Havas JHB creative director rises as custodian of young creative talent


Tumi Sethebe has recently been appointed as creative director for Havas Johannesburg, he seeks to change the status quo in Africa’s advertising industry.

Disturbed by how the industry functions with regards to it conventional processes, this dynamic advertising professional looks to pay it forward to those who lack the skills, but have the talent. Although important, he feels that education shouldn’t be a limiting factor when it comes advancing ones career path.

“For an industry that’s supposed to be out of the box, the processes are highly rigid and one dimensional. In order to tell authentic stories that are creatively brilliant, an authentic approach needs to be taken, and sometimes that requires bringing in the guy that sells airtime at the traffic lights to a brainstorm,’ he says.

Sethebe goes on to say he feels that the industry is not reflective of modern South African society for a couple of reasons, one of which is legacy.

“There’s a great opportunity for us as an industry to create a space for would-be creatives, who are previously disadvantaged, to come into this space not for philanthropy but because I believe they have a lot to add. The great thing about the youth of today is that the say what they think, they aren’t jaded and therefore they can change the status quo while creating amazing work. They are the ones who will keep advertising relevant,’ concludes Sethebe.

Sharing Sethebe’s sentiments is CEO of Havas Southern Africa, Lynn Madeley.

“If we don’t invest in people, we simply won’t have an industry. We’re excited to have Tumi on board and look forward to his game-changing approach to the industry,’ says Madeley.

Sethebe’s list of awards include four Loeries, three Pendorings, one Cannes and one London International Award.

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Cera-Jane Catton is a writer and journalist with years of experience in community newspapers, blogging and freelance journalism. She has worked in a cache of capacities, often finding herself behind or in front of the cameras, intentionally and less so. She has been a stunt double in two Bollywood movies, has worked in various capacities on a number of natural history documentaries, and other international productions shot in South Africa. Cera is a former Screen Africa journalist.


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