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Cry our beloved SMEs…It’s time we play our part!

Lukhanyo Bushwana, Strategist at The MediaShop

In recent months there has been a lot of talk about our deteriorating economy and calls for President Ramaphosa to come up with strategies and policies to rectify the situation we are in.

Government has identified SMEs as one of the crucial sectors that can drive our economy and create jobs for our people. However, with less than 1% of our R42 billion in adspend going to black owned agencies, SMEs in SA continue to struggle. The marketing and advertising industry needs to be doing more.

The vast majority of SMEs in SA don’t survive beyond three years. These are some of the challenges they face every day:

To help SMEs deal with these challenges government, together with a number of big corporates including Vodacom, Sasol, Nedbank, Absa and Distell to name a few have formed a R1 billion SMEs Fund. The objective is to support SMEs financially and to equip them with the necessary skills to help them grow, develop mentorship programmes and provide them with access to markets and technology.

The Competition Amendment Bill aims to boost small and medium companies and open the economy to new investments and innovation, which has recently been signed into law by the President.

 Now let’s bring it home!

The Nielsen 2018 Adex survey indicates that out of the total advertising spend in South Africa, which is sitting at ±R42bn, less than 1% is spent with black-owned agencies (SMEs).

This is a clear indication that there is a lack of transformation in the marketing and advertising industry and why the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) had to formally introduce the Marketing Advertising and Communication Charter (MAC Charter) in a bid to get the industry to transform. Some of the big brands in SA are leading this transformation by partnering with both big and small agencies to ensure that their budgets and marketing efforts are shared equally.

As channel strategists, planners and buyers, we have a big role to play because we deal directly with a large number of SME’s that are our media partners and owners. So how can an individual or a business play their part in supporting SMEs in our industry?

As brands and media agencies, let’s include them in our briefs and lucrative proposals, offer guidance where necessary as some of them are new to our industry, but consider and include them in client campaign budgets, lend an ear and listen to what they have to offer.

Remember, we as individuals and as corporates have as much of a role to play in the future of our country as the

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The MediaShop dominates MOST Awards!

 

For the seventh time in the past ten years, The MediaShop Johannesburg has taken top honours at the annual MOST Awards. This year, The MediaShop Johannesburg was crowned Full Service Media Agency of the Year and overall Media Agency of the Year.

 “It is always humbling to be recognized by your industry peers and stakeholders. 2019 continues to be a spectacular year for us with all the evolution we are going through as an agency,” says Kgaugelo Maphai, Managing Director of The MediaShop Johannesburg. “I am immensely grateful to our management, staff and media owner partners who continue to support our journey towards a more diverse, inclusive, insights driven, pioneering agency.”

The MOST Awards celebrate excellence in the media industry and encourages healthy competition, and as a result, better service delivery. The annual highlight on the media industry’s networking calendar, the awards celebrates the sector’s best of the best in terms of service delivery, knowledge and innovation, but this year in particular offered an opportunity to reflect on the successes, challenges and changes in the media industry as revealed by MOST’s research survey, presented by Freshly Ground Insights Global.

“I’d like to make a special mention to The MediaShop Cape Town for taking second spot in both Media Agency of the Year and Specialist Media Agency of the Year and to our eight month old sister agency, Meta Media,  for making a remarkable entrance into the MOST Awards, taking a third overall in both these categories. We are all very proud members of the Park Advertising family!”

For more on The MediaShop visit www.mediashop.co.za, like them on Facebook: The MediaShop, follow them on Twitter @MediaShopZA or LinkedIn.

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Reaching the base of the pyramid consumer

Lorraine Gwewera, Digital Strategist at The MediaShop

Two years ago I was exposed to a course that completely blew my mind but also spoke to my heart. It was entitled “Innovating Business at the Base” and was coupled with the book “New Markets, New Mindsets”. It was quite eye opening content and exciting for me, both as a marketer and a consumer in a third world country where socioeconomic factors are dominant when it comes to addressable marketing.

The most exciting consumer segment is the base-of-the-pyramid consumer, mainly because that’s where the majority of South Africa’s population lies. This segment proves to be a challenge for most brands because they have to be highly relevant, speak to a specific need and find innovative ways to grab the attention of this consumer. Brands accomplish this with the right product tapped into the correct mind-set, needs and trust relationships of low income earners.

The growth of brands lies in this untapped market which has a lot of potential. Credit Suisse wrote that global inequality is one of the biggest threats to worldwide growth. Can brands afford to cater only to the needs of the wealthy and middle class when the bulk of the population in developing economies resides in the lower income space? Of course not.

