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Industry folks, it's time to make the circle bigger

Make the circle bigger, make the circle bigger Jr (Khangi) that's my...huh uh hey, Jr (Khangi) that's my...huh uh hey Show Dem, Show Dem, Show Dem Jr (Khangi) Show Dem...
© Pavel Losevsky via 123RF.com.

These are the famous JR hit song lyrics ringing in my head as I write this piece. A song that gained prominence after its release in 2010 which really speaks to a subject matter I am really passionate about which speaks to opening up the industry to more millennials and by extension, making the circle bigger.

Open up the industry - more millenials need a chance

We need to have broader conversations around how we can open up the industry to make it more inclusive...

By Khangelani Dziba 3 Oct 2017

Young people are the future

Often the marketing and PR space has been said to be quite niche and only open to a small quota of the population. Of that population, it is still harder to break through to higher ranks as a black person, female and even worse, a young executive.

This has always been a peeve for me so much so that when I started working in the industry I made a promise to climb high up the ladder at an early age as much as possible. Because I strongly believe young people are the future and need to be given opportunities to lead on a grand scale and have more meaningful conversations that will shape and influence decisions taken in the boardrooms.

This is not a question of whether it can happen, it has to.

So, when the coveted Prism Awards announced that it would for the first time, make the circle bigger by opening up the platform for young judges to form part of the panel of judges looking over and judging the entries, I was elated.

Integration and coexisting of two generations of thinkers

For me, this symbolised a step towards integration and coexisting of two generations of thinkers in the effort towards discovering and awarding some of the best works that have been produced in the PR and communications industry.

The process towards being selected to form part of the 11 chosen was not easy but was an opportunity I so dearly saw the need for – I did not shy away. I took it on and was well on my way to becoming the next young judge to form part of the panel.

When I received the communication notifying me that my application had been successful I had been waiting on it not knowing what it would do for me during the process. See, mentorship and imparting of knowledge is crucial towards becoming the best at what you do so this was something I was looking forward to.

The news excited me so much that in the advent of social media, over 11k of my followers knew that I had made it. Typical of the always on and sharing world, right?

What also dawned upon me not so long after that was the realisation that being awarded this prestigious honour meant that I could not let myself and peers down, nor could I disappoint the many people that contributed towards my growth. I had to step up because this was something I truly believe in. Giving opportunities to young and brilliant minds, right?

Striving towards excellence

To say the experience was great would be an understatement. It was amazing! The number of robust conversations and the insights shared proved to me that there is a case to be made for people like myself who have opinions and a voice to be heard and furthermore, influence.

It further reminded me that being a part of something like this imparts a bigger responsibility on us to continue striving towards excellence and putting into practice what we have learnt. The circle, however small it may be, is being made bigger and we need to acknowledge that part at least.

What we cannot do, however, is forget that we are custodians of this mission and making the circle bigger is not only for those before us but for us too who have benefitted from this experience.

Our time as young people is now and we ought to bring more and more and more of what we have to offer.

After all, we did say, make the circle bigger right?
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About Khangelani Dziba

Khangelani Dziba is a Marketing and Brand Communications enthusiast who has over 7 years of experience in the industry. He enjoys writing about contemporary topics and has contributed significantly to marketing platforms which further saw him being dubbed Bizcommunity's Top 10 Most Read Contributor in 2018. He is an African Change Makers Fellow and currently sits as the chairperson of PRISM Young Judges Committee. Follow him across social media platforms using @khangelanidziba.