Behind the Selfie Profile South Africa

Search jobs

#BehindtheSelfie with Sibongile 'Sbosh' Mbuzwana, client partner at BrandTruth DTGL

This week, we go behind the selfie with Sibongile 'Sbosh' Mbuzwana, client partner at BrandTruth DTGL.
Sbosh doing what she loved best - smiling!
Sbosh doing what she loved best - smiling!

1. Where do you work, live and play?

After staying in Soweto for almost 10 years, I sold my house and moved to Roodepoort.

Although I loved the bustle of Soweto and comfort of knowing that my neighbours have always had an eye out for me on my property, circumstances made me move out of Elokshin – the neighbourhood is very quiet, and offers a host of places where I can entertain my children.

Plus, it’s about 30 minutes away from Magaliesburg - basically out of Johannesburg. As an original resident of Cape Town, I just love being outdoors and at one with nature. So anywhere near the ocean, mountains and in nature is my playground.
My journey to work in Bryanston allows me to bond with my two girls, as I drop them off at school. This time also allows me to think about all the actions I need to prioritise for the day and to reach out to family and friends on the phone - just to say good morning and connect.
2. What’s your claim to fame?
My cousin is the person who got me into the marketing game. She was working as an MC for a roadshow while I had taken a gap year, to think about which career I wanted to pursue.

She informed me that a company was looking for an MC for a national roadshow and I landed the job. One of the organisations’ directors attended a roadshow, saw and liked me, flew me to Johannesburg and gave me a job as a receptionist at an experiential agency.

I expressed an interest to grow within the company, which soon catapulted my journey from reception to operations to client service. I left the company in 2016 as business unit director, to join my business partners at BrandTruth DTGL.

3. Describe your career so far.

It is human nature to moan and complain whilst in a certain role or when working on a certain campaign, but in all honesty, I have had the best experience of my life.

I do not think that I would have been exposed to the amazing people or places I have, should I have chosen a different path. I have also learned a wealth of knowledge across different disciplines that I can now implement in the business, our people and the campaigns I work on.

4. Tell us a few of your favourite things?

  • My two daughters (aged 11 and 14) – although they may be the reason for the grey hairs, I love them to bits and I love watching them grow into independent young ladies.
  • My family – they are a laugh a minute, and my support structure. I just wish they lived around the corner and not halfway around the country, so that I could see more of them.
  • My close friends – my reality checks and my escape from the manic pace of work. I do not know if they picked me or if it was the other way around but we all love laughter. They have me in stitches all the time.
  • Laughter – I think we all need to laugh a bit more!
  • Traveling and discovering new places – if this was a career, I would leave and not come back. There is a level of understanding, patience, awareness, and tolerance it gives one. I wish more South Africans had the ability to travel within their own country and beyond our borders.
  • Nature – did I mention this before?

5. What do you love about your industry?

I love seeing how the various social media platforms have allowed "original" people to express their creativity.

There is a lot of content out there that brands can strategically tap into – South Africans are a humorous and creative bunch of people. One just has to love them.

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

Haha, nothing about working in social and digital is average! You can try and plan to the best of your ability, but it is like a clock that has ticking parts.

I guess the most constant part of my day is waking up, checking my messages, diary and a bit of social media to see what is happening in the world before getting my girls ready for school and dropping them off. Then I hit lift-off.

7. What are the tools of your trade?

My computer, phone, the internet, data.

8. Who is getting it right in your industry?

There are a few brands that are truly using the various platforms to their full capability and know-how to communicate one campaign differently over many platforms. FNB is great at doing this and they really innovate in terms of what platforms they execute on.

RocoMamas is my social hero right now in terms of jumping into people's conversations and taking the mickey out of what people are commenting on.

They are really getting being culturally relevant well – I feel like they could be related to Nando's!

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

Brands not following key insights from their audiences and adapting their strategy accordingly. The end result often seems like a force-fit if this is not done.

10. Tell us some of the buzzwords floating around in your industry at the moment, and some of the catchphrases you say to yourself.

Before I do, let me just say that it is such a relief that clients asking “for a campaign to trend” is a thing of the past.

Buzzwords include – ‘consumer-generated content’, ‘influencers’, ‘innovation’, ‘thumb-stopping’,‘three-seconds’ – just to name a few.

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

Strangely enough, it is in the comfort of my bed. Because my work and my two daughters keep me busy, this is one of the few times I get to reflect on the day and think clearly.

Some of the best ideas come to me then – I need to remember to write them down sometimes, though.

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

Hmm, good question! I do not think I have one, actually.

13. Are you a technophobe or a technophile?

Tech is fast becoming part of our everyday lives and it is best to embrace it and see how best it can work for you.

Although people are talking about the industrial revolution, we really have to figure out how we can use tech to free up our time in order to allow us to do more.
14. What would we find if we scrolled through your phone?

Lots of images I use as memes, pictures of my kids, updates from my team on current trends and things in the social and digital space that are hot topics.

And then different apps for different things.

15. What advice would you give newbies trying to crack into the industry?

Stay on top of the trends, follow the right people, be on all platforms, know what is new, and do not only focus on the platforms but think about how the backend works.
Create content that is relevant for the platform you want to be on, e.g.: “How can you make the best use of images for Instagram to tell your story?"

Simple as that. Follow Mbuzwana on Twitter and Instagram, as well as the BrandTruth DTGL press office and their Facebook, ‏Twitter and Instagram feeds for the latest updates.

*Interviewed by Leigh Andrews.

About Leigh Andrews

Leigh Andrews AKA the #MilkshakeQueen, is former Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at, with a passion for issues of diversity, inclusion and equality, and of course, gourmet food and drinks! She can be reached on Twitter at @Leigh_Andrews.

Let's do Biz