The pair spoke to media update’s Adam Wakefield about their involvement in the Young Lions competition and what they learned from striking out on their own.

Ralushayi and Motau were invited to join the Youngs Lions Panel by Cinemark, the local representatives of the Cannes Lions, and they jumped at the chance to “champion young creativity”, Motau says.

“Cinemark is sponsoring the Film category of the Young Lions competition in South Africa this year. The search is on for teams comprising two young professionals or freelancers, such as an art director and a copywriter, who are currently working in a creative communications, advertising, or digital agency.”

The Young Lions competition is about offering young people an opportunity to compete creatively on a global stage and gain an experience of a lifetime.

“Our industry is starving for new superstars, and competitions like this bring light to the really talented people that deserve notability,” Motau says.

From going it alone to the Think Creative Hub

Motau and Ralushayi knew each other from working together at Ogilvy & Mather Johannesburg, and they both joined FCB Johannesburg in February 2012 where they spent the next five years of their careers.

However, it was in 2016 that the creative pair decided to go at it alone, and found their own creative shop.

Ralushayi says both she and Motau were yearning to explore “other creative avenues and, after years of postponing, we decided to take the plunge and gather our savings for a fresh start”.

Motau says they wanted to let creativity dictate the end-product, rather than allowing the business model to create boundaries for their output.

“We challenged ourselves to test out a more fluid, insight-driven approach to solving business problems creatively,” Motau says.

As directors of Think Creative Hub, the pair’s responsibilities vary from creating work to managing and growing client relationships, training and mentoring new talent, and finding new ways to innovate their business. They outsource the Hub’s financial management, and work with a freelance operations manager.

Compared to the usual agency status quo, Think Creative Hub exclusively uses freelance talent to drive the projects they work on. The reason for doing so is to keep an eye on costs while being able to bring in the best talent specific to the project.

“This model has made our business nimble and easy to navigate in various directions. Once we have cracked a great idea, we do our best to find the best possible people to help us bring it to life,” Motau says.

Their challenges and advice for future Young Lions

It is no mean feat to abandon a secure position to start your own business and, according to Ralushayi, the greatest challenge for her and Motau was the reaction from “naysayers”, and leaving the comfort of a secure pay cheque.

Perhaps it should then be unsurprising that when Ralushayi is asked what her number one piece of advice would be for aspiring young creatives, her answer is: “Trust your gut”.

Asked the same question, Motau would advise industry entrants to “go all in”.

“Give it all you’ve got and never stop after the first idea. If you can make it conceptually stronger, then go the distance,” she says.

“If you can craft it more, then do it. If your insight needs to be more honest, then dig deeper. People respect grit in a talented person.”

For more information, visit

A great strategy gets up close to the consumer. Read more in our article, A game-changing channel strategy taps into the consumer journey. 

*Image courtesy of Ogilvy Public Relations