Chivas Regal: The Icon

I was fortunate enough to be invited to Chivas Regal Mixer at Hyde Park Corner, Sandton where we were not only granted the opportunity to rub shoulders with 3 of SA’s living Icons, Dr John KaniMs Abigail Kubeka and Dr Mbongeni Ngema but also came face to face with Chivas Regal’s latest offering and pinnacle of luxury,The Icon. We were some of the first guests to arrive which provided us with the best seats to observe the crowd. Upon our arrival, the first object our eyes were drawn to was The Icon, safely tucked away in a Chivas vending machine. We were later informed by Mandla Holomisa, Brand Manger of Chivas Regal SA that the vending machine allows you to swipe your card, enter your pin and obtain your own bottle of The Icon at a staggering R150000 per bottle. The interesting thing about The Icon is that its only released in limited quantities each year and is the pinnacle of the Chivas Regal range. A deep, complex blend of more than 20 of Scotland’s rarest whiskies, it includes some from distilleries now lost forever. A skilfully balanced blend presented by Colin Scott in a handcrafted crystal decanter, it is a symbol of luxury for a new era.Throughout the evening we were served canapes and the bar has us covered with 12, 18 and 25 year old whisky at our demand. I’d like to provide you with some information about our own Icons that were honored on the night.

First we have the iconic songbird and actress Ms Abigail Kubeka


The 73-year old songbird, affectionately known as Mama Kubeka was discovered at the tender age of 16 by the legendary Miriam Makeba and the rest is history. Her first big break came when she performed in the Broadway-inspired musical, King Kong which was hosted for Queen Elizabeth II in London in the 1960’s to great acclaim. Her success grew quickly and she performed to critical acclaim across venues in Africa, Asia and Europe, appearing alongside stars such as Eartha Kitt, Percy Sledge and Monk Montgomery. She’s known for her work in Knock-Out (1969), Joe Bullet (1973) and Cry, the Beloved Country (1995)

Next up we have Dr Mbongeni Ngema


This world renowned playwright, composer, director and producer rose from humble beginnings during Apartheid in South Africa to take the world by storm and affect meaningful social change with his award winning, sublimely moving theater productions. His musical talent saw his plays, including Sarafina rise to fame in the turbulent 1980’s, forcing the world to take notice of the violent injustices at home. He continued his work, even as his life was under threat, eventually amassing a string  of blockbusters and accolades including an induction into the New York Wall of Fame in 1998. Some of his work includes Township Fever (1990), Mama (1995), Asinamali (1996), Maria Maria (1997), The Zulu-the musical (1999), 1906 Bhambada The Freedom fighter, The House of Shaka (2005) and The Lion of The East (2006)

Last but not least Dr John Kani


Dr Bonisile John Kani believes that, “to truly achieve success one must work to reach a point where when one walk into a room, one no longer need to introduce oneself.” At 72 and with work still in the pipeline until 2018, the world renowned director, actor and playwright has achieved such recognition. It is for his matchless work ethic, not to mention his indispensable contributions to South African protest theater that Chivas Regal has honored him as one of their Icons. He chased his creative dreams and has, for his exceptional efforts been awarded 2 honorary doctorates of philosophy and 2 honorary doctorates for literature. He has also been honored with a South African Film and Television (Safta) Lifetime Achievement Award among others.

I have so much more to say about these amazing individuals but that would entail a separate blog post for each one of them, which unfortunately I don’t have time for right now 😦 I do hope that you’ve learned something new about each one of them through this post, have a pleasant day further.


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