The Media Online’s weekly round up of people, account and business moves in media.
This week’s BIG move: Meta launches Business Coach tool on WhatsApp to help SMBs in Africa grow online
Meta has announced the launch of Facebook Business Coach, an innovative and easily-accessible way for owners of small-and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya and other English speaking countries to learn more about how to grow their business online with Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.
Nunu Ntshingila, Regional Director Meta Africa, commented: “In today’s social-media-driven environment, information on building your brand on online platforms can be crucial in what sets a small business apart and drives success. At Meta, we’re passionate about empowering SMBs in Africa with the skills they need to succeed online. We know that they are the backbone of the African economy and the drivers for economic growth. We hope the Facebook Business Coach will be their partner along this journey, providing training they need through their mobile phones.”
The Facebook Business Coach, available on WhatsApp, is a free-to-use, low data cost educational chatbot tool that users can interact with in a simple, conversational and convenient way. SMBs have access to automated, self-paced lessons that teach them how to establish a presence in today’s ever-evolving digital economy.
As a free curriculum platform, it features step-by-step courses and tutorials as well as helpful infographics, videos, and audio clips. Learning material is recommended based on the user’s needs and queries, with an option to navigate the curriculum via the menu.
Visit this link to start talking to the Facebook Business coach on WhatsApp.
MediaCom promotes Nivasha Pillay to head of Digital and Systems Acceleration
MediaCom South Africa has appointed Nivasha Pillay as head of digital and systems acceleration across the entire company’s brand portfolio. In this role, Pillay will drive performance by accelerating and synchronising brand and digital systems. Her appointment coincides with MediaCom’s roll-out of the new, agile, and real-time approach to plan, optimise, and activate across channels, aptly called Systems Acceleration.
As a highly skilled and hybrid measurement-based marketing specialist, Pillay’s professional foundation has always been centred on people. After almost a decade honing her expertise in client industries such as telecommunication, banking, FMCG, and automotive, she decided to sharpen her understanding of behavioural marketing and the measurements thereof. Being well versed in commercial business strategy as well has shaped her thinking into always seeking opportunities that drive business growth for brands.
Practically, this proposition will be translated into taking specialist skills and overlaying it with fundamental change-drivers. “By taking core specialists and providing them with a foundation, we can drive impact for clients by taking real-time digital platform knowledge and synchronising it with measurements,” she said.
Entrepreneur and speaker Tania Habimana joins CNBC Africa as host of Closing Bell
Experienced entrepreneur and speaker Tania Habimina has joined CNBC Africa as the host of Closing Bell.
Habimana is the co-founder of entrepreneurship development company, NONZēRO Africa, and plans to bring her passion for digital innovation, business in Africa, and SMEs to the daily show. In 2019, Habimana was awarded South Africa’s Brand Summit — SMME Brand Contributor of the year award for her efforts to develop the SME landscape in South Africa.
“As an entrepreneur,” said Habimana, “I plan to merge my experience doing business on the continent with my interviews of CEOs and market analysts to gather insights and answers that help the public make better business decisions and investments, and find better opportunities.”
In addition to her experience as an entrepreneur, Habimana is a multi-award-winning public speaker. In this capacity, she has moderated events such as the EU-Africa Business & Heads of State Summit in Abidjan and has keynoted for several large corporate events, including the annual DELL Summit. In 2019, she was also selected to chair key discussions on the topic at the AfCFTA (Africa Continental Free trade agreement) launch in Niamey, Niger with the African Union.
Closing Bell airs daily at 5PM (CAT) on CNBC Africa DSTV410 and is also viewable online on cnbcafrica.com.
Superunion Africa appoints new strategy director
Angie Hattingh officially joined Superunion Africa as its strategic planning director this month. She moves across from Ogilvy, where she held the senior digital strategist role for almost three years.
Commenting on her move, Hattingh said, “I’m looking forward to building out Superunion’s strategic capabilities – which are already very strong – and helping them create growth for their clients with distinctive, compelling and immersive brands.”
Hattingh’s varied career experience includes serving as an online magazine editor for seven years before moving into advertising in 2011 as a hybrid creative and strategic digital specialist. As she advanced to a creative director role, she realised that one of the things that separated the good from the great was a natural ability to find strategically strong insights, married with a clear view of the brand’s direction. Equally, when creatives often struggle, it is because of weak strategic direction. She added, “So, I decided to focus specifically on strategy as a way of improving the quality of the work and helping to unlock creative thought.”
