Combining newsroom experience and knowledge of language is our winning formula.
The Client: CETA
The Brief: Bringing Women into the mainstream of the skill revolution.
Construction work has been associated with physicality and therefore considered not suitable or did not lend itself to women participation. Such notions have contributed to absence of training of women to develop skills that would enable them to fruitfully participate in the operations of the industry at different levels.
To assist the Construction Sector Education and Training Authority (CETA) to reconnect with crucial stakeholders or special interest groups in its efforts to make a major contribution to the country’s economic development. That was part of moulding the Authority into an entity fit for purpose.
In celebration of Women’s Month CETA hosted the ‘Women in Construction’ webinars in August 2020. Through this series CETA opened a national dialogue around improving participation of women in the construction industry in South Africa, laying the foundation for women of the next generation. The series provided opportunities to develop shared insights and priorities, advisory input and recommendations for focus and action by all stakeholders and it identifies and supports existing initiatives which offer promising opportunities for collaboration and scaling.
Product and Design
The Brief: Bayede-Iphepha laboHlanga
The Brief: Product and Design, Content Development and Marketing
A Friday read, Bayede-Iphepha LaboHlanga focuses on educating its readers and creating awareness about active citizenship matters, ethical leadership, political culture, social accountability and the global political economy. With correspondents across all sectors in South Africa and in key cities worldwide, the newspaper also contains an influential opinion section with several revered columnists.
Transformation of media as an institution is paramount, not only in terms of ownership at a high level, but value chain development that touches the very end of media consumers like in rural and townships. Importantly to Bayede-Iphepha LaboHlanga brand is to distribute content to communities in vernacular languages that are under served.
The publication which was started 8 years ago, in a short period, has made its mark in the news industry through its fearless investigative journalism. In 2018 was nominated for the prestigious Nat Nakasa Award for Media Integrity by the South African Editor’s Forum, a first for a vernacular newspaper.
During that year, the publication was selected by the South African Media Innovation Program (SAMIP) to its multi-year initiative aimed at accelerating digital innovation and sustainability among selected independent media outlets in South Africa.
Since 2020 Igunundu started a campaign to assist Bayede-Iphepha LaboHlanga in transitioning to digital. With an in-house production team, the podcast studio produces content for B2B shows and bespoke branded podcasts for clients, ranging from community radio stations, starts ups to established brands. Igunundu assists the newspaper to create ground-breaking narratives relevant to the direction of the story preferences and narratives that are compelling to targeted audiences.
Under the auspices of this campaign the publication became the first vernacular title to have a podcast studio and podcast programmes. It has produced 100 epidsodes.
Digital and Social Media
The Client: KZN Legislature
The Brief: To ensure participation beyond elections through the use of social media platforms
Access to information is a right that should be extended to all citizens. In South Africa, language is a major barrier to the extension of this right. The parameters for popular participation are largely determined by the existing political context and culture. As part of its popular participation initiatives, in 2022 the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Legislature appointed Igunundu to market its programmes through social media platforms.
In ensuring popular participation in policy making and monitoring, our campaign objective is to increase public exposure, shaping public opinion and enhance legislature public image.
The whole campaign is digitally anchored. To achieve the greatest possible reach content will be distributed on the legislature website, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, blog posts, Podcast and Youtube.
Film and Documentary
The Client: Bomb Shelter
The Brief: To ensure authenticity of language, history and culture during all stages of production of Shaka-Ilembe.
Several books, chapters in books, and journal articles have been written about King Shaka. Needless to say, most of the writings about King Shaka and the society he lived in, have been attended by a lot of inaccuracies and misinterpretations. In some instances, this has been due to poor research while in others it has been due to general prejudices that have characterized most writings on Africa by Western scholars. The main product of all this has been a historiography that did not fully recognise African agency. Bomb Shelter, a revered production company went into partnership with MultiChoice for the production of Shaka–ILembe, a 8-part epic about the heroic rise of one of Africa’s greatest king, Shaka kaSenzangakhona. From the onset, striking a balance between historical authenticity and drama was crucial to the plot. In ensuring the balance, Bomb Shelter commissioned Igunundu to assist with language and authenticity
Language matters – One big challenge productions face is the need to effectively articulate the African experience through a language accessible to a wide audience – to create an epic drama inspired by history and a drama to drama the isiZulu language.
