Nkateko Mabaso

Nkateko Mabaso is a marketing man. Even as a child growing up in Pimville, Soweto, he was “always fascinated by the blinking billboards, so marketing was always going to be my destiny”. At 32, Mabaso is credited with playing an influential role in positioning Channel O, Mzansi Magic and Vuzu as the epicentre of South African youth culture. It’s tough staying relevant and fresh in the TV business, he says. “Keeping in touch with ever-changing consumer needs and upping the game in terms of creative output” is one of the biggest challenges. “Innovation is critical in moving the business forward.” Having studied Brand Management at AAA School of Advertising Mabaso started out as all good creatives do, working as an intern, first at Grey South Africa then at the Jupiter Drawing Room. The experience broadened his outlook and exposed him to “endless possibilities”. He then worked his way into the role of brand manager at Edcon before making the transition to television, as marketing manager for Channel O, Mzansi Magic and Vuzu, a position he held for three years until he was promoted to his current job. “My job really entails managing operations and the delivery of compelling creative work driven by my team and other key stakeholders,” he says. He must be doing something right: Mabaso is a member of the team that launched Isibaya, a telenovela set against the backdrop of the taxi industry. It was a proud moment for him and his team. “Launching an international format to the local market was not easy,” he said, “but through fearless passion for Mzansi storytelling, we have managed it.” Despite the pressure to stay ahead of the field Mabaso says he loves creating “content that speaks to the hearts and minds of our audiences”. — Bongani Kona