ABLA’s faculty are a global African network of respected practitioners, thought leaders and academics across disciplines and industries. Collectively they bring a rich blend of proven insights and experience gained at the coalface of building brands in Africa.
Our ABLA faculty help participants in our programmes to shape their perspectives and sharpen their insights and approaches in building purposeful brands in Africa.
Feyi Olubodun is one of the leading authorities on understanding the African marketplace. He is the Founder and Managing Partner of Open Squares Africa, a marketing strategy consulting firm focused on advising multi-nationals and indigenous businesses on how to win in the African marketplace.
He is the author of the seminal book “The Villager: How Africans Consume Brands”. The book sets out the only proprietary framework for understanding African consumer. A seasoned business leader, Feyi was previously the CEO of Insight Publicis, Nigeria's foremost, and arguably, West Africa’s largest marketing communications firm.
Olubodun is a Global Executive MBA alumnus of the Duke University Fuqua School of Business, alumnus of Lagos Business School, and a BSc Psychology graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU). An inspiring speaker, facilitator and teacher, he is considered a leading authority on the African Consumer.
- BSc in Psychology
- The African Marketplace
- The African Consumer
- Marketing Strategy
CONSUMER INSIGHTS AND STRATEGY
Dr. Sheykhetov is a business leader with a strong passion for cross-cultural studies. He has spent the past 18 years advising marketers of the leading local, regional and global brands in Sub Saharan Africa, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East, on how they can build sustainable businesses based on enduring consumer needs and market conditions. He has been based in Kenya since 2014, leading a team of researchers in Sub-Saharan Africa who undertake leading-edge qualitative research across Africa at Kantar, the world’s largest information and insights research firm.
He is a strategic and execution-driven leader with a proven track record of successfully turning around businesses. Sergey holds a BA in History (Novosibirsk State University, Russia), MA in History (Central European University, Hungary) and PhD in Economic History (University of California, USA).
- BA in History
- MA in History
- PhD in Economic History
- Cross-Cultural Studies
- Qualitative and Quantitative Research
Dr. Sergey Sheykhetov
Milton Nkosi is an award-winning journalist and media thought-leader. He joined the BBC in the late 80s just before the release of Nelson Mandela, covering all the township wars and the subsequent political negotiations, major stories across continent and interviewing all consequential African presidents and CEO’s until he retired in 2020 as Africa Bureau Analyst and Correspondent.
As founder and chairman of MMN International Consulting, he brings to bear a wealth of practical experience in media, communication and reputation management.
In a lauded 25-year career with the most watched and listened media global channel in Africa, the BBC, he has been based in the United Kingdom and in South Asia Bureaux Editor based in Delhi, India and South Africa as Africa Bureaux Chief.
He has covered major stories in Angola, the then Zaire which is present day DRC, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Rwanda, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran and many more others.
Nkosi has interviewed Walter Sisulu, Harry Belafonte, former US President Bill Clinton, Former UK Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, F.W. De Klerk, Former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo, Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former President Jacob Zuma, President Thabo Mbeki, President Cyril Ramaphosa, Winnie Mandela and many other leaders.
He is a Trustee on the board of Warwick University’s Africa Project and has lectured at the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism. He was instrumental in the publishing of the book “Soweto Inside Out” and wrote a chapter in the world acclaimed book “Something to Write Home About”.
In 2020 he went on a road trip with former BBC colleagues around South Africa giving talks about story-telling, investigative journalism, solutions journalism and deep listening at leading South African universities.
In 2017 Nkosi travelled to Dubai to interview Duduzane Zuma on allegations of State Capture. He is still the only journalist to have done so. His video went viral on social media and has over 1,2 million hits on Youtube.
Nkosi studied journalism at the BBC Academy's College of Journalism in London and management and leadership at Ashridge College in Hertfordshire.
Nkosi is married to Paediatric-Neurologist Dr. Dorcas Wilson and they are blessed with two children, Kgosietsile and Khanyisile. He’s happiest when seen through the lens of a proud father, husband and an ordinary township boy from Orlando West, Soweto, who supports Orlando Pirates.
- Management and Leadership
- Media, Communication and Reputation Management
Dr Mbele helps organisations and leaders to solve complex business-related problems and achieve synergy by aligning organisational strategies with culture, structure, processes, and human and financial resources.
A managing partner at Knowledge Anchors Group (KAG), he blends a wealth of experience in strategy consulting, academia and the public sector having held various leadership roles at Dual Point Holdings Pty, Wits Business School, Regenesys Management where he headed the Centre for Local Government as head of the National Development Agency (NDA) in Mpumalanga and Jet Education Services and Workplace Innovation (Pty), Ltd. Since 2017, Mbele has been one of the judges on Integrated Reporting (IR) awards co-hosted by PwC, Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and the Chartered Governance Institute of Southern Africa (CGISA).
Mbele anchors a thought leadership radio show called “Beyond Governance with Dr Mbele” on ChaiFM and has hosted numerous high-level interviews with captains of industry, legislators and senior government official on numerous leadership and management issues facing the country.
He holds Bachelor of Art (BA) in Political Studies, African Political Studies, History and Sociology, Posts Graduate Diploma in Management, Master’s degree in Management and a PhD in Corporate Governance from School of Governance from Wits University. He has published widely on governance, leadership and management. He also wrote a chapter in book on Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) published by the Human Science Research Council (HSRC).
Over the past 15 years, Mbele has delivered keynotes in numerous national and international conferences on corporate governance.
- BA in Political Studies, African Political Studies, History and Sociology
- Post Graduate Diploma in Management
- Masters in Management
- PhD in Corporate Governance
- Ethical Leadership
Dr Nimrod Mbele
GOVERNANCE AND ETHICS
Dr. Puleng Makhoalibe is recognized as a global thought leader and practitioner in creativity, design thinking and innovation. She has over twenty years of experience working in the private sector, government and in higher educational institutions.
She established and lead the center of Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship (ICE) at Henley Business School between 2015 and 2020. She co-founded the Alchemy Inspiration and Upside Global to help global organizations across diverse fields accelerate innovation.
Makhoalibe launched the first virtual creativity conference - World Creativity and Innovation Day, in 2020, which attracted participation from 41 countries.
In 2016, she received an Africa Social Innovation Leadership Award and in 2019 received an award to be part of the Women Leaders of the World and became a lead for the cohort. She is a member of the Women leaders of the World Council.
Makhoalibe holds a BSc in Computer Science and Statistics, an MBA and a PhD in Business Management and is an alumnus at Singularity University (Executive Programme on exponential technologies).
She is a passionate speaker, published author, facilitator, and an innovation and design thinking advisor.
- BSc in Computer Science and Statistics
- PhD in Business Management
- Creativity, Design Thinking and Innovation
- Excellence in Creativity Award (2014)
- Africa Social Innovation Leadership Award (2016)
- Women Leaders of the World (2019)
Dr. Puleng Makhoalibe
DESIGN THINKING AND INNOVATON
Dave Holland is a strategic brand thinker, narrator and designer, with over 20 years’ international branding and design experience. With a skill set covering brand narrative, positioning, design expression and identity guardianship, his strengths lie in broad-view conceptual approach to branding, writing and also hands-on-design.
Holland has worked across Africa, the US and Asia, with project experience covering financial services, consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, hospitality, city branding and sports. He has designed and led the creative direction for numerous standout institutions’s branding, notably UBA’s merger with Standard Trust, WEMA Bank, Skye Bank, Diamond Bank - all in Nigeria. Other African exprience includes Standard Bank in South Africa, BPR Atlas Mara in Rwanda, EFG-Hermes in Egypt, Indonesia's shariah Bank Muamalat, and the Rogers Group in Mauritius.
He is adept and experienced in C-suite relationships and holding brand conversations at the most senior and core organisational levels. Dave trained in design and holds a Master of Arts in Digital Media Management from Teesside University where he researched the depth of the social web today in uncovering audience needs. Dave is currently based in Singapore where he leverages its geographic platform to connect with similarly global-minded businesses. Dave co-founded and leads BBH Singapore's BLACK SHEEP DESIGN product vertical - an intrapreneurial strategic design practice within BBH Communications.
