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Media Moves: Sbu Ngwala new editor in chief of EWN, Mmabatho Kau head of scripted at Rapid Blue, Marltons launches SA’s first Pets News Network

Media Moves: Sbu Ngwala new editor in chief of EWN, Mmabatho Kau head of scripted at Rapid Blue, Marltons launches SA’s first Pets News Network


The Media Online’s weekly round up of people, account and business moves in media.

This week’s BIG move: News veteran Sbu Ngalwa joins Primedia as editor in chief of Eyewitness News

Sbu Ngalwa

Primedia, owners of Eyewitness News (EWN), is bidding farewell to Mahlatse Mahlase. She will be replaced by respected journalist and editor, Sbu Ngalwa, who will head up the news operations from 10 January 2022.

Ngalwa has had an impressive career, spanning 18 years, working for some of the country’s leading news brands. In his role as editor-in-chief of Daily Dispatch and DispatchLive, the highly respected titles continued to be recognised for outstanding journalism and received significant national awards. He’s currently the politics editor for Newzroom Afrika and chair of the South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF).

Mahlase, who joined EWN in 2018, has played an integral role in growing audiences and cementing the critical role of news across the Primedia radio and digital platforms. During her time, she has overseen the successful launch of an award-winning current affairs show and managed the EWN newsroom which has won multiple awards.

“I’m excited to be part of the Eyewitness News team. I believe Mahlatse is leaving behind a solid team and a firm foundation on which to build. As we move into a digital future, I believe Eyewitness News is the best platform – through audio and digital news content – to produce trusted quality journalism and to continue to cultivate the best talent in the media industry,” said Ngalwa.

People moves

Mmabatho Kau

Rapid Blue, has appointed Mmabatho Kau as its head of scripted. The newly created role will see Kau develop and drive Rapid Blue’s ambitions in scripted content, from sourcing new business opportunities in response to the growing demand for high-quality local IP to the delivery of compelling content for local and international platforms and clients.

Kau brings a wealth of experience to the role, with over 20 years experience as a producer, development executive and broadcaster. She has produced a variety of shows in South Africa, including a 26-part South African educational drama, Soul City 12 for SABC and worked as a script consultant on titles with significant box office success in South Africa such as the sequel to Happiness is a Four Letter Word – Happiness Ever After, Kalushi: the Solomon Mahlangu Story and Beyond The River. Mmabatho’s creative flair has also been translated outside of South Africa as a consultant on the award-winning Lesotho film This is not a Burial, it’s a Resurrection. This film was selected for the 2019 Venice Biennale College Cinema and won the Visionary Award at the Sundance Film Festival as well as Best Director Award at the Durban International Film Festival 2020.

She has also managed an entertainment TV channel and led the original content department for a Pan-African satellite TV network (KWESE).

Kau said she was “thrilled to join the talented team at Rapid Blue to develop the Scripted slate and unlock opportunities to bring compelling stories and unforgettable characters to audiences in South Africa and around the world”.

Boomtown Bayeza intern design selected for Brands & Branding 2021 

Michelle Stockwell

Opportunity knocked for Michelle Stockwell when she was selected as one of eight for the digital marketing and creative brand agency Boomtown’s 2021 Bayeza Graduate Internship Programme.

It certainly delivered when her design got selected for Brands & Branding 2021, which launched earlier this month and is available for the first time as a free eBook here: Brands&Branding2021.

The 26th edition of the book published by Ken Preston’s Affinity Advertising & Publishing annually since 1993 (except for 2020), was conceived as a credible conduit and platform for the sharing of brand-focussed information and insights, of which there was a scarcity and often overshadowed by an abundance of advertising.

Boomtown has partnered with Brands & Branding for many years to conceptualise the creative direction for the front and back covers of the annual. Design for various inside pages such as the ISBN and title page, the contents list and section dividers have also been a part of the job.

The honour of tackling the brief is usually given to the interns participating in Boomtown’s Bayeza Graduate Internship Programme. 

