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Thebe Ikalafeng

Thebe Ikalafeng is arguably the foremost global African branding
authority. In a distinguished corporate career which started at Colgate
Palmolive in New York and concluded as chief marketing officer for NIKE for
Africa, he won over 75 awards in branding and marketing communication

He is the founder of the award-winning Brand Leadership Group
and has worked on over 100 corporate, nation and political brands
across Africa. Brand Leadership has been recognized by Fin Week Magazine
as “Marketing Services Agency of the Year” in 2008 and was inducted into
the Rebrand Hall of Fame for Excellence in Branding in 2015. A fellow of
the Institute of Directors, he is a non-executive director at South African
Tourism, Mercantile Bank Group, Cartrack Group and WWF South Africa.
He has held directorships in the public and private sector, including Brand
South Africa, Foodcorp and Nike.

He has been recognized by New African
Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential Africans. He founded Brand
Africa, an inter-generational movement to create a positive image of
Africa, celebrate its diversity and drive its competitiveness and Brand
Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands, the only pan-African research and
ranking of brands in Africa, to promote excellence in building brands in
Africa. He is widely quoted and consulted globally as the pre-eminent
authority on brands and branding in Africa. He has judged awards on
design, branding and leadership globally, including the Red Dot awards in
Germany and St. Gallen Symposium ‘Wings of Excellence’ in Switzerland.
He served as the inaugural vice-chairman of the Brand Council of Southern
Africa and as the first African chairman of the Loeries, the premier
advertising awards in Africa.

Ikalafeng holds BSc and MBA degrees from
Marquette University in the USA, completed executive education at Wits
Business School in South Africa and Harvard Business School in the US, and
is a Chartered Marketer (SA). He has summited Mount Kilimanjaro in
Tanzania, the highest mountain in Africa and Mount Elbrus in Russia, the
highest mountain in Europe. An avid traveller he has been to over 100
countries globally. An Afro optimist and passionate champion of African
tourism, trade and ‘Made in Africa’ Excellence, he has been to every
country in Africa. He writes, speaks and consults on Africa-focused
branding, leadership and related matters.
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