We take a sip of conversation with Glenfiddich at this year’s The Challengers Club event hosted by METRO FM’s Mo Flava, where social entrepreneurs and change-makers share actionable solutions to challenges faced in South Africa.

The Insider SA visits The Challengers Club by Glenfiddich South Africa, a space where social entrepreneurs and thought leaders share opinions and perspectives on issues facing South Africa. The annual event was launched in 2019 and is hosted by Glenfiddich – the World’s Most Awarded Single Malt Scotch whisky.

The aim behind the movement is to facilitate meaningful conversations with change-makers and luminaries of today in order to benefit new generations with actionable ideas.

This year’s round table event saw some of Africa’s most brilliant minds exchange ideas in pursuit of innovation, with the conversations being facilitated by METRO FM host, Mo Flava. “For me, the Challengers Club is about getting like-minded people who are all mavericks, people who want to come out there and be disruptive in the ideas that they come up with, to change the world,” shares Mo.

Kelly Johnson, Marketing Manager of Glenfiddich South Africa, reflects on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and shares how the format and intention of the movement has changed. “What we’ve found is that the conversations now need to be a lot more meaningful and a lot more purposeful. We really focused on what we believed were the three top challenges that the country was facing, and we led this conversation through the social entrepreneurs.”

The shift has allowed the Challengers Club to bring to life the brand’s purpose by moving the campaign from conversation into an active space, with the intention of finding real solutions to societal problems.

“What is unique about the current Challengers Club is that it is much more intimate. We’ve taken all the learnings from the previous activation, and where it was quite innovative, we’ve taken that innovation and have elevated it,” shares Luthando ‘Jezz’ Tibini, the national brand ambassador for Glenfiddich.

The campaign is committed to actionable change and relies on its audience to guide topic themes, thus allowing the event to focus on challenges the audience believes are major issues in South Africa at the moment.

The event played host to three key opinion leaders who offered thought-provoking takes on challenges facing South Africa and followed them up with solutions on how to effectively tackle them. Zuko Tisani, founder of Legazy Technology Conferencing; Kola Olajide, Chief Technology Officer at Bridge Labs; and Baratang Miya, founder of GirlHype led the round table and shared some valuable insights into managing challenges faced in Africa.

“Being a part of this campaign has been beautiful. It’s been amazing to engage with other challengers right now and people that are challenging the status quo,” reflects Zuko. “It’s a beautiful momentous moment for us to do something of importance.”

The night proved to be a winner for Baratang, whose innovative solution to upskilling and localising digital education won the challenge in technology and education. “It really feels amazing to have won the Challengers Club. It means that the people believe in what I believe in. That we really need to start building and localising the digital skills of South Africa,” she shared.

“The winning challenge focuses on localising digital education and is actually a great opportunity to do something about the current situation in the African education system,” Kola comments on Baratang’s win. “As the world moves forward with technology, it’s very important that Africa is not left behind.”

This year’s event not only facilitated profound dialogue but served as a way for Glenfiddich to action some of the incredible ideas from the night. “We’re not only just enabling the conversation, but we really are putting money behind facilitating a solution,” adds Kelly.

As facilitator and host, Mo is proud to be an integral part of the campaign. “It just shows you how many brilliant people we have in South Africa and when you look at all the challenges and the problems we have, you think, ‘with so many brilliant people, surely this country can be and will be a better place’.”

And that’s just what The Glenfiddich Challenges Club aims to do! Cheers to that.