Hook, Line & Sinker (HLS) welcomes new senior account manager aboard

Zenahrea Damon

In light of increasing new client wins, integrated communications agency, Hook, Line & Sinker (HLS), is thrilled to welcome Zenahrea Damon as senior account manager. Damon will oversee the agency’s tech and luxury consumer portfolio across Africa.

With media relations, client relationship management, influencer and event management experience spanning 11 years, Damon will channel her eclectic mix of client experience to service the unique needs across Paid, Earned, Shared and Owned (PESO) channels for HLS’ clients.

Adam Hunter, Head Honcho at HLS says that agency growth must be met with strategic hiring of skilled and passionate individuals. “Strategically recruiting individuals with dynamic skillsets and a passion for their craft is key to supporting our growth strategy while keeping our existing client requests and their evolving needs in mind. We are excited to welcome our new guru to the team,” he concludes.

Nicholas McDiarmid appointed editor of SA BUILDER and PRECAST Magazines

Isikhova Media – publisher of SA BUILDER and PRECAST magazines – has appointed of Nicholas McDiarmid as editor of both titles.

McDiarmid is highly respected as an authoritative voice in the building, construction and allied industries fields and brings a wealth of marketing, editorial and brand marketing skills to the Isikhova Team. As a client-centric, business-minded editor, he places exceptional value on original, relevant and stimulating content for readers active in, and involved with, these industries in South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.

His 20 years experience includes many career highlights, including numerous business-to-business and technical publishing awards, as well as a PICA Award for best editor (IMIESA Magazine) and Consulting Engineers South Africa’s (CESA) award for best publisher

New managing director at Edelman Kenya appointed

Corazon Sefu Wandimi

Edelman Africa has announced the appointment of a new managing director, Corazon Sefu Wandimi.

Edelman is the largest global communications firm with 66 offices worldwide and more than 6000 employees across the world, with its Kenya branch being one of the newest additions.

A long-standing partner of Edelman in the region, Wandimi’s strong profile in the public relations and communications sector has made her a natural fit for the position. Having worked with some of the world’s largest brands, including Coca-Cola, VISA and MTV, as well as fast growing African brands such as Open Capital, DPO Group and Zuku, Wandimi brings a wealth of experience and a significant network of contacts to her new role.

Jordan Rittenberry, Chairman for Edelman Middle East and Africa (MEA) and CEO of Edelman Africa said: “Corazon has driven forward some of the region’s most high-profile work which aligns perfectly with Edelman Kenya’s position and vision for growth.”

Media personality Unathi Nkayi is back to hosting new season of Festive Get-Together on Mzansi Magic

With even more glamour, bonding and one additional episode, season two of Festive Get-Together in The Life Artois, returns to television screens from 1 December, hosted once more by much-loved media personality and Idols SA judge, Unathi Nkayi, and chef-restaurateur Alessandro Khojane.

In the show, Unathi and Alessandro host high-profile working friends, couples, and families who, in their journeys to success, open up about the struggle to find balance to slow down, get together and connect with loved ones and friends in their busy lives.

This season, guests include power media pals Minnie Dlamini & Melanie Bala; supercouple Khuli Chana & Lamiez Holworthy and multi-talented foodie friends Maps Maponyane & J’Something.

Catch Festive Get-Together from the 1st of December on Mzansi Magic, DStv channel 161, every Wednesday @21h30. The show will also repeat every Sunday @ 14h00.

Kagiso Motsisi appointed VIP services manager, Sun City

Sun City has announced the appointment of Kagiso Motsisi as VIP Services Manager.

In her new role, which she assumed on October 1, Kagiso will provide leadership to the VIP Services department and be responsible for the planning, management, and delivery of the VIP Services strategy and guest engagement.

In collaboration with her team, she aims to enhance relationships with current top-end gaming customers and increase the database, whilst adhering to gaming regulations, legislative requirements and company standards.

