FM AdFocus Awards 2020 Winners Announced

FM AdFocus Agency of the Year Triple Eight’s time has come!

The FM AdFocus Awards 2020 Agency of the Year is Triple Eight. Walking away with the prestigious title for the second time, the agency also took the title in 2019.

Although not the first agency in AdFocus history to have won the award consecutively, Triple Eight has achieved this feat in a year that no-one could have predicted with COVID-19, leading to countries, including South Africa, going into lockdown impacting on businesses including agencies and their clients.

Despite a loss of three-quarters of their campaigns in March this year, Triple Eight still grew their business and added new clients and team members to their business. No surprise that the agency also won the inaugural Adaptability Award, that recognises an agency that has adapted successfully to 2020’s new paradigm by embracing flexibility, manoeuvrability and has risen above the panic and disruption of an unusual year.

The agency was also named Specialist Agency of the Year and took home the Transformation and African Impact Awards – categories the agency also won in 2019.

FM AdFocus Awards 2020/21 Chairperson, Tumi Rabanye says in the Specialist Category, Triple Eight stood out for its leadership in the areas of purpose and development. “In the Transformation Award, the agency demonstrated that transformation is a lived experience which transcends race and CSI.”

Rabanye adds that this was especially compelling given that the Transformation Award elicited robust discussion by the jury. “The industry needs to urgently move past the BEE scorecard and live transformation where critical business decisions are made,” expands Rabanye.

Triple Eight’s entry stood out head and shoulders in the African Impact category, demonstrating both their purpose and the extent to which they are developmentally led on the continent. “There is no question that their time has come,” says Rabanye.

Student Award

All three finalists were strong contenders for this award and good examples of the resilience displayed by the class of 2020. The winner Dominic Hobbs, of the University of Johannesburg (UJ) presented an incredible portfolio. The student jury called his approach to media, and the ease with which he mixed medias and disciplines, “extremely exciting”.

Lifetime Achievement Award

This year’s Lifetime Achiever and Industry Leader Awards were both unanimous decisions by the jury.

Lifetime Achiever, Bernice Samuels, currently MTN chief marketing officer, boasts a career that spans large multinationals within the telecoms, broadcasting, information technology, financial services and brewing sectors and iconic and impactful campaigns. “Bernice is an individual for whom every jury member has the utmost respect and admiration,” states the jury.

Industry Leader

AdFocus Industry Leader 2020, Peter Khoury, chief creative officer of TBWA Hunt Lascaris, is described by the jury as “a man without airs and graces, he is universally admired in the industry and as such, a worthy recipient of the title Industry Leader of the Year”.


2020 Shapeshifter, Melusi Mlu Mhlungu, based in Miami, is remarkable for his bravery. While he could have settled for success locally, he has had the courage to move to new shores where he is continuing to create superb work. “The industry should be proud of him given the inspiration that he provides,” says the jury.

The winners of all the FM AdFocus Awards 2020 were crowned at a small gathering at The Empire Conference and Events venue in Parktown. Financial Mail would like to thank this year’s sponsors IAS, Scopen, The MediaShop and Ornico.


Triple Eight



Joe Public (Pty) Ltd

Eclipse Communications

Triple Eight

M&C Saatchi Abel & Takealot

Triple Eight

Triple Eight

Triple Eight

The MediaShop

Dominic Hobbs – University of Johannesburg (UJ)

Bernice Samuels

Peter Gabriel Khoury

Melusi Mlu Mhlungu

FM Creative Challenge Award

Also announced on the evening was the winner of the FM Creative Challenge. This year the Award went to King James for their ad ‘Black lives don’t matter’ for Blackboard Organisation. King James and The Brave Group were finalists for their client ads for Durex and Rose’s Cordial “SBWL Hawaii” respectively. The creative Challenge features run of paper adverts that publish in the Financial Mail during September and October.


Long Term Partnership Pays Off for National Arts Festival and Standard Bank

The BASA Long Term Partnership Award has been recogised in a mural created by artists Mr & Mrs Luke at 44 Stanley in Johannesburg

Thirty-six years of collaboration were recognised at last night’s BASA Awards as Standard Bank and National Arts Festival took home the Long Term Partnership Award for their Standard Bank Young Artist project. Announced annually, the Standard Bank Young Artist Awards sees a group of South African artists under the age of 35 carrying the Standard Bank Young Artist title in their genre for the duration of a year. The artists are also tasked with creating a special performance of a new work for that year’s National Arts Festival.

