The Top 12 National finalists of SABC3’s reality show The Next Brand Ambassador were revealed in last night’s episode, putting an end to speculation as to which of the regional contestants would make the cut.
After weeks of battling it out in regional rounds in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town testing skill, teamwork, creativity, and marketing savvy, the finalists 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. These twelve finalists are of the country’s top young aspiring marketers, and the stage is set for three of them to work with Capitec’s marketing team and become The Next Brand Ambassador.
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.
In a unique twist, wildcard finalist, Cebo Mpanza from Johannesburg, was chosen by the judges after much deliberation. The decision was based on the fact that they felt that he showed more promise than some of the shortlisted regional finalists.
“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 out performed 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.”
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 our country amongst our youth. There’s a reason why 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. A huge congratulations to them all! This is it!”, says an upbeat Madida.
Head of Brand Marketing at Capitec, Sbusiso Kumalo, is equally optimistic, saying: “Using a reality show as an intensive search platform to find three people that work with our marketing teams, is an example of our ‘out of the box’ thinking. I’m impressed by the caliber of finalist that the judges have chosen and support their decision to include Cebo Mpanza as the wildcard.”
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.
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