Khensani Nobanda, 2021 Loeries Marketing Leadership and Innovation Award winner
Introduced in 2007, the Award recognises individual excellence in brand communication over an extended period. The Loeries Committee selected Nobanda from a shortlist of high-flying marketers who demonstrated individual and brand success, both in the market and at the Loeries over the past few years.
A delighted Nobanda reflects on an aspiration fulfilled: “I remember sitting at the 2007 Loeries watching Fred Withers win the award for his work at Exclusive Books and thinking: ‘I want to win this award one day.’ When Preetesh Sewraj, Loeries CEO told me, I could not process it. It is no small thing. I have dreamt of winning it for so long that my response was a dazed: 'Sorry, whaaat?’ Since I could not tell anyone, I sat down alone at a restaurant to reflect on how fortunate I have been.”
A child of Africa, Nobanda’s father is a native of Soweto, in Johannesburg, and was part of Umkhonto weSizwe, the armed wing of the African National Congress, during the struggle against apartheid. Her mother is half Swazi and half Portuguese, and Nobanda herself grew up in Swaziland, Mozambique, Zambia and Ghana, but is simultaneously a proud South African.
She became Nedbank’s executive head of Group Marketing in September 2017 and was promoted to her current role (and the Nedbank Group Exco) in May 2018. Her career of more than twenty years in brand communication saw her starting out as an assistant brand manager at Unilever, where she eventually rose to head up the Skin Category in Africa, the Middle East and Turkey. Then followed leadership and executive roles in Diageo, South African Breweries and Vodacom, before joining Nedbank.
She attributes part of her success, in the last few years, to mentorship from past and current bosses who have moulded her into an impactful marketing leader, to her marketing team at Nedbank as well as her current agency, Joe Public. She also reflects on the value of Nedbank’s foresight of not seeing marketing as an “indecent proposal”.
“Khensani is a brave marketer who deeply understands the impact of creative excellence,” says Loeries CEO, Preetesh Sewraj, “She is a deserving recipient of the 15th Loeries Marketing Leadership and Innovation Award and her record of creative leadership will undoubtedly inspire another generation of brave marketers.”
Nobanda believes that marketers have the ability to understand consumer behaviours. “We know how to influence those behaviours. Accountants can tell you the numbers, but ultimately a large part of the growth of the bank is down to how the marketing team tells the story of our brand and its offerings and how this impacts consumers choices”.
The winners of Loeries 2021 are being announced during Loeries Creative Week, taking place from 20 to 23 October 2021. Further information and event ticket details can be found at Loeries.com.
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