Thebe Ikalafeng has been named one of the 100 Most Influential Africans by New African Magazine and worked with over 100 diverse brands in the public and private sector across every region in Africa. He is the founder of Brand Leadership, an award-winning brand and reputation advisory firm, Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands, the most referenced research and ranking of brands in Africa and Public Sector Excellence, an initiative to research and recognise excellence in the public sector.
A Fellow of the Institute of Directors, he is deputy chairman of South African Tourism and non-executive director of Mercantile Bank Holdings, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and JSE listed Cartrack Group. In a distinguished corporate and consulting career which started in brand management at Colgate Palmolive in New York and concluded as marketing director for Nike for the Africa region, he has won over 75 industry awards globally. He has served on all notable industry bodies, including as the founding deputy chairman of the Brand Council of Southern Africa (2011-2013) and chairman of the Loeries advertising awards (2001-2003), judged major industry awards globally, including the prestigious Red Dot design awards in Germany (2014-2017) and St. Gallen Wings of Excellence in Switzerland (2015-2017).
Widely recognized across Africa, he has co-hosted the CNBC Africa Marketing, Media and Money Show, and has been featured or quoted in respected media such as CNN, BBC, CNBCAfrica, FT, African Business and New African. He writes, speaks and counsels leaders and organizations globally on branding, reputation management and related matters across Africa.
Ikalafeng holds BSc and MBA degrees from Marquette University (USA), completed executive education at Wits Business School and Harvard Business School, and is a Chartered Marketer (SA). A well-travelled adventurer, he has been to over 70 countries globally, summited the highest mountains in Africa (Mt. Kilimanjaro) and Europe (Mt. Elbrus), jumped off the world’s highest bungy (216m) at Bloukrans Bridge (South Africa), travelled to the furthest south point in Africa where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet, in between paragliding, skydiving and other daring adventures around the world.