Diverse minds collaborating to create perspective

A network of entrepreneurs shaping brands,
transforming South Africa and building Africa

M&N Brands is a South African born and African inspired marketing services holding company with a kaleidoscope of investments in leading advertising and communication agencies.

With over 400 talented people in our network of agencies, we provide the best in creativity, technology and innovation to some of the world’s most recognisable brands. We are specialists in advertising, digital marketing, production and media planning.

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Zibusiso Mkhwanazi

Zibusiso Mkhwanazi

Founder and Group CEO of M&N Brands

Zibusiso Mkhwanazi is the founder and Group CEO of M&N Brands, a holding company with diversified investments in leading advertising, media and communication businesses.

M&N Brands, owns Avatar JHB, Avatar CPT, Avatar PR, Mela Events, Bozza and AMA a full-service media agency. The group also has M&N Entertainment, a content hub that has already made its first acquisition through the purchase of Zkhiphani.com. The holding company is involved in the Esihlahleni Women’s Empowerment, an NPC dedicated to empowering lives of women from disadvantaged areas.

Zibusiso has more than 20 awards and accolades to his name, including being selected as one of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders and a finalist at the Ernest and Young World Entrepreneur Awards.

He is also the founder of David’s League, a mentorship programme that balances issues of spirituality and business, and has seen over 500 small business through its doors.

Veli Ngubane

Veli Ngubane

Group MD of Avatar, YGK MD, M&N Brands shareholder

A strategist turned creative, Veli has not only co-founded Avatar, but also inspired a new agency offering, YGK, and is part of M&N Brands, a holding company with diversified investments in leading advertising, media and communication businesses.

Veli serves as Advisory Board Chairman at the Red & Yellow School, sits on the IAB’s Transformation & Education Council, is a DMA Board Member and has judged the Loeries, Apex, Bookmarks, Pendorings and AdFocus Awards.

He was also named in this year’s Mail & Guardian Top 200 South Africans. Veli holds a BSocSci (Politics, Economics & Law) from UCT and a postgraduate Marketing & Advertising diploma from the Red & Yellow School.

A born entrepreneur taking advantage of the two very economies he was exposed to, Veli is also a brand man (his experience includes BMW, Apple and Investec), deeply committed to disrupting and challenging the advertising industry, “Just being black is not enough; we need black- owned and managed agencies to be world class.”

Constantly learning, constantly innovating, 35-year-old Veli has also learnt the pitfalls of success, “I have learnt that one must define what success means to oneself, as there is a great danger with conforming to the one society creates.”

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We seek to be value-adding partners

For Africans, By Africans

As a client

With M&N Brands, clients no longer need to work with just one agency. Since all agencies have their strengths and weaknesses, the client is able to tap into the strong points of numerous agencies and receive the best work possible.

We are also taking away the headache of dealing with agencies fighting for territory and budget from the client.

Clients will work alongside a group of specialist agencies – who share a common vision and leadership – with a continent-wide presence packaged for specific requirements. We can do this because we have shareholding on multiple agencies in the same disciplines.

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As an associated agency

  • Access to a network of strategic and creative talent across the M&N associated companies
  • Access to group pitches and a backing from holding company resources
  • Cost savings from shared finance, HR and IT however with access to highly skilled and experienced back office resources to assist existing teams
  • Our deal structure has the benefit of both black and broad-based women empowerment
  • Access to competing business from other groups
  • Merger opportunities to bolster service offering and market relevance
  • We have a strong balance sheet and hence the ability to raise large amounts of capital and the ability to include employees in any transaction
  • Access to partnerships with like-minded agencies in five different African countries

Kopano ke matla

Avatar JHB & CPT

Avatar is the largest black-owned and managed integrated agency offering in South Africa – winner of the Financial Mail AdFocus medium-sized agency of the year 2016, and a finalist in 2017, 2018, and 2016 runner-up for most digitally-integrated ad agency in SA and Jozi (as voted for by CEOs in the SA industry on MarkLives). The agency has offices in Cape Town and Johannesburg, and a staff complement of 80.

Avatar PR

Strategic communication in a digital era. Avatar PR is a full-service PR and communications agency that hones in on the business problem or opportunity and cuts through with simple, effective comms with impeccable timing.

We pride ourselves on listening. To the heard and unheard. Then moving quickly. We have a unique resourcing structure that is clearly working – just 11-months after inception, Avatar PR won Communications Team of The Year 2018 at The African Excellence Awards held in Dublin.

Zkhiphani.com

Zkhiphani.com is an online social lifestyle magazine that targets the South African youth. The term ‘zkhiphani’ is loosely translated as ‘what’s happening’, a phrase is used by many people of all ages and tribes across South Africa, more especially black youth when seeking information such as news, music, trends and the latest social happenings. Zkhiphani.com has become one of South Africa’s most popular youth social lifestyle and entertainment online magazines with over 100 000 hits a week.

