How is the coronavirus pandemic affecting the advertising and marketing worlds? That’s what Gareth discusses with Sean Donovan. As the President in Asia for TBWA – known for disruptive ideas that locate and involve brands in culture, giving them a larger share of the future – Sean definitely knows more than a thing or two about this.

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How does a titan of industry balance health, family and business during lockdown? How long will it take us to return to full economic activity? Which industries are likely to be Covid-19 proof? Though he misses the gym, Vusi Thembekwayo gets up at the same time every day, so that he can continue to lead his team and serve his clients during a time of tremendous chaos. We are now in the new normal… this is a time for the strong to lead – and lead he shall!

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