Shiru Githiomi, MD of Human Element Inc, and one of the three originators of ‘The Lifestyle SA Festival – Celebrating Black' will be writing a regular column for Bizcommunity.com on the so-called ‘Black Diamond' market to aid marketers in engaging with the savvy, market-aware ‘afropolitan consumer'.
Human Element (from left to right: Shiru Githiomi, Zuki Hani and Zuki Mzozoyana
Githiomi, together with her partners Zuki Hani and Zuki Mzozoyana, has been tasked to provide first-hand insights on defining, appealing to and ultimately engaging with the quintessential afropolitan consumer to the 80 000-strong weekly subscriber base of Bizcommunity.com throughout the African marketing community.
Says Githiomi, “While our festival has been created specifically to acknowledge Black South Africa for its contribution to our economy and showcase brands that embrace the idea of placing the relationship to the end consumer at the forefront of their marketing strategy, the partnership with Bizcommunity allows the opportunity to extend the dialogue into an arena where the issue of connecting with and marketing successfully to the black middle class consumer will be dissected at a broader level, ideally changing perceptions and overcoming stereotypes.”
The column's content will be based on the team's own experiences as regular guests at branded social events targeting the cosmopolitan black consumer, and will be written in an informal and conversational style. Githiomi concludes, “By highlighting some of the faux pas that marketers often fall prey to, it is my hope that this column will educate and assist marketers in dispelling the myth that the black middle class consumer market is a difficult one to connect with.”
Commented Bizcommunity editor Louise Marsland, “We are thrilled to have Shiru and her team joining our existing stable of thought leaders and anticipate her delivering the kind of strong, opinionated and thought-provoking content our subscribers look to Bizcommunity to deliver.”
• Lifestyle SA Festival – Celebrating Black: Positioned as an exception to the traditional exhibition model, the Lifestyle SA Festival – Celebrating Black is a three-day experiential-style event debuting in Cape Town at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) on 7 December 2007, followed by the Sandton International Convention Centre on 2 May 2008, and the Durban International Convention Centre on 29 August 2008. Anticipated to provide visitors with an insight into the leader brands, lifestyle trends and issues relevant to the quintessential “afropolitan”, the event represents a sophisticated sensory mix of high fashion, best local comedy, leading afro-fusion music talents, luxurious hospitality lounges, orchestrated networking opportunities and the incorporation of the popular Gugulethu-based Mzoli's Place (where guests can enjoy Tshisa Nyama, and music at a special marquee erected on the grounds of the CTICC). For more on the Festival visit www.lifestylesafestival.co.za.