Brand Marketing. Adventurer

Based: Johannesburg

Global African branding and reputation architect, advisor and author.

Thebe Ikalafeng is arguably the foremost global African brand and reputation architect, advisor and author. Named one of the 100 Most Influential Africans by New African Magazine, he summitted the 5895m high Mount Kilimanjaro with a team led by the Nelson Mandela Foundation on Nelson Mandela’s birthday (18 July 2015) and has been to over 60 countries across Africa and the world. He is the founder of the award-winning pan-African brand and reputation advisory firm, Brand Leadership Group, and has worked on over 100 diverse brands across Africa gaining an incomparable perspective and experience on building brands and reputations in Africa, including 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, the Africa Green Revolution Forum in Tanzania, Ethiopia and Zambia, and several successful political branding and campaigns for, among others, the late Presidents Atta Mills and John Mahama of Ghana in 2008 and 2012 respectively and the Congo Brazzaville Referendum in 2015.

A respected and influential leader, Ikalafeng is non-executive director of Mercantile Bank Holdings (a subsidiary of Caixa CGD, the Portuguese state-owned banking corporation and the second largest bank in Portugal), the JSE listed Car Track Holdings (operating in 20 countries in Africa, Europe Asia and the USA), Brand South Africa, WWF South Africa (WorldWideFund for Nature), deputy chairman of South African Tourism, and chairman of Brand Finance Africa. He is a member of the Henley Africa Business School and IC Publications (publisher of African Business, New African and African Banker) advisory boards. He is Founder & Chairman of the Brand Africa and Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands. He has served on all notable industry bodies and judged most major awards locally and globally, including a 5-year tenure as chairman of the prestigious Loeries Awards in South Africa and a jury member of the global design award, Red Dot, in Germany.

Ikalafeng is widely recognized and respected in Africa and the world. He has addressed diverse audiences in most of the leading African and global capitals and has been featured in global and Africa media such as CNN, BBC, CNBC Africa, FT, African Business and New African.

Born in South 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 and is a qualified Chartered Marketer (SA). He writes, speaks and advices on branding, reputation and related matters about Africa.