2021's selection process was accomplished with the support of the award's sponsor Unilever.

Elizabeth Mokwena, HomeCare marketing director at Unilever South Africa, says, "Unilever offers a stimulating and supportive environment for new, young marketers to cut their teeth on the ins and outs of brand management and learn how to strategically ensure businesses provide solutions to consumers across various communities."

"We feel that sponsoring this award is a natural fit with our own stance towards acknowledging exceptional young marketers," adds Mokwena.

In order to select the Rising Star for 2021, the awards say that there is a stringent judging process that is implemented and overseen by a judging panel. This panel is chaired by Dr Doug Mattheus, CEO of Doug M Consultancy.

This panel comprises experienced marketing professionals and industry experts including:
  • Audrey Naidoo (head of digital marketing at the ABSA Group)
  • Napsta Masinga (founder  and creative director of Napsta Collective)
  • Nontokozo Madonsela (group chief marketing officer of Momentum Metropolitan Holdings)
  • Professor Madéle Tait (director: School of Management Sciences, Nelson Mandela University), and
  • Elizabeth Mokwena.
The MAAs finalists for the award are as follows:
  • Bianca de Beer, senior marketing manager at Telesure Investment Holdings
  • Itumeleng Matlare, brand manager at Tiger Brands
  • Lisa Mains-Sheard, digital marketing manager at Nedbank
  • Arye Kellman, co-founder and chief creative officer at TILT
  • Serisha Pillay, senior marketing manager at Discovery Limited, and
  • Robyn Hobson, head of sales and marketing at Mobile Guardian.
"The shining star we were looking for is a marketer who is doing great things in their role or in their own companies and who demonstrate leadership, innovation, forward-thinking and the ability to strategise for impact and growth," says Matttheus.

"The judging panel encountered a tough time when sifting through the remarkable submissions to select just six talented finalists. While it was quite a task to drill these down to the winner of the Rising Star of the Year Award, we are satisfied that we have found the right young marketing luminary who best fits this description," concludes Matttheus.

The winner of the 2021 Rising Star of the Year Awards will be announced at the MAA Virtual Awards Ceremony at 18:00 on Tuesday, 31 March. Individuals are encouraged to round up their team members, partners, clients and friends to register for the evening.

Event Details:
  • Date: Wednesday, 31 March
  • Time: 18:00 (Logins from 17:45)
  • Duration: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Venue: Online
  • Tickets: Register to get your ticket here
  • Cost: No charge to attend
  • Dress: Wear your virtual best and win a pair of tickets on the Blue Train
For more information, visit www.marketingawards.co.za. You can also follow the MAAs on Facebook, Twitter or on Instagram.