With a Bachelor’s degree in philosophy and psychology and an Honours degree in psychology, Hattingh is equipped and inclined to ask the right questions related to the human mind in the world. She’s also qualified in fashion design and user experience design.
Wunderman Thompson SA Appoints Consulting Director, Kayembe Ilunga
Kayembe Ilunga has joined Wunderman Thompson SA’s (WTSA) Consulting Centre of Excellence this month as a consulting director following a career in FMCG and financial services.
Equipped with qualifications in management (WITS Business School: Management Advancement Programme) and agile leadership (Namibia University of Science and Technology) and working towards completing his masters in digital business (WITS Business School), Ilunga looks forward to sharing his knowledge within his business unit. What’s more, his experience in data and analytics, digital transformation, CX strategy and digital product innovation reinforces the value Ilunga brings to the team. He harnessed these skills working as the lead who rolled out Old Mutual’s new public digital distribution and engagement channels across SADC and paved the way for the digital operations capability comprising digital adoption, service availability, and digital fraud risk.
As a self-confessed people person, Ilunga aims to demonstrate his love for leading, growing and engaging with people. He believes that this trait, combined with his self-awareness, are the foundation of his leadership style.
Thule Ngcese joins Boomtown
Creative heavy-weight Thule Ngcese has joined Boomtown to add punch to the agency’s efforts to buff its creative output. With several local and international awards under his belt, including 2 Loeries Grand Prix, Thule is an art director by trade.
He entered the advertising agency ring as an art director at The Jupiter Drawing Room (Cape Town) in 2003 and then continued to hone his skills at Ogilvy Johannesburg (two separate stints), DDB South Africa and FoxP2 before joining Yumo in 2017 as Creative Director.
During his career, Thule has contributed to the success of numerous brands in various sectors including motoring (Hyundai, Audi, Nissan, Honda), media (DStv, Supersport), alcoholic beverages (Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff, Distell, South African Breweries, AB InBev, Diageo), telecommunications (MTN, Cell C), electronics and consumer goods (Philips SA, Nike South Africa), tourism and travel (Mango, South African Tourism), financial services (FNB, Liberty, Sanlam), fast food (McDonald’s, KFC) and sport (Orlando Pirates).
At Boomtown he will lead teams working on the agency’s clients with a national footprint, including NESCAFÉ RICOFFY, Lafarge, Hogan Lovells, South African National Space Agency (SANSA) and Easigas.
“Our Boomtown Johannesburg vision for our clients is that creativity immersed with the people on the ground helps us see what others don’t see. This helps us solve business and everyday life challenges by translating them to design, technology, experience, commerce and advertising,” said Ngcese about his new role.
Lasizwe Dambuza roasted on Comedy Central
The Comedy Central Mini Roast is an innovative evolution of Comedy Central Africa’s classic Roast franchise. In a year where Covid-19 has impacted live events and the opportunity to host the brand’s flagship Roast, the Mini Roast is an exciting spin-off that will be hosted by Lasizwe Dambuza, a seasoned YouTuber, social media sensation and star of MTV Africa’s @Lasizwe Fake it Till You Make It reality series.
Lasizwe will take shots at topical issues relevant to the day and age we’re living through. From cancel culture, conspiracy theories to the Gen Z millennial divide, no topic is too taboo for our host. The Comedy Central Mini Roast with Lasizwe will debut on Comedy Central Africa social media platforms from Monday, November 8th.
Comedy Central Africa has been at the forefront of producing thrilling local content that has engaged, entertained, and shocked audiences. Whenever there is a Roast it is sure to be the subject of much debate and laughter on social media. The Roasts have produced firsts over the years and the Comedy Central Mini-Roast will be no different. The 4 part digital series premieres on Comedy Central’s digital platforms and will also air to a pan African audience on the channel (DStv Channel 122)
“I am so used to being trolled and roasted on social media so consider this my sweet revenge. Really excited to partner with Comedy Central Africa on this innovative take of the classic Roast which I have grown up watching and loving,” commented Lasizwe. “No topic will be off-limits, it is a Roast after all! Buckle up and get prepared for Roast like no other, your faves are definitely not safe,” he added.
The Comedy Central Mini Roast with Lasizwe will debut on Comedy Central Africa (DStv Channel 122) social media platforms from Monday, November 8th.