- MA in Digital Media Management (Teesside University)
- Digital Media
Creativity and Digital Media
Professor Abaho is an Associate Professor and Head of Department, Entrepreneurship in the Faculty of Entrepreneurship and Business Administration at the historic Makerere University Business School and is the managing director of ABNEST Consultancy in Uganda.
A respected academic and practitioner in Entrepreneurship, Abaho earned a PhD in Entrepreneurship at the University of Dar es Salaam, an MBA, Post Graduate Diploma in Microfinance and a Bachelor’s degree in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management, all at Makerere University.
- PhD in Entrepreneurship (University of Dar es Salaam)
- MBA (Makerere University)
- Post Graduate Diploma in Microfinance
- Bachelor's Degree in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management
Professor Ernest Abaho
Professor Schreuder is considered to be the subject matter specialist in the field of customer experience measurement and management. He has over 25 years of experience and advises companies across multiple industries both locally and internationally. He founded the independent national benchmark for Customer Satisfaction, the South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SAcsi) in 2012.
He completed his Bachelor’s, Honours and Master’s degree in Marketing cum laude at the University of Pretoria (UP), and subsequently his doctoral studies at the University of Johannesburg. Schreuder held various academic positions up to Professor and Head of Department levels before he became a full-time practitioner in leading Consulta – a Customer Experience Advisory Consultancy - as Founder and CEO and CVO for 20 years until he sold it at the end of 2019.
Schreuder specializes in Customer Experience Measurement and Management, Customer Satisfaction, Customer Engagement, Customer Loyalty, Customer Service, Service Quality, CVP Design and Testing, Conjoint Analysis, Brand Fitness Analysis, Market Research Leadership.
- B Com
- B Com Honors
- M Com
- Customer Experience Measurement and Management
- Experience Management
Professor Adré Schreuder
Dr. Mokoena is a well-rounded marketer with deep client and agency experience, and a strong passion for client-centric service. He has spent over 20 years in various senior corporate marketing roles at Unilever, Tiger Brands, SABMiller, Cadbury, Barclays from Brand Manager to Marketing Director and in advertising agencies where he was Managing Director of FCB Johannesburg, Managing Director of Ogilvy Johannesburg and Chief Executive Officer of Ogilvy South Africa. He is country director for Google South Africa.
He serves on various South African marketing bodies, including as chairman of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) South Africa and is a visiting Professor of Practice at the University of Johannesburg’s Joburg Business School (JBS).
Mokoena holds BCom, LLB, MBA and PhD degrees and is a Chartered Marketer (SA).
- Agency/Client Relationships
- Digital Disruption
Dr. Alistair Mokoena
Agency/Client Relationships and Digital Disruption
Dr Titilayo Adebola is a law academic and policy advisor with special interests in international economic law, in particular, intellectual property rights. She is a lecturer at the University of Aberdeen, where she is affiliated with three of the School's research centres: Centre for Commercial Law, Centre for Energy Lawand Centre for Constitutional and Public International Law. She co-ordinates and teaches varied Intellectual Property Law and International Economic Law courses at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
Before joining the School of Law, Dr Adebola taught Global Intellectual Property Law and Policy at the University of Warwick.
She has practised law in Nigeria, where she is called to the Bar with dual qualifications as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
Adebola holds a PhD and LLM (University of Warwick), Bachelor of Law (Nigerian Law School), LLB (Olabisi Onabanjo University), AFHEA (Higher Education Academy) and GradICSAN (Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria) qualifications.
- Bachelor of Law
- Intellectual Property
Dr Titilayo Adebola
Nnamdi Oranye is the author of Disrupting Africa: The Rise and Rise of African Innovation andTaking On Silicon Valley: How Africa’s Innovators will change its future. He has been named one of the 100 most influential people of African descent, an initiative by the United Nations.
His many travels and business experience across the continent have greatly contributed to his huge optimism for Africa and its bright future. He has explored how African Innovation truly has the potential to change the African narrative, as well as global and pan-African trends shaping the landscape in Africa. More recently he has begun to explore the overlap between Social Sciences, particularly Anthropology and the rise of African technology, arguing that we may have underestimated the value of African Innovation.