Business moves

Marltons launches South Africa’s very first Pets News Network

Marltons really understands pets. They understand them so well, in fact, that they’ve launched the country’s first Pets News Network (PNN), a news platform where anchors from various pet species will give the nation the low down on breaking news, straight from the frontlines of the back yard.

Launched on 18 November 2021, with episodes airing monthly across Marltons’ social media platforms, the campaign aims to capture the hearts of South African pet owners, while entrenching Marltons as the country’s most trusted pet care experts and the partner of choice in providing superior products that promote the happiness and health of owners and their pets through petcare innovation.

“We have always inherently believed that there is an unbreakable connection between pets and their humans,” said Gavin Miller, managing director at Marltons. “We are tapping into that connection from the pets’ ‘paws-pective’ and giving them a voice that is sometimes humorous, other times serious, but always sincere and straight from the heart to resonate with our audience and motivate them to seek out those unique Marltons products that will enhance the life of their pets.”

Chewie du Toy, an adorable pug and PNN’s main news anchor, was unavailable for comment about the launch of the news network as he was busy chasing a hadeda, but there is much excitement from the Marltons marketing team regarding the campaign.

There’s a new Agency in town – Haas Advertising merges with Switch Cape Town

Meet HAASXSWITCH, Cape Town’s new advertising agency. Haas Advertising and Switch Cape Town have combined forces to offer a broader range of specialist services including strategy, design, advertising, digital, experiential and PR.

“We have built a strong agency offering master craftsmanship across the brand communication spectrum. Haas brings solid skills in advertising, digital, experiential and big campaign expertise while Switch Cape Town are renowned specialists in design, branding and corporate CI,” said Tarryn Burton HAASXSWITCH MD.

The new agency, a BEE level 2 company, has kept all 24 staff members on board and did not retrench.

She said while the merger had been almost a year in planning it had come at an opportune time as the economy was picking up momentum post COVID-19 challenges and Cape Town was poised for growth.

Your Health Your Way: Myhealth360 collaborates with Cape Town TV

Ronald Abvajee, CEO of Healthy Living Consulting (HLC), has announced a new media alliance for the vibrant My Health360 online platform – this time with Cape Town TV (CTV). This comes hard on the hard on the heels of announcing a similar partnership between the wellness portal and Soweto TV in September 2021.

“The timing couldn’t be better,” said Abvajee. “As spring and summer approach, Capetonians are sure to be out and about, looking for ways to feel fit, healthy and fabulous! Moreover as flights start opening up again, visitors are sure to be flocking to Cape Town and the Western Cape for wellbeing experiences in the wake and easing up of COVID-19 restrictions. The gorgeous Cape Town surrounds will also be showcased through themes like "Experience a day in Cape Town like no other!” This would include diverse activities like yoga, meditation and exercise led by Ronald himself, along with hosting and featuring plenty of local guests, influencers and personalities.

“A wonderful concept,” said Carlo Fredericks, Programme Director for CapeTown TV, ‘The People’s Channel’. “It’s very exciting to forge an ongoing relationship with My Health360; and together, we’re looking forward to coming up with imaginative and inspirational quality content like fillers or a series of programmes for our channel. Moreover, our objectives like giving our viewers and community access to information that is innovative, empowers people, promotes diversity and audience engagement is a great fit with MyHealth360.”

The Cape Town TV or CTV channel ( ) broadcasts free-to-air in Cape Town and surrounds and, nationally, on DStv Channel 263. The channel currently attracts a monthly viewership of 2.7 million and appeals to a wide range of age, income and language groups.

Business growth specialist Fetola launches sustainable business accelerator tool to boost entrepreneurial growth

Business growth professional Fetola has partnered with financial giant JP Morgan and the Embassy of Finland to launch a business accelerator that will support the growth of over 100 small and emerging businesses across South Africa.

The Fetola Circular Economy Accelerator (FCEA) is focused on businesses already in the circular economy and sustainability sectors, as well as those wishing to pivot into these areas, and will provide training, mentorship, access to markets and other resources.

