Brand South Africa’s Sithembile Ntombela wins Marketing Leader of the Year Award

Brand South Africa’s Sithembile Ntombela wins Marketing Leader of the Year Award
Sithembile Ntombela

The 2024 Future of Leadership Summit took place on the 16th of May at Wanderer’s Stadium. The Forum, designed to inspire and promote sustainable leadership in South Africa played host to many high-profile captains of industry. Some took the stage with keynote addresses and others joined panels that discussed futurism in all aspects of South African industry.


With the “new normal” transitioning more and more frequently in an incredibly fast-moving world, the forum focuses on creating solutions for future challenges that may affect South Africa’s socio-economic status quo. Moreover, the forum is dedicated to promote pro-active leadership in the country, as South Africa faces a “brain drain” in the form of mass emigration of skilled and academic professionals.


However, many inspiring leaders remain and continue to champion nationwide growth. Sithembile Ntombela, ACEO of Brand South Africa, is just one of those leaders. Winning the Marketing Leader of the Year Award, Ntombela has nurtured Brand South Africa for over a decade, architecting a positive brand image of the country through consistent media campaigns and messaging both locally and abroad.


Brand South Africa has not only been of critical influence in fostering national pride within the country, but also projecting a cohesive and positive image of South Africa to international citizens and stakeholders. Ntombela, having previously headed up the marketing wing of the organisation, has been ACEO for almost 3years – continuing to advocate for South Africa’s multifaceted and unique qualities. It is for this reason that Brand SA has been selected amongst other 10 countries as a benchmark study for successful citizen engagement tool, according to City Nation Place.


Ntombela is a qualified chartered marketer and has been in the industry for over 25 years. She has executed a number of targeted and successful marketing strategies in her time, inspiring authenticity and solidarity amongst her teammates. As the torch-bearer for the nation brand, Ntombela has been instrumental in Brand South Africa’s progressive marketing strategies, leading the way with innovative and impactful messaging.


Ntombela’s commitment to impactful campaigns is what sets her apart from many other industry leaders. She is not just interested in likes and reach, but rather in the social impact aspect where South Africans are celebrated and supported through Brand SA’s Play Your Part programme. How many South Africans benefitted from the work put in? How many people’s lives were changed for the better? For Ntombela, marketing is not just a tick-box, but a tool to uplift, empower and inspire. Marketing can create awareness, change perceptions and provoke positive change – and Ntombela is well aware of its power.


In the context of her award, she is also thinking ahead, because South Africa’s global competitiveness relies on it. Perception can make or break economies, and how we consume media is changing by the day. There is no room for complacency when it comes to Ntombela’s strategic outlook for the future of Brand South Africa. She will continue to lead in her field with confidence, and with the insight and adaptability to take on any challenge that may lie ahead.