The revenue from the base of the pyramid market is far less a victim of fluctuating economic cycles and can actually be a stable revenue base during economic downturns, which is essentially what we need in the current economic climate that South Africa and Africa as a whole is experiencing.

Innovating business at the base allows organisations to offer new technologies, operating methods, and management approaches which increase productivity, gain efficiency and expand markets by serving new needs. We need more brands that take the time to know what the base of the pyramid consumer needs – what their expectations and aspirations are.

Brands need to know what this segment’s reason for being is and tailor their products accordingly. Base of the pyramid consumers are predominantly located in townships and rural areas which are infrastructurally marginalised, and coupled with limited disposable income, gives rise to the need for reverse innovation, consumer centric design and frugal engineering which are critical in this space. Collaboration, partnerships and social and business networks are key for social embeddedness which is vital in these markets.

MNC’s, social entrepreneurs and governments have undertaken a shift in thinking in order to cater for this consumer. We applaud brands that have paid attention to this segment and created products that speak to their needs like Nestlé, Nedbank, McCain, Unilever and Danone, to name a few, have done. Danone’s yoghurt is filling and does not require refrigeration, providing the brand with an opportunity to penetrate this consumer segment with a nutritious dairy product that’s affordable and is cognisant of the realities that this segment faces such as no refrigeration, electricity and the need for a filling food product.

From a media perspective we have several solutions that help us communicate with the BOP consumer while minimising wastage. African Language Stations (ALS) and community radio stations such as JoziFM help us reach this consumer effectively. TV also plays a vital role through the use of free to air channels such as SABC1 and 2, Openview HD, eTV, community TV like Soweto TV and DSTV access which is the more affordable package on the direct broadcast satellite service packages.

Out of Home media offers commuter media, taxi branding, taxi TV, rank TV and rank radio which makes this consumer segment very accessible. Digital media makes things more exciting considering we are a mobile first continent. The provision of placements such as Facebook Lite, sponsored calls, sponsored SMS, Please Call Me’s in text and video, sponsored WIFI, Opera Mini and zero rated services such as Freebasics by Facebook to name a few certainly help the cause.

So just when you thought we were faced with an impossible challenge to reach bottom of the pyramid consumers, you find that we actually have the capability and the means, we just need to be strategic about tapping into this market that can make a massive difference to a brand’s bottom line.

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Awakening the Slowveld

Prince Ndlovu, Media Strategist at The MediaShop

As a media strategist, typically when receiving a brief you’ll see focus areas defined as Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. Next is a proposed budget you can work with which allows the creative media juices to start flowing on what platforms to use, like for example, which OOH sites, which regional station has the highest reach within your target market, what channels, shows and packages on Pay TV can we focus on. The list of available media is endless when the area you’re focusing on is metropolitan, with bigger populations that have easier access to brands.

But what happens when the brief delves into the Lowveld areas such as Nelspruit, White River, Lydenburg, Baberton and Hazyview? That’s when media gets really interesting. How do you target an area with a small population that lives a very subtle lifestyle but still believes in the spirit of Ubuntu? Recently, I was tasked to do a three-month campaign for one of my clients in the Nelspruit region. It was a pilot campaign to see if the product would generate interest in a small suburban area with a low budget.

After the research, the team and I proposed utilising OOH platforms like street poles and Citilites, combined with digital. After three months, we sat down with the clients and looked at its performance. But to put it mildly, the campaign didn’t even take off the runway. However, the client (and us) believed in the product and decided to give it another try.

We started looking more closely at the Nelspruit area and how the residents behaved in certain situations. We started noting the following key points, common in a lot of small towns:

 The Spirit of Ubuntu

As an 80’s baby, we grew up with the saying, “it takes a village to raise a child”. This is still common in areas like the Lowveld and other small towns in and around South Africa. Everyone knows and respects one other and word of mouth goes a long way as a form of credibility and reference.

 Local events

Local events such as music concerts, school sports and community gatherings bring people together. Everyone shows up for each other and supports their own. If a brand wants to be part of these events however, it needs to provide the community with value that also empowers the area.

 Influencers

Word gets around quickly in a small community. Using the right influential individual/s in these communities goes a long way in assisting a brand to reach the right people at the right time.

 Local media platforms

People in small towns are loyal to their media platforms. They use these to guide them on what’s happening in and around their areas as these platforms are very involved in the communities they represent. A brand should always find a way to integrate themselves into these platforms so that they can be seen as part of the community.