In addition to directly assisting the business growth of the selected companies, the FCEA will also contribute to ecosystem building and access to information for thousands of other businesses through an innovative Green Tech Exchange platform.

The programme is divided into two phases – a six-month Business Boost phase for existing green and circular economy businesses that have been impacted by the effects of lockdown and/or are looking to scale, and an intensive 18-month Business Accelerator phase for new and emerging entrants into the circular economy space.

Both phases will be underpinned by the development of the Green Tech Exchange, a dedicated platform that will enable access to and commercialisation of innovative tools, products and services designed to further the circular economy agenda.

Superunion rebrands Caltex to Astron Energy 

In late 2019, Superunion Africa was given the once-in-a-generation opportunity to reposition and rebrand Southern Africa’s second-largest petroleum retailer, Caltex, to Astron Energy.

This mammoth task included not only the design of an entirely new brand positioning strategy, brand identity, forecourt design, and a plethora of secondary and tertiary elements, but the successful transition of over 850 retail sites across South Africa and Botswana.

Unifying around the idea of ‘New times, New energy,’ we envisaged a welcoming, genuine, and optimistic energy brand, endeavouring to simplify and streamline the lives of all their customers, be it a corporate CEO managing teams of vehicles across the country, or a mom dropping her kids off at school in the morning. 

Every interaction with the brand had to inspire confidence and a boost of positivity, helping the customer feel more in control of their day and rewarding them with what they value most: more time. 

Making moves

Hot 102.7FM Teddython is back … from today

HOT 102.7FM is gearing up for their huge FUNdraiser, the HOT 1027.FM TEDDYTHON at Papachinos in Broadacres on Thursday (25 November). The TEDDYTHON raises much needed funds and goods for HOT CARES NPC and this enables HOT CARES to continue the excellent work that they do in making a meaningful difference in the lives of others, all year round.

“HOT CARES concentrates on four key pillars of aid, these being: Animal Welfare, Humanitarian, Medical, and Education,” said Carmen Rocha, HOT CARES manager. “Over the past two years we have been inundated with increasing requests for aid, some even coming from people who have previously contributed to HOT CARES.”

HOT CARES relies on the money and goods raised through the TEDDYTHON as well as through on-going donations from organisations and individuals, throughout the year. Aside from calling in a donation to the TEDDYTHON on 010 880 8351, or coming to Papachinos on 25 November, donations can be made via the HOT CARES website (  Donors can even opt to make regular monthly contributions.

“Our target this year is to raise R 7 million,” says Lloyd Madurai, Managing Director of HOT 102.7FM. “This will be a remarkable achievement to accomplish within just over 12-hours, but I have faith that our huge signal footprint, together with the generous hearts of our wonderful listeners will ensure that we achieve this.”

The TEDDYTHON fun starts with Joburg’s Hottest Breakfast at 06:00 and continues right throughout the day to the conclusion of The Big Joburg Drive at 18:30. There will be a lot of activities and events at Papachinos, all for a very worthwhile cause. Get to Papachinos and join in the fun.

Terry Pheto, Trevor Stuurman to headline Talks  at ARIFF 2021

Africa Rising International Film Festival (ARIFF) has announced its full ARIFF Talks programme for its fourth annual instalment taking place from Thursday 25 November to Sunday 28 November 2021.

ARIFF Talks returns online and in-venue on 26th November 2021 with thought-provoking industry topics. ARIFF Talks will present a series of intimate one-on-one discussions, live roundtable talks, and masterclasses with prominent film and television industry figures.  

The first in-venue one-on-one discussion will take place on Friday at The Library, 44 Stanley, at 10:00 am. The avant-garde Trevor Stuurman will discuss fashion and musical films using storytelling as a medium with designer and creative Neo Serati. 

On Saturday afternoon, 27 November, Terry Pheto with Moonyeenn Lee Associates’ Wesley Gainer will discuss how actors can navigate being cast into major roles.

