by Veli Ngubane (@TheNduna) We struck gold this year, and we didn’t have to dig too deep to find the shining nuggets in our industry. Just scratch the surface, and there they are: young and gifted creatives who’re killing it! as copy- and scriptwriters, creative, art and film directors, executive producers and more. As we discovered when we interviewed them during the year, they’re adding lustre and rich diversity to our industry. We look back on their stories.
January: Nganga Dlanga
Now copywriter at Avatar
Inspired by his talented older brother, Khaya, Nganga Dlanga (@babydlanga) is clearly gifted and killing it! in the creative industry as a copywriter. An ad he crafted in the second month of his internship went on to win a Loeries Grand Prix, and then he masterminded the remake of the 16 June 1976 iconic image of Hector Pieterson.
February: Nkanyezi Masango
Creative director, King James
Nkanyezi Masango (@MisterMasango) has come a long way since he started out as a “shameless stalker” who identified the best creative directors and cold-called them for job interviews. We found out more about this young and gifted creative director, including the astonishing discovery along the way that the most important tool of his trade is.… pen and paper.
March: Melusi Mhlungu
Now copywriter at David The Agency (Miami, US)
It’s not just writing abilities or ideas that have won Melusi Mhlungu (@Adverttown) a proud place in adland, with the Loeries 2015 Young Creative of the Year already among his accolades. It’s his love for the industry that has got him this far, he explains. “Loving what you do is everything because that’s what’s going to get you through the bad days, like when your creative director says, ‘That’s a brilliant idea but it’s been done before.’”
April: Makosha Maja-Rasethaba
Head of insight at M&C Saatchi Abel
With single-minded determination, Makosha Maja-Rasethaba (@luminousmk) has taken every opportunity to work her way into the job she wanted from the day she graduated from brand communications school. Young and gifted, she’s now killing it in her role driving cultural and consumer insight across the M&C Saatchi Abel Group. What she would particularly like to see is more local brands embracing campaigns that break down stereotyping of women and she gives us some stunning examples in this interview.
May: Nobantu Sibeko
Art director at FCB Global
Nobantu Sibeko wanted to be an actress but, as she says, “I stumbled into advertising.” Backed by her fearless determination, this gifted young woman is now killing it! as one of the few black female art directors in South Africa. “As women, we need to start unapologetically taking up space and demanding our worth,” she tells us. “The time to be scared of asking for things we know we deserve has come to an end.”
June: Musaba Kangulu
Now senior consultant at Deloitte
Advertising wasn’t exactly on Musaba Kangulu’s ‘Top 100 things to do’ list but the industry welcomed the wide-eyed young woman with open arms. Not afraid to speak her mind, she (@ThatTypeOfMoose)) believes in using her digital expertise to empower and nurture young black talent to challenge the status quo.
July: Amr Singh
Film director & creative partner at Fort
From working with Hollywood funnyman, Kevin Hart, and shooting music videos for rapper AKA to an award-winning short film about Nepal, 32-year-old Amr Singh (@amrsingh) has already crammed into a lot into his filmmaking career. And he is only just beginning. The co-founder of Fort — a creative agency of “storytellers for a connected world”, based in Johannesburg with offices in Cape Town, Nairobi and Lagos — Singh talks about his favourite films, the cinematic potential of virtual reality, and why more diversity is needed in the industry.
August: Jabu Nadia Newman
Film director at Ground Glass
This writer, filmmaker and photographer is staking out her place at the forefront of the new generation of creatives in our country. Inspired by women she met during the #FeesMustFall protests at the University of Cape Town, this young and gifted creative started killing it! by putting her studies on hold to write The Foxy Five film web series, which tells the story of five friends grappling with different issues of feminism.
September: Zwelethu Radebe
Film & commercial director at Egg Films
When it comes to being young, gifted and killing it! you don’t need to look much further than Zwelethu Radebe (@ZwelethuRadebe). For the past three years, he’s been directing commercials for local and international agencies and clients in nine countries across Africa and Europe. His accolades include best short film awards at international festivals in Zanzibar and Durban for The Hangman, which he wrote and directed.
October: Simoné Bosman
Executive producer & founder at Molo Sana
“Hello Baby” has taken on a new meaning. In isiXhosa, it’s “Molo Sana”, and now it’s become Molo Sana Films. This new production house has assembled a pool of black creative talent, ranging from established film directors to photographers, content producers and writers. Molo Sana, says Simoné Bosman, “is on a mission to create work that truly speaks to the hearts of black South Africans and the rest of Africa”. This young and gifted creative tells us how she and her colleagues are working on killing it!
November: Zandi Tisani
Film director at Arcade Content
Zandi Tisani (@ZandiTee) deserves an extra round of applause. “The show I wrote, directed and starred in has been selected to play at the New York Television Festival in the Independent Pilot Competition. Clap for me,” she tweeted after hearing the great news. Not only was she also the only African filmmaker to have her production screened at the festival’s flagship competition this year, she won, too, in the category OneX Pitch Deal.
Young, Gifted & Killing It! will resume in 2018.
Veli Ngubane (@TheNduna) entered the world of advertising with a passion after completing his BSocSci (law, politics and economics) at the University of Cape Town and a post-graduate marketing diploma at Red & Yellow, where he also currently serves as advisory board chairman. He is the chief creative officer and founding partner of one of the fastest-growing agencies in the country, AVATAR. A full-service marketing agency with digital at the core, its clients include Brand South Africa, FOX Africa, National Geographic, SAA and Chevron. Veli hails from Kosi Bay in the rural KwaMhlaba Uyalingana area of KZN. In his monthly column “Young, Gifted & Killing It”, he profiles award-winning, kick-ass black creative talent in South Africa.