Play Your Part

Monday, November 17, 2014

By Brand South Africa – Chief Marketing Officer, Wendy Tlou

The Play Your Part campaign is a call to every South African to do what they do excellently and with diligence in order to help the country move closer to being a brand that attracts investment, according to Wendy Tlou, Chief Marketing Officer at Brand South Africa. Tlou has the job of marketing South Africa to a global community - and selling the country to its own people.

“Every person needs to realise that the little they do can add value. The guy who fills potholes is just as important as the CEO of a conglomerate.”

The Play your Part campaign was created to stimulate South African society from the ground up to fulfil their individual potential, in all they do.

“We need measurable and actionable plans that have a visible impact, and make South Africa globally competitive.”

In other words, according to Tlou, Brand South Africa also wants to reconcile the National Development Plan (NDP) as an ideological document and with a clear simple roadmap for implementation that can be driven at grassroots level.

“The NDP is not some far-fetched, theoretical concept. It is happening right now. We want to demystify it as a theoretical concept. The road works you see every day is the NDP at work.”  The NDP is a crystalisation of the vision of South Africa as a globally competitive nation.

She said the notion of competitiveness is key to attracting investment such as tourism and without this, the dream of creating jobs cannot happen.

Encouraging foreign direct investment – with a view to achieving the national developmental agenda - is the main objective of forging a strong nation brand.  This will have a direct impact on the levels of inequality in our country which are a source of many social ills.

The youth and their aspirations is a key constituency in Brand South Africa’s Play Your Part programme.  Tlou believes the South African youth pre-1994 owned a ‘cause’- the notion of freedom and play your part can be a powerful mobilising force for active citizenship and nation building post-1994.  Play Your Part can be cause that our young people, and indeed all other citizens can own.

As we look towards the annual 16 Days of Nonviolence Against Women and Children, play your part becomes a practical response to the scourge of gender based violence in our country. 

Tlou feels passionately about eradicating gender based violence saying, “A country such as South Africa that has been such a moral beacon and model of progressive thinking cannot, 20 years after democracy, be facing a situation where at least one in five women are victims of gender based violence.”

“In addition, the cost of such a phenomenon to our country is not merely a philosophical one.  According to a KPMG report - Too Costly to Ignore – the Economic Impact of Gender-Based Violence in South Africa - released in September this year, gender-based violence (GBV) costs the South African economy between R28.4-billion to R42.2-billion a year.”

“With such a reputational and financial risk attached to the consequences of gender based violence, we need to ask how each of us can play our part to eradicate gender based violence in our country.  We need to ask ourselves how we can play our part to contribute to a safer more equitable country for the women and children of our country?” concluded Tlou.

As an experienced communications strategist who headed up the implementation of the Nelson Mandela bank notes, Tlou is passionate about South Africa.

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