Online, writer and director Jenna Bass, known for One You Love, will discuss the realities of directing and telling a story from a female’s point of view. 

Other topics curated include: 

  • Effective use of Marketing, PR, and Distribution to get your project to the world.
  • African stories are being told for the global audience.
  • How to navigate being cast into a major role.
  • Queer representation – the inclusion or lack of queer representation in storytelling as portrayed in mainstream television and cinema in South Africa. 
  • Licensing and dealmaking. 

Audiences wishing to watch/attend are encouraged to visit ARIFF’s social media pages for ARIFF Talks’ exact times and platforms. For more information on ARIFF 2021, please visit: // and for high resolution images, please see here //

National Film and Video Foundation/Netherlands Film Fund: Thuthuka Co-Development Fund Call Extension

The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), an agency of the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, has extended the call for the Thuthuka Co-Development Fund to 31 January 2022.

The NFVF and the Netherlands Film Fund have established a co-development scheme called Thuthuka. This scheme aims to support projects that are potentially of high cinematographic quality and interest to cinema audiences in both countries as well as to international cinema audiences.

Applications are open to established South African producers with a Dutch scriptwriter attached, with an original script for a feature-length live-action (>80 min), documentary, or animated film.

The Thuthuka Co-Development Fund will have one submission deadline per year.

The deadline is 4 February 2022 at 17:00

A complete overview of applicable regulations and conditions can be found here.

For NFVF – //

FNB is the best employer brand in South Africa

FNB has been voted as the best employer brand on LinkedIn for above 500 employees in the 2021 LinkedIn Talent Awards. The 2021 LinkedIn Talent Awards recognises companies worldwide that have demonstrated remarkable adaptability, innovation, and creativity in the talent space.

Donald Khumalo, FNB HR executive, said, “We are excited to be voted as one of South Africa’s Best Employer Brands on LinkedIn. This achievement is a great testament for our brand value and employees. The pandemic has been a challenge for every organisation, but with our platform and digital technologies we were able to provide a productive and rewarding work environment for our people across the business.”

The Best Employer Brand on LinkedIn category recognises companies who focused on building a strong employer brand to engage with their audience in a meaningful way. The banks performance, its results and impact of the brand utilising the platform was analysed to determine how companies generate the most interest from job seekers and do the best job holding on to new talent. Categories that companies were selected on include interest, engagement, demand, and retention of talent.

He adds that, “LinkedIn is a platform that has provided us with the opportunity to connect and network with new and existing candidates. To expedite our bold fintech and platform-related aspirations in banking, insurance, investments, and telecommunications, we embarked on a recruitment campaign to recruit 300 additional experts with engineering, technology, data and quant skills to supplement our existing cohort of more than 5000 equivalent skills.”

“We are truly honored to be recognised as Best Employer Brand on LinkedIn this year. This achievement not only highlights our commitment to our employees but also signals our investment in building and growing top talent in South Africa. Our people are the heartbeat of our organisation and they remain core to building lifechanging financial services and fintech solutions for our customers,” concludes Khumalo. 

Influence is now available on Showmax  
Richard Poplak and Diana Neille’s film Influence, which premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, is now available to view on Showmax. This is the age of misinformation and fake news, where social media isn’t just used to poke friends, scroll past “cute” baby photos and share grumpy cat memes. Zuckerberg’s changed Facebook to Meta but it still enabled many targeted and insidious “PR campaigns” designed to swing votes and cause political chaos. Pitting red vs blue, vax vs anti-vaxx, Batman vs Superman, the digital “marketing” platform has had a very real impact on election results and public perceptions. The eye-opening and timely documentary Influence gets the late Lord Tim Bell’s inside story about his infamous multinational British PR firm, Bell Pottinger, whose nefarious web of lies are responsible for such hits as “White Monopoly Capital”, “Most Controversial Client List” and “Dirty Campaign”. Influence unpacks the disgraced agency’s origins and covert influence on political campaigns from its game-changing efforts to campaign for Margaret Thatcher to the dastardly US Department of Defence’s fake terror videos and long-running manipulation in South African politics. If you’re stuck for what to watch this weekend (in between the rugby) we highly recommend Influence.