Anzu announces David Cox as strategic advisor
Anzu, an in-game advertising platform, has announced the addition of video games sales leadership veteran David Cox as a strategic advisor. Responsible for launching some of the biggest games franchises in the Americas, including Mortal Kombat, Tomb Raider, RockBand, GTA V, NBA 2K, and PlayStation 3 hardware, software, and accessories, Cox brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise from an established career spent within the video games industry in North America.
Cox joins Anzu at a pivotal moment within its growth, as it continues to quickly establish itself as the number one player within the in-game advertising space and strengthen its US offering, having just launched its in-game ads across Roblox and just been named ‘Best Tech Platform of the Year’ at The Drum Awards.
Cox joins an already well-rounded team of strategic advisors, including Founding General Partner of Bitkraft Ventures Jens Hilgers, Ex-Global Chairman and CEO of Y&R, Author, Global Marketing and Comms Executive David Sable, Whaler CMO Jaimie Gutfreund, President of Tozai Games, Takuya Banno, and Josh Schmiesing, CMO at Tubular Labs.
PMI launches Make Reality Virtual Hub to inspire people to turn ideas into reality
Project Management Institute (PMI) launched Make Reality, a virtual hub designed to inspire and support changemakers as they drive transformation and create positive social impact across the world while navigating the Covid-19 pandemic. Telling the unique stories of changemakers – those at the forefront of driving change, personally and professionally – as they created impact in today’s project-centred world, the virtual hub empowers changemakers to get started on their next project or see a project through to the finish line that was left on hold.
Nearly four in five consumers 79% in PMI’s Make Reality Global Survey 2020 said they consider 2021 a “do-over” year due to the COVID crisis. But 83% said 2020 prepared them for 2021, and an even greater number 86% plan to work harder this year to bring their good ideas to life.
“The pandemic disrupted countless 2020 plans, but many leaders and innovative thinkers used the time wisely to map out their next moves,” said George Asamani, Business Development Lead for PMI in Sub-Saharan Africa. “As more communities and organizations across the globe cautiously turn to recovery and revival, teams are increasingly focused on turning their stalled projects into reality. However, making that idea a reality isn’t easy and requires effective project skills and new ways of working; that’s why PMI is empowering changemakers to take action through the Make Reality virtual hub.”
Meta launches 2021 edition of My Digital World across Sub-Saharan Africa to meet digital literacy needs
Recently, Meta, formerly the Facebook company, announced the launch of the 2021 edition of My Digital World. Originally launched in June 2020, ‘My Digital World’ is a digital literacy program which is accessible across Sub-Saharan Africa and designed to provide young people and the general public with the skills needed to navigate digital spaces safely and responsibly. The 2021 edition of “My Digital World” is now accessible on the new website //mydigitalworld.fb.com/ssa/ that hosts new updated content that is relevant to today’s realities.
The programme provides educators and trainers with training and resources to reach young people across Sub-Saharan Africa, equipping them with information and skills to help them thrive in an increasingly complex and digitally connected world.
All content is available and can be accessed for free, the programme will be available in English, French, Kiswahili, and Amharic.
Investing in Change – BrightRock and the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation announce partnership
BrightRock and the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation have announced a corporate social investment (CSI) partnership.
With its mission of using the power of sport as a tool for change, the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation’s goal is to help young people overcome the limitations imposed by social issues, such as social inequality, poverty, homelessness and discrimination by supporting sports-related community projects. The South African chapter of Laureus has an almost 20-year track record of supporting successful community-based projects that use sport as a catalyst for change, helping to educate children, uplift and unite communities, and assist the vulnerable.
Morne du Plessis, Chairman of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, said: “It’s always exciting when a shared passion for change allows us to partner with organisations intentionally. The Laureus movement in South Africa looks forward to combining its effort with BrightRock, to foster a belief in humanity’s collective potential to love change!”.
According to BrightRock’s Deputy CEO, Suzanne Stevens, BrightRock’s support of the Laureus Foundation is an extension of the life insurer’s ‘Love Change’ philosophy and its purpose of helping people navigate change in their lives.
52-Year-old SA brand refreshed for a new era of customer satisfaction
For years Teljoy was the South African brand associated with first bringing television to South Africa in the 1970s. It’s a brand that has stood the test of time and today is the country’s foremost rent-to-own provider, offering clients furniture, appliances, consumer electronics and, of course, televisions.
But it was time to modernise the look and feel of the brand, in line with its expanded offering and their revised positioning that seeks to more actively target a younger, more urban audience. “The rebrand aligns to Teljoy’s broader business strategy to engage the needs and aspirations of a younger generation of South Africans,” said Jonathan Hurvitz, Teljoy CEO.