The Award includes undisclosed prize money and support for the winners to take their work to a stage or gallery at the National Arts Festival. A long rollcall of diverse and extraordinary artists have been added to the list of Standard Bank Young Artists over the three decades of it’s existence. Names like William Kentridge, Helen Sebidi, Johnny Clegg, Concord Nkabinde, Andrew Buckland, Mamela Nyamza, Kitty Phetla, Berni Searle and Vincent Mantsoe are among the South African legends who have owned the title.

The BASA Chairman’s Advocacy Award, selected at the discretion of the BASA Chair, was given to William Kentridge for The Centre for the Less Good Idea. He was presented with a work created by artist Banele Khoza. William Kentridge was one of the early Standard Bank Young Artist’s for Visual Art, earning the title in 1987.

National Arts Festival CEO, Monica Newton celebrated the win which was announced at BASA’s online event. “Our partnership with Standard Bank on this project goes all the way back to 1984 – so this truly is a long-term partnership and it’s one that really has had an impact on the artists of South Africa. After all of these years, it is still an award that artists aspire to and one that the public recognise as a major endorsement. The artist that some may not have known becomes a household name overnight. We would like to extend immense gratitude to our partner Standard Bank, not just for this project but for the multiple ways they are supporting artists at the Festival and beyond.”

The 2020 Standard Bank Young Artists are Jefferson Tshabalala (Theatre), Sisonke Xonti (Jazz), Lulu Mlangeni (Dance), Blessing Ngobeni (Visual Art) and Nthato Mokgata (also known as Spoek Mathambo) for Music.

Adds Head of Sponsorship and Events, Desiree Pooe, “Standard Bank’s long-term role in supporting, sponsoring and promoting the visual and the performing arts has been extensive and wide-ranging and has firmly entrenched its reputation as a South African institution that nurtures cultural development. To be recognised in this way alongside our partners, the National Arts Festival, is an honour.”

The BASA Awards is the flagship event of Business & Arts South Africa and recognises those businesses and organisations who work together to support and sustain the arts in a mutually beneficial and equitable manner. In 2020, the Awards announcements were held online and are accessible to the public as an exploratory site with information about the winners and finalists at from 7pm on Thursday, 19 November.


Chairman Of TRACE TV Among Largest And Most Influential Panel Of Judges Ever Assembled For A Journalism Prize In Africa

The judging panel for the APO Group African Woman in Media Award consists of 100 luminaries, with global icons such as Naomi Campbell joined by executives at diverse organizations like Microsoft, Harley-Davidson and FIFA

APO Group (, the leading pan-African communications and business consultancy, is delighted to announce the jury for the prestigious APO Group African Women in Media Award 2020 ( The Award recognizes, celebrates and empowers African women in the media who support female entrepreneurship throughout the continent.   

This is the largest and most influential panel of judges ever assembled for an African media award, and it reflects the importance of recognizing gender equality in business and the media.

APO Group has brought together 100 luminaries, with global icons such as Naomi Campbell joined by senior executives from every major industry on the continent, from Microsoft to Dangote; Twitter to Coca-Cola; and Harley-Davidson to LEGO!

Here is a full list of the 100 judges :

