Judges Announced For Youth-Owned Brands Awards

Judges Announced For Youth-Owned Brands Awards

A list of esteemed judges for the inaugural Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards (YOBA) have been announced.

YOBA, an initiative by Pat on Brands, has recruited 10 award-winning leaders in the marketing and communications industry, academia and entrepreneurship to evaluate and shortlist 482 nominations.

The judges are seasoned professionals and have distinguished careers in marketing and entrepreneurship. When it comes to building and growing brands, the judges are very knowledgeable and have a wealth of experience. To evaluate the entries, they will be using a set scoring criterion across 16 categories. The scoring criteria are guided by Young & Rubicam and David Aaker’s principles, brand equity principles that focus on the general appearance of the brand, originality, creativity, geographic reach and the consistency in the application of the brand CI.

‘As a platform, Pat on Brands has always been known for bringing out captains of industry to engage with young people and YOBA is no different. We are very pleased and enthusiastic about having judges of such high calibre to help us recognise the Top 16 youth-owned brands in South Africa,’ said Pat Mahlangu, Founder and CEO of Pat on Brands.

‘It is a massive concern that youth unemployment in South Africa year on year is more than 45% with Covid-19 aggravating the situation, in turn negatively impacting our socio-economic levels substantially. Now more than ever, we need to encourage youth entrepreneurship to inspire a new era of hope for the nation. YOBA is such a platform recognising Youth Owned Brands and entrepreneurship. I am truly honoured to be a part of a movement of this nature as it fuels the industry and the country with inspiration, creativity and a fresh perspective on leadership. When I look at youth-owned brands, I feel compelled to challenge my own inhibitions and conventions. YOBA will certainly be a catalyst for positive growth in the continent,’ said Sadika Fakir, Integrated Media and Digital Director at Tiger Brands, Chairperson: ARB.

The list of judges are as follows:

Sadika Fakir (Chairperson of the jury)

Fakir is a firm believer in integrated and seamless marketing communications that focus on the customer. With an ever-evolving customer base and shifting media landscape, she stated that we must consistently reinvent our approach to the market – taking customer shifts and nuances into consideration to drive seamless and integrated communication solutions.

She is captivated by the power of the media and digital and believes it suits her disruptive approach to work. After a seven-year stint in similar roles within financial services, Nedbank and FNB respectively, she joined the consumer goods category in her role at Tiger Brands in 2020. Prior to the corporate roles, she notched up ten years at numerous agencies building her integrated strategic media experience totaling more than 17 years within integrated channel strategy and advertising.

She has her BCOM Honours in Marketing (Cum Laude) and is a designated Chartered Marketer through the Marketing Association of South Africa. In 2022, Fakir was appointed Chairman of the Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB).

Lebo Lion (Deputy Chairperson of the Jury)

Lion is an award-winning digital marketer, iTunes podcasting pioneer, speaker, author, strategist and influencer whose viral Twitter threads, digital marketing expertise, and courageous conversations, have led to her being one of the most sought-after speakers and business consultants in South Africa. She has transformed over 1000 South African Start-Ups and SMEs, through her global top 100 iTunes podcast charting platform, The Lebo Lion Show. Known as ‘the voice of marketing’, Lion delivers mindset shifting & empowering content, that disrupts the African learning landscape.

Bulelani Balabala

Dubbed as ‘the go-to guy for township entrepreneurs’ by City Press. Balabala is the founder and CEO of IAF brands, a township-based Branding and Social Media marketing company. He is the founder of Township Entrepreneurs Alliance (TEA) an initiative aimed at developing entrepreneurs in the township and rural areas, through this platform TEA has directly impacted over 48000+ small businesses in the formal and informal sectors. He serves on public and private sector boards.

He is a professional speaker who covers the township economy, branding, entrepreneurship & inspiration. He is featured on multiple media platforms where is gives thought leadership and insights. He has shared platforms with business, industry, and government leaders. He lives by the simple motto #GetThingsDone

David ‘Slaying Goliath’ Tshabalala

Tshabalala has worked with and independently collaborated with the biggest global brands, not limited to, namely: KFC, Coca Cola, Adobe, Netflix, Converse, Audi, Smirnoff, Reebok, and many more. Despite his notable industry accolades and achievements, he said he’ll never proclaim to know it all. Perhaps these are the tenets of his relative success, the willingness to not only learn from those above him but to absorb lessons from his juniors too. Tshabalala said he’s a teachable spirit because he’s been trained to stay grounded by his mentors and industry peers. His natural disposition to stay humble has been largely influenced by his environment and the people in it.

‘My work is a kaleidoscope of color and crafted content, driven by my penchant for consuming pop culture. I embody the ethos of being an independent self-starter; being able to work with major brands directly, while staying true to myself – telling the South African story in a meaningful and engaging way.’