To this end, Teljoy engaged strategic design, brand, and concept agency Xfacta to lead the brand refresh, tasking the group to bring a more contemporary look and feel to the brand. “Right from the get-go Xfacta understood our vision for a brand refresh and set about executing it in an exciting way, while subtly paying homage to the Teljoy brand’s half-century heritage,” Hurvitz explains.
The main objective was to create a look and feel that would bring consumers closer to the values and objectives of the brand, showcasing Teljoy as a company that offers a convenient and flexible alternative to the outright purchase of consumer goods, including electronics, appliances and furniture.
Regent’s MAHALABox makes sure South Africa’s most vulnerable don’t get lost in the digital divide
One of the biggest hurdles facing South Africa’s many job seekers is access to vital online resources, including recruitment sites.
Stats SA reported in August that the official unemployment rate in the second quarter of 2021 was a record 34.4%, one of the many social ills plaguing the country’s most vulnerable.
Regent Business School has developed the MAHALABox to try to make a difference. When the box is connected to a cellphone, users can download videos, e-books and other crucial information without data or access to the internet.
While many South Africans have a smartphone, the cost of data can put internet access out of reach, and this digital divide reinforces the inequalities too many South Africans face each day. Almost 60-million smartphones are connected to mobile networks in South Africa everyday, which is why the MAHALABox requires just a smartphone to turn it into a one-stop shop for a wide range of information and job placements, along with access to agencies, employers and recruiters – all of which would be impossible without data. The MAHALABox allows users to download books, videos, templates and other important content and services, including self-help, emotional intelligence exercises, career assessments, aptitude tests, CV templates and interview preparation – all for free.
ViacomCBS Networks Africa Champions Gender Equity and Women Empowerment
Gender equity and female empowerment in the media and entertainment industry was the focus in a panel discussion as ViacomCBS Networks Africa (VCNA) joined the rest of the ViacomCBS global family to champion the theme of Belong Together at the annual Inclusive Week 2021 held from 25 to 29 October.
This year’s local inclusive week spotlighted moving beyond gender representation and quotas to discussing strategies and firm metrics to measure impact. VCNA’s session facilitated by the network’s Culture Squad’s Folu Storms, made for a rich and robust discussion on progress, limitations and challenges still being faced on the journey towards gender diversity and inclusion. The panel included Craig Paterson: Senior VP & General Manager ViacomCBS, Zanele Morrison: Director Search Partners International, Lebogang Mashilo: poet, author and writer, Sumitra Nydoo: Journalist, Media Entrepreneur and Producer along with Bolanle Olukanni, a media personality and presenter.
VIS Social Impact calls on African script writers’ to apply for writers’ room beyond the binary
VIS Social Impact, the new studio division of ViacomCBS International Studios dedicated to the development of ground-breaking social impact-driven content, has opened applications for its Writers’ Room, Beyond the Binary: Fluid Voices. Led by actor, writer and director Thishiwe Ziqubu, the room will champion for the voices of diverse creators and create content focused on underrepresented communities throughout Africa. The Writers’ Room will include a strong presence of participants from LGBTQIA+ communities.
“For decades, ViacomCBS has been at the forefront of telling stories that matter. Now, with the launch of VIS Social Impact and our new Writers’ Room, we will offer a global, ground-breaking, socially impactful platform to showcase under-represented talent from around the world,” said Georgia Arnold, Head of VIS Social Impact and Senior Vice President of Social Responsibility at ViacomCBS Networks International.
Beyond the Binary: Fluid Voices Writers’ Room will run weekly for four months between January and April 2022 and will create scripted content that drives social change in global issues such as equity, global health, and climate change. Applicants with an interest or lived experience in these issues are encouraged to apply.
STL expands its software business in Africa, partners with Limpopo Connexion
STL [NSE: STLTECH], an industry-leading integrator of digital networks, announced a strategic partnership with Limpopo Connexion, a subsidiary of Limpopo Economic Development Agency that provides world-class broadband services to government bodies and enterprises in South Africa.
In South Africa, out of a total 60 million population, ~21 million are still unconnected. Service providers like Limpopo are now deploying fibre broadband networks in the region to fuel digital-led economic growth across the continent. As Limpopo builds network infrastructure to enable this digital transformation, it will also need to transform its network management tools. In this collaboration, STL will provide an end-to-end, fully containerized, and webscale convergent BSS/OSS platform to Limpopo Connexion.
