Since June, we’ve been running a sustainability challenge for young innovators on our Instagram account. Thanks to the support of our partners, Johnson & Johnson, the first-ever Game Changer Challenge has been a runaway success.

The campaign challenged young people to identify and solve sustainability issues in their homes, schools, and communities. With cash prizes up for grabs, it wasn’t long before youngsters from across the country started submitting their solutions with the hashtag #bethechange. The campaign reached over 145,000 accounts, generated nearly 3,000 engagements, and attracted 40 high-quality submissions, which tackled everything from fashion waste and period poverty to youth unemployment and COVID-19.

Shout out to this year’s winners!

Tintswalo Khobane

Tintswalo Khobane’s ambitious COVI-Detector earned 1st place. She plans to use her prize money to buy a computer and level up her coding skills.

Lea Lukoji

Lea Lukoji won 2nd place with her creative finger puppets, which are made from waste fabric. Her prize money will go towards recycling workshops in local primary schools.

Charmaine Sachane

Charmaine’s sanitary pad initiative won 3rd place. She plans to empower young girls with her prize money, which will fund an information and awareness campaign in local high schools.

Ponelopele Oracle Secondary School

Ponelopele won the school’s prize for most competition entries. Principal Nash looks forward to receiving a Raspberry Pi computer kit for the school’s IT club.

Along the way, we had lots of fun interviewing competitors and sharing tips about the problem-solving process on Instagram Live. Watching the Game Changer community grow week after week was an unexpected surprise, which is why we have decided to make our weekly hangouts a permanent fixture of the FutureMe offering

The Game Changer Challenge will be back in early 2022. Until then, join us on Instagram Live (@futuremeza) every Thursday at 5 o’clock.