#BehindtheSelfie with... Grant Sithole

This week we go behind the selfie with Grant Sithole, chief creative officer at Avatar agency.
Sithole captions this: "-11’ in Chicago. Oh, the places you’ll go in this game."

1. Where do you live, work and play?

I live in Paulshof, work in Melrose and Cape Town, and play pretty much anywhere the mood takes me. Like anywhere!

2. What’s your claim to fame?

I’ve made an ad campaign or three, won some awards here and there, and I lay claim to giving a certain tequila drinking song its fame. Those who know, know.

3. Describe your career so far.

It’s been a rollercoaster I can only describe as a dope education. Education in work, people, ethics, love, tolerance, intolerance, privilege, preference, et al.

Avatar appoints Grant Sithole as new chief creative officer

Grant Sithole has now taken on the full creative direction of Avatar Johannesburg and Cape Town as chief creative officer...

30 Jul 2018

In my 16 years in the game, I’ve only worked at four agencies and have learned so much. I’m at a point where the learning takes on a new guise every day and that’s exciting AF.

4. Tell us a few of your favourite things.

Writing, football and I’m trying very hard to make healthy eating one of my favourite things. Ya, neh…

5. What do you love about your industry?

To quote one Patrice Evra, ‘I love This Game’. I’m particularly excited by how it’s literally changing by the day. I just hope some of the basics don’t get lost in this inherent obsession with the newness.

6. Describe your average workday, if such a thing exists.

My workday starts at 9am with a hangout and long chat with the operations team, so I know what my life looks like that day.

Then I have a hangout with the creative leads on all the projects in the system. These are great fun, because they can go one of two ways. They sometimes turn into brainstorms. But you never know!

Then the client meetings normally start, until the afternoon. Somewhere in between I make time to have a meal or three. If it’s a day when I can drive to Solly’s Corner in Fordsburg for lunch then I grab that opportunity with both hands.

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Old Stomping Ground For Real.

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But those are few and far between.

I try to finish my day off around 6pm, so I can play a game of five-a-side football. Those too, are few and far between.

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Second Location

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7. What are the tools of your trade?

My tools are an A3 pad and a pencil. I find the computer distracting so I only go to it minimally or absolutely last in the creative process.

8. Who is getting it right in your industry?

Yoh! I think we have all taken a step into trial-and-error again, and that’s a good thing. We take turns at making great calls and carefully crafted guesses that don’t always work out how we’d hoped.

9. List a few pain points the industry can improve on.

I’m never going to tire of talking about transformation.

10. What are you working on right now?

So many projects I’m excited about.

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Another creative outlet. Another happy place.

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I can’t give too many details as yet about most of them, but let’s just say I stay champing at the bit, every day.

11. Tell us some of the buzzwords floating around in your industry at the moment, and some of the catchphrases you utter yourself.


But the undisputed catchphrase/conversation has to be:
Bru: ‘Are you guys busy, huh?’
Bra: ‘Ya bru. You guys?’
Bru: ‘Ya bra, that’s a good problem to have, hey.’
Bra: ‘Ya hey.’
Bru: ‘You guys pitching?’
Bra: ‘Ya.’
Bru: ‘Anyway, let’s have a drink soon.’
Bra: “Ya, maybe at Ad of the Month!’

12. Where and when do you have your best ideas?

Honestly, while I wash the dishes. Oh, and when someone gives me ample time to produce them.

13. What’s your secret talent/party trick?

There are one or two...

14. Are you a technophobe or a technophile?

I ain’t afraid of no ghosts!

15. What would we find if we scrolled through your phone?

Like the pictures? Who does that?

16. What advice would you give to newbies hoping to crack into the industry?

Be patient with yourself. Trust your dopeness. There are a few jaded people, stay away from them. Keep working.

Simple as that. Follow Sithole on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, as well as Avatar on Twitter.

*Interviewed by Leigh Andrews.
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About Leigh Andrews

Leigh Andrews (@leigh_andrews) is Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at Bizcommunity.com, with a passion for issues of diversity, inclusion and equality. She's also on the Women in Marketing: Africa advisory panel, was an #Inspiring50 2018 nominee, and can be reached at ...