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Manufacturing Indaba 2018

[NewsMaker] Evans Manyonga

There's a new editor in town to take note of as he'll be heading up one of the most important business magazines in the world here in South Africa the launch of Fast Company South Africa with its first issue due out in October.
Evans Manyonga has a BA in film and media and a BPhil in media from Cape Town and Stellenbosch universities. His media experience encompasses marketing, production and business journalism, including at Cape Media and Leadership magazine.

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Fast Company was launched in the United States in November 1995 by two former Harvard Business Review editors. This year it won Magazine of The Year at the National Magazine Awards in May in the US. Robbie Stammers, whose company Insights Publishing is launching the mag in SA, will be the publishing editor of the title.

Manyonga describes Fast Company South Africa as more than just another title or brand. "My key mission is to entrench Fast Company SA not only as another title or brand in South Africa but rather as a movement that pushes across the spectrum of business, technology, creative input and output and accommodates a new, younger breed of innovative and creative thought leaders who are actively inventing the future of business."

His core editorial strategy is to maintain the ethos of the publication at which innovation and creativity are at the heart.

"I believe in winners and the Fast Company brand is a winner. Not only in terms of the print publication, but also in terms of the digital platform and the events side of the brand. Numbers don't lie and a circulation of 800,000 with a readership of over 3 million is definitely the definition of a winner. That's why I not only believe in the Fast Company brand, but also highly respect it," Manyonga told

He still believes there is a future for quality print media "You have a publication like Fast Company having a circulation of 800,000 in a society where internet accessibility is probably at its highest in the world (USA).

"The argument is not about print, digital or even mobile. The argument is about quality content being available on multiple platforms. If it's worth paying for people will pay for it. As far as I am concerned, print is going to be around for a long time. It's our responsibility as content providers to make sure print does not operate in isolation - it should work well with the digital platforms. People should have a choice, but nothing beats the feeling of actually holding a physical copy."

About Evans Manyonga

Evans Manyonga is the Editor of Fast Company South Africa. He started out studying law at UCT, but switched to media, achieving a BA film and media and BPhil Honours in Journalism and Multimedia. He is currently in the final year of a Masters degree at UCT in Corporate and Political communication. He has worked across the various publishing and media disciplines, from editorial assistant, marketing, production, up to business journalist, business development editor, content manager, working for Cape Media's Leadership magazine and as Editor of Achiever Magazine.

Q: What is at the top of your to do list?
Making sure Fast Company SA is ahead of schedule and all stakeholders are on the same page as the Fast Company SA team.

Q: What is your main business challenge?
The main challenge is now making sure the new South African version (of Fast Company) sticks to the formula that has made the publication so successful internationally, while remaining relevant to the local audience. This fine balance will be the challenge from both a business and editorial perspective.

Q: Most important attribute needed to do your job?
The ability to learn and unlearn. Our media world is fast paced so it's very important to be adaptable. What is relevant today might not be relevant tomorrow so you have to make sure you are not caught up in a stubborn traditional cycle. You have to adapt or else you risk being irrelevant.

Q: Who would your ideal interview subject be?
At the moment, Elon Musk. The recent developments at Tesla have been interesting to say the least. Plus he is South African so that would just really spice it up.

Q: The biggest trend to note in business today?
I think the emergence of a new type of business leader with unconventional leadership values. We have moved away from the typical blue chip, suited up business leader. We are in the era of results driven business trends as opposed to orthodox suit types.

Q: How do you intend to make an impact?
Through providing a product that is hard to ignore or rather impossible to ignore because of its undisputed quality content.

Q: What inspires you?
The creative process inspires me. The final product provides the satisfaction of completion but the creative process itself keeps the juices running.

Q: Tell us something about yourself not generally known?
I initially studied law at UCT and that was probably the most boring year of my life. I walked out of a lecture on a Friday afternoon and decided to concentrate on media and life has been so eventful ever since that day!

Q: What do you do for fun?
I also studied film so I love going to the cinema. The aesthetic elements of filmmaking appeal to me, especially on the big screen.

Q: At the top of my 'bucket list' is...
Probably a visit to England, the city of Manchester, to watch my favourite team Manchester United play football live at their home stadium, Old Trafford.

*Disclosure: Louise Marsland will also be writing for Fast Company South Africa.

About Louise Marsland

Louise Marsland is currently Africa Editor:; a Content Strategist and Trainer; and Trend Curator for and her own She has been writing about the media, marketing and advertising communications industry in South Africa for over 20 years, notably, as the previous Editor of Media & Marketing; Editor-in-Chief AdVantage magazine; Editor Marketing Mix magazine; Editor Progressive Retailing magazine; Editor Business Brief magazine and Editor FMCG Files ezine.
Seriane Morapeli
Look forward to picking up a copy. The brains behind creative business ideas will finally be made known and hopefully inspire us the readers. Hopeful about the price as well
Posted on 30 Aug 2014 14:22
Colin Morris
Fast Company should be able to shake up the corporate SA culture (too HR based) not only in print but hopefully in the 'live 'training area too..... Looking forward to holding edition1... Colin Morris -Creative Pitch Doctor for Africa
Posted on 19 Sep 2014 13:15
Colin Morris
Fasts acid test will be seeing SA stories that go on to make the US editions!.... as against other way round. Here's to seeing lots and lots of original and cool content. Here's to Edition 1!..... Colin Morris -Creative Pitch Doctor for Africa
Posted on 19 Sep 2014 13:20
Colin Morris
Does anyone know if the SA Fast Company will also have a digital edition...?
Posted on 20 Sep 2014 11:41