Building Great African Brands &
Global Brands in Africa

Thebe Ikalafeng, Founder and Group CEO

Focus General Management and Strategy
Industry Experience 20 Years
Qualifications BSc. MBA. CM(SA). Post -graduate executive education at Wits Business School and Harvard Business School.

Thebe Ikalafeng is arguably the foremost global African branding and reputation architect, advisor and author.

A respected brand and reputation authority, he has been named one of the ‘100 Most Influential Africans’ by New African Magazine. He has been to over 50 countries across Africa and the world and worked on over 100 brands, gaining an incomparable perspective and experience on building brands and reputations in Africa.

During a distinguished corporate career that started at Colgate Palmolive in New York and culminated at NIKE as group marketing director for Africa, he led NIKE to the #1 brand across Africa, grew the business over 450% and earned over 75 local and global awards, including 10 Cannes Lions and IMM "Marketing Company of the Year" Roll of Honour.

Since establishing Brand Leadership in 2002, he has led over 100 brands across all spheres, including places, institutions, products and political brands such as Brand Ghana and Brand South Africa, Transnet in South Africa, University of South Africa and University of Botswana, Zanaco Bank in Zambia, Mail&Guardian Africa in Kenya, Africa Green Revolution Forum in Tanzania and Ethiopia, and the successful political branding campaigns for Presidents Atta Mills and John Mahama of Ghana in 2008 and 2012 respectively.

Ikalafeng is a non-executive director of Mercantile Bank Holdings, Brand South Africa, WWF South Africa (WorldWideFund for Nature), South African Tourism, and chairman of Brand Finance Africa, a division of Brand Finance plc. He has served on all notable industry bodies. He is the Founder & Chairman of the Brand Africa and Public Sector Excellence initiatives. He is the founder of the Brand Africa 100: The Most Valuable Brands in Africa.

He has been recognised as one of the “Top 10 Thinkers in Marketing” in an Ipsos survey among business decision makers in Southern Africa and one of the “Top 10 Africans to follow on Twitter” by How We Made It In Africa, and earned a Marquette University/American Marketing Association "Award for Marketing Excellence."

Ikalafeng is the port of call for all branding and reputation related matters in Africa, and has been featured in global and African media such as CNN, BBC, CNBC Africa, African Business and New African.

Experience Under his leadership, Brand Leadership has worked on over 100 brands across the private sector, public sector and political branding across Africa and has been recognized as "Marketing Services Agency of the Year" by Fin Week (South Africa) and with several global awards for Effective Brand Transformations by REBRAND 100 (USA).

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