We aim at capturing the authenticity and deepen the understanding of this era – contribute in making a film that is an avenue for cultural affirmation, creative expression and a reimagining of what African heritage really means and possible introduction of Nguni scholarship and narrative in film – to create a story plot that is inescapable with cultural references, colloquialisms, mythologies and the designed look of the series, with unprecedented commitment to authenticity.
Set to be released in 2023, after the launch of the countdown campaign towards heritage day, the drama has become a hot topic. People are a commending the delivery of the history in isiZulu and the exposure of the rich history, not only of Shaka and Nandi but also of the Ngunis of the time of Ilembe’s reign.
King's Funeral Public Relations
The Client: King Zwelithini Foundation
The Brief: To conceptualise and manager King Zwelithini’s life and legacy project.
With almost 50 years on the throne, King Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu (ISILO) was both the longest reigning and oldest Zulu monarch. During his reign, he ensured that the Zulu Monarchy is not only an institution for ceremonial occasions but also as an institution of value that contributes to the country’s public service, social cohesion, cultural heritage and economic development.
After the passing of the King, it became imperative for his legacy be preserved.
Memory plays a key role in building a collective identity and it can help to better understand others. The legacy project is to ensure that current and future generations capture, remember and celebrate the late monarch’s contribution to the country’s public service, social cohesion, cultural heritage and economic imperatives.
Leading to his Majesty’s funeral, Igunundu came up with the #SingabeSihlalo movement which ignited a sense of pride and citizens education about the late monarch and the Crown. Knowing that a campaign of this magnitude would need to target different publics, we developed a multi-pronged campaign including native marketing, publishing, and podcast, driving mass awareness in the form of activations.
To date, the project has developed following resources to remember and reflect on King Zwelithini:
The Client: Ingonyama Trust Board (ITB)
The Brief: To address the ITB’s challenge of being more popular but less understood by rebranding it.
In the context of South Africa, the institution of uBukhosi remains a very significant element in society, which cannot be ignored. UBukhosi is a contested and highly political institution because of its association with authority and power. Within the South African polity, currently uBukhosi and traditional institutions are at the centre of major policy conflict over whether to encourage full-blown land markets, or protect customary rights. The same conflict exists when it comes to local government where traditional institutions are supposed to co-exist with local government structures.
In the province of KwaZulu-Natal, the Ingonyama Trust Board (ITB) is part of uBukhosi. It is the nominal owner of the land which is supposed to be administered mainly in terms of Zulu customary law. The broader mandate of the ITB is to hold this land for the benefit, material welfare and social well-being of members of izizwe and communities living on the land.
The ITB commissioned Igunundu to develop an external political communication strategy. The campaign is a response to the need expressed by ITB itself for an effective communication strategy aimed at informing and engaging various stakeholders. This was after the realisation that the entity is more popular but less understood by stakeholders and society at large.
From the ITB point of view this project is important in disseminating appropriate information about the ITB work and in engaging stakeholders inside and outside government, thus able to enhance its role as a critical actor. Our Product and Design mounted various activities like a social media page and a mini-website around the theme of ITB@Work.
The Client: Ithala Development Finance Corporation
The Brief: To develop and implement an economic development strategy for Ithala
Ithala Development Financial Corporation (IDFC) has an enormous role to play in the entire economy of KwaZulu Natal. Within the post Covid-19 environment, there is no better time for IDFC to reposition its developmental mandate to help guide the entire economic activity of the province. Its property / infrastructure development which until recently has only been second to IDFC’s, can help a lot to develop the KwaZulu-Natal post-COVID economy.
