Wisdomwithmagic - A Vega QnA
When a new school of thought was called for, Vega was born. It was one of the first institutions to implement the necessary change to educate South Africa's most talented young minds, in preparation for this brave new world.
Wisdomwithmagic is the core of Vega's teaching philosophy. This reflects that the essence of branding lies in the fusion of strategy and creativity. Over the years Vega has produced astounding alumni of creatives.
We asked a panel of Vega staff members a few questions for their thoughts on language as the driver of transformation in advertising:
Alex Sudheim, Senior Lecturer Copywriting: Advertising is a high-visibility medium which acts as an analogue of cultural norms and thereby also has the power to change them. For example, Nandos’ daringly light-hearted take on racial diversity in South Africa acts as a kind of national therapy where we are reminded to not take everything so seriously and laugh at ourselves once in a while.
Shane de Lange, Senior Lecturer Visual Communication: I think people identify their respective mother tongues as a pivotal part of their cultural and traditional histories, even if they are unconscious of it. It informs who they are, and constructs much of their identity, their perspectives on the world, and the way that they represent themselves. By being pluralistic on the subject of language one opens the door to a multitude of cultural territories and negotiations surrounding identity, including a vast array of differing perspectives and forms of representation. Within the milieu of the creative industry, especially advertising, I can only see this as a good thing.
Anka Joubert, Multimedia Design Lecturer: I think it creates some sense of inclusivity, a sense of real authenticity & belonging and personally I think it’s of the utmost importance to also be able to learn from each other and have an appreciation for cultural differences and not just assumptions.
Alex Sudheim, Senior Lecturer Copywriting: The students that do converse in indigenous languages all make a point of bringing this aspect of their cultural heritage into their work as it is a crucial part of their identities. Students of Zimbabwean origin produce work in Shona while several South African students express themselves in Xhosa or Afrikaans. These students, however, remain in the minority.
Alex Sudheim, Senior Lecturer Copywriting: We are moving forward by encouraging all our students to produce work outside of the English language medium. Even those who are born English-speakers are tasked with producing at least one piece of creative work for entry into the Pendorings. We would like to move forward even more by encouraging more indigenous language speakers to study creative brand communications (copywriting, graphic design or digital design) by either making them realise what a wonderful world of career options it opens to them or by offering more bursaries to the financially disadvantaged.
Alex Sudheim, Senior Lecturer Copywriting: The intrinsic benefit is the sheer satisfaction of expressing yourself in your mother tongue. The extrinsic benefit is that there is a huge industry demand for young creatives who can express themselves in their mother tongue.
Anka Joubert, Multimedia Design Lecturer: The brand and its campaign immediately becomes so much more authentic. The narrative & experience becomes believable & inclusive.
Alex Sudheim, Senior Lecturer Copywriting: Just do it! You’ll be killing two birds with one stone: expressing yourself in your mother tongue AND being the subject of the kind of intense industry demand that can skyrocket a creative career into the stratosphere. Long gone are the days where English proficiency was an industry prerequisite – that ship has sailed and the paradigm has shifted: today you are regarded as hot stuff if you’re a wordsmithing dynamo in any language OTHER than English.
Shane de Lange, Senior Lecturer Visual Communication: Embrace who you are, where you come from, and inject that into what you identify with and what you do. Represent!
At the Pendoring, we recognise the youth as pioneers of our future through our student category.
We are an award that celebrates diversity in all indigenous South African languages and are the custodian of uniquely South African creativity and invite you to enter the 2018 Pendoring Awards here: http://www.pendoring.co.za/entry-details