  • Fatma Samoura, Secretary-General of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) (
  • Aïda Diarra, Senior Vice President and Head of Sub-Saharan Africa of Visa (
  • Naomi Campbell, Model, actress, businesswoman (
  • Olivier Laouchez, Co-founder, Chairman and CEO of TRACE (
  • Aydan Olcer, Regional Communications Director, Middle East and Africa of Microsoft (
  • Kezia Anim-Addo, Head of Communications, Sub-Saharan Africa of Facebook (
  • Zayna Aston, Head of Communications and Public Affairs, EMEA, of YouTube (
  • Emmanuel Lubanzadio, Head of Public Policy Sub-Saharan Africa of Twitter (
  • Samantha Fuller, Head of Communication Sub Saharan Africa of Uber (
  • Camilla Osborne, Head of Communications of Coca-Cola Africa (
  • Acha Leke, Chairman Africa of McKinsey & Company (
  • Ifeoma Dozie, Director, Marketing and Communications, Sub-Saharan Africa of MasterCard (
  • Jason Pau, Senior Advisor for International Programs of the Jack Ma Foundation (
  • Michael Carney, Regional Marketing Manager of Harley-Davidson Motor Company (
  • Urszula Bieganska, Head of Marketing Middle East and Africa of LEGO Group (
  • Mai Youssef, Corporate Communications and Marketing Services Director, Africa, Middle East and Turkey of Canon (
  • Amadou Gallo Fall, Vice-President of the NBA, and President of the Basketball Africa League (
  • Amadou Diallo, Chief Executive Officer Middle East and Africa of DHL Global Forwarding (
  • Hannah O’Leary, Director, Head of Modern and Contemporary African Art of Sotheby’s (
  • Julie Gichuru, Head of Public Affairs and Communications of Mastercard Foundation (
  • Helen Da Fonseca, Head of Corporate Communications, Public Affairs and CSR of L’Oréal South Africa (
  • Louise W. Wanjohi, Communications Lead – North, East and West Africa of IBM (
  • Vanessa M. Moungar, Director, Gender, Women and Civil Society of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) (
  • Carole Van Cauter, Global Marketing Manager of Brussels Airlines (
  • Candace Gilowey, Head of Marketing – South Africa and Sub Sahara Africa of Levi Strauss & Co. (
  • Dudu Ndlovu, Head of Communications of KPMG South Africa (
  • Sarah Fernandez, Director of Public Relations and Communications – Middle East and Africa of Accor (
  • Dr. Rasha Kelej, Chief Executive Officer of Merck Foundation (
  • Byron Kennedy, Executive Head: Group Media Relations and Spokesperson of Vodacom (
  • Dominic Rumbles, Head of Communications of World Rugby (www.World.Rugby)
  • Patricia Obozuwa, Chief Communications and Public Affairs Officer of GE Africa (
  • Samantha Muna, Director Development East Africa of Hilton Worldwide (
  • John Gely, Head of Africa of MoneyGram International (
  • Beatrice Gachenge, Head of Communications, Sub-Saharan Africa of Novartis (
  • Lee Martin, Senior Advisor of Getty Images (
  • Stephanie Aboujaoude, Senior Area Director, Marketing and Communications, Middle East and Africa of Radisson Hotel Group (
  • Sthe Shabangu, Public Relations and Communications lead for Africa of Cisco (
  • Rukmini Glanard, Executive Vice President Global Sales, Services and Marketing of Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise (
  • Maor Aharoni, Africa and Israel Communications of Motorola Solutions (
  • Anthony Chiejina, Chief Corporate Communications Officer of Dangote Group (
  • Jacqui O’Sullivan, Executive: Corporate Affairs of MTN South Africa (
  • Sonia Adnane, Head of Communications and Public Affairs Africa of Siemens Gamesa (
  • Marwa Gomaa, Africa Communications Director of Tetra Pak (
  • Abdellah Ghali, Head of Communications of OCP Africa (
  • Christa Botha, Communications Director, Africa and Middle East of Sage (
  • Adenike Laoye, Group Head, Corporate Communications, and Chief of Staff to the Group CEO of Ecobank (
  • Abdou Diop, Managing Partner of Mazars Audit and Consulting (
  • Andre Martin, Head of Communications and External Relations, Middle East and Africa of DP World (
  • Angela Russell, CEO of the American Chamber of Commerce in South Africa (
  • Ben White, Founder and CEO of VC4A (
  • Bola Atta, Group Head, Corporate Communications of United Bank for Africa (
  • Michael Okwiri, Vice President, Corporate Communications and CSR of Airtel Africa (www.Airtel.Africa)
  • Christian Bwakira, Managing Director, Middle East and Africa of Ingenico Group (
  • Clare Spurrell, Head of Global Communications of CARE International (
  • Claudia Brunner, Media Relations Specialist of Rotary International (
  • Coralie van den Berg, General Manager of Rugby Africa (
  • Sue Musunga Chuzu, Marketing and Communications Manager, Africa and Middle East of CNH Industrial (
  • Didier Acouetey, President and Founder of AfricSearch Group (
  • Eddie Mandhry, Director for Africa and Middle East of Yale University (
  • Christina D’Souza, Head Brand and Communications Middle East & Africa at Sodexo (
  • Filipe de Botton, President of the Portuguese Diaspora Council (
  • Florizelle Liser, President and CEO of the Corporate Council on Africa (
  • Ginikanwa Frank-Durugbor, Head, Corporate Communications of Lafarge Africa (
  • Leslie Richer, Director of Information and Communication of the African Union (
  • Giovanni “Gianni” Merlo, President of the International Sports Press Association, AIPS (
  • Itumeleng Matlaila, Head of Marketing and Corporate Affairs – Africa of Puma Energy (
  • Jean Pascal Mvondo, Francophone Africa government and corporate advisory lead of the United Nations Capital Development Fund (
  • Karen Taylor, CEO of Invest Africa (
  • Mathilde Schneider, Head of Group Communications of AFD – Agence Française de Développement (
  • Kate Johns, Head: Africa and International Media Relations of Standard Bank (
  • Kelly Arnold, Managing Director, Sub-Sahara Africa, Retail Intelligence of Nielsen (
  • Sanaa Sayagh, General Manager of Roche Morocco (
  • Leland Rice, CEO of Dedalus Global (
  • Lesiba Sethoga, Head of Marketing and Communications – South Africa of Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) (
  • Lilian Kanyi Mwangi, Marketing and Communications Manager – East, Central and Southern Africa of DHL Africa (
  • Linda Brown, Head of Communications and Advocacy Services, Africa of BASF (
  • Louise Kanyonga, Chief Strategy and Compliance Officer of Rwanda Development Board (
  • Alexander Amosu, Founder of Lux Afrique (
  • Maximilian Jarrett, Africa Programme Manager of the International Energy Agency (
  • Mohamed Rahman Swaray, Minister of Information and Communications of Sierra Leone (
  • Monica Zanette, Migration Mobility Dialogue Senior Coordinator of the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (
  • Mwanja Ng’anjo, Ag. Head of Communications of the African Union Development Agency-NEPAD (AUDA-NEPAD) (
  • Nafissatou Dia, Communication and CSR Director of CFAO (
  • NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber (
  • Olly Cann, Director of Communications of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (
  • Oyinade Adegite, Group Head, Corporate Communication of Guaranty Trust Bank (
  • Paulo Gomes, Co-Founder of New African Capital Partners, former Executive Director of The World Bank (
  • Pierre Havenga, Managing Director MEA of Vertiv Co (
  • Robins Tchale Watchou, CEO of Vivendi Sports (
  • Rose Thuo, Head of Communications and Marketing, Africa of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) (
  • Sarah Utermark, Director of Commercial Partnerships of Opera (
  • Sherry Kennedy, Senior Communications Officer of the African Trade Insurance Agency (
  • Tolu Ogunlesi, Special assistant on Digital and New Media to Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari (
  • Tshepang Motsekuoa, Communications Manager – Africa of AGCO Corporation (
  • Sanjeev Gupta, Executive Director of the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) (
  • Stéphane Rogovsky, Founder and CEO of R-Squared Agency (www.R-Squared.Agency)
  • Tiekie Barnard, CEO and Founder of the Shared Value Africa Initiative (
  • Victor Oladokun, former Director of Communication and External Relations of the African Development Bank Group
  • Walid Loukil, Deputy General Manager of Loukil Group (
  • Yoven Moorooven, CEO of ENGIE Africa (
  • Zemedeneh Negatu, Global Chairman of Fairfax Africa Fund (
  • Nila Yasmin, Winner of the 2020 APO Group African Women in Media Award (
  • Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard, Founder and chairman of APO Group (     

