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Television and radio personality Zanele Potelwa’s star is Mzansi’s freshest host with the most. After hosting the South African Music Awards’ red carpet extravaganza live from Sun City last week, the Selimathunzi presenter and 5FM DJ has announced that she is returning as host for the upcoming Sunday Times GenNext Awards for a second year in a row.

After two years as a virtual event, the Sunday Times GenNext Awards returns as both an in-person and virtual event on 15 September 2022 and the team is thrilled to welcome Zanele back as host for a second year.

With 2022 still being a little unpredictable, Sunday Times GenNext has reflected on strategic priorities and are embracing resilience strategies to protect against marketing disruption and to retain and captivate the youth by keeping things advancing forward, in a hybrid format (digital with a side of in person interaction).

Now in its 18th year, the Sunday Times GenNext Awards is the leading annual youth brand preference and consumer behaviour event. This year’s event will take place on Thursday, 15 September 2022 between 14:00 and 17:00 and will see 300 youths gather to interact and engage with the brands through displays, activations and competitions. Age groups will include those between 8-30. The official award ceremony will take place between 18:00 and 19:00 where the coolest brands, as voted for by SA’s youth, will be awarded. These awards will be live streamed so everyone can get a piece of the action.

Zanele, who is set to host alongside Monique De Villiers, is excited to bring her fun personality and love for pop culture to fans at the event while celebrating youth culture and the brands they identify with most.

“The Sunday Times GenNext Awards have always been one of my favourite awards because they quite literally LISTEN to what the youth have to say. As a young person in South Africa, who works for the biggest youth station in South Africa, I have such a big heart for young people and making sure that they feel heard is one of the most important things we can do – and that's exactly what these awards are all about!” the TV and radio personality says.

Zanele, whose 5FM show ‘5 Lunch’ scored a nod at the 2022 South African Radio Awards in the Best Daytime Show category, adds “It's so incredible that we have a chance to commend the brands that have the youth at heart and are truly speaking to them with their marketing campaigns. They value the future of our country and that, for me, is golden! I'm so excited that after last year's virtual show, we get to be with the superstars who got to vote and the superstars who make up the youth, on the special day, both in person and online.”

Watch the 2021 Sunday Times GenNext Awards live on 15 September by registering at


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