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#BehindtheSelfie: Warrick Sherrell and Thabiso Ntuli, creative group heads at VMLY&R

This week I spoke to Warrick Sherrell and Thabiso Ntuli, the creative group heads at VMLY&R. The witty duo lead the creative campaigns on one of VMLY&R's biggest clients, Hollard, alongside executive creative director Ana Rocha.
Ntuli and Sherrell also known as Ad Boys Worldwide. Source: Supplied.
Ntuli and Sherrell also known as Ad Boys Worldwide. Source: Supplied.

What do you enjoy most about your industry?

Sherrell: Bronze Loeries and agency pool tables.

Ntuli: Everyday is different. Seriously, I've made a giant walk the streets of Jozi, directed the Soweto Gospel Choir and started a fledgling hand model career in the space of a year!

What is a typical workday for you?

Sherrell: Sustained internal screaming for eight hours. Just kidding - typically we’ll sit in the morning and catch-up on the PS5 games we’re currently playing. Thabs was struggling with the latest Need for Speed so I gave him some pointers, which seemed to help. Then we do creativity for the rest of the day.

Ntuli: Wake up, promise to do timesheets, talk gaming, sneakers or loadshedding, do the fun stuff, forget to do timesheets.

Describe your career so far.

Sherrell: Sustained internal screaming for 11 years. Just kidding - I’ve had the privilege to work at some of the top agencies with some of the best creatives in the country (currently Thabiso, the guy sitting across from me resizing my copy in the buggy sharepoint), with some incredible opportunities to do great work along the way. There are projects I’m very proud of, and some not so much, but that’s all part of the journey. The not-so-good ones made the good ones even better.

Ntuli: It’s been filled with a lot of amazing people. I am in awe at the talent often found quietly vibing at the desk next to you. The experience hidden behind the tequila grin and the places a simple idea can take you. It’s been a privilege and it honestly feels like I’ve just started my career at times.

What are you currently streaming/reading/listening to?

Sherrell: Listening to a lot of golf podcasts at the moment. I find them interesting because I occasionally play golf.

Ntuli: The long answer would be honestly not much because of load shedding. I recently discovered UPSes so get back to me in a month's time. The short answer would be Yeat.

Who inspires you?

Sherrell: Something about the way Seth Rogan describes his writing process and his relationship with creativity always makes me want to write and be creative.

Ntuli: I’m generally inspired by a f*ck ton of people. Almost comes with the job really. But if I really, really, really, had to give you just one individual I'd probably go with Rick Ruben. He’s the cool uncle who gives you the right bit of advice at the right time and I think that’s all we need at times as creatives. It’s an understated god-tier skill.

What did you want to be when you were a child?

Sherrell: Alan Grant from Jurassic Park.

Ntuli: I actually wanted to study the stars. While kids were reading Harry Potter I was reading ten facts about black holes. Did you know Mars has the tallest mountain in the Solar System?

Give three pieces of advice for young people waiting to enter this industry


  1. Don’t be intimidated by my “sustained internal screaming” jokes. It’s not that bad. (It’s worse) (No for real I’m just joking) (Or am I?)
  2. Make sure you and your first employer are in clear agreement about what your role will be. I learnt that the hard way. DM me for details.
  3. Keep perspective. We’re creatives. Not doctors.


  1. Be yourself. It sounds easy but can be tricky.
  2. Know yourself. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses will help you a long way and help others know why they should keep you around.
  3. Look after yourself. There’s no point to anything that doesn’t bring you joy. You know what’s good for you. Don’t rely on others to fill in the gaps.

What do you enjoy about working together?

Sherrell: I like Thabiso’s brilliant brain and sneaker collection. His individual brain, to be clear. He doesn’t have a collection of brains, as far as I know. Could’ve probably put a comma after brain - a lesson for any future copywriters.

Ntuli: If you haven't noticed by now, Warrick is extremely witty and with that is a sharpness that makes him the pointiest tool in the shed. I don’t know if that's a saying but working with him makes cutting through insights like butter.

Sherrell: Together we’re just a couple of prickly tools cutting butter.

About Karabo Ledwaba

Karabo Ledwaba is a Marketing and Media Editor at Bizcommunity and award-winning journalist. Before joining the publication she worked at Sowetan as a content producer and reporter. She was also responsible for the leadership page at SMag, Sowetan's lifestyle magazine. Contact her at
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