While there is always a place for traditional media when communicating to the “Out-of-Towners”, it’s important to realise that every local community has its own intricacies, loves, fears and the manner in which they operate on a daily basis. It’s using these local insights that make for a much better experience which in turn becomes an excellent communication strategy.

Now we’re cooking!

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Digital advertising is changing and so should our tactics

Yvette Gengan, Digital Media Manager at The MediaShop

One of the things that digital marketers have in common is growth hacking (not the start-up kind, the growth kind). We spend our days constantly trying to improve strategies, channels, buying methods etc. to affect growth for our clients.

But it has become increasingly challenging to break through the noise within the digital media landscape as more and more brands jump on the advertising bandwagon (as they rightfully should). More brands advertising means more content, more messages, more products and services screaming for your consumer’s attention. I find myself often thinking about the consumer as a singular rather than a plural to help me properly determine if my campaigns are actually going to make an impact.

What I mean is, when you think of one person seeing your ad as opposed to millions, it becomes more personal and more purposeful. I want to do and say the right thing to ensure I get the attention of that person and make a lasting impact.

We see this happening daily in advertising – brands are no longer telling us what we like, but rather ads are engaging with us on a more personal level every day – and we prefer it! Brands are craving feedback to better themselves and their products/services. As digital marketers (all marketers in fact), we have acknowledged that it is time to move away from ‘lazy’ advertising and advocate for more compelling ads. Consumers are not buying the act anymore and it’s reflecting in campaign performances. Consumers want to be enticed, intrigued and entertained by ads, or they won’t be influenced by it. Brands that are getting this right, are essentially winning this race.

What we’re also seeing is the shift from brands using social media mainly for bottom of the funnel objectives, like conversions and leads to more intentional brand awareness campaigns. I’m not saying that social media isn’t good for conversions, it is. But just because we can serve a lead to a consumer we have not engaged with first, does not mean we should – or shouldn’t anymore. Is it smart marketing to be blinded only by hard metrics over foundation metrics that drive long-term brand growth? Do we let our clients dictate what our strategies should look like? As agencies, we need to put together robust media strategies that combined with exceptional creative gives our clients the best shot at influencing their consumer in the right environment.

We should always be working on our target audience; who we’re speaking to, when and how. Facebook and Instagram are great for finding potential clients/customers with features like lookalike audiences, especially for bottom of the funnel campaigns. But are we using them in the right campaigns? Are lookalike audiences still as valuable as they were before? Or has the constant flooding of ads to a consumer resulted in low performance?

I believe in the potential of lookalike audiences when used with the right message against the right objective, and when it is based on a verified source. So perhaps we should only use existing consumers/clients to create lookalikes when finding new customers for accuracy? And even if we are, are we testing and optimizing to get better performing campaigns?

We can no longer be promoting content just for the sake of it and targeting people from our own biases. Brands that are only seeing digital media as a means to an end are competing with brands who are implementing targeted campaigns that drive affinity, that measure engagement as a KPI (because they see the value) and who will convert consumers with compelling creative after properly identifying them through tactical remarketing.

Every campaign or strategy we plan boils down to objective. As marketers, we should be able to define correct objectives and strategies that can realistically meet these objectives. Whether you’re running a campaign focused on reach or conversions, they are both equally important and part of a bigger picture. We need to move away from being fixated on action type campaigns only and see the relevance of generating real brand affinity among our audience. Look at trends like influencer marketing and moves like Instagram removing like counts as indicators of where our strategies should be going. Let’s acknowledge that we are one of many brands speaking to the same consumer and that we need to ensure that when we’re seen we are also remembered. If marketers can achieve strong brand recall, it is one part of the challenge overcome.

Let us be intentional with our marketing strategies and adaptable with our creative and message, and let this set a strong foundation for our campaigns.

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The MediaShop Johannesburg appoints Claire Herman

With two decades of media and advertising experience under her belt, Claire Herman has been appointed Media Operations Lead for The MediaShop’s Johannesburg office.

“Most of my career has been spent within Media Agencies with a three-year stint in Media Research conducting studies that prove advertising effectiveness and ROI,” she says. “I am very passionate about the media landscape and developing media strategies that are based on solid consumer insights. I believe that creativity, innovation and digital integration are crucial to any communications strategy.

I have also been involved in helping to develop and grow the strategic skills within the agencies that I have worked and have a passion for training and mentoring young media talent. I’m excited to be joining the dynamic and pioneering team at The MediaShop and look forward to further growing my skills with the team.”