“I want to thank all the judges for devoting their time and energy to the APO Group African Women in Media Award,” said Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard (, Founder and Chairman of APO Group. “I’ve never seen a judging panel of this quality before, and we are honored that every member shares our vision for women empowerment and entrepreneurship. Their passion and enthusiasm has helped make this award the biggest of its kind in Africa.”

The APO Group African Women in Media Award is part of APO Group’s commitment to supporting the development of journalism on the continent. 

The award is open to African female journalists whose stories were broadcast or published between 1st January and 31st October 2020. The stories are judged on content, writing, analysis, creativity, human interest and community impact.

The judges will be asked to select the winning journalist, who will then be announced at the 6th Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum’s (AWIEF) ( Virtual Conference and Awards, hosted from 2-3 December 2020, with the theme ‘Reimagining Business & Rebuilding Better.’  

AWIEF is a prestigious annual event that sees global thought leaders, industry experts, policymakers, academics, development organizations and investors gather to connect, network, share, collaborate and transact in a combined effort to boost Africa’s entrepreneurship ecosystem for women.  


AdFocus Awards 2020 Shortlist Announced

After three juries with four jury sessions the AdFocus Awards 2020 shortlist has been decided. This year the main jury sessions were a hybrid with both a physical sitting simultaneously to a virtual one for those who could not physically attend.

