By Staff Reporter

Nceba Ngwenya, who was previously a learner at Leondale High in Ekurhuleni and had a history of using marijuana but has since reformed, has travelled to Thailand to address a global audience.

Nceba, who was caught on camera smoking dagga alongside his peers, is now determined to ignite a spark of transformation among young people.

He was one of the students who were caught on video celebrating a day dedicated to smoking marijuana called “420”. The term “420” was first used by a group of high school students in California in the 1970s who would meet at 4:20 pm to smoke weed.

Due to the viral video, 37 students were suspended from the school. However, Nceba, who has since reformed, has gone to Thailand to speak at a global conference about the challenges of drug use among youth.

From April 28th to May 1st, 2023, he is scheduled to be one of the speakers at the Best Diplomat Conference. Best Diplomat is a diplomatic organization based in New York that provides a forum for young leaders and innovators to share ideas and tackle the most difficult global problems. The program is backed by the United Nations (UN).

With a glint in his eye and a smile on his lips, Nceba eagerly expressed his anticipation for taking the stage at the upcoming global gathering.

 “After the ordeal that took place on the 20th of April 2022, World Changers Candidate came to the school and made a presentation to the School Governing Body (SGB), the management, and parents. I decided to join the World Changers programme. Since then, I have been reborn, and I have devoted my life to changing the world one soul at a time.

“Despite the shame that was over my head, I believed this was much more to life than just breathing, little did I know that it was simply the start of my purpose-driven life of being a servant to the globe. I am looking forward to representing the country and speaking about challenges that youth faces especially when it comes to drugs.” 

Last year’s matric graduate, who was once a slave to the dagga demon, has finally kicked the habit thanks to the World Changers Candidates programme. This Johannesburg-based non-profit organisation is a beacon of hope for those struggling with substance abuse. Its founder, Lucas Mahlakgane, established the organisation in 2002 after successfully helping music sensation turned pastor, Kabelo Mabalane, overcome his drug addiction.

When the scandalous video of Leondale High School students engaging in a cannabis-infused shindig while sporting their school uniforms within the school premises caused quite a stir. As a result, the esteemed World Changers Candidates were invited by the Leondale High School’s SGB to deliver a compelling presentation aimed at intervening and rehabilitating the 37 affected learners, to the satisfaction of both parents and teachers.

“Last year after the video of Leondale High School learners throwing a dagga party in School uniform within the premises went viral, the organisation was invited by the Leondale High School (SGB) to come make a presentation for intervention to the affected 37 learners to parents and teachers. After the organisation made the presentation, we asked learners who needed help to come forward. That’s when Nceba Ngwenya and Kabelo Mabena volunteered for help and both learners’ parents gave consent,” explained Lucas Mahlakgane.

Mahlakgane elaborated on the matter, stating that the duo were enrolled in the prestigious World Changers Candidates programme, where they went above and beyond by spearheading support groups for their peers every Wednesday after school. Their unwavering commitment to the cause of anti-substance abuse did not go unnoticed, and the World Changers Candidates team decided to broaden their horizons by introducing them to other programmes. The Best Diplomat platform was deemed the perfect fit for the two youngsters.

“Ngwenya and Mabena were put on the World Changers Candidates programme which they extended in the school by hosting support groups taking place on Wednesdays after school hours. As they continued availing themselves as World Changers Candidates Anti-Substance Abuse ambassadors, we saw an opportunity to expose the two to other programmes and Best Diplomat seemed to be the most relevant platform.

“After inquiring about the Best Diplomat programme we then expressed interest to send one of our young leaders, Nceba Ngwenya. The response was positive then the process began. Isanti Glass formally known as Nampak was approached to sponsor the trip.” –

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *