Trevor Ndhlovu was promoted to MD of Black River FC less than a year after joining the agency, having played an important part to date in the acquisition of new clients.
He joined the agency in October last year as client service director and client lead on Mazda and led the pitch team on OLX.
“I consider myself a brand storyteller, a thought leader, a creative and corporate entrepreneur. Having been trained in media and entertainment business management, I have a varied cross-disciplinary background. My new role at BRFC will see these skills being brought to the fore on a daily basis. My focus, in addition to motivating a team of talented, creative people is going to be delivering work that not only sets our clients apart from their competitors but also increasing their brand awareness in new target markets.”
His hope is to build an agency that will reward and recognise people at their level of performance and not years of experience, contrary to what he has experienced working in ad agencies. “We seem to reward people for the years they’ve spent solving problems and not how quickly they can solve those problems.”
Ndhlovu says he strongly believes in Black River FC and its legacy. “The agency has a rich history and I’m fortunate to be a part of that.” And he looks forward to driving the vision for Black River FC 2.0…
Tell us about your new role and what it entails.
It’s mostly about driving the vision for Black River FC 2.0 – that includes building a company where people can strive, walking the journey with our current clients and growing the agency’s client portfolio. Personally, I’ve tasked myself with an ambitious and audacious goal. I would like to redefine and disrupt our business sector.
What’s at the top of your to-do list in your new position?
People, people and people. If you get the culture right and get everyone along on the ‘next journey’ bus, then half of the job is done.
What excites you most about the agency and where it’s going?
I think the young energy excites me.
As companies we shouldn’t hire based on where we are but rather based on where you are going as a company.
I have a group of young people with an amazing amount of talent and drive. I can confidently say that each and every one of them will make a dent in this universe, and my role, my sole purpose is to build an environment that will help them achieve their greatest potential.
Comment on the current state of advertising and what its future looks like to you.
I’m concerned about the growing number of talented people leaving the sector to pursue their real passion or creativity, meaning advertising is no longer viewed as a creative outlet. That’s where things are going; we are losing people at a rapid rate.
The advertising business is going through changes but people are resistant to the change because they are benefiting from the status quo.
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Creative reviews; I dig creative reviews. Hearing an idea for the first time and imagining the possibilities.
What did it take to get to where you are today?
We don’t talk publicly about this as leaders but the truth is God has blessed me beyond measure, not as a result of my own actions but because of His grace.
In addition to that I’m present in every situation whether good or bad; I’m always learning from everything and everyone around me.
For example, the younger me, was a more egotistic individual and people met my ego before my skill, but I’ve learned from that and today, I know when it’s my ego speaking and I’m able to manage that part of my weakness.
What are you currently reading / watching / listening to for work?
The Courage to Be Disliked: The Japanese Phenomenon That Shows You How to Change Your Life and Achieve Real Happiness by Ichiro Kishimi, Exponential Organisations by Salim Ismail and Build Your Vision from the Ground Up by T.D. Jakes.
Tell us something about yourself not generally known.
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