Bay teen stars in reality show on alcohol abuse

Shaanaaz de Jager

A PORT Elizabeth teenager is the only Eastern Cape representative on a national reality TV series about five teenagers from different walks of life who have experimented with alcohol.

Tayla Tomlinson, 17, was chosen to participate in SABC 1’s Future Leaders after auditioning at her school, Pearson High, in August.

“At the audition I took a chance and spoke about my experience with alcohol last year. What should have been a sleepover turned out horrible.

“I went to my friend’s friend in Newton Park for the sleepover but it turned out to be something else,” she said.

“The girl’s parents allowed us to drink in front of them. I had a few glasses of wine. It was a hectic experience and after that I decided this was not my scene. As a Christian I don’t drink and underage drinking is illegal.”

The five participants are filmed completing tasks and being involved in their various projects – Tomlinson is involved in fundraising for charities assisting orphans.

The crew spent yesterday filming Tomlinson and a 13-member cast in the production Frenzy which focuses on initiation drinking – boarding school pupils who are forced to drink as part of the initiation process.

“It [Future Leaders] was challenging and it tested our patience and leadership abilities to become independent.

“The show taught me about learning to be a leader and to take control and make a change in my community,” she said.

“The experience on the show has been awesome.”

Tomlinson, who is passionate about orphans and raises funds for Bay charities, plans on studying drama after matric and dreams of acting in international films.

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