Thulo began his career as a copywriter in the 2000s. He joined Ogilvy in 2009, eventually rising to become executive creative director. Over the years he produced some of South Africa’s and Ogilvy’s most awarded work – for KFC, Lucozade, Coca-Cola, DStv, AB InBev, Philips and the Nelson Mandela Foundation, among many others.
He made it to the top of the global ad industry, winning multiple Cannes Grands Prix awards. It is therefore a fitting tribute that the Loeries has renamed its Radio Grand Prix in his name from this year forward, alongside the formation of the bursary programme.
The bursary is a long-term programme designed to discover and support the next generation of industry creative talent. The focus will be on unearthing writers from a similar background to Thulo, who grew up in rural Free State, where opportunities were few and far between.
“We are hoping that Mo’s spirit will inspire a new generation of writers across the advertising industry. He was a magical and nurturing soul. Mo emerged from very humble beginnings to become a force in the industry, winning numerous awards along the way,” says Angela Madlala, chief people officer, Ogilvy South Africa.
The bursary is unusual in that, whilst it will fund the studies of a variety of new talent, it looks to have a special focus on discovering local writers, a talent that is traditionally more difficult and scarcer to find relative to other creative talents who are recruited from design and marketing colleges.
Another factor that makes The Ogilvy Molefi Thulo Bursary Fund unique is that it will serve the industry, and not be exclusive to Ogilvy. Any successful applicants will be free to join any agency they choose, post their study completion.
The annual bursary will fund up to 10 creatives studying at a variety of levels, including one-, two-, and three-year courses. A comprehensive package of funding – from education fees to travel, educational materials and computers will be offered to the bursary winners.
“The existing Loeries Creative Future Scholarship programme has been underway since 2009 and funded tertiary studies of 19 students into the industry. The additional 10 bursaries funded from Ogilvy in 2022, as a tribute to Mo, will significantly improve the impact that we can jointly have in the industry,” says Preetesh Sewraj, CEO of The Loeries.
This new programme adds to Ogilvy’s existing investments in helping drive diversity and inclusivity in the industry, alongside other innovative programmes such as the annual 12-month immersive o25 Graduate programme – which has produced 119 alumni since 2016: o25.ogilvy.co.za/
The application process for The Ogilvy Molefi Thulo Bursary Fund will be published on The Loeries site (www.loeries.com).