Nontokozo Madonsela | Influence 100

Nontokozo Madonsela 

Momentum Metropolitan Holdings 
South Africa



 Nontokozo Madonsela, one of our EMEA Innovator 25 for 2019, is known as something of a firebrand in the South African marketing world. Her 20-year career has been defined by an uncompromising commitment to delivering smart, innovative and memorable marketing across a range of industries.

For the past three years, she has been group chief marketing officer at Momentum Metropolitan Holdings, the fourth largest insurance group in South Africa, where she has developed a new marketing strategy, working with new agency partners, to support and reposition the group’s brands as they reset themselves for future growth after their 2010 merger. Her leadership has helped to shift the organisation’s culture, enabled Momentum to shift its messaging to connect better with customers, and ensured Metropolitan stays true to what matters to its customers.

Madonsela previously worked at some of the largest South African multinationals, including Standard Bank (improving its customer satisfaction index by 4.4% improvement with one campaign), British American Tobacco, Coca Cola, South African Breweries and Hollard.

Can you share a moment in your career when you saw PR's direct impact on business performance?
I think in the insurance sector managing client complaints before they escalate publicly has added huge value to our business. Trust is an essential ingredient in financial services and PR teams play an important role in this regard.

What are the comms industry's biggest challenges and opportunities in the year ahead?
To keep the balance right and not walk away from doing work that cares about humanity and our role in shaping the planet. Getting back to normal is not possible, so organizations that have a strong culture of innovating, learning, failing fast and a deep care for people in my mind will be set to win.

What have you most admired about this industry in 2020?
I've seen teams seek more opportunities for public/private partnerships to support governments and non-profit organizations. This has been wonderful because marketing teams know how to pull people together better than any other areas in business.

What has most disappointed you about this industry in 2020?
Seeing brands fail to land unique ideas has been disappointing. Covid-19 films have looked the same across the world.

How have you switched off from work and maintained wellness in lockdown?
Family time has helped, we cook, walk, exercise or just watch movies. Meditation has also helped me a lot.

Which book/movie/TV show/podcast/playlist/other cultural source has helped you get through this year or provided inspiration?
Buddha's brain: source of happiness, love and wisdom.

If I wasn't working in marketing/communications, I would be...
A film director.

Sum up 2020 in one word.