In response to the national lockdown in South Africa due to the COVID‑19 pandemic, educational institutions adapted their programmes to meet the challenges of the disruption in teaching and learning. In line with this need, the Sub-Saharan African FAIMER Regional Institute (SAFRI) was faced with the challenge of exploring innovative ways to continue faculty development workshops. The SAFRI programme focuses on developing African health professions educators as leaders, teachers, scholars and advocates for change at multiple levels, including individual, school and university, and the health professions. The faculty development workshops, which are traditionally face-to-face, are placed at the end of the 18-month fellowship. Playing a leadership role in developing and facilitating these workshops provides a meaningful learning experience for the fellows to become active role-players and change agents in their own institutions and the broader community of practice. Participation may foster capacity development in areas such as leadership for educational interventions and support for academic activities. It also provides fellows with authentic opportunities to draw on the theories and exposures that were gained during the fellowship. Some of the competencies to plan and implement the faculty development workshops include self and team management, leadership, conflict management and the application of educational skills.