“It felt like we did not miss a beat. On the jurors’ part that required hours of commitment preparing and being present. As jury chair it was exciting to facilitate,” says Tumi Rabanye, AdFocus Awards Chairperson 2020/21.  


This year included a new Award, the Agency Adaptability Award. “This was a pride piece for 2020, that gave us the opportunity to see and highlight those agencies that had made the best of a very difficult climate,” says Rabanye.

“We drew major lessons from judging this particular award and it will be to see the lessons that get taken on from the winning agency,” she adds.

Judging this year was interesting on so many levels. “With the two foremost being the climate within which it took place and the collective wisdom in the room,”  explains Rabanye.

She says that it was remarkable to have such robust engagement from some very reputable names. “The mix of skills and experience really showed.”

Overall, she says, the key outtake is definitely what resilience it takes to make it in the marketing communications industry. “Against all odds the industry continues to show up; that is a commendable feat against the exceptional backdrop of 2020!”



  • Hoorah Digital
  • Rogerwilco
  • Think Creative Africa


  • Duke
  • The Odd Number (Pty) Ltd


  • Joe Public (Pty) Ltd
  • King James
  • M&C Saatchi Abel
  • TBWA Hunt Lascaris JHB


  • Avatar PR
  • Eclipse Communications
  • Edelman
  • Razar Public Relations – a member of the M&C Saatchi Group


  • Levergy
  • Retroactive
  • Triple Eight


  • Joe Public & Chicken Licken
  • M&C Saatchi & Takealot


  • DUKE
  • Joe Public United
  • Triple Eight


  • BCW
  • Dentsu Aegis
  • Triple Eight


  • FCB Joburg
  • Have You Heard
  • Triple Eight


  • Carat
  • The Media Shop
  • Vizeum


  • Dominic Hobbs –  University of Johannesburg (UJ)
  • Jenna Cawood –  Cape Town Creative Centre
  • Jessica Graham –  Red&Yellow

Lifetime Achiever, Industry Leader and Shapeshifter as well as the sought after Agency of the Year will be announced at the event. There is no Independent Media Agency Award this year.

Since their inception in 1990, the FM AdFocus Awards have been the leading platform for individuals and agencies to be recognised not only for their creative marketing skills but for their overall business acumen as well. The awards have grown to become a landmark on the SA marketing and communications landscape by celebrating advertising effectiveness.

The FM AdFocus Awards event will take place late November.

Awards Film

Poppie Nongena Wins Best Picture At International Film Festival

Poppie Nongena has been accepted into various international film festivals this year:

  • Hamburg International Film Festival – in competition 24/09 – 03/10
  • Film by the Sea in Netherlands – in competition 11 Sep 2020 – 20 Sep 2020
  • Moscow intl film fest – Out of competition 1 – 8 October 2020
  • BRICS FF In- Competition Not sure but either simultaneously with the Moscow film fest or just after.
  • B3 Biennale festival (Frankfurt, German) – in competition. October 9 – 18, 2020
  • GRIFF – in competition 25th Sept – 10 October
  • Africa in Motion in UK 30 October – 8th November 2020
  • New Vision International Film Festival Amsterdam, Netherland – in competition – best film nominee 13th and 14th December (award dates)

Poppie Nongena – the feature film based on one of the finest African novel of the twentieth century – tells an inspiring story of courage and tenacity. The movie explores the brutal and tender journey of a single woman caught between two families. Replete with tumultuous twists and turns, Poppie Nongena is heartfelt and personal.

Poppie Nongena, directed by Christiaan Olwagen stars:

  • Clementine Mosimane (Soul City, The Wild, Black Tax)
  • Anna-Mart van der Merwe (Die Storie van Klara Viljee, Kanarie
  • Chris Gxalaba (Long Walk to Freedom, The Crown, ER, Mandela and De Klerk)
  • Rolanda Marais (Trackers, Wolwe Dans in die Skemer, Binnelanders, Out on a Limb)
  • David Minaar (Torings, Fiela se Kind, Nag van die 19de, 7de Laan, Amalia)
  • Lida Botha (Invictus, Susters, Windprint, Pad na jou Hart, Die Boekklub, Hollywood in my Huis, Susters).
  • Nomsa Nene (who played the title role in the international theatre production of Poppie) plays Poppie’s mother in the film.