The Media Online’s weekly round up of people, account and business moves in media.
This week’s BIG move: Gordon Institute of Business Science launches Media Leadership Think Tank
The University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) has announced the launch of its Media Leadership Think Tank. This Think Tank aims to deal with pressing issues facing the media and audiovisual industries and how they impact democracy.
The Think Tank will be launched on 14 September with a high-powered global panel tackling Social Media, Internet Shutdowns, Incitement and Democracy. The panel will discuss issues ranging from former US President Trump’s de-platforming, incitement on social media networks and widespread internet shutdowns across Africa and other parts of the world, among other issues.
GIBS has appointed Michael Markovitz to head and build up the initiative. Markovitz is currently a non-executive director on the board of the SABC and has over two decades of experience as an activist, consultant, and business executive in the media and entertainment industries. He has played senior advisory roles over the years, was the head of the expert reference panel advising the government on the audio and audiovisual services policy review. He has also worked as a senior adviser at ICASA and played a part in drafting South Africa’s new broadcasting legislation in 1993.
Commenting on the initiative, GIBS Interim Dean, Dr Morris Mthombeni said, “At GIBS we are a proud UN PRME Champion School, and actively use our considerable convening capital to advance the fourth estate by enabling a world with responsible information – both online and offline. The Media Leadership Think Tank is an important initiative in our fulfilment of our commitments to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16 (specifically target 10) – ensuring public access to information and protections of fundamental freedom.”
Markovitz said, “We are pleased that GIBS has given its strong support to this initiative. This comes at a time when the media is confronted by a perfect storm of mis- and dis-information, challenges to its sustainability and the extra-territorial power of social media platforms.”
The main purpose of the Think Tank is to support democracy by generating research, debate and solutions for business, civil society and government policy in the broad media space.
SoulProviders Collective appoints Nosipho Ginindza as managing director
The board of SoulProviders Collective (SPC) has appointed Nosipho Ginindza, 39, as the new managing director. The appointment, effective from 1 September 2021, sees Ginindza refining the agency’s commitment to being a purpose-led agency.
SoulProviders Collective, which is majority-owned by the Matrix Communications Group (Matrix Group), with a women-led management team, is a one-stop creative shop with the ability to create eye-catching and effective digital marketing campaigns that live through-the-line and help clients reach their strategic and business goals.
On her appointment as MD, Ginindza said, “I thank the SPC board and shareholders for seeing the potential in me to lead the agency forward. I am excited about the journey ahead and what the team and I are going to be doing, especially with the direction I intend to follow, as well as collaborating with other agencies within the Matrix Group towards a common goal.”
“Nosipho has held the position of acting MD since June 2021 after a thorough handover with former CEO SJ Boden. To facilitate this transition, the board appointed a renowned business coach to work closely with her in preparation for her promotion and we are excited about her plans for the agency,” commented Kgaugelo Maphai, chairman of the Matrix Group.
Kagiso Media announces new appointments to drive market growth
Kagiso Media has announced key leadership appointments within its radio division following some tweaks to its structure. Management says they are designed to add further value to its audiences, commercial partners, and platforms.
The changes see the repositioning of its industry-leading digital content team into a specialist audience acquisition unit, with a significant emphasis on audience research via the establishment of a new research role, and more co-ordination of its news content via a central news editor role.
Research consultant specialist Melissa McNally joins the team in September as the group’s research and analytics Manager.
McNally has an extensive research career that spans over 15 years.
Another big movement in leadership is the appointment of Anthea Carstens as audience acquisition manager. Carstens has worked in the digital media industry for 20 years. She joined Kagiso Media in 2012 and has worked on various publishing products over the years.
Marius van der Walt has been appointed news editor: Radio for both Jacaranda FM and ECR. Van der Walt joined Jacaranda FM as a weekend freelancer in 2007 and worked his way up to news editor. He says he is thrilled to be adding ECR to his portfolio.
Hook, Line & Sinker welcomes a new social media and SEO specialist to the family
Integrated communications agency, Hook, Line & Sinker Communications (HLS), has appointed Zoe Mandalios as its new social media guru. With over a decade of experience including influencer and celebrity relations, Mandalios will oversee all social media and SEO activities for HLS global tech clients across Africa, UAE, Europe, and USA.
