Young entrepreneur makes strides in advertising industry
SIBULELE Siko-Shosha is a 36-year-old Cape Town-born entrepreneur who owns an advertising agency called Dumile Brand Boutique.
BRO caught up with her to chat about her current projects and the challenges she has faced in a male-dominated industry.
Siko-Shosha said she opened her advertising agency in 2008 during the global economic crisis.
"I was ’smart’ enough to start open my company at that time. In my company’s infancy, I had to deal with companies cutting down on advertising budgets.”
Siko-Shosha said while things were not looking up for her she persevered and remembered why she started her business.
“I started my business to honour my late father. I went back and thought about that and I would carry on.”
She said during the start of her company, she also experienced red tape as one of her challenges.
“Registering my company was ten times harder as I am a female and a black woman,” she said.
The Advertising industry
Siko-Shosha said working in a male-dominated industry was overwhelming.
“I didn’t open my company just to pay the bills. I wanted to represent people on how they should see themselves.
“In advertising, it is very important to take responsibility to represent different cultures respectfully.”
She said the advertising industry was full of what she termed “guessed culture”, which refers to people who have not experienced other cultures and make assumptions about other people’s cultures.
While she has seen a shift in the representation of other cultures in adverts, Siko-Shosha, said there was still a long way to go in the industry.
“At the end of the day, the people who hold the purse strings still amplify a certain narrative.”
Siko-Shosha employs six permanent staff in her advertising agency, and freelancers depending on specific projects.
The Covid-19 Pandemic
“The Covid-19 pandemic was hard on us, but I am glad we didn’t retrench anyone.”
She said during the lockdown, she had to move to digital services. “It was difficult as some of our work is experiential marketing, we work with people, we had to adapt to digital services.
She said her company was only starting to recover now from the effects of the pandemic.
Siko-Shosha advises people who want to start an advertising agency to be themselves. “We work in popular culture, don’t pretend to be something that you are not. Authenticity on what you work in should be what you strive for. Don’t be afraid to fail.”
Siko-Shosha is currently working on a telecommunications advert, and she is also writing a book.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE