Sylvester Chauke

National marketing manager, Nando's

�We will get the change we want from Nando's.� With these words from the mouth of a puppet effigy of Julius Malema, Sylvester Chauke was propelled out of the advertising drawing room right smack into the political ring. His advertisement, which appeared on television in the run up to the 2009 elections, had the Youth League demanding the offending piece of advertising be removed from the airwaves. In response, Nando's blanked out Malema's face and disguised his voice, granting the Youth League a pyrrhic victory. If anything, the controversy added to the campaign's success, says Chauke, who worked with advertising heavyweights FCB and Ogilvy before joining Nando's. The ad was intended to inject the elections with a sense of fun and energy and put the Nando's brand squarely in the middle of any dinner table conversations prior to the poles. Chauke says the Youth League's reaction was unfortunate because it made "them appear more emotional than rational�. But the experience left Chauke � who lives by his personal motto "stand against bland�� upbeat about South Africans, the majority of whom he says have a great sense of humour. "We need to laugh at ourselves,� says the University of Johannesburg graduate who has lectured at UJ, Varsity College, AAA and Bond University. Ultimately Chauke managed to get the Youth League to do just that. The catering of choice for their election party: none other than Nando's. � Lynlely Donnelly

Lunch spot: Nambitha, Orlando West, Johannesburg