by Herman Manson (@marklives) M&N Brands, owned by Zibusiso Mkhwanazi and Veli Ngubane of Avatar fame, has launched a new agency with Mbuso Ndlovu (@NdlovuMbuso) and Chiedza Quinchette. The new agency will be called Kanbar and will be based at its own premises in Johannesburg. The agency is launched with founding client, SKYY Vodka.

SKYY was previously held by Y&R South Africa and temporarily serviced by VML South Africa after Y&R’s last office, in Johannesburg, was integrated into VML South Africa in early 2018.

M&N Brands logo“Maurice Kanbar is the man who invented SKYY Vodka,” explains Zibusiso Mkhwanazi, group CEO of M&N Brands. “He is a challenger, a disruptor, someone who (over and above having 50 patents to his name), went and created a vodka when he couldn’t find the right taste for the perfect martini. He reminds us of who we are, and what we are trying to do in the African advertising industry.”

Mkhwanazi explains that a new agency has been launched to ensure participation from Ndlovu and Quinchette. Avatar, in which M&N Brands owns a significant stake, wasn’t involved in the pitch, according to Mkhwanazi, and was driven by the creative duo. Kanbar will operate as an independent agency within M&N Brands and is set to announce a managing director in the near future.

“We have met the right partners, with the right attitude and the right understanding of how to help us achieve our objectives. We are quite ambitious about the future of SKYY Vodka in South Africa, and so working with the right partner is critical in helping us deliver against these ambitions,” says Simphiwe Pato, Campari South Africa marketing manager. “We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with Kanbar.”


Herman Manson 2017Herman Manson (@marklives) is the founder and editor of

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