Soweto has its own whisky

Now comes in Soweto whisky, if you like, in the form of Scottish Leader Soweto Heart, with I See A Different You (ISADY) limited edition.

Unveiled last week in Soweto, along the famous street in the world Vilakazi (having produced two Noble Peace Laureates), that was preceded by a tour at the Credo Mutwa Cultural Village and Oppenheimer Tower (White City Jabavu) chauffered in can’t get Gusheshe (BMWs) that turned out to be a mind boggling experience.

The creation of Scottish Leader Soweto is a culmination of the brand’s two-year partnership with the founders from Pimville- Soweto (Fhatuwani Mukheli and Vuyo Mpantsha) who spent 10-days in Scotland learning the ropes of crafting a specifically designed brand for Sowetans.

Although crafted in Scotland, it is definitely inspired by mzansi, with tasting notes of milk chocolate and toffee to satisfy the South African sweet tooth. The label and carton design also reflects the collaboration between Scotland and South Africa. The result is a fusion of the renowned Scottish tartan and a more contemporary South African pattern, beautifully brought to life with vibrant colours and textures.

Yes, the bottle has that appeal –or better still that thing…

“We met the Scottish Leader blending team, headed up by Dr Kirstie Maccullum, one of the few female Master Distillers in the world, who showed us a lot and who knows, we might end up as world celebrated distillers from Soweto,” agreed both Mukheli and Mpantsha, as they toasted and sipped the famous drink.

“Scotland was a mind-blowing experience,” says Mukheli.  

“How the mixing of all the elements comes together to make a Scottish Leader whisky is incredible; it is in fact both an art and a science.

The team at the distillery were nothing but edifying and welcoming. We told them about some of our favourite flavours back home and the wonderful memories they conjur, which they captured beautifully.”

For us it’s about the heart- that goes on to show Sowetans do have a heart, despite the negativity associated with it. It means as a black child -it may seem impossible until’ it is done, they quipped.

ISADY has been committed to the vision of reframing the stories of Soweto since 2011, when both Mukheli and Mpantsha launched a photographic blog showcasing images that captured their neighbourhood’s uniqueness and contradictions. ISADY’s work has now evolved into the creation of an agency that specialises in photography and film.

Since then the Scottish Leader has been using them in their campaigns for the past years.  

“We at Scottish Leader are thrilled to share this new variant with South African whisky lovers. While we have had the pleasure of working with ISADY on previous projects, this is definitely the most exciting venture for all of us,” says Lynsay Sampson, Marketing Manager: Whisky and White Spirits at Distell.

“ISADY have welcomed us into their world, and we wanted to extend the same courtesy by welcoming them to our home in Scotland.”

“ISADY embodies the Scottish Leader philosophy that magic can be found simply by taking a different view on the world around you.  They have been instrumental in dispelling long-held negative perceptions about Soweto, and showing instead the pride of Sowetans, their sense of style, their love of art, and the vibrance and energy of the township. Like ISADY, Scottish Leader pushes the boundaries,” says Sampson. 

The limited edition Scottish Leader Soweto Heart is available nationwide for R279.00

Meanwhile, one must point out that as Sowetans there’s a lot we’re missing out since we do not preserve our heritage sites, a point that was driven home by the well-learned historian but very disturbed Lebohang Sello, who has cried foul on the on-goings at Credo Mutwa Village.

Having been with this sacred village for thirteen-years, Sello says unfortunately due to family infighting it has become dilapidated and the Government has shown disinterest as well.  

With the establishment of the Credo Mutwa Foundation last year one prays things could change, says Sello.

Asked how he ended up at this sacred place, he attested:” I brought myself to this place without anyone calling for me, it was some sort of a calling,” continued Sello.

“Its very disturbing because our black people have lost their culture and do not preserve their heritage. This sacred village during Apartheid was used a first tourist destination since by then Soweto was a camping site. One would have expected better from the current administration but alas not.”

No funding has comeforth suffice to say donations from mostly international tourists has helped greatly, says Sello who also manages a group of young Pantsula dancers.    

Image (Fhatuwani Mukheli and Vuyo Mpantsha, accompanied by Lynsay Sampson, Marketing Manager: Whisky and White Spirits- Distell and unidentified guest at the Scottish Leader Soweto Heart launch in Soweto- Vilakazi Str).

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