Kgaugelo Maphai, Managing Director for The MediaShop Johannesburg says that he and the Group are thrilled to have Claire on board. “Claire has worked across a multitude of clients and categories and has the research, analytical and business skills that we believe will elevate our business even further.”

As Media Operations Lead, part of her duties will include working closely with Kgaugelo to drive efficiencies and standardisation within The MediaShop’s processes and systems, including automation, quality assurance and talent development.

Join The MediaShop on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn or visit www.themediashop.co.za

We’ve come a long way but advertising has a long way to go

 Belinda Kayton, Media Strategist at The MediaShop

My daughter looked horrified. As she rushed towards me I could see she was really freaked out. She was doing some research for a history essay she was writing about racism in entertainment and education, and she had found something that she could not believe was actually used as an educational tool.

It was a counting book used in American education in the 1920’s and 1930’s called ”The Ten Little Niggers”! Her research had brought to light some unbelieve racism that was deemed perfectly acceptable at the time. The ‘black face’ in entertainment is right up there with the worst of the examples

This got me thinking about racism, sexism and other dangerous stereotyping in advertising. Let me be clear, there is a big difference between unacceptable bigotry such as these examples, and controversial advertising.

When I think of the best examples of controversial advertising, I immediately think of the Nando’s library of ads. These are controversial but also spectacular at opening up conversations that wouldn’t normally be frowned upon because this brand produces ads that say what many of us are thinking. Their latest “You People” is a brilliant example. They are controversial, but not bigoted.

We are all aware of a recent H&M ad that caused physical destruction of some of their stores. There were two camps of opinions – one ranting that people were over sensitive and that it was blown out of proportion, and then there were those in the second camp that were extremely offended and wanted retribution. Who was right and who was wrong?

“Offensive advertisements can be defined as any kind of communication that disrespects certain accepted norms of society, or offends someone. Marketers these days spend extra time to ensure not to offend anyone with their campaigns”. I suppose it can be argued that this makes for some very boring advertising, but I firmly believe that ads can be both clever and exciting without being truly offensive.

Before we look at brands doing it right, there are some unbelievably blatant racist and sexist ads that beggars belief. I mean, I can’t believe that these ads were actually approved and flighted.

I just kept finding more and more examples……..

Are these ads controversial? Offensive? Both?

I’m sure that there are many who remember the outcry when the Joko/Hangar TV ad first aired. The ad was made and produced with pure intentions, but it created such controversy. Was the dignity of hard working black South African women being compromised in this ad?

Even charities can get it horribly wrong. The charity Feed A Child created an ad that was enormously racially controversial. It shows a black child being petted and fed treats like a pet dog, by a rich white woman. The message was supposed be that the average dog eats better than millions of children – but boy, was that a terrible execution of the idea!!

But we have come a long way and some brands are getting it right by challenging stereotypes that have stood for generations. For instance, Johnny Walker is breaking gender stereotypes.

Typically housewife territory brands like OMO are shredding other stereotypes.

Brands are also taking note of all religions and aren’t afraid to embrace this in their marketing.

Even cities are placing ads that are confronting racism.

While LÓreal is embracing all races and celebrating our differences.

In conclusion, I’ve been horrified by what in the past has been seen as acceptable advertising, but I’ve also seen brands that are getting it right as well. There’s still work to be done, but embracing each other’s differences whilst seeing what brings us together, is the key to advertising to all, in the future.

Sources:

https://www.thestar.com/news/city_hall/2016/11/08/city-of-toronto-funded-ads-confront-anti-black-racism.html

https://businesstech.co.za/news/business/286670/6-of-the-biggest-advertising-blunders-in-recent-history-including-one-from-south-africa/

https://advergize.com/advertising/15-vintage-offensive-advertisements/

https://albertonrecord.co.za/156708/5-controversial-local-ads-racist/

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Exploring Limpopo and discovering insights

Chipo Mujuru, Digital Media Strategist at The MediaShop

I recently had the remarkable privilege of travelling to the province of Limpopo to explore the nooks and crannies of this region beyond its popular tourist spots. I had heard a lot about the region’s villages and organic fresh produce, the pride of the Venda people and of course the popular Kruger National Park. I had so many expectations of clean air, vast lands of greenery, thatched round huts and a wealth of culture / tradition. But what I found was entrepreneurship and development.

