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The time for Africa is not now - Africa is now

It's the start of a new week and I am actually buzzing. Buzzing not only because of the colourful activities that filled it up with so much life, but because of a reimagined outlook and zeal of being an African at this day and age.
The time for Africa is not now - Africa is now
© Miro Kovacevic via 123RF
What a time to be alive! What a time to be a marketer! Let me explain…

I have often observed that narratives that celebrate and shine the spotlight on Africa and how far it has come are often left for Africa month where we are all singing off the same hymn sheet; but when the hype and euphoria is gone, the patriotism somewhat dies out with it too.

I have as a result decided that as a proud marketing professional and African, I will not only celebrate my vibrant continent in the month of May, but each and every day will be dedicated to this whether it be in my rhetoric, the boardrooms I find myself pitching ideas in and or the many different conversations I have.

You may at this point be asking why this stance?

Well, the past couple of weeks have been filled with so much exciting brand Africa stories that in fact challenge dominant Africa tropes. They have in my opinion renewed the energy around our continent and as it turns out, the rest of the world is starting to take note of this.

Representation is such an important theme and seeing it come to life the way it has recently is very exciting and should challenge us more as marketing practitioners in terms of how we bring this insight into the work we do.

We ought to maximise on this and milk it for what it is worth. For if we don’t, the rest of the world will.

The era of Wakana, Wakanda Forever is here and presents such amazing opportunities for us to think differently and approach brand challenges with solutions that are inspired by not only global trends, but African cultural themes that speak volumes and have the ability to influence the market!

African stories have gone global

Don’t believe me yet? Check this out.

Both individual and consumer brands like Absolut Vodka, Axe, Black Panther, Trevour Stuurman, Black Coffee and Trevor Noah, to mention but a few, who have taken global stages to showcase and tell African stories from a place of lived experiences and understanding of our culture.

This has not only marketed our continent in such an authentic and completely reimagined way. But is also presenting brands with an opportunity to take inspiration from our very own continent and start incorporating it into how we speak to our target market and solve challenges.

Gone on the days where we know we are doing marketing the right way by making reference only to global trends. If you have not seen it, global is fast looking at Africa more and more as a place of innovation.

What this is saying in essence is that we have a gold mine - whether it be in art, music, fashion and dance - and we certainly cannot allow it to be expropriated. We need to own it without fear or hesitation, after all, the time for Africa is not now, in fact, Africa IS now.

Let’s not sleep on ourselves!

About Khangelani Dziba

Khangelani Dziba is a Marketing and Brand Communications enthusiast who has over 7 years of experience in the industry as an Account Director. He enjoys writing about contemporary topics and has contributed significantly to marketing platforms which further saw him being dubbed Bizcommunity's Top 10 Most Read Contributor in 2018 and 2019. He is a Masters Candidate in Brand Leadership at Vega and an African Change Makers Fellow. Follow him across social media platforms using @khangelanidziba.

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