He features frequently as a presenter and chairperson across conferences internationally, contributes regularly to think-tanks on the subject of innovation, and has been named amongst the 100 most influential names in Africa's telecoms, media and ICT industry by the AfricaCom100 Research Board.
He is also the founder of the Disrupting Africa Encyclopedia, an online platform dedicated to identifying the 30 million Africans who can change the narrative and legacy of Africa.
He is a writer for CNBC Africa, focusing on the social and technological trends in African Innovation.
Thebe Ikalafeng (South Africa) is arguably the foremost global African branding authority. In a distinguished corporate career which started at Colgate Palmolive in New York and concluded as chief marketing officer for NIKE for Africa, he won over 75 awards in branding and marketing communication globally. He has travelled to over 100 countries globally, every continent in the world and to every country in Africa. This experience has provides him with an advantageous global African perspective on African consumers and building brands in Africa. He has been recognized by New African Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential Africans.
He is the founder of the award-winning Brand Leadership Group and has worked on over 100 corporate, nation and political brands across Africa. The Brand Leadership pan-African branding and reputation advisory firm has been recognised by Fin Week Magazine as “Marketing Services Agency of the Year” in 2008 and was inducted into the Rebrand “Hall of Fame” for Excellence in Branding in 2015.
He is the founder of the non-profit Brand Africa initiative to mobilize Africans and the diaspora to proactively drive a brand-led African agenda and the widely regarded Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands initiative to survey, understand and celebrate leading brands in Africa.
A fellow of the Institute of Directors, he is a non-executive director at South African Tourism, Cartrack Group and WWF South Africa. He has held directorships in the public and private sector, including a 15 years tenure on the board of Mercantile Bank Group, and full terms on the Brand South Africa, Foodcorp and Nike boards, and is a former council member of the Durban University of Technology and advisory council member of the Vega School of Branding Leadership.
Ikalafeng has summited Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, the highest free-standing mountain in the world, and Mount Elbrus in Russia, the highest mountain in Europe.
Ikalafeng holds BSc. and MBA degrees from Marquette University in the USA, completed executive education at Wits Business School and Harvard Business School and is a Chartered Marketer.
Based in Johannesburg, South Africa, he advices, writes and speaks on Africa-focused branding, leadership and related matters. Africa is central to everything he does.
- CM (SA)
- Brand Strategy
James Woods is an award-winning African achiever with significant experience dealing with governance issues, reputation management, strategic media, and communications. He has served in the Malawian diplomatic corp.
He has served as a communications advisor to two African governments; worked in the diplomatic field; The Mo Ibrahim Foundation; Navigate Response and has consulted for numerous international entities such as Ras Al Khaimah Gas and Surestream Petroleum.
He has placed a number of clients in leading global media, developed their branding, cultivated a strong business and leadership portfolio and handled issues around reputation management, media, communications, and brand-awareness.
James is a Founder and Co-Founder of numerous businesses with operations in the United Kingdom; The Balkans and Malawi focussing on providing tailor-made services to corporations, individuals and governments on complex issues which are usually at the nexus of the political, business, and media worlds.
As an avid lover of sports he serves as a Director and Southern Africa Partner at Rainbow Sports Investments, a sports company that identifies, develops and manages talented African athletes to ensure they reach the elite level of sport. He is also a FIFA registered football intermediary with the Football Association of Malawi.
- Bachelor Degree with Honours in Politics, Philosophy and History
- Master of Science in Social Policy and Development, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE
- Executive Leadership Programme, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford
- Certificate in Global Diplomacy, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) joint programme with the University of London
- Executive Certificate in Shipping Economics, Investment and Finance, CASS Business School and Baltic Exchange
- Certificate in Job Creation for African Youth, Ashoka Changemakers
- Diplomatic Training, Clingendael Institute in The Netherlands
- International Relations
- National Identity
- African Achiever, 2015
- Young African Leader, 2015
- Malawian Achiever, 2016
International Relations and National Identity
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