Over the last 12 months, HLS Communications has deployed a rigorous growth strategy to accommodate the agency’s expanding client based. “Mandalios understands what it takes to meet the needs of various audiences in the ever-changing and dynamic digital landscape,” said Adam Hunter, head honcho at HLS.
“As our existing and new clients realize the need for an integrated approach to their communications, our growth as an agency has afforded us a strong social media and SEO foundation to facilitate these requirements. We look forward to providing more clients with services that empower all levels of their business,” Hunter added.
A boy for Smile Breakfast’s Lindy Lehto
The Smile 90.4FM team has announced the happy news that Smile Breakfast co-host, Lindy Lehto and her husband, Peter, have officially welcomed their baby boy into the world.
“We are so happy, blessed, and grateful to announce the birth of our son Sebastian Kai Lehto. He has instantly captured our hearts and changed our world. We’re so in love!” said Lindy.
“We are so excited to welcome Sebastian to the Smile 90.4FM family. We cannot wait to meet him and wish Lindy and Peter all the happiness as they enjoy this special time,” said Programme Manager, Naveen Singh.
Snoop Dogg is new face of G-Star Raw in cheeky global campaign
Dutch denim brand G-Star RAW is teaming up with Snoop Dogg for its new worldwide ‘Hardcore Denim’ campaign, helmed by Snoop’s custom-made soundtrack single ‘Say It Witcha Booty’. The collaboration is brought to life by a tongue-in-cheek campaign created by independent creative agency, The Family Amsterdam.
Drawing on G-Star RAW’s tradition of working with “true originals” – authentic and exceptional people who are one-of-a-kind and masters of their craft – Snoop Dogg was a natural choice to front the new campaign. A living legend and one of the most important and influential figures in the world of entertainment.
The Family Amsterdam has created, together with the G-Star team, a campaign that shows Snoop’s signature blend of humour, style and backside appreciation.
Davin Smit appointed senior IT administrator at Algoa FM
Davin Smit has been appointed senior IT administrator at Algoa FM. Smit started his career with Algoa FM as an IT intern, and was later appointed as a permanent IT administrator. He gained further experience with Gqebera-based RRZ Innovations before returning to Algoa FM.
Yasikan Naidu appointed Account Executive at Algoa FM
Yasikan Naidu has joined the Algoa FM sales team. He holds a BA in Media Communications and Culture as well as an Honours degree in Corporate Communications. Yasikan is familiar with Algoa FM through radio campaigns from his previous position at Campus Key.
Marketing Grit is a powerhouse of cross-industry experience
Marketing Grit is a Cape Town-based boutique marketing and digital agency that fuses solid strategy, creative thinking and experience to create an offering that makes a positive difference to brands that desire accelerated and sustainable success.
Co-owned by marketing aficionados Noëleen Bruton and Debbie Combrink, this recently established specialist marketing agency offers strategic support, digital strategy and social media implementation.
“We believe that our extensive joint cross-industry experience and strong strategic planning skills alongside our ability to see things differently through creative thinking enables us to create a unique offering to assist our clients to survive and indeed thrive in these challenging times,” said Bruton.
“Years of accumulated first-hand knowledge, across the hospitality, retail, property, tourism, entertainment and eventing industries combined with our passion for marketing and focus on customer service gives Marketing Grit the edge in a highly competitive market,” Combrink added.
Marketing Grit is built around one core premise: to unlock real business value through the convergence of strategy and creative storytelling.
Bruton and Combrink previously worked together at Tsogo Sun in Johannesburg before independently relocating to the Cape.
STUFF creates Stuff Studios
Publisher of Stuff magazine, Toby Shapshack, has been thinking about what a ‘modern’ company looks like.
“Well, after last year’s unfortunate economic meltdown caused by the Covid lockdown, Stuff’s revenue has shifted to digital. Any publisher will tell you print is more profitable than digital, even if the scales are vastly different. Like all the other businesses faced with unexpected market conditions, we have been evolving ourselves,” Shapshak said in a newsletter.
