Nontokozo Madonsela | Influence 100

Nontokozo Madonsela 

Chief Marketing Officer 
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 four 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 – and her insistence on bringing a modern FMCG mindset to a traditional industry – 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
Working in financial services, PR plays such a critical role in our comms. We have had to communicate about Covid related matters clearly and regularly. Trust and transparency in our business is a key value. Over and above this our PR teams have handled brand messages to levels we haven't seen before, showing up more creatively in a traditional and grey industry.

What are the communications industry's biggest challenges and opportunities in the year ahead?
We are going to see the impact of Covid for the next two to three years. We need to show up as businesses with empathy in our communication. Our people are dealing with loss in a variety of ways, brands need to show heart. The other challenge is that the economy is not going to recover soon, so budgets will remain tight. The communications industry needs to show value to the business.

How have you switched off from work and maintained wellness in lockdown?
Regular exercise, quality time at home with my loved ones , frequent journaling to clear my mind and lots of wine (of course).

Which book/movie/TV show/podcast/playlist/other cultural source has helped you get through this year or provided inspiration?
The Playbook (Netflix) and The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle.

If I wasn't working in marketing/communications, I would be...
A travel photographer.

Sum up 2021 in one word.