BY Fast Company 3 MINUTE READ

In a first for SA’s finance industry, Capitec Bank and SABC 3 have launched The Next Brand Ambassador, an Apprentice-style reality TV talent show. Finalists will compete for the once-in-a-lifetime chance to work with Capitec Bank’s marketing team. A series of challenges will test marketing mettle and creativity and, in the end, only one brand ambassador will be named.

Sbusiso Kumalo, Head of Brand Marketing at Capitec, says, “This is a first-of-its-kind talent search in South Africa that positions talent management in a completely new, future-fit way. It’s absolutely aligned to Capitec’s industry-leading approach to talent, which champions empowerment and equality.”

He said Capitec perceives talent management as an evolving ecosystem. “We recognise we need to continuously be assessing the digital-age skills we require to fulfil key roles. That means thinking ahead. It means strong succession planning. It means finding ambassadors who embody our ethics. It means identifying influencers who add real value and who can build connections in a way that opens up a bigger conversation in terms of new-generation methods of finding talent.”

The TV series, which has consistently received over 1-million views since its debut, is now in its fourth week. After weeks of battling it out in regional rounds in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town where skill, teamwork, creativity, and marketing savvy were tested, the Top 12 finalists were revealed and have arrived at their glamorous new home in the Mother City. Six of the contestants hail from Johannesburg, three from Cape Town, and one each from Durban, East London and Port Elizabeth.

Social media, fashion and entertainment icon and series judge, Nandi Madida is thrilled with the selection and is extremely positive about the road ahead. “The Top 12 are a reflection of true excellence that we have in the youth of our country. There’s a reason they’ve made it to the Top 12 and that reason is to take Capitec Bank to the next level. I’m proud of all the contestants who have made it this far and I wish them all the best,” says an upbeat Madida.

The finalists are Sharadel Reddy, Nkanyi ‘Slays’ Wallace, Chace Geyer, Mpho Monareng, and Keitumetse Moepang from Johannesburg. Porschia Kim Pedro, Nasiphi Fazi, and Asandiswa ‘Afiba’ Mhlauli from Cape Town, with Siyamthanda Ndamase representing Durban, Teneal Fredericks hailing from Port Elizabeth, and Zinika Gwele from East London.

“Synthesizing the groundswell of nationwide entries and now the Top 12 has been one of the most intricate parts of our judging process thus far,’’ says judge and branding guru, Sylvester Chauke. “For me, there were a number of factors to consider and two major ones being, could this be our winner and do they share the values and skill we need to see in a Brand Ambassador? The Top 12 have demonstrated that they have what it takes to take on the challenges ahead and fight to win.’’

Echoing Chauke’s words, fellow judge and digital marketing leader, Odette van der Haar comments, “The Top 12 contestants have clearly demonstrated their inherent creativity, teamwork and leadership skills. Each of the contestants excelled in the challenges thus far, they outperformed their fellow contestants by being consistent in the delivery of their tasks week after week. Most importantly, each of the Top 12 have a great attitude, a deep desire to succeed and passion for the business of marketing and branding.”

Hamilton Ngubo, SABC 3 Programming Manager, agrees, saying, “The last four episodes have displayed the exceptional quality of talent South Africa has in the creative industry. As SABC3, we are proud to have provided a platform for this talent to shine. The Next Brand Ambassador judges have worked hard to ensure that only the best of the best and most qualified rise to the top and from episode 5, we hope the viewers are ready. As for the Top 12 contestants who will be battling it out in the next weeks — the stage is yours. Own it!”

The Next Brand Ambassador broadcasts on Thursdays at 19h30 on SABC3 and repeats on Saturday at 14h00.