“Covid provided an unwelcome impetus, but we are now a fully digital-first, mobile-first media company. Stuff has been more than a gadget magazine – which is only where we began – for many years. That is why we are ditching the word ‘magazine’ from our name.Welcome to Stuff Studios.We still do print, but we also do TV shows, podcasts, webinars, socials. We’re a one-stop media house (and no, we don’t believe our own PR). And we’re still credible, respected, and the authority on all tech and innovation.In the same way, our print magazine (launched in 2007) has educated, entertained and upskilled a generation of readers for the past 14 years, we will continue to make content that works using new media. We also survived Covid – which is apparently a good thing.Stuff Studios is as innovative as the stories we tell and the tech we review. Welcome aboard.”
Clickatell’s Chat 2 Pay enables brands to extend digital commerce offering with secure, effortless payments in chat channels
Clickatell, a leader in mobile communications and chat commerce, has launched Chat 2 Pay. Chat 2 Pay takes Clickatell’s decades of developing chat commerce solutions for global customers and delivers a simple and comprehensive way for merchants to offer payments and transactions to consumers in chat.
Clickatell’s Chat 2 Pay enables merchants to securely accept payments in chat messaging by sending consumers a payment link via SMS or WhatsApp. In its design of Chat 2 Pay, Clickatell efficiently has orchestrated the complex relationship between messaging, payments, or the order management system (OMS) of their customers, and in the process mitigates the risk of merchants managing payment card details. The functionality is so easy merchants simply switch it on and manage. Clickatell’s own data shows using the chat channel for interactions and transactions reduces the overall cost of doing business while increasing customer engagement.
“Brands can now improve their customer service with Chat 2 Pay by providing a more convenient and secure way to make payments in chat messaging,” said Pieter de Villiers, CEO and co-founder at Clickatell. “Chat 2 Pay addresses today’s boom worldwide in digital payments – a shift in consumer behavior and response to the impact of the pandemic. It also helps address consumers’ physical proximity concerns, while reducing fraud. Chat 2 Pay delivers a secure, frictionless, and contact free checkout – with no need to hand credit cards to merchants or read card details over the phone.”
HyperionDev appoints Hook, Line & Sinker for local and international media expertise
Following a successful public relations campaign that assisted HyperionDev to secure over R50 million in Africa’s largest EdTech Series A fundraiser, Hook, Line & Sinker (HLS) has been appointed as the company’s integrated communications agency of choice.
Backed by Facebook and Google, HyperionDev is on a mission to provide accessible and affordable ways for students across the globe to learn job-ready, practical developer skills in months rather than years.
Speaking about the recent appointment, HLS Head Honcho, Adam Hunter said, “Tech education has the power to address socio-economic barriers to career goals for thousands of South Africans. In a world where on-campus learning has changed and business closures have driven growth in online-learning and the use of tech, HyperionDev offers innovative ways of learning essential skills.”
Telkom launches new revolutionary AI technology platform to overcome language barriers in South Africa
Telkom has unveileda new artificial intelligence platform in collaboration with Enlabeler, which could have a far-reaching impact on the education, health and business sectors. The new AI platform translates speech into text from English and local languages. It has a unique ability to interpret South African accents.
The platform, izwe.ai,was officially launched at the AI Expo Africa 2021, the largest business-focused Artificial Intelligence, Robotic Process Automation and 4IR trade event in Africa, running from 7-9 September.
Izwe.ai offers transcription and translation across a range of languages, as well as a number of text classification and entity extraction services. Applications include academic and legal transcription; contact centre transcription and analysis; and media production services, such as providing subtitles and captions to existing audio.
Maharishi Invincibility Institute and Afrika Tikkun acquire T-Systems ICT Academy from Deutsche Telekom.
The T-Systems ICT Academy, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom headquartered in Germany, has been acquired by Afrika Tikkun and the Maharishi Invincibility Institute to broaden access to digital skills training to disadvantaged youth across South Africa.
The T-Systems ICT Academy has successfully trained and placed over 3 000 formerly unemployed youth into employment opportunities across South Africa’s ICT sector.
With the sale of the ICT Academy to Maharishi Invincibility Institute and Afrika Tikkun, the Academy has been renamed Digital Youth ICT Academy (‘Digital Youth’), and the partners’ joint vision is to create the largest Digital ICT Academy in South Africa.