Understanding its significance and liaising with stakeholders in the economic revival of the Province, IDFC appointed Igunundu as its Media Specialist for the period of 12 months starting from September 2022.
Welcoming the appointment, Igunundu Marketing Manager, Zakhele Nyuswa says it’s about time that the IDFC brand is recognised as a key role player in economy development.
“This campaign is about the IDFC brand repositioning and public image. Key to our intervention is the alignment of IDFC brand with the larger conversation about the post – COVID economy. Equally important is the process of educating citizens and policy makers about the history and relevance of this entity in the inclusive society and economy” says Nyuswa.
Our team has compiled a strategy document, Amandla EThala, focussing on showcasing the impact of the IDFC on the economic lives of the underserved township and rural communities. The aim is also to place the IDFC at the centre of economic discourse through masterclasses and colloquia.
The Client: Mhlathuze Water
The Brief: Publicity and reputation management among rural communities on Mhlathuze Water’s mandate.
Water is a natural resource that is essential for human survival. Yet, human access to water has always been a contested issue. The advent of the challenge of climate change consistently forces human beings to reconsider their perceptions on water.
To assist Mhlathuze Water in the broader citizen education drive around issues such as water management, decision-making and implementation around water governance and polity or important synergies and trade-offs between climate change and water management.
Our inhouse – Production and Podcast team produced uNomanzi, an official Mhlathuze Water mascot. UNomanzi is a water wise rural woman who teaches her water community about the importance of water management and encourages them to be part of decision – making and implementation around water governance and polity. She also addresses the most important synergies and trade-offs between climate change and water management.
On the day of the launch, uNomanzi podcast was published on 7 podcast platforms locally and internationally. The platforms are Anchor FM, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Pocket Podcasts, Radio Public, Spotify and Bayede News Radio. In addition, an hour-long programme with same content was aired by Nongoma FM.
Product and Design
The Client: Bayede-Iphepha laboHlanga and Mail & Guardian
The Brief: To dispel the notion that vernacular languages are not synonymous with serious discourse.
Igunundu Agency is slowly transforming the media industry narrative through language. The passion for creating content in indigenous languages has resulted in exponential growth, most importantly strategic partnerships. One of the partnerships was with the leading and revered weekly English publication, the Mail and Guardian.
In 2021 the agency presented an idea which was the first for a 36-year-old newspaper – an 8-page insert to be published and to host a webinar session in isiZulu. The idea was inspired by the desire to engage and distribute content to communities in vernacular languages that are underserved. The Mail and Guardian was ideal as it is not only reputable but also it has a national footprint.
Initially this was just a dream as there was apprehension as to how the Mail and Guardian readers would receive the idea. The campaign required a lot of planning, especially headlines which had to be at the level which the readers could identify with easily. The look-and-feel was also important as it was to be within the standards of the Mail and Guardian.
It took a painful incident for this idea to be a success. The passing of ISILO, Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu presented us with the opportunity to do something.
As always, combining newsroom experience, knowledge of language and clean layout was our winning formula. Igunundu’s Product and Design team did all the research, content development, design and layout. On 23 April, for the very first time in history, the Mail and Guardian published ISILO Ngesethu Isikhathi, an 8-page supplement on A3 newsprint with in-depth writing supported by a lively design and layout format and photographs. This was printed on high quality paper, which provides greater durability and enhanced reproduction. In the supplement, information was compressed into small work for background reading, and so written that all sectors of our society could read and understand the meaning.
It did not stop there; ISILO Ngesethu Isikhathi supplement was leveraged across digital platforms. From the supplement, came a podcast series and a live webinar session giving people opportunity to learn and engage about the life and times of the longest reigning Zulu Monarch.
Igunundu MD, Nhlanhla Mtaka said: “this campaign was a success and kickstarted the idea and national debate about the future of newspapers and how vernacular language and readers are viewed.
“The campaign was bold – it indeed challenged the prevailing misconception that vernacular content is only aimed at so-called lower community groups and is not viable as a mainstream medium“, said Mtaka.
The Client: UKhozi FM