We Are Africa’s Innovation Awards are back for 2016 and now accepting applications! Tell us your inventive and inspiring stories by 5 February to be in with a chance of making the shortlist – read more about the categories and apply here.

As previously, the winners will be chosen by our We Are Africa tribe: but before we get to that stage, a panel of African cultural insiders will select the initial shortlist together in Cape Town. One of these insiders is Brand Building Marketing Consultant, Masingita Mazibuko: we spoke to her to find out what this year’s contenders will need to do to get her vote…

What are you looking for from this year’s Innovation Awards entries? Is there any one category that you are particularly excited about judging?

Innovative thinking leveraging the abundance of untapped natural resources that exist in our continent, conveying the soul of Africa. I’m looking forward to seeing the entries for BRAND AFRICA and EXPERIENCE AFRICA.

“I am Made In Africa because everything that I am is here, my history and the environment that shapes me and ensures the beat of my drum vibrates”

What innovative projects, people or initiatives are being started in Africa that you think the rest of the world should know about? 

In line with the spirit of community and ‘passing it forward’, many organisations and entrepreneurs are cognisant that Africa has a capable, young population and potential and are creating initiatives to evoke change. For instance, Lionesses of Africa is leveraging digital as an interface to impart stories of Africa and encourage self-makers. I’d also like to mention incubators or accelerators such as Raizcorp, and bespoke transformation initiatives from The Creative Counsel marketing agency.

What stereotype of Africa would you like to banish for good – and what would you replace it with?

Africa is not one, but rather there are many Africas. It is diverse on many fronts, between countries and within countries. Therein lies an abundance of opportunity to leverage.

What does being African mean to you?

I was born in the cradle of humankind. Humanity is all encompassing.

Complete the sentence: “I am Made In Africa because…

Everything that I am is here, my history and the environment that shapes me and ensures the beat of my drum vibrates.

Complete the sentence: “To me, Africa is…

Nature, vibrance, soul and possibility.

Masingita Mazibuko

Masingita Mazibuko
Masingita Mazibuko is a founding member of Young Leaders Connect, an affiliate of the International Women’s Forum, has spent 2 years as columnist for MARKLIVES!, and is part of the judging panel for the annual We Are Africa Innovation Awards and APEX 2015. She is also the mother of a strong-willed 7-year-old, who makes life ever more stimulating, and a grounded, largely curious person, seeking to wittingly thrive.

John Segar

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