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Laureate Senzo Xulu joins Conversation Lab

Award-winning Senzo Xulu has joined Conversation Lab as Executive Creative Director, responsible for the agency’s creative output across all staff hubs in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and London.

Provided. Award-winning Creative Director Senzo Xulu has joined Conversation LAB as Executive Creative Director

His career has been rewarded from the start. From the most awarded publicity student in the country (2010) to preselection in Cannes with his physical education agency (2012).

Between two artistic director activities, he completed his master’s degree and was then accepted to study at the Rhode Island School of Design (2017).

While guiding the first black female winners from the Eastern Cape to a Loerie student (2019), getting Nelson Mandela University into the top 10 Loeries rankings (2019-2020) and being able to create employment opportunities for the talent he taught and mentored. over the years.

BizcommunityAfter graduating from Vega in 2010, although courted by big agencies, you chose to work in a small agency in the Eastern Cape when you started your career. Why?

The truth is that my move to the Eastern Cape was not so much a career change as a personal change. It’s just the place the Lord had put in my heart to go after I graduated from Vega. Fittingly, there was an agency in PE looking for an art director at the time, so it all worked out.

BizcommunityBy joining Conversation Lab, you say, “Joining a team that is so focused and enthusiastic about the intersection of creation and technology is a huge plus for me.” What’s so important about this intersection and what excites you?

It’s no secret that over the past 15 years our industry has been shaped by the advent of technology and the digitalization of the way we produce creative work.

But the tension between tech-driven creative and creative-driven tech has been a bit difficult to navigate – remember the well-publicized mergers of South Africa’s biggest digital agencies with traditional ATLs.

So, watching both the rise and maturation of this trend locally and abroad, I have truly become a fan of the work that characterizes how creativity and technology can intersect in a way that preserves the integrity on both sides.

That’s why I look forward to creating a culture here that masters the balance between cutting edge and essentials, but with creativity always at its heart.

BizcommunityYou also worked as head of graphic design at Nelson Mandela University, leading to some of the best young talent in the Eastern Cape to regularly win local and international awards. How do you perceive the young talents of the country? What needs to be done to ensure a good flow of young talent? Will we be in good hands in the next 10 to 20 years?

You only have to spend 10 minutes on Black Twitter to see that young South Africans are some of the most naturally creative people on the planet.

Thanks to this, we have a growing generation that can instinctively interpret and translate what they see around them into creative and relatable content (memes, for example).

In my view, this means that the job of higher education should be simply to help students understand how they can repeatedly identify and implement the ways in which their creativity can occur (the process), and then to what to use it (the purpose).

I think we need to be much more intentional about what we teach this next generation as well as who should be teaching.

The industry will move forward because we are resilient and resourceful, but I don’t think that’s 100% sustainable. For example, what is an art director in isiZulu or isiPedi? Until we can tackle this stuff, we further reduce the relevance of what we do, and therefore its scope of influence.

BizcommunityWhat excites you most about this role? What do you want to accomplish in this role?

The fact that I join the team aligns with the shift of the agency to assert its place in the industry. My goal is to justify this movement.

BizcommunityWhat do you love most about your career, the industry and what you do?

Without a doubt, the most rewarding part of my journey so far has been the opportunity to prepare and create space for other young creatives.

Bringing kids who, when I met them, didn’t even know what an art director or copywriter was, seeing them work and earn at the best agencies in the country is by far the reward I treasure the most.

When we nurture talent in a particular way, it’s not just that they’ll do a better job – which is absolutely essential as we live in an age where brands can be either darlings or divisive based on the quality of work that we produce as an industry.

But there’s also the ripple effect that creative opportunities have on their families and communities, beyond the stellar careers they build for themselves, which is a bigger picture that I’m still working towards.

BizcommunityWhat was your hardest moment/moment in your career

Many times over the years (including in the beginning) I had to be firm in my beliefs to build my career the way I wanted, which resulted in me turning down offers (even last week lol), not working on certain brands and prioritizing those who seem talentless.

BizcommunityWho do you look up to or consider a mentor in your life?

Professionally, but they both know it so at least I’m not completely a fangirl: Xolisa Dyeshana and Ahmed Tilly.

Fourteen years ago, as a student, I admired them, but over time – because I rushed to get their numbers – I had the privilege of knowing them personally thanks to their advice and their incredible support on WhatsApp and in the homes of the awards ceremonies.

I’ve always believed there’s a difference between creative excellence and creative leadership, and these are two of the people in our industry who exemplify both remarkably.

Thanks also to my current doctor, Uyanda Manana. She was a major part of bringing me to Conversation Lab because she has an unparalleled vision for the agency, and I have immense respect and confidence in her strong track record in the industry and the type of leadership that it embodies.

Personally, Jesus Christ is the center of who I am and everything I do and the very reason why a random child from a township in Inanda Durban, who went to work for an agency on the outskirts of Cape Town oriental, is interviewed as the executive creative director of a soon to be big name in the advertising industry.

Laureate Senzo Xulu joins Conversation Lab

Source link Laureate Senzo Xulu joins Conversation Lab

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