Zengeziwe “Zeng” Msimang

Marketing Director, DIRCO

Zengeziwe Msimang, or Zeng, is dedicated to making a positive impact on society.

As part of the public diplomacy team in the department of international relations and cooperation, she makes the ideal ambassador for the South African brand.

With a father who worked at the United Nations and a grandmother who was the ANC chief representative in Stockholm and Washington during the apartheid years, Msimang became fascinated by diplomacy and communications from an early age.

Her role in the public service is to project a positive image of South Africa to an international audience, which requires an in-depth understanding of the social, economic and political positioning of our country.

With a target audience of this magnitude – the world – her responsibilities range from communicating South Africa’s position at major multilateral platforms such as the UN General Assembly, to providing strategic marketing support to our country’s embassies around the world.

At 35, her passion for her work is one of Msimang’s inspirations. “To be in service for my country is a great honour. The conditions under which the generation before mine served their country were extremely difficult – it led them to prison, exile or in many cases, the grave. That I am able to serve a free South Africa is an endless source of motivation for me,” she says.

Msimang lives by her favourite African proverb: if you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together.

She believes that many people do not understand the work that goes into running a government and so fail to appreciate how many hard working and dedicated civil servants there are in South Africa. — Linda Doke