by Herman Manson (@marklives) Owenkessel, the fast growing Johannesburg agency founded by Felix Kessel and Vaughn Owen, has appointed Sizwe Salimane as its new General Manager, just a year after appointing Donovan Bryan as its executive creative director.
Salimane knew Bryan from their time together at Grey where Bryan was Creative Director and Salimane Strategic Planning Manager. Salimane says Bryan’s presence at Owenkessel was a major contributing factor to his decision to move to the agency from FNB where he was the marketing manager for FNB EasyPlan – an affordable paperless bank offering.
As GM Salimane is responsible for ensuring processes are put in place to facilitate business growth, protecting both shareholders and clients, and ensuring internal efficiencies. Salimane says he aims to improve the briefing processes and the traffic system inside the agency.
Salimane tells how from an early age he was involved in entrepreneurial family businesses – his mother’s family ran a taxi business and while still in high school he hatched plans for a Slow jam taxi brand. It offered an alternative to the ‘nightclubs on wheels’ feel of many Durban taxis, played soulful ballads and featured uniformed taxi drivers.
His wife and he still run a solar product company while he is also in business with an uncle in running a printing factory. It’s a culture of innovation and entrepreneurism that inspires him and that takes him to Owenkessel.
Salimane has a Bachelor of Social Sciences (Marketing & Management majors) degree from the University of Natal. He got into advertising after following a girl to Cape Town who worked in media production and then got recommended to TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris Durban via a contact he made in Cape Town. He joined the agency as a research analyst after he completed his degree. He moved quickly up the ladder and left to run his own brand consultancy HotMojo Strategic Brand Consultancy in 2005. Then followed stints at Y&R in Johannesburg, Grey, Synovate and The Jupiter Drawing Room before he joined FNB in 2010.
Owenkessel launched in 2008 and currently employs a full time team of 40. Clients include Amstel Lager and Tanqueray gin (brandhouse), Aspen Pharmacare, Zodiac Pool Care, Entyce Beverages: Five Roses (BTL) and House of Coffees as well as Diageo Scotland on their Reserve Brands Portfolio: Johnny Walker Super-deluxe range, Ciroc Vodka, and the classic malts whisky range for South Africa and the Africa region (Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Reunion, Angola, Cameroon, Uganda and Ghana).
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