Nobel Peace Laureate Maria Ressa amongst speakers to address world-leading human rights forum
Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa, and an Afghan reporter who fled the Taliban, Zahra Joya, will join a distinguished line-up of speakers that also includes world-renowned Professor of Economics Jeffrey Sachs, Executive Director of Aspen Digital Vivian Schiller and founder of craigslist, philanthropist Craig Newmark at the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s flagship annual forum Trust Conference on 17 and 18 November.
They will join human rights defenders, innovators, media experts, policymakers and business leaders at the online forum, which brings together thousands of delegates from around the world. The event comes at a critical juncture of the Covid-19 crisis and the UN climate summit, and will address how the pandemic has deepened longstanding social and economic inequalities, has revitalised the drive for a sustainable future and has triggered an alarming spike in media freedom and human rights violations.
This year’s diverse speakers are at the forefront of their respective fields, and also include Dr Hilda C. Heine, Senator and former President of the Marshall Islands; Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr OBE, Mayor of Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown; Zahra Joya, Journalist and founder of Rukhshana Media in Afghanistan; Javier Pallero, Policy Director at Access Now; Shamina Singh, Executive VP for Sustainability at Mastercard; Jorge Rubio Nava, Global Head of Social Finance at Citi; Danielle Belton, Editor-in-Chief of the Huffington Post; Lina Attalah, Co-founder of independent Egyptian news outlet Mada Masr; Alessandra Galloni, Editor-in-Chief of Reuters; Kanbar Hossein Bor, UK Coordinator Media Freedom Campaign & Deputy Director Democratic Governance, FCDO; Ma Jun, Founding Director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs and Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC, Barrister at Doughty Street Chambers, specialising in human rights and civil liberties.
Now in its ninth year, Trust Conference reflects the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s work in tackling the world’s most complex societal issues, with a focus on socio-economic inclusion, sustainability, media freedom and human rights.
Bursary partnership will offer high quality skills to South African students
Bursaries have the potential to assist South Africa in growing its economy and tackling unemployment by opening doors to a credible qualification and a promising career.
A partnership between Red & Yellow Creative Business School and Publicis Groupe Africa will see students being awarded bursaries which will equip them with top skills for the creative industry.
The economic challenges of Covid-19, continued lockdown restrictions and a record high unemployment rate of 34.4% in the second quarter of this year, as reported by Statistics South Africa, have impacted the lives of students across the country.
Red & Yellow’s reputation as a Creative School of Business is strongly underpinned by its social promise to ensure that at least 10% of all students have bursaries for full-time studies at its Cape Town campus. In 2019, 15% of students were supported by bursaries and this number was even higher in 2020. Bursaries totalling R7.5m bursaries have been awarded in 2021, 50% of which have been sponsored by corporate brand partnerships with leading corporate companies for better work opportunities and a decent future.
Red & Yellow will roll out the student bursary programme offering full-time Bachelor of Arts in Visual Communication and BCom Marketing in association with Unilever degrees for the next three years. Apart from covering tuition fees, Publicis Groupe Africa will also provide students with a monthly stipend for three years as additional financial support together with new laptops, in an effort to remove as many barriers as possible and pave the way to success.
Publicis Groupe Africa will provide mentorship to the bursary recipients. The bursary recipients will need to spend 50% of their vacation time on-site at Publicis, where they will engage in hands-on experiences and reflection.
: “I am very excited to start studying towards my BCom Marketing degree at Red & Yellow and to use my qualification to learn many skills at Publicis Groupe Africa.”
“I’m so excited to learn from people who have been in the industry for years. I am so appreciative to Publicis, I’m over the moon to work with them and so thankful that they chose me”, said Shaylin Herring, a bursary recipient for Bachelor of Arts in Communication
SABC Education celebrates 25 years of providing life changing programming to South African citizens
2021 marks a significant year for the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) as it celebrates key milestones. Hot on the heels of the 85th anniversary of the SABC in August, the public service broadcaster’s education genre this past October, celebrated 25 years of providing the nation with empowering television and radio educational content.
Since its formation in 1996, SABC Education has been instrumental in fulfilling the SABC’s mandate of providing public service content that is informative, educational, and entertaining to the millions of South African citizens. Notwithstanding education being a human right, it has been the responsibility of the public broadcaster to provide significant educational programmes that are key to the full development of human capital and the enhancement of a more democratic, cohesive society.
The past 25 years have seen the SABC devote substantial airtime to educational programmes that address community challenges, national identity, culture, and heritage, in different South African languages.
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