Dr Beate Stiehler Mulder

Mulder is a Senior Lecturer, the Marketing Coordinator at the Department of Marketing Management at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), and the W&R Seta Leadership Chair: Gauteng. She holds a Ph.D. in Industrial Economics and Management from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. She has 16 years of experience in Marketing Commerce, 9+ years’ experience in Marketing and Retail Lecturing, and Academic management, she is a Certified Digital Marketing Professional (DMI International), the winner of an ‘Outstanding Paper’ 2017 from the Emerald Literati Network Awards, and she was a main Jury Member for the 2020 and 2021 Financial Mail AdFocus Awards.

She has built a strong background of work, research, and publications in South African and international journals and conference proceedings, where she has presented broad research on marketing, branding, retail, digital, and consumer subjects. As the current W&R Seta Chair: Gauteng, she aims to provide a platform that develops critical thinkers and problem-solvers in the Retail industry, conduct relevant retail and consumer research, and launch innovative education and work-based learning experiences – all in the spirit of advancing and professionalizing the wholesale and retail industry.

Mpho Maseko

Mpho Maseko is a self-motived integrated marketing and communications professional with more than ten years of strategic marketing and campaign development experience working on local and global brands. She’s been working in the financial services sector for five years. Her marketing and communications experience is also in the broadcasting, technology, and digital marketing services sectors. As a self-confessed ‘Marketing Maverick’, she ensures that marketing and communications align to both long- and short-term business objectives.

Maseko honed in her management expertise after graduating with a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from Wits Business School. In 2005 she joined the SABC where she held several management positions in marketing and communications. Her responsibilities in these roles extended to the strategic communications management for various SABC brands.

Maseko’s commitment to South Africa’s Marketing and Communications industry is also demonstrated in her involvement in various industry bodies. In 2014, she was appointed committee member for the Advertising and Media Association of South Africa (AMASA), on which she still currently serves. From 2017 to 2018 she served as Head of the Brand Council of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). In 2020 she ended her tenure as a Marketing Tourism committee member of the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency.

Thembi Sehloho

Sehloho is currently serving as the Marketing Director for Rice and Pasta at Tiger Brands SA. Sehloho is a seasoned marketing specialist with a passion for meaningful and impactful brand work.

After graduating with a BCom-Accounting degree; she went on to build a formidable career in marketing spanning over 15-years. With the ability to run strategic and capital expansion projects, Thembi has landed accolades which include the following: building the Mama KOO franchise which propelled the brand to be SA’s most loved brand; maintaining Tastic’s position as the top brand within staple food; winning a Silver PRISM Award for PR Campaign of The Year; and Tastic TVC voted 2020 the best-liked TVC as voted by consumers – Kantar #MyHeritagecampaign.

Sehloho is passionate about leadership and mentorship and was recently awarded the 3rd Positive Role Model Award – 9th Annual Gender Mainstreaming Awards. She has solidified herself as a formidable and seasoned marketer in South Africa with vast experience in SA’s leading iconic FMCG brands which include; All Gold, KOO, Bakers, Tastic, and Fatti’s & Moni’s.

Neo Ramakutwane

A seasoned performance marketer with over 16 years’ experience in financial services marketing, Ramakutwane is experienced in developing optimised and result focused marketing campaigns with various budgets with a proven ability and specialised knowledge in distribution and intermediary marketing. She has in-depth knowledge of the South African marketing landscape and trends. Ramakutwane said she is driven and willing to go above and beyond to deliver results.

Dr. Marcia Lebambo

Lebambo holds a Doctorate Degree in Business Administration from the Tshwane University of Technology, Business School. She is currently working as a Senior Lecturer at the Tshwane University of Technology, in the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship. With more than 10 years of experience in Higher Education, Dr. Lebambo published book chapters and articles in accredited journals and presented her work at local and international conferences including Tanzania, Botswana, and Austria. Her research interests are in the areas of entrepreneurship and small business development, entrepreneurship policies, rural tourism, and technological entrepreneurship.

Apart from her work as an academic, Dr. Lebambo is a trailblazer in youth community development. In 2012, she founded a non-profit organisation: Marcia Lebambo Foundation which focuses on improving literacy in South African township and rural schools. Her motto is: Do the best you can, where you are, with what you have.

Katlego Ditlhokwe

Ditlhokwe is a Researcher, Thought Leader, Marketing Guest Lecture, Strategic Planner and simply a storyteller. He described himself as a true lover of advertising and a learner of the industry. Ditlhokwe has a degree in Marketing Communications. He is a certified Digital Marketer and Art Director. Ditlhokwe started his career as a Media Strategist at Joe Public United, changed his career path to practicing Brand Strategy, and he is now a Group Strategy Director at Brave Group. Basically, he is a creative that just chose to specialise in Strategic Communication.

The YOBA awards encompass 16 categories which are Accessories, Beverage, Agriculture, Beauty, Apparel, Media, NGO, Homeware, Education, Personality and Influencer, Footwear, Food, Travel and Tourism, and Technology.

The inaugural award ceremony is scheduled to take place on the 15 June in Johannesburg where we will see young creatives who’ve propelled the marketing industry for real change.