Thebe Ikalafeng

Founder and Chairman, Brand Africa and Brand Leadership Group.

Thebe Ikalafeng is the pre-eminent global African thought leader and authoritative voice in branding in Africa.  In a distinguished career which started over 25 years ago at Colgate Palmolive in New York, USA and a lauded tenure as chief marketing officer for NIKE for Africa, he won over 75 awards in branding and marketing communication globally.  Ikalafeng is the founder of the award-winning Brand Leadership Group, a pan-African branding advisory firm; Brand Africa, an inter-generational movement to inspire a brand-led agenda to drive Africa’s image, reputation and competitiveness, and Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands, the widely referenced and only pan-African survey and ranking of brands in Africa.

Named one of the ‘100 Most Influential Africans’ by New African Magazine and one of the 100 Most Influential Creative People of African Descent in support of the United Nations ‘International Year of the Creative Economy for Sustainable Development,’ he has been to every country in Africa, worked in over 25 countries in Africa, and is widely acknowledged as the foremost advocate for a brand-led African renaissance to transform the continent’s wealth and stature.  He was honoured with a Financial Mail AdFocus Lifetime Achievement Award in 2021 for his contributions to marketing, branding and the industry.

Ikalafeng holds BSc and MBA degrees from Marquette University in the USA and a LL.M (Intellectual Property Law) degree from the University of Turin in Italy in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Switzerland, and completed executive education at Wits Business School and Harvard Business School in the US, and is a Chartered Marketer (SA).