The Pendoring Advertising Awards were founded in 1995 as a celebration of Afrikaans language creativity. Since 2018, they have grown to celebrate and reward creative advertising in all South African indigenous languages – on equal footing. The Pendoring as a nation-building project has enormous potential to bring diverse people together through the celebration of creativity in all indigenous languages.
We caught up with General Manager, Eben Keun as well as their Communication Officer, Prince Mphomane about the advertising awards taking place on the 31st of October 2019 at the UJ Arts Centre. Here’s how our exchange transpired:
How are the Pendoring Advertising Awards different to other advertising awards?
We understand the value of mother-tongue communication in creativity and innovation. Over the years, we have encouraged the evolution, development, and integration of indigenous languages in everyday communication. This is important in a country with as much diversity as ours – that everyone feels seen and recognised. We are also unique in that it is the only advertising award with substantial cash prizes, not only for the overall winners but also for gold and silver winners in each category. The Prestigious Umpetha Award, which is awarded to the overall winner of the best work in all the categories, includes an overseas study trip worth R100 000!
How can creatives get involved?
Our Awards are open to advertising agencies, marketers and students. If you’re making great content in any South African indigenous language, you can submit your entries and become eligible for one of our amazing cash prizes.
How did the decision to add indigenous languages came about?
No one language can be promoted in isolation. We felt the need to become more inclusive and reflect the language diversity of our country. This is the only way to grow the creatively rich and culturally diverse landscape of South Africa.
Would you say your awards have helped transform the advertising industry?
Definitely! For the first time ever we have received more entries in isiZulu than in any other language. We also have entries in XiTsonga and Tshivenda this year, which we didn’t have at all in previous years. This speaks to the transformation that’s taking place in the industry and we’re incredibly excited about it.
How would you describe the state of South African advertising?
As an industry, we are still mostly aspiring to be global which is universal, and understandable considering the international ownership of much of the bigger agencies. We are starting to realise the unique creative riches of embracing our mother tongues. This trend seems to have started out from smaller independent locally owned agencies. The big guys are catching up on the cool factor of being local.
What are you hoping to achieve through the Pendoring Awards?
We want the Pendoring to become a leader in the discourse of the importance of indigenous languages. We want young South Africans to grow up understanding that they can use their mother tongue to their own advantage in a career in the creative industries. We want all creatives to become part of this conversation and to use indigenous languages intelligently in marketing, communications and advertising. We use the hashtag #speaksouthafrican as a call to action – and a reminder of the importance of placing all languages on an equal footing.
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