALWAYS HAVE MY OWN FORMULA TO REACHING MY GOALS.
Do you think as South Africans have been influenced by western culture to a point where we have lost a sense of who we are and our roots?
THAT IS A GENERALIZATION. HAVING SAID THAT, PERHAPS THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE WHO MIGHT BE INCLINED TO AGREE WITH THAT STATEMENT, HOWEVER I CAN SPEAK FOR MYSELF AND SAY THAT I HAVE ALWAYS MADE AN EFFORT IN COLLABORATION WITH MY PARENTS TO LEARN TO SPEAK, WRITE MY LANGUAGE AND TO UNDERSTAND OUR CUSTOMS AND TRADITIONS. IT IS IMPORTANT TO HAVE THAT KNOWLEDGE SO THAT I CAN TEACH MY CHILDREN ONE DAY TOO. CERTAINLY HAVE CULTURAL ACTIVITIES IN SCHOOLS HELPS KIDS STAY IN TOUCH WITH THEIR ROOTS AND CELEBRATING DAYS LIKE HERITAGE DAY TOO.
What makes you stay humble?
I HAVE NOTHING TO BE BIG HEADED ABOUT. I AM AN AVERAGE SOUTH AFRICAN WHO COMES FROM A HUMBLE FAMILY, I HAVE WORKED VERY HARD TO GET WHERE I AM, I TAKE NOTHING FOR GRANTED AND I RESPECT PEOPLE. THAT IS THE CORE OF WHO I AM, I DON’T KNOW ANY OTHER WAY TO BE.
If you were not in an entertainment industry what would you be and why?
I LOOK FORWARD TO ONE DAY BEING ABLE TO FULLY COMMIT MYSELF TO WORKING ON COMMUNITY PROJECTS THAT WILL ASSIST MANY SOUTH AFRICANS TO TRULY EXPERIENCE FREEDOM FROM POVERTY INDUCED CHALLENGES.
What are you doing to empower youngsters out there?
ALL MY COMMUNITY PROJECTS. GARNIER HAS A CAMPAIGN THAT WORKS WITH THE YOUTH TO TEACH THEM HOW TO TAKE OF THEMSELVES, THE ENVIRONMENT AND OTHERS. I VOLUNTEER FOR THE SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL BLOOD SERVICE HELPING TEACH KIDS AND ADULTS ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING A REGULAR AND RELIABLE BLOOD DONOR. I VOLUNTEER FOR THE NASHUS CHILDRENS CHARITY FOUNDATION WHICH IS ACTIVE IN MAKING A TANGIBLE DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF IT’S BENEFICIARIES THROUGH STATIONERY, CLOTHING AND GROCERIES PROVIDED TO ALL OF THE HOMES. I HAVE MULTIPLE SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS THAT ENGAGE YOUNG PEOPLE ON ISSUES THST AFFECT THEM: SCHOOL, FINANCES, RESPONSIBILITY, PREGNANCY, DRUGS, RELATIONSHIPS ETC
Please tell us about the humanitarian projects/initiatives that you have been involved with?
– Nelson Mandela Day with Nashua Children’s Charity Foundation
– Garnier Take Care Initiative with Miss Earth – Tree planting at Solwazi Primary
– Bokang Foundation – Guest speaker
– Soul Magazine Contributing Journalist
– Pretoria Juvenile Prison – Motivational speaker
– Christmas for Children with Disabilities
– Youth Motivational Speaking Campaign – Motivational speaker
– Volunteer for Ubuhle Bezwe – Motivational speaker
– Youth Outreach Programme with P.O.W.A (Thembisa) – Motivational speaker
– Cancer Awareness Drive-Shavathon (Nashua)
– Take a girl child to work Initiative with Cell C and JSE
Tell us about your business (the name and what is it that you do)?
I ASSIST AS A MEDIA LIASON FOR “ACIONNA WATER” .IT IS A FAMILY OWNED AND RUN BUSINESS WHERE WE PURIFY AND BOTTLE WATER. WE ALSO DESIGN AND PRINT CUSTOMISED LABELS FOR CORPORATES AND INDIVIDUALS. WE HAVE WATER FILTRATION SYSTEMS AND FABULOUS WATER DISPENSERS BOTH FOR KIDS AND ALSO FOR ADULTS. WE ARE AVAILABLE AT WWW.ACIONNAWATER.CO.ZA
What motivated you to start your own business?
ALONG THE WAY BETWEEN MY SISTER AND I HAVE HAD LOTS OF BUSINESS IDEAS AND WE HAVE ALWAYS SUPPORTED EACH OTHER. FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE IS PARAMOUNT TO US.
You are an entrepreneur and you have all these jobs that you do, how do you balance your time?
I CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT A SCHEDULE AND I HAVE A FABULOUS TEAM WHO ASSISTS ME TO KEEP MY LIFE IN ORDER AT INTERFACE TALENT MANAGEMENT AND DANDELION BREEZE.
What would you like to change about Africa?
WE NEED TO TRAVEL MORE OF OUR OWN CONTINENT, SUPPORT LOCAL ARTISTS, DESIGNERS, AND BUSINESSES. IF I HAD A MAGIC WAND I WOULD WISH FOR ALL THE PEOPLE OF OUR CONTINENT TO HAVE ACCESS TO A QUALITY EDUCATION TO ALLOW EACH PERSON TO HAVE OPPORTUNITIES AT IMPROVING THEIR LIVES.
Your advice to young people?
YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH. DO NOT LET ANYBODY EVER TELL YOU THAT YOU ARE NOT. BE CONFIDENT IN THE QUALITIES THAT MAKE YOU DIFFERENT. BE PREPARED TO WORK VERY HARD TO ACHIEVE YOUR DREAMS. DONT TAKE SHORT CUTS, THEY WILL YIELD HALF THE RESULTS. STAND FIRMLY IN WHAT YOU BELIEF AND DO NOT CONFORM TO STANDARDS YOU DONT BELIEVE IN. AND FINALLY, SET YOUR PRIORITIES STRAIGHT!!! THERE IS PLENTY OF TIME IN LIFE FOR RELATIONSHIPS, PARTIES AND NONSENSE. FOCUS ON THE FIRST THINGS FIRST, GET YOURSELF A GREAT EDUCATION AND PURSUE YOUR DREAMS RELENTLESSLY.