The Media Online’s weekly round up of people, account and business moves in media.
This week’s BIG move: New-look VISI melds African and global design influences
Building on VISI’s 2022 accolades – among them, golds in New York for Art Direction at The Folio: Eddie & Ozzie Awards and Best Use of Photography at the Pearl Awards – VISI’s acclaimed creative director, Mark Serra, has reimagined the brand’s identity with a new masthead and overall cover design.
“Mark’s approach to design is always fundamentally about telling a story – and then adding that wow factor. This only happens by being bold, brave, dynamic and graphic, and complementing it with an even balance of white space. I think with the new logo we have achieved that – VISI’s new brand identity is a wonderful celebration of South African design,” said VISI’s editor in chief, Steve Smith.
Smith added: “As VISI has consistently shown on its beautifully designed pages, contemporary African design is having a huge impact on global creatives. It’s been so inspiring to see not only how well it sits alongside its global counterparts, but more than that, how design out of Africa brings a wonderfully fresh angle.”
Launched in 1998, VISI is a celebration of living well, with a highly discerning, design-conscious audience. Top-quality images, writing by some of the country’s best journalists and industry insiders, and creative layouts mean that every 200-page issue is a collector’s edition. Special issues such as VISI Kitchens and VISI Bathrooms, inspirational social media and newsletters, and an e-commerce store round out the brand’s offering.
VISI #124 is the first issue to feature the brand’s new look and is on shelves in most major retailers across South Africa. Visit for more information.
M-Net announces new director for Premium Channels as M-Net director, Jan du Plessis, retires
The MultiChoice Group and M-Net Channels bid farewell to Jan du Plessis, the current channel director: M-Net Channels, who is retiring after 28 years with the company. The company has decided to consolidate the Premium management teams under the leadership of the current Director for kykNET Channels, Waldimar Pelser.
“The new leadership structure supports our vision to give the best Premium offering to our subscribers on the M-Net channels. We have seen a complimentary nature in viewership for the kykNET and M-Net Channels, and this new structure offers us the opportunity to better curate and promote our strong bouquet of channels,” says Georginah Machiridza, executive head: General Entertainment Channels.
“It is with great admiration and heartfelt respect that we bid farewell to Jan du Plessis while we welcome and support Waldimar in his new role. Since his appointment as director of kykNET channels, his collaborative management approach has showcased a strong drive to take our Premium proposition into the future.”
New Publicis Groupe Africa CEO ready to harness the power of the continent’s best talent
Publicis Groupe Africa has welcomed Koo Govender as its new CEO. As a stalwart of the industry, Govender will be leading the drive to empower Publicis to win in a platform world. She takes over from John Dixon, who led the group for five years and has now taken up the position of chairman.
Govender will be responsible for driving the creative, media, PR and influencer, production, commerce, as well as data and technology practices for the Groupe in Africa under the 16 brands represented in the market.
While generating impact for clients remains a key responsibility, Govender is adamant that her position is rooted in one key driver. “Our greatest asset will always be the power of people. I am extremely fortunate to be in a position where I can help harness a collective potential that is unmatched in Africa and across the world. I will always put people first, and then the impact will surely follow. Without people there is no growth,” says Govender.
Accomplished businesswoman, media mogul, philanthropist, and shareholder of PGA, Basetsana Kumalo was encouraged by the appointment of Koo Govender as PGA’s new CEO. “I see this as a significant step forward for not only transformation but for women in this industry. I could not think of a more impressive candidate on this continent to lead this business and the industry forward. This is a huge leap forward for African marketing as a movement of change and progress,” says Kumalo.
RedCloud expands leadership team with appointment of Sameer Jooma as GM for SA
UK-headquartered global technology firm, RedCloud Technology, has announced the appointment of Sameer Jooma as the general manager for South Africa.
Jooma, who has a wealth of experience in ecosystem development, will be responsible for accelerating the adoption of the world’s first Open Commerce platform, Red101, and driving growth in the Southern Africa region.
An experienced innovation and analytics executive with a deep understanding of technology, Jooma has worked with some of the biggest names in consumer packaged goods, finance and technology across Africa and holds positions on the boards of some of the fastest growing startups in the region.
Durban International Film Festival gears up with added team members
The Centre for Creative Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal has appointed three outstanding persons to its team. Andrea Voges has been appointed to the position of manager for the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF). Sakhile Gumede takes on the portfolio of projects & cevelopment officer for the Centre’s Festivals. Philisiwe Manqele joins the Centre for Creative Arts as finance officer.
All three candidates took up their positions at the Centre for Creative Arts on 1 February 2023 on three-year fixed-term contracts. The 44th edition of the Durban International Film Festival is happening from 20-30 July 2023.
Informa Tech Leader, James Bull, joins board of African Association of Exhibition Organisers
The African Association of Exhibition Organisers (AAXO) board of directors has welcomed James Bull – Sales Director at Informa Tech, as a new member.
With a focus on developing the African exhibits market, AAXO offers its members the tools and resources necessary for effective exhibition management while also encouraging businesses to invest in and participate in exhibitions. Bull aims to strengthen and develop the industry by promoting trade and socioeconomic growth in various rapidly developing economies around Africa.
Profitroom appoints Tricia Wood to help gain the upper hand in Africa
Profitroom has appointed Tricia Wood as a new business development manager for Africa.
Boasting 18 years of hospitality experience in sales, Wood has spent her career understanding the time, effort and money that goes into maintaining an establishment’s success. Having started her career as a Pentravel travel agent, Wood soon moved across to Lion Roars where she worked her way into the sales department. In 2018, she started her own business helping create awareness for owner run accommodation and conference venues. Having spent nearly two decades using her sales acumen to help hoteliers succeed in a competitive marketplace, it became clear that Wood is a natural fit for the Profitroom team.
Having fallen in love with Profitroom’s innovative booking system and the success stories it continues to generate, Wood hopes to help develop Profitroom’s award-winning innovation even more and, over time, help it secure the majority market share on the continent.
CDH appoints internationally recognised forensic expert Tendai Jangara and team
In response to a growing need in the market, Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr (CDH) has appointed legal forensic expert Tendai Jangara, together with her team comprising of two forensic investigators and a candidate attorney. Tendai has fifteen years of experience across Africa in forensic legal services and corporate governance to clients in the public and private sectors, adding further depth and expertise to CDH’s current forensic capabilities and service offering.
SoulProviders wins new clients
Matrix Communications Group’s Bryanston-based, through the line specialist agency SoulProviders Collective (SPC), is geared up and ready to face the year head-on with the recent acquisition of three new clients.
The dynamic agency has won exciting clients – Gauteng Tourism Authority (GTA); Jurumani Solutions – a digital solutions company for telecommunications service providers and ISPs; and Adcock Ingram’s hair growth brand, Prosana.
SoulProviders Collective is an 11-year-old future-minded creative agency that prides itself on creating phenomenal work that makes a real difference. Housing zestful individuals who always bring their ‘A’ game to produce magic!
“I believe our consumer insight-driven approach gave us the edge and was one of the reasons we were appointed in all three bids,” said Nosipho Ginindza, managing director of SoulProviders Collective.
Oxigen Communications tees up a successful year with client retention
An extended agreement for 2023 ushers in a new era of Oxigen’s longest running client partnership with SPAR North Rand. For over a decade, Oxigen has successfully boosted SPAR North Rand’s profile through sponsorship management and event publicity for SPAR hosted events in the region.
After a successful three-year contract period, that started just before the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, Oxigen has also renewed its agreement with Masslift, a prominent player in the forklift industry specialising in Mitsubishi products.
Ringing in their ninth year with the agency, TLT-Turbo GmbH, a global manufacturer of industrial and mining ventilation equipment, have also extended their agreement.
In the healthcare space, Oxigen has renewed contracts with non-profit healthcare group Right to Care, and its subsidiary, Right ePharmacy for the sixth consecutive year.
In terms of new clients, Oxigen signed on as a turnkey marketing strategy and agency for Soclima, a distributor for Toshiba Air Conditioning solutions in Angola.
Zoho unveils unified communications platform, launches new collaboration tech
Zoho Corporation has unveiled its unified communications platform, Trident, as well as strengthened collaboration technologies to offer businesses easier ways to communicate across channels, reduce tool-ambiguity, and improve an organization’s overall digital adoption. Establishing itself as a central work hub or virtual headquarters, Zoho Workplace is a unified office platform that combines collaboration, productivity, and communications tools. It is now a flexible, full-featured business mail and cloud office suite that is built on a common data model and unified through search and AI, enabling users to operate collaboratively and seamlessly through applications.
Xaxis South Africa announces the success of its pilot FastTrack programme
Xaxis, GroupM’s outcome media specialist, has announced the continuation of its FastTrack programme for 2023 following the success of its pilot initiative in 2021. The programme empowers the company to bolster its team while also addressing ongoing employment challenges in the region. Evolved from an idea of Ursula Strauss, managing director of Xaxis South Africa and, the project aims at creating employment and skills development opportunities in digital media, an industry often overlooked due to the perceived entry barriers.
To launch the programme, Xaxis collaborated with Steffan van der Male, head of iHub Africa, an initiative committed to training underprivileged African youth in basic digital media skills, alongside general personal and business skills. The scheme has become a key mechanism to building bridges between corporates and young African talent.
Clickatell launches Chat 2 Pay with FlySafair for WhatsApp mobile payments
Clickatell, the Chat Commerce and mobile messaging leader, has gone live with its Chat 2 Pay feature with FlySafair, South Africa’s low-cost airline. FlySafair is the first airline in the world to deploy Chat 2 Pay with a pay-by-link capability that allows its customers the convenience of effortless mobile payments via FlySafair’s WhatsApp channel.
“We are always looking for ways to improve our customer experience and are therefore very excited that our customers can now pay for their luggage with a payment link shared to their mobile phones via WhatsApp. There is no need any more for our customers to go stand in a queue at the airport to pay for luggage,” explained Kirby Gordon, Chief Marketing Officer at FlySafair.
The PRCA and APRA join forces to determine the state of African PR in flagship study
The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) Africa has launched its second annual study, in partnership with the African Public Relations Association (APRA), examining the state of PR and communications practice and ethics in Africa.
The flagship study, conducted by Reputation Matters, will gather demographic data on the industry and investigate issues including ethics, perceptions of PR in business, talent, remote working, and the challenges facing the industry’s future. The survey takes a few minutes to complete and all responses will remain anonymous. The findings will be presented at the annual APRA Conference, hosted in Zambia, 15 to 19 May, 2023.
Take The State of Ethics and the Public Relations Industry in Africa here.
Fluence Africa Influencer Festival rocks Modderfontein
The inaugural Fluence Africa Influencer Festival, which took place at the Focus Rooms in Modderfontein, offered a tantalising glimpse into the future of digital media.
For the first time on the continent, both established and aspiring influencers got together to learn about how to co-create value with leading consumer brands, develop authentic brand content and, as importantly, monetise their platforms.
Another hot topic at the festival was monetisation, which has never been more relevant. With unemployment among young people aged between 15 and 24 currently at 66.5% in South Africa (source: GCIS), tapping into the influencer industry could offer an accessible, viable and sustainable source of income for many.
Top speaker line-up announced for 2023 FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Leading Women Summit!
Hard-hitting topics centred around this year’s theme, Women 3.0: The Icons and Ideas Shaping Africa will be tackled by some of the most influential women on the continent. Organisers are excited to give audiences a behind-the-scenes look at a selection of the speakers featuring at the 8th FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Leading Women Summit, taking place on 8 March 2023 (International Women’s Day) at SunBet Arena, Time Square in Pretoria, South Africa.
In association with The Macallan and supported by Coca-Cola, the 2023 FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Leading Women Summit will focus on topics ranging from wealth to Web 3.0 and mining to fintech, agritech and climate resilience, all of which will be debated and discussed by industry leaders. Speakers include:
- Aisha Ayensu,
- Dr Helena Ndume
- Fatima Yagana Babakura
- Hellen Dausen
- Kaitlin Rawson
- Lehlogonolo Machaba
- Naseem Banu Lahri
- Palesa Mokubung
- Tumi Morake
- Thami Banda
- Patricia Obozuwa
- Nonkululeko Gobodo
- Thamani Thothe
- Vimbai Masiyiwa