Sifiso Hlongwane :Banking on Africa’s Future Is An Investment
Biz Corner with Dr. Chaz on The1873FM Hosted by Wildfire Deejay spoke to Branding Consultant Sifiso Hlongwane on Saturday morning about the importance of branding.
Hlongwane has been in the advertising industry for 15 years now and has had a fair share of work locally and internationally.
At the time of joining the advertising space there weren’t black professionals and he is happy to see latest developments in the sector.
“There is talent for solving business problems in people who are creative in the heart. These are the people the industry needs and previously the industry seemed to have Had a particular group participating.”
He added that he got into the industry after writing jingles for a known beverage when he was still a Hip-hop artist.
“I learnt advertising through practical work without studying it formally.
After a few jingles I did I had an advertising portfolio which helped me penetrate the industry.”
Hlongwane said he is concerned about the image that potrays Africa and is different from other continents.
He says more developed countries are aware of their respective countries as brands and every production they do represents them well.
“Africa’s story is told as that of a poverty stricken continent and it shouldn’t be like that.
We should start to talk about the good things that are done at communities and things that benefit Africa.
So far not much has been done on that.”
Hlongwane’s interpretation of Banking on Africa’s future is an investment and putting of money where the mouth is, as well as creating an environment that enables its people to shine.
His other big concern is the lack of platforms like radio, where storytelling should be celebrated.
As a powerful tool that can influence people, he says there is a need for daily investment to build and make a stronger institution out of it.
Hlongwane describes advertising as something that creates a big historical event that is not easy to forget.
Asked which people he would like to interview if given platform to do radio, he picked Gcina Mhlope whom he describes as an African culture ambassador whose books tell a story of who Africans are.
“In addition to this I have a dream where everyone in Africa buys from their neighbour to rotate money around us.
This will help us see and reap benefits with time.”; he said.
Hlongwane further said he would raise topics around history which he believes has not really been told currently, health, economy and finance among some.
He also envisages to see a continuing culture of sharing knowledge.