Advertising News Africa

Advertising Week Africa kicks off

The first Advertising Week Africa officially kicked off on Wednesday with an exciting lineup of speakers.
Bogosi Motshegwa. Source: Instagram.
Bogosi Motshegwa. Source: Instagram.

Advertising Week has existed for almost two decades and has hosted thought leadership sessions with personalities such as Trevor Noah, Serena Williams and entertainers such as P Diddy, Ludacris and Mary J Blige.

Advertising Week Africa (AWAfrica) joins the global footprint of the brand such as AWEurope (London), AWLatam (Mexico City), AWAsia (Japan), AWApac (Sydney) and AWNY (New York), the founding and flagship region. spoke to the vice president of Advertising Week Africa and chief creative and strategy officer at Brand Reserve Bogosi Motshegwa to find out more.

Highlighting African creativity

Motshegwa comments: “Why a need for Africa? I mean, is that even a question? Africa’s influence over the globe is undeniable and as such; Africa’s presence on the Advertising Week platform was inevitable. The continent has inspired creativity at the global level. Africa is at the forefront of influencing and shaping the global creative culture; so the real question is; why not, Africa?”

The first day will put a spotlight on women in the creative industry who have made a significant impact.

“On the 15th of February, we kicked off the week with the Future Is Female Awards, which are non-paid awards that seek to recognise and put a spotlight on women of our industry who are doing phenomenally well in their respective professional roles. Their chances of winning increases if they also contribute significantly to society through their mentorship and leadership qualities,” he says.

On Thursday the main event, at Vodaworld, in Midrand Johannesburg allowed ticket holders to see Kevin Hart on the Great Minds main stage.

What you could see:

  • Kevin Hart – entertainer, entrepreneur and founder at Hartbeat
  • Thai Randolph - CEO at Hartbeat
  • Mzamo Masito - CMO at Google Africa
  • Mosala Phillips - CMO at Old Mutual
  • Nomsa Chabeli - General manager of brand and communication at MTN
  • Sbusiso Kumalo - CMO at African Bank
  • Zizwe Vundla - CMO at Safaricom
  • Lorna Scott - CEO and founder at Inverroche
  • Chaucer Barnes - CMO at United Masters
  • Bonin Bough – Founder and chief strategy officer
  • Jeff Clanagan – President and chief distribution officer at Hartbeat
  • Queen Nnaniki Malesa – CMO at The Department of Sports, Arts and Culture
  • Adebola Williams – Chairman, AW Network and co-founder of RED for Africa

A winning mindset

“The event took place between the 15th and 18th, and the main event on the 16th of February 2023. I believe that we are over our biggest obstacle, which was to finally launch the Advertising Week Africa and have it on the continent’s industry calendar officially," says Motshegwa.

The initial launch was to be in 2019; but the Covid-19 pandemic prevented that.

He says the biggest challenges during the week iwas navigating all the moving parts but with the support of the Advertising Week brand as well as Brand Reserve he believes it went off without any significant problems.

He adds: “This is a huge event with a lot of moving parts and as such, coordinating and ensuring that everybody is on the same page was also a huge challenge, but it comes with the territory. Looking back, every emotion felt during this process was worth it, because whichever way you look at it, we’ve made history.”

Motshegwa says they hope the event will help them contribute meaningfully to the industry.

“If the industry is not protected, there’s truly nothing left for us. Additionally, we want to help scale Africa’s talent and global influence to the rest of the world. We want to leave the industry, women and the continent better than we found it,” he says.

About Karabo Ledwaba

Karabo Ledwaba is a Marketing and Media Editor at Bizcommunity and award-winning journalist. Before joining the publication she worked at Sowetan as a content producer and reporter. She was also responsible for the leadership page at SMag, Sowetan's lifestyle magazine. Contact her at
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