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Through her journey from a junior designer in a big agency to the founder and managing partner of her very own bespoke full-service agency, Curious & Creative, Zumurrud Rinquest has thrown herself into sharpening a hugely important skill: to find the gap, make a move, and build others up in the process.
Since the start of the pandemic in South Africa, many have been feeling isolated and stressed about the uncertainty of the times we live in. Kirsty Niehaus, the internal brand experience manager for Nando's South Africa, noticed that their employees were feeling the same way.
Photo by Emily Stander
As a result, the ‘This is Us’ campaign was born, and served as a platform for Nando’s employees to let their creativity thrive and have their voices heard. Affectionately called ‘Nandocas’ by the company, Nando’s employees were asked to submit entries to take part in the campaign. The entry from the Brackenhurst Nando’s branch stood out in particular, and from there, the hard work began.
Their prize was to make a music video and record a song in partnership with Flame Studios. The Nandocas each wrote their own part of the song, and Grammy award-winning producer JB Arthur helped them put it all together to ensure they had a final product everybody could be proud of.
“Being an experiential brand, we wanted to give them the full rockstar life experience,” said Niehaus. As such, the Nandocas who participated were treated to five-star hotel living, dining and professional styling services.
Palesa Tshabalala, the general manager for brand experience within the Nando’s SA organisation, was primarily responsible for keeping everybody motivated and inspired. “We really gave them a blank canvas. There was a theme to which we were all working towards, but they crafted and presented the words themselves,” she said. “I think it was a phenomenal achievement for each of those individuals.”
“The lyrics are uplifting altogether, but here and there is a call for unity,” said Tshabalala. “The pandemic has been a very humbling moment for all of us, and these Nandocas remind us of that in their lyrics.”
Nando’s hosted a launch to premiere the music video on Thursday, 13 May at Flame Studios at Constitution Hill.
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