With my bags packed, sunglasses and hat on; I snuggled into the back seat of the 12-seater minibus. My imagination was running wild – what will I see and learn and how I will feel? On the other hand, I was also quite eager and hopeful to make a meaningful impact in the lives of the people I was going to meet. Bottom line is this was an immersion, a work outing, and I had to come back with insights! The drive started on a major high with the other seven ladies I was travelling with also extremely excited. It was a beautiful Mandela-Winter’s Day and we were going to experience summer for two days in the sunny region of Limpopo – hello Girl’s Road Trip!

The drive was long and as soon as we made it into the outskirts of Limpopo, we immediately felt the temperature change and we started peeling off our layers. Looking out into the beautiful landscape, all I could see was vast spans of farming land, mountains and terrain. So far so good – exactly what I expected, but no round thatch huts (surprised emoji) – I had to remind myself that we were still in the outskirts and they were yet to come.

Much to my continued surprise, during the entire trip I didn’t see many of these huts. The greater region was buzzing with property development – bricks and cement is all I could see. After refuelling our tank and tummies in Polokwane, we got back on the bus and delved deeper into the province going into Elim then proceeding to Thohoyandou, where we camped for the night. Our exploratory antenna’s rose early the next day to continue in our pursuit of more knowledge – heading into the heart of Thohoyondou first. We then departed to Giyani but nothing could dampen our spirits because we were inspired by everything and everyone we saw. From Giyani we headed back to Polokwane which was to be our last highlight before heading back to the buzzling streets of Jozi.

From my personal standpoint, I have completely misconceived Limpopo. I had commonly known it for its beautiful bushveld and wildlife reserves (kinda like how most people outside Africa think we cohabit with wildlife). Embarrassing I know, but I was one of those people (giggle emoji). People born in Limpopo have taken pride in the growth of their region and have a strong entrepreneurial spirit. They will go out to neighbouring towns seeking jobs or business but they always bring their wealth and knowledge back home. The adage ‘home is where the heart is’ is fully illustrated here.

Evident in the non-existent thatch dwellings (although they call their home towns villages), real estate is rife and boasting self-upliftment. With the region’s productive fertile soil citizens have managed to feed themselves and their major cities through their farming prowess. We witnessed a lot of uplifted families, massive real-estate in homes and business centres, communities that are striving and pursuing the same lifestyle trends “we” only thought belonged in Sandton. This is not say there is no poverty, but the scales are definitely shifting – wealth in Limpopo is not just money in the bank; it is culture, land, livestock and the art of small businesses.

Development was a definite surprise but I have to say that one thing that didn’t disappoint was the amazing friendliness and respectfulness of the people. They were very welcoming to our team, we were constantly greeted with a lot of smiles, not sure what it was about us but it was pretty obvious that the locals could see we were not from around there. I guess we stuck out like sore thumbs because none of us could speak the local languages (language barrier is a real thing yoh!).

The pride the locals have in their culture and dialect is so incredible. Nightlife in Limpopo on the other hand is not the hive of activity and dress up like it is in Johannesburg but dining and takeout takes up a lot of the free-time option. Their malls boast of “leg-room” (so much space in bathrooms☺) and aren’t cluttered with in-mall advertising, which to a marketer’s eye is actually an eye-sore LOL. I could go on into the intricacies of the alarming differences and discoveries but that would require another article ☺.

I would not have wished for a better immersion, it was definitely the most eye opening and enjoyable learning experience I have gained in a while. My expectations were overly met and as much as I love the buzzing sound of the big city and its lights – I would love to retire in such a calm and humming “village”.

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Fortune Favours Brave(r) Brands

Arisha Saroop, Business Unit Manager The MediaShop Durban

At our recent Media Landscape session entitled ‘Content that Works’ which delved into brands creating more engaging and relevant content from most of what consumers are subjected to daily, a particular example of a how a brand proudly stood up for representation made me sit up and reaffirm some brand affinities held close to my chest.

Coca Cola Brazil recently took the homophobic idiom ‘Essa Coca e Fanta’ which literally translates to ‘That Coke is a Fanta’, and turned it into an empowering campaign, filling cans of Coke with Fanta Orange. It was relevant, engaging, inclusive and purely organic – and it delivered one billion media impressions with zero media spend, turning one hurtful slur into a slogan of Pride.

Brave right? With so many conservative groups lobbying against the LGBTQ community only a big brand can be this brave; big enough to not injure their market share or upset their loyal conservative’s right?

Well no not really, with Gay Pride month just passed it seems that more and more brands, big and small, are jumping onto the Rainbow bandwagon to render support and connect with those that back the crusade. They’re doing so by creating themed campaigns and merchandise and donating proceeds from sales to LGBTQ associations. Global examples of brands such as Magnum, Nike, DKNY, Uber and Tiffany & Co demonstrate that brands from different genres can easily adapt to changing environments.