CX: A powerful pivot in a time of unprecedented change
Placing the customer front and centre, new CX agency Wonder has built a robust e-commerce and digital ecosystem that has seen Granny Goose coming out of this challenging year stronger than before.
Founded in 1992, Granny Goose is a well-established luxury bedding brand with seven showrooms, a website, call centre and a staff complement of 20.
When the challenges of lockdown and new retail behaviour bit, they needed to pivot and give support to their online offering.
‘Not only were customers now more online, but production and stores were facing challenges. We needed to identify new avenues to reach customers and also look to grow basket size with new and existing customers,’ said founder Gaynor McVitty.
Granny Goose approached Wonder to develop customer journeys using content and media to draw potential purchasers to a robust digital ecosystem that integrated sales, marketing and production capacity.
Isuzu renews its support of the Algoa FM Big Walk for Cancer
Isuzu Motors South Africa has transformed a MU-X into a bright pink moving advertisement for the annual Algoa FM Big Walk for Cancer.
Isuzu has been a sponsor of the Algoa FM Big Walk for Cancer for the past four years.
“We are excited once again to be one of the main sponsors for this event. Our employees will once again come out in numbers to support this initiative. The Big Walk also creates an event in which we as Isuzu employees are able to practice our company values of trust, excellence, action and motivation,” said Mandlakazi Sigcawu, Isuzu corporate and public affairs executive.
This year the primary beneficiary of the 2021 Algoa FM Big Walk for Cancer is the Childhood Cancer Foundation of South Africa (CHOC). The CHOC foundation is dedicated to providing assistance to children who are battling cancer, as well as their families.
Funds raised through the 2021 Virtual Algoa FM Big Walk for Cancer will be apportioned towards a new transport vehicle for children and their caregivers in Buffalo City.
IdeateLabs successfully launches Planet Marathi OTT
IdeateLabs, India’s leading independent full-service marketing company, successfully launched Planet Marathi OTT, the world’s first Marathi OTT, earlier last week, in a stellar event inaugurated by Madhuri Dixit Nene.
The agency conceptualized and executed the entire event end-to-end, which was streamed live. From the clean lines of the logo to the #MadhuriAaliMaheri launch campaign, to the print and other mainline media campaigns, the digital and social campaigns, the press engagement, the audience interaction, the influencer and content strategy, every aspect was ideated and rolled out.
Valsoft enters Media and Broadcasting Vertical with acquisition of VSN
Valsoft Corporation Inc, a Montreal-based company specializing in the acquisition and development of vertical market software businesses, has acquired of VSN Video Stream Networks, an industry leader in media and broadcasting solutions.
Operating out of Terrassa, Barcelona in Spain, VSN provides solutions in media management, production, planning, multiplatform content delivery and broadcast or publishing through linear and non-linear channels. The acquisition of VSN puts Aspire Software (an operating group of Valsoft) in a new vertical and strengthens Aspire’s presence in Spain. Aspire Software (an operating group of Valsoft) in a new vertical and strengthens Aspire’s presence in Spain.
The MediaShop employs more interns this year
Since 2012, The MediaShop has trained 47 people and employed 22 since the beginning of 2012. The company’s Durban office is 100% resourced from interns throughout the years.
The interns are sourced from various institutions of higher learning such as AAA, Vega School of Brand Leadership, Boston Media House and the Maharishi Institute. This year’s cohort of successful interns includes graduates from Vega School of Brand Leadership, Boston Media House, University of KwaZulu Natal and the University of Johannesburg.
The 12 shortlisted candidates initially go through a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style selection process. They are given a brief to create a marketing and media plan which is then presented to members of the management team. From this workshop the top six candidates were selected to join the 18-month long programme.
“We truly believe that in order for our company and industry to grow that it’s imperative we nurture the young talent wanting to join our exciting and fast paced world of advertising, media and marketing,” said The MediaShop Johannesburg’s Dashni Vilakazi.
For the first six weeks of their programme, the interns went through academy-style training – run by different business units within the business. The training comprised of Media Buying and Planning, Strategy, Intelligence, OOH, Campaign Management and Digital Planning. Having completed their theoretical training, on 01 August they were integrated into business units where they will be getting practical on-the-job exposure to implement what they have learnt.
