by Herman Manson (@marklives) M&N Brands has established M&N Entertainment to house its media investments, the first of which is the newly acquired youth culture magazine, Other M&N Brands business units include ad agencies Avatar Johannesburg, Avatar Cape Town, Avatar Media Agency, Avatar PR, Mela Events and Bozza (a PR firm).


Minority stake

Loosely translated, Zkhiphani means ‘what’s happening’ and was established a decade ago by Andile Mathobela, Ally Fathana and Bonga Mpungose; today, the online magazine employs nine people and covers celeb news, music, trends and social happenings. The founders will retain a minority stake in the business.

“M&N Brands is about value-adding partnerships, and we believe we can combine resources to accelerate the portal’s growth, and provide advertisers with competitive offerings to better engage with young people in South Africa,” says Zibusiso Mkhwanazi, M&N Brands co-founder and group CEO. “I am especially excited about further investing in online publishing, with the long-term goal to consolidate our online sites into a video-on-demand service for Africans by Africans.”

Lucrative youth market

Mkhwanazi says Avatar’s own content team will work alongside that of Zkhiphani. The investment in Zkhiphani will give M&N better understanding of the lucrative youth market, and fits the company’s vision of owning various elements of the media and communication ecosystem.

“We are very excited about this partnership,” says Mathobla, who is editor-in-chief. “After 10 years of independence in the game, we feel that we have to take things to the next level by partnering with like-minded game changers like Zibusiso Mkhwanazi and Veli Ngubane [the other co-founder], who have built amazing businesses in the digital and advertising space in recent years. We are confident that they will take to a whole new level.”


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

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