The inaugural Advertising Week Africa (AWAfrica) is poised to be the continent’s largest and most significant gathering of marketing, media and technology leaders. The long-anticipated event will take place from February 15 to 18, at Vodacom World, in Midrand. 

 AWAfrica’s founding mission is to scale Africa’s cultural influence, talent and solutions in order to inspire the world through the African story of entrepreneurship, innovation, inspiration and positive disruption.

Global entertainer, entrepreneur and HartBeat founder Kevin Hart will be a keynote speaker at a session to discuss his next-generation media company and share his vision and principles for building purpose-driven brands that breakthrough with storytelling harnessing humour and heart. 

Boasting more than 2,000 industry peers, 100 speakers and in excess of 25 engaging sessions, AWAfrica Week will be launched today, 15 February, by the AWAfrica Future is Female Awards ceremony taking place at the Four Seasons Westcliff Hotel, in Johannesburg. 

The AWAfrica Future is Female Awards are an inclusive set of accolades that have been honouring exceptional women in the advertising, marketing and communication sectors for four years. They have no age limits, pay homage to women of all creeds, backgrounds and varied lived experiences who are igniting change and cultivating the future of their chosen industry. 

The first-ever ‘Future is Female’ Awards Gala in Africa will be presented by Olwethu Leshabane, the CEO of Art of SuperWoman. One of the gala’s keynote speakers will be Lorna Scott – Founder of Inverroche Gin.  She will be joined by Thai Randolph – CEO of HartBeat; Ruth Mortimer – Global President of Advertising Week; and Queen Nnaniki  Malesa – Representaive from the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture

 “When a woman is empowered, she in turn empowers her family and larger community and this model has been proven to be effective across multiple industries. For Inverroche, it is a natural fit to present the AWAfrica Future is Female awards, as Inverroche is not only about empowering women, but by extension the communities women hail from. Several of the brand’s employees have risen through the ranks and are now in leadership roles, thanks to their tenacity and unwavering dedication.

 “Andrea Francis is one of Inverroche’s success stories, as she started off as a part-time employee, then she impressed so much that she was promoted to Brand Consultant. Her journey did not end there, as she showed a keen interest in the gin-making process, followed by her being appointed as an Assistant Distiller. Today, she is our Master Distiller. There are many such examples within the Inverroche business,” adds Scott.

Inverroche, the pioneer of handcrafted luxury gin brands, will be presenting the AWAfrica Future is Female awards winner with an all-expenses paid trip to its distillery in Stillbaai, Western Cape. The prize is valued at R30 000.

On 16 February, Scott will be one of the featured speakers, imparting her knowledge and experience with the outstanding women being honoured. She will be participating during the thought leadership session themed: ‘Things I wish I knew’, where leading women give their genuine, real-life experiences that include failures, frustrations and satisfaction of breaking through the odds. 

Nthabiseng Motsoeneng – Marketing Director at Pernod Ricard for Southern Africa – will form an integral part of not only the AWAfrica Future is Female awards, as well as the thought leadership session, on 16 February. The revered thought leader will be speaking about ‘African culture = Pop Culture, The African currency’.

Other renowned industry giants will discuss the below topics

How women’s leadership intersects with other elements of identity

–       Women’s leadership and purpose

–       Challenges such as access to electricity and health, as well as patriarchy

–       What effective mentoring looks like for the next generation of female leaders

–       The role of men in supporting female leadership

–       What leadership looks like to you 

For more information on Inverroche and Advertising Week Africa, log on to these social media platforms:

Instagram: Inverroche Twitter: @Inverroche and Facebook: Inverroche  

Instagram: advertisingweek Twitter: @advertisingweek Facebook: advertisingweek

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