Creative solutions agency Machine_ adds fresh creative blood to their growing Cape Town team as they welcome industry mover and shaker Jabulani Sigege. Sigege will take over from PJ Eales as executive creative director as of 1 November. After almost seven years at the agency, Eales moves onto a new challenge at fintech start-up Ozow.
With more than 16 years of hands-on experience, Sigege comes well equipped to lead the Machine_ creative team. Having held the creative reigns at some of South Africa’s most successful and recognised agencies, including M&C Saatchi Abel, Hero and Wunderman Thompson, Sigege has helped shape and grow homegrown and international brands alike. Big names like Nando’s, Capitec, Takealot.com, Old Mutual, Yardley London and Heineken are just a few of the brands on his impressive list. And his work hasn’t gone unnoticed, Sigege has multiple award accolades under his belt, including Cannes, One Show, Loeries, Bookmarks and Pendorings.
“For years I’ve watched as Machine_ created and led with smart, head turning work that made consumers and clients pay attention,” explains Sigege, “and it’s this and more that attracted me to this admirable agency who have not only been able to deliver exceptional work but also still managed to retain their identity and culture. I can’t wait to lead the agency into its next creative chapter, working with this talented team to develop rich and meaningful work.”
Despite the onset of the pandemic and the many curve balls it has thrown at the advertising industry, Machine_ has had a tremendous 18 months, growing both their client base and employee compliment with great success.
“While navigating the uncertain waters ushered in by Covid-19, we rose to the challenge in true Machine_ fashion, developing an award-winning piece of proprietary storytelling technology called StoryStackr and refined our strategic offering,” says Machine_ managing director Robyn Campbell. “And I truly believe our business couldn’t be better placed for fresh creative leadership right now. We can’t wait to supercharge our product with the help of Jabu’s proven track record of creative excellence, his notable collaborative approach and a unique creative perspective to boot!”
Over the last nine years Machine_ has successfully grown and nurtured a strong culture, and Sigege’s ethos aligns perfectly with that of the agency. It’s his strong sense of entrepreneurial spirit and his dedication to fostering an inclusive and prosperous work culture that sealed the deal for the Machine_ team.
“I believe that culture is the cornerstone of creativity,” says Sigege, “and culture really isn’t culture until it shows up in the work. But in order to really make magical, memorable and effective work, you need to put something of yourself into it, be it your soul, creativity or love. And I’m excited to say that I see these personal, human and relatable actions in the Machine_ team and the work they produce – and I couldn’t be more ready to further harness this power into more work that truly has and adds value.”
Something else that drew Sigege to the role is Machine_’s The Forge initiative, a project that actively aims to unearth and nurture advertising talent at a grassroots level. By providing mentorship and a bursary (in partnership with the likes of Red & Yellow School of Creative Business, Umuzi and BlackBoard), Machine_ is committed to bringing positive and productive change to an industry that so badly needs it.
“The Forge is just the beginning for us,” concludes Campbell, “transformation is something that underpins almost every decision we make for our business and now with the injection of new blood, courtesy of Jabu, we can’t wait to help usher in a new future for the SA ad industry which holds inclusivity and talent development as the cornerstone to success.”