Canon South Africa launches Academy for amateur photographers
Canon SA has launched Canon Academy, a programme dedicated to empowering South Africans through photography. The academy offers photography workshops and learning experiences which are available online
These workshops offer great practical experience tackling an array of topics that help expand participants’ personal portfolios while giving them a taste of what is out there in the world of photography.
The first additions to the Academy site will be video clips recorded as part of the Canon Collective Facebook group. During the South African lockdown period 2020 into 2021, Canon identified a need to assist photographers and therefore launched the Canon Collective initiative on Facebook to help beginners and enthusiasts with hints and tips around specific genres of photography.
A handful of young influencers were chosen to represent these genres whilst kickstarting their individual photographic journey. Canon SA also has plans to add a professional section complete with roundtable discussions, pro photographer interviews and tech talk video clips.
If you’d like to take part in the Canon Academy or for more information on how to start your journey as a professional photographer, visit:
5FM’s 5Drive Head Out on 5th Annual Heritage Tour
The 5FM 5Drive team are heading out on their fifth annual Heritage Tour this September, a tour that sees Nick Hamman and the team get off the beaten path and uncover South African gems along the way. From 12 – 24 September, the team will once again set off on their trek around the country in what is best described as a love letter to South Africa. This year the team will share insight into positive stories from the different parts of the country as well as the wonderful sights and sounds.
This year’s 5D Heritage Tour kicks off in Polokwane where the team is meant to visit young farmer Ipeleng Kwadi in Brits, Mukula Village and Moutse before setting off to the Natal Midlands for a stop over at Nottingham Road and Howick, where the team will visit the Nelson Mandela Capture site. Another notable destination includes a visit to restaurateur and TV personality Bertus Basson in Stellenbosch in the Western Cape, seaside escapes along the Eastern Cape and Knysna and cruising through the inland in Bloemfontein.
“As always, the Heritage Tour brings South Africans the best of the people, places and hidden gems that make this country great. And this year, even more so, as we’ve had so many hardships endured, the tour hopes to be a beacon of hope – a love letter to South Africa focusing on the incredible things that make this country such a great place to live in,” said Hamman.
Ever dreamed of starting a business? Here’s your chance to learn how from a young tech guru
Co-founder and CEO of Rikatec, Rivo Mhlari, is set to educate and inspire the youth at the sixth and final YouthX Live event on Friday, 10 September 2021. A tech and innovation guru in the making, Mhlari will host a masterclass sharing his journey as an entrepreneur and innovator, give tips on how to build a business from the ground up, and provide insights on how to identify opportunities that exist in tech. At 27 years old, Mhlari has been on both the Forbes 30-under-30 and Mail & Guardian Top 200 Young South Africans lists.
Launched in March 2021, YouthX is a programme designed to unlock the potential of young people by giving them the opportunity to learn from other young changemakers dominating their different industries, such as Mhlari, Theo Baloyi, Sho Madjozi, Rich Mnisi and others.
‘The unemployment rate in South Africa has increased and is now sitting at 34,4%, meaning that 7.8 million people are unemployed. This has been an ongoing challenge, especially among the youth of South Africa. That is why Nedbank created YouthX, a free 24/7 platform designed to connect passionate youth with likeminded individuals or changemakers such as Mhlari, who are entrepreneurs and know what it takes to succeed even in the most challenging economic times,’ said Nedbank’s Group Executive for Marketing and Corporate Affairs, Khensani Nobanda. ‘As we look forward to the final YouthX Live, we urge young people to register, join the movement and learn from Mhlari and other experts in the technology and innovation space,’ she said.
The live event will also have a panel discussion where Mhlari will be joined by Nedbank’s executive of emerging innovation, Chipo Mushwana; Co-founder of Digconnect, Alexandria Procter; and well-renowned tech blogger and eSport gamer, Sam Wright.
Young people can register by clicking on this link: //youthx.liveevent.co.za/login.
Want to continue this conversation on The Media Online platforms? Comment on Twitter @MediaTMO or on our Facebook page. Send us your suggestions, comments, contributions or tip-offs via e-mail to email@example.com.