Molaetsa gets the message right
The Brand Thread (TBT) Pty Ltd has changed its name to Molaetsa Communications & Marketing Pty Ltd. The name change happens just a few months after we celebrated a year since our company was established. Molaetsa is a 100 percent black women-owned brand communications agency that was founded by Tshepiso Seopa and Zoe Mahopo. 

The word Molaetsa means message in Setswana, which captures the company’s commitment to helping brands tell their story in a powerful way. During the past 18 months, Molaetsa has had the honour of serving great brands such as Foonda, Wesolve4X, and Women in Physics in South Africa, Yellow Owl, LM Holdings, Rocky Park Farming Group and Dear Bella sanitary pads amongst others. We do not see this has the beginning of a completely new journey,but it represents another chapter of the story we began crafting in May 2020 when our agency was founded. 

“As Molaesta, we look forward to doing more amazing work. We believe that brands should not rely only on fancy tag lines to get their message across, but they should embrace the idea of making real impact in the lives of the people they seek to serve. Molaetsa is not just an agency, we are a company that helps clients to identify their brand narrative and preserve the integrity of their image. We stand for business excellence and our work is driven by innovative thinking, creativity, as well as a willingness to push boundaries. “ Awards $25M to Organizations Creating Economic Opportunities for Women & Girls has announced the 34 funding recipients of the Impact Challenge for Women and Girls. The $25M global philanthropy challenge was launched in March 2021 and called for gender equity-focused organizations to submit their boldest and most innovative ideas to create a more equitable economic reality for women and girls. partnered with a women-led panel of experts – including leaders like Rigoberta Menchu, Naomi Osaka, Shakira, Susan Wojcicki, and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka – and gender equity-focused organizations Vital Voices and Project Everyone to evaluate proposals based on four key criteria: innovation, impact, feasibility, and scalability.
The selected organizations have outlined projects that will help women and girls, especially those in geographically, economically or socially marginalized populations, reach their full economic potential.    In addition to funding of up to $1 million each, recipients will participate in a four-month accelerator program led by Google’s Accelerator and Women Techmakers communities, in partnership with Vital Voices to move their projects forward. Select organizations will also receive a Fellowship and dedicated Ad to promote their mission. 


Live broadcasting the new live experience? Tune in today

Is ‘live broadcasting’ the new ‘live experience’? According to Global Review Research, which projects the global video streaming market size will reach $223.98-billion by 2028, oh, yes, indeed it is.

But how do brands tap into this phenomenon? The answer according to analogue radio icon and now digital audio trailblazer, Jon Savage, is to think like a publisher.

“People are in control of where, when and whether or not they engage with your content, which means it has to be more alluring than everything else already vying for their attention. But, when it comes to content marketing you have to attract the audience, you can’t simply buy it; like traditional advertising.

“That’s why brands need to think and act like publishers – newspapers, streaming services, etcetera – and create platforms to produce content that has real value for the audience while creating a relevant role for the brand.”

Savage will explain how at the in_Podcast, a conference taking place online and in Clubhouse on 25 November.

Other speakers at the conference will be covering different aspects of podcasting. The line-up includes the currently very controversial Gareth Cliff from Cliff Central, Podcaster Simmi Areff from ‘Lesser-Known Somebodies’, MacG from Podcast & Chill with MacG, and Chris Borain from United Stations.

The 2-hour livestream will also include recent, real-world campaign case studies that offer insight into the medium, production challenges and hacks, lessons in building communities and how to tune in to what the audience really cares about.

For the full in_Podcast agenda and to book tickets visit or Quicket, and learn more about Savage’s revolutionary thinking at

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