Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger featured on The Mentorship Challenge

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Two-time Governor of California, actor and former bodybuilder, Arnold Schwarzenegger  brought his widely-imitated teutonic accent to South African television in a celebrity turn, when he featured on the popular The Mentorship Challenge, with Marc Wainer on eNCA and

The episode, shot on the sidelines of the Arnold Classic Africa, was broadcast on eNCA (DSTV Channel 403) and (DSTV Channel 194) on 29 June 2019.

The Arnold Classic Africa takes place in Johannesburg every May, and is held under the aegis of the annual Arnold Sport Festival, hosted globally across six continents. The events feature professional bodybuilding and related contests, amateur bodybuilding, strength and combat sports, a large health and fitness expo, and youth events that vary from continent to continent.

Host Marc Wainer says, ‘Arnold is a legend. He is an epitome of what one can achieve with some help. It is a matter of simply asking for it.’

‘Born to humble beginnings, he became a champion body-builder, winning Mr Universe five times, and then reinvented himself to become an A-list movie star, moving then into politics to be the Governor of one of the richest states in the US, California – twice. The state’s economy rivals the United Kingdom’s, and if it were a country, it would be ranked 5th in the biggest economies.’

By his own admission, Schwarzenegger has been very vocal about the help he received on his entrepreneurial journey. In the foreword to Tim Ferris’ book Tools of Titan, the self-effacing Schwarzenegger writes, ‘I am not a self-made man. I got a lot of help.’

‘Like everyone, to get to where I am, I stood on the shoulders of giants. My life was built on a foundation of parents, coaches, and teachers; of kind souls who lent couches or gym back rooms where I could sleep; of mentors who shared wisdom and advice; of idols who motivated me from the pages of magazines (and, as my life grew, from personal interaction).’

‘There cannot be a better endorsement and ambassador for mentorship. Arnold has simply achieved what many of us would take more than one lifetime to accomplish,’ adds Wainer.

Now in its second season, The Mentorship Challenge is a weekly television show that unpacks the notion of social upliftment through mentorship. The programme provides an enabling platform for top business leaders in the country to create a legacy through shaping the journeys of the budding business trailblazers of tomorrow.

The show seeks to entrench a culture of mentorship in a skills-scarce South Africa by challenging business leaders to pledge to mentor budding entrepreneurs. The show’s online platform provides the space for the mentors and mentees to engage and schedule time together.

A modest outcome was expected of the show – 100 mentors pledging a total of 500 hours to a base of 1 000 mentees. At the end of season one, just shy of 210 mentors had signed up – exceeding the initial target – and they collectively pledged over 5 930 hours between them.

‘We are extremely thrilled to have someone of Arnold’s stature on the show who openly and single-handedly has bust the myth of a self-made man. It is our hope that viewers are not only entertained by Arnold, but also inspired by his success. That said, it is also a clarion call for all business leaders to recognise the potential of all South Africans,’ says Wainer in conclusion.

Having grown from humble origins himself, Wainer built JSE-listed diversified real estate investment trust Redefine Properties. He is currently the executive director, and he is on a veritable crusade to encourage corporate South Africa to take up the mantle of mentorship.

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