Keletso Nkabiti is the head of brand communications and strategy for local niche brand storyteller Idea Hive. Idea Hive crafts and executes heartfelt and character-driven campaigns. They offer an array of tailor-made solutions, which include branding, design, influencer marketing, visual content and communications.
Keletso calls herself a “brand scientist”, because it’s her responsibility to investigate, dissect and get to know brands and their customers on a deeper level. Keletso has a love affair with the business of art and the art of business. She tells Ondela Mlandu why story-telling is her first love…
Getting into the industry…
“I was always the weird girl who combined physical sciences, biology and dramatic arts in high school. My heart is my creative driver and my mind drives the strategic,” she says. Keletso’s love for stories was born at the feet of her grandmother. “Every year I visited home for the school holidays, and she would have my cousins and I hanging onto her every word. She would tell me all her stories and I know for a fact that she fuelled my creativity. My whole family is creative, and she was the most important piece to the puzzle,” she says.
Keletso describes her Bachelors in Business Administration in Brand Building and Management at Vega School of Brand Leadership and an Honours Degree in Strategic Brand Communication as the perfect marriage of creative and business management.
In 2016, she tried her hand at project management as an intern for African Fashion International to satisfy her lust for all things fashion, and worked as a production assistant on the Nike Airmax Day campaign in the same year. She then settled into brand and digital strategy as a solid foundation for her future career, and completed her Google Certification in 2018.
Job opportunities in the digital space
You have to put yourself in the right spaces. “Building relationships in the industry is key to finding your niche in a complex and multi-faceted industry. Use these spaces to ask the right questions and build relationships you can sustain through doing what you love,” she says.
According to Keletso, graduates need to build their professional digital equity by building their LinkedIn profile, following the right hashtags such as #JobSeekersSA on Twitter or visiting Puff and Pass – they constantly share new opportunities as they arise. “The sooner you start, the stronger your finish will be! I also highly recommend taking professional risks and trying out new skills. My go-to sites include Bizcommunity.com and Adweek.com,” she says.
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Storytelling is a classic means of communication but we don’t just tell stories, we bring the African narrative and connect all the dots 📚 We are strategic, witty, passionate and speak your language. BTW 🤨… No one tells stories like we do . See what the buzz is all about #IdeaHiveBST 🐝
Career growth for women in advertising
Advertising is a new space where women have the power to be great and tell narratives of our own, especially in the African context. “This is one space where we learn from our peers and thrive once we gain the confidence to step into who we are meant to be. It helps that our CEO, Yaw Dwomoh, has been intentional about empowering women in his business,” she says.
An ode to my 21-year-old self…
“Trust yourself or nobody else will!”
Push until there is a breakthrough…
Never stop pushing, even when it’s hard. “Push until there is [a] breakthrough! Many people will doubt you, but never stop believing. Many may not share the same vision as you, but never stop inviting them into your space until they realise your power,” she says.
The book every young woman should read
How Keletso practises self-care…
“I love trying out new places to eat – solo date style! Or I simply stay home, light my incense, jam my favourite playlist and take a long hot bath,” she says.