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SA Communications Group Powerhouse Changes Chiefs

After eight years at the helm of Nahana Communications Group, Brett Morris is stepping down as CEO and taking on the role of Executive Creative Chair. Stepping up into the CEO spot is Thabang Skwambane, previously Group MD of the FCB Joburg and Hellocomputer Joburg agencies. Skwambane’s position will be filled by Joey Khuvutlu.

Nahana is a collective of leading specialist agencies that provide creative solutions across the marketing ecosystem. These include FCB Joburg, Hellocomputer Joburg, HelloFCB+, McCann1886, Fuelcontent, Meta Media, The MediaShop, Craft, Lucid and Weber Shandwick.

Morris, who previously headed up creative for the group, will be once again focussing on supporting the Creative Leadership Team as their agencies double down on the creative product, making sure they continue to deliver creativity that is an economic multiplier for their clients.

“I’m incredibly excited to be handing over the reins to Thabang. He has stewarded FCB and Hellocomputer in Johannesburg through some of their biggest accolades and business growth in the agency’s history,” commented Morris.

“Thabang is a very unique leader with a rare and enviable skillset, a fact recognised by Adweek in 2020 when they included him on their Creative 100 Honour Roll which celebrated gifted professionals who inspire current and future generations not only with their work, but with their passion for creativity.

“Thabang’s business acumen has been a huge support to me and the rest of the group and I have no doubt he’ll take Nahana from strength to strength,” he added.

“After seven years almost to the day, it is time for change and I’m honoured and excited to take on this new challenge,” said Skwambane. “The ups and downs have been the most dramatic of my life.

“I can only thank Brett for bringing me into the Nahana family and giving me this opportunity. I fully intend to build on the incredible business he has led for almost a decade and partner my executive team to keep growing our business, our people and ourselves.”

Both Morris and Skwambane are upbeat about the prospect of Khuvutlu taking on extra responsibilities for the group’s fortunes.

“Joey has spent the last five years evolving his crystal-clear understanding of the nexus of communications with the digital and marketing technologies that have ballooned in the global and local communication world,” said Morris. “That’s why I am certain he is the right person to lead the FCB and Hellocomputer Joburg entities as the world, the economies and the communities we live in are in flux. “

Skwambane concurred: “Over the last two years specifically, FCB Joburg and Hellocomputer Joburg created a group with a shared vision and a shared management team. This new look business has come out of the other end of a pandemic, an economic recession and a seismic social shift in the South African market with a collection of world-class skills and solutions.

“Joey has been a part of that process of change from the very beginning. A creative, an entrepreneur and a born leader, during his 18-year career he has found a way to balance all three critical ingredients to run a successful set of creative services businesses. This is the reason why he represents our credo that creativity is an economic multiplier for the brands we manage in an omni-channel world,” Skwambane said.

For his part, Khuvutlu is honoured to lead a talented team of individuals at a time like this in the evolution of its business.

“We’ve weathered a storm that has decimated the marketplace and brought many businesses in our industry to their knees. Now we are in the strongest position we have ever been to bring the New “New” Normal to our client’s businesses, by bringing the consumer and our brands even closer together in a timeless and timely manner. I look forward to getting stuck in and meeting with our clients and partners to map the next chapter.”

The changes at Nahana, FCB Joburg and Hellocomputer Joburg were effective on March 1 this year.