Even social media platforms are becoming more inclusive. Instagram has added new rings for users that use a Pride hashtag in their stories, Facebook has Pride themed rainbow frames and filters and Snapchat tasked creators to design Pride themed landmarks like the Flatiron building in New York.

Brands are seeing the impact of embracing this revolution as they grow loyalty and increase return of investment by reaching out to one of the fasting growing markets that has a global buying power of almost $1 Trillion.

In October 2017, a LGBTQ Ad Format Effectiveness study was released completed in conjunction with Nielsen and a social media company that surveyed 800 LGBTQ participants. The study basically reconnoitred the efficacy of themed advertising to this market by comparing the effectiveness of inclusive marketing campaigns vs generic advertising from the same brands.

Granted this study was executed off a small sample, but the learnings are massive. Two crucial fundamentals are evident as tweeted by the co-founder and president of Hornet.com: “Buyer intent was 40% higher and willingness to recommend was 66% higher”.

Globally we are seeing a change in advertising, and back home brands are slowly gearing themselves up for the LGBTQ market. Examples include the Unheard Voices radio and digital campaign (2018), Chicken Licken’s “Dad I am …” (2019) and the very extra Harold courtesy of Netflorist.

Unfortunately fear, ignorance and stigma are still the main contributors to brands not being fully inclusive, but in a country as diverse as ours, representation of our rainbow nation should come easy…right?

Here’s a brand challenge for our marketers – be brave, be inclusive, be representative – fortune favours It.

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Don’t be so hard on yourself, South Africa

Gareth Grant, Business Unit Manager at The MediaShop

We as South Africans can be pretty tough on ourselves. Just look how fickle we can be when it comes to supporting our beloved national sports teams. How dare the Springboks or Proteas lose a match? The same can be said for many other areas in which we can get rather passionate and heated about. We are exceptionally hard on ourselves, and often without merit.

I was fortunate enough to have travelled abroad in April and again in June, to what we down this end of the continent and the rest of the world would refer to as a first world country. Well yes, I guess that is the true definition, however, in many aspects South Africa is streets ahead!

In April, my wife and I drove about 3 500kms around Germany, a first world country smaller than the Northern Cape. Yes, Germany would fit into the Northern Cape with a bit of space left around the edges. It is a beautiful country, however, the more we drove, the more I got to think how beautiful, yet underrated South Africa is. We have beautiful mountains, even higher than the beloved German Zugspitze. We have beautiful rivers and amazing wildlife, possibly some of the best in the world. Our road network is far superior, even to that of the under rated Autobahn in my opinion. With this said, why are we still so negative about the amazing country which we call home? Why do we slate ourselves so much?

I recall one experience when I was making a purchase, and I kid you not, the person behind the counter whipped out one of those old credit card machines in which you would lay down the card, put a piece of paper over it and then push and pull that handle over the card. I think I last saw one of those when I was an eight year old kid and my mom was doing grocery shopping.

In that moment I recall turning to my wife and saying, “did you just see that?” It dawned on me just how far ahead we are in so many aspects to that of the rest of the world – something we don’t seem to celebrate or to get.

Take our banking infrastructure as an example. Look at the likes of our online, money transfer and app functionality, in most cases these far better than anywhere else in the world. The likes of DStv and the channels and programming that they provide, is phenomenal in comparison to what I have experienced globally. Then, let’s not forget as people how diverse we are, yet again, another plus that we have to any other nation out there. There are some exceptional entrepreneurs, inventors and businessmen that have been born in our beautiful country. Look at the likes of Patrice Motsepe and Elon Musk. I want to encourage you to read the blog post that Louise Hefer wrote last month: https://www.mediashop.co.za/blog/digital/item/302-fostering-diversity-of-thought

As Louise points out, diversity is also a massive strength of ours as a country, but one that we don’t always seem to take advantage of and use in our favour. Why is that? Have we become programmed to have a negative outlook? I would love our media houses to focus on the positive stories, the good that we as a country have to offer, as opposed to always focusing on the negative. After all, we have a lot to celebrate.

As we make our way into the second half of 2019, let us as a collective make the most of what lies ahead. Let’s focus on all the positive aspects in order to make a meaningful difference.

It is only in this that we as a country will realise our true potential, and move forward to greater things that we as a nation can deliver on. Come on South Africa, let’s back one another!

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