Bozza

Bozza is a bespoke PR agency owned by M&N Brands. Coined as ‘PR so busy that they still need to PR themselves’, Bozza is taking a less is more approach to the noisy PR space. We won’t be talking about our wins, our clients, our growth. You are feeling us already in the media and influence space. You just don’t know it.

Mela Events

Established in 2006 by Enelra Booth and Tiziana Tucci, the duo are geared up for the next evolution of their business as they retain 49% under the M&N Brands deal.

“Eventing is no longer just eventing, and by having access to the other partners in the M&N Brands network, we can now expand our skill set and extend our offering. We also really believe in Zibusiso’s vision for the industry as a whole and the opportunities that M&N Brands now affords us as we gear up for growth. We can now offer clients integrated solutions which have all the touchpoints, from digital to social to media.Mela employs a small core team of experts on a full-time basis and has forged loyal partnerships with a select group of suppliers, including AV specialists, IT solutions consultants, corporate entertainers, speakers and photographers, as well as suppliers of professional design and online services, print services and related below-the-line solutions.

AMA

AMA is a media agency that provides consumer insights, media buying and planning for the advertising industry. At AMA, we produce solid action plans for campaigns that are based on a brand or company’s marketing objectives.

We pride ourselves on making inter and intra media selections that align with products or services that are being advertised. AMA looks at media from a holistic perspective, providing through-the-line media solutions with the goal of creating brand eco-systems.

From R2000 to R200million: M&N co-founder Zibusiso Mkhwanazi

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An informal, hands-on training is just as invaluable – if not more pertinent – as a formal education.

Zibusiso Mkhwanazi, the group chief executive officer of M&N Brands, the holding company that owns Avatar Agency JHB, Avatar Agency CPT, Avatar PR, Mela Events, Bozza and Zkhiphani.com is a living testament to this. read more…

M&N Brands Group CEO at the Kaya Bizz show

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Zibusiso Mkhwanazi, the Founder and Group CEO of M&N Brands joined Gugu Mfuphi on the Kaya Bizz show in studio on the entrepreneurs on the move segment to analyse South African audiences in response to change in entertainment media, both from a consumer point of view & from a business point of view and to also look at diversified investment strategy for entertainment industry.

To hear more about the interview, click on the link: https://iono.fm/e/661092

Avatar wins Caltex South Africa

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This is the second major account win announced by the agency this year, following hot on the heels of the the integrated agency business win for global fashion retailer, H&M, in South Africa. read more…

M&N Brands buys Mela Events

M&N Brands buys Mela Events

M&N Brands has acquired events agency, Mela Events, increasing the group’s consolidated revenue to over R150m. For Enelra Booth and Tiziana Tucci of Mela Events (established in 2006), this is the next evolution of their business, allowing it to offer clients integrated solutions which have all the touchpoints, from digital to social to media.  read more…

M&N brands wins Mela Events

M&N Brands, a 100% black-owned marketing and communications holding group, has announced its latest acquisition, Loerie Gold-winning eventing shop, Mela Events. read more…

#Prisms2018: The inconvenient truth about PR

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Legal trumps public relations nearly every time. Class action suit anyone? Bringing in the muscle after the fact is just spoiling for a fight that will leave at least one side bloodied and bruised. read more…

Podcast: Keri-Ann Stanton On South Africa’s PR Evolution

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South African PR industry veteran Keri-Ann Stanton joins the Echo Chamber following the Holmes Report’s third African Innovation Summit in Johannesburg last week. read more…

Zibusiso Mkhwanazi, Group CEO of M&N Brands shares his entrepreneurship journey

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Zibusiso Mkhwanazi, Group CEO of M&N Brands, a holding company with diversified investments in leading advertising, media and communication businesses. read more…

M&N Brands launches content hub, acquires youth mag

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Loosely translated, Zkhiphani means ‘what’s happening’ and was established a decade ago by Andile Mathobela, Ally Fathana and Bonga Mpungose; today, the online magazine employs nine people and covers celeb news, music, trends and social happenings. The founders will retain a minority stake in the business. read more…

M&N Brands obtains Mela Events

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The acquisition increases M&N Brands’ consolidated revenue to over R150m and opens up the eventing space for Mela Events. read more

We’re transforming the milky way

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At the Ad Focus awards late last year, Zibusiso Mkhwanazi, the chief executive of Avatar Investment Holdings, stood on the stage with a glass of milk in his hand. read more…

Fast Company SA February 2018 – Issue 33

New African holding company to challenge global networks

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Zibusiso Mkhwanazi and Veli Ngubane have rebranded their agency holding company to M&N Brands. This puts distance between their 80%-owned, fast-growing agency group… read more…

AVATAR buys shares into M&C Saatchi SA

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AVATAR Investment Holdings (AIH) and M&C Saatchi Abel have announced a share deal that will see each of the agencies acquire a minority stake in each other’s operations.
read more…

Contact

Keep In Touch

Alternatively, give us a call on the number below, or visit our offices

Tel: +27 11 268 5223

51 Glenhove Rd Melrose Estate, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa