Book Launch: Melusi’s Everyday Zulu by Melusi Tshabalala
Melusi Tshabalala, a seasoned advertising creative with a career spanning 20 years and who is co-founder and managing partner at Studio 214, has been posting a new isiZulu word on his Melusi’s Everyday Zulu Facebook page six days a week, and telling a story to help bring the word to life. Now his Facebook posts will appear in book format for the first time —launching later in July 2018 is Melusi’s Everyday Zulu by Melusi Tshabalala, published by Jonathan Ball.
According to Tshabalala, the Facebook page was partly inspired by the ad industry’s lack of respect for African languages and the people who speak them: “The ad industry treats indigenous (South) African languages and those who speak them with disdain. This is most visible in the way the industry continues to treat African language radio advertising. The copywriter will record and mix the English and Afrikaans versions then head back to the agency, leaving the other nine languages to be dealt with by the sound engineer and language advisor. No quality control for the agency, even [though] these languages are the bulk of the job and clients spend hundreds of thousands producing them and millions flighting them.
“We can blame this problem on the demographic make up of the people who work in agencies but, at times, even if the write is black and wants to stay and ensure the other languages are produced to the same quality as the English and Afrikaans, they are forced to return to the agency and work on ‘more important stuff’. Those of us who listen to English and African language radio pick up the difference in quality. Why marketers overwhelmingly continue to work with agencies that don’t care is baffling. It’s not about empowerment but fiduciary responsibility.”
“Melusi’s Everyday Zulu holds up a mirror that shows South African society in all its flaws and its sheer humanity,” says the media release announcing publication of the book. “He pokes fun at our differences and makes us laugh at ourselves and each other. Melusi asks critical questions of everyone, from Aunty Helen Dudu-Zille and Silili (Cyril Ramaphosa) to taxi drivers and toddlers. His fans love him for his honesty and commitment to pointing out subtle and overt forms of prejudice and racism. Most importantly, he shows the power of words and that there’s um’Zulu in all of us!”
- Publicaton date: July 2018
- Publisher: Jonathan Ball
- Format: B-format
- Price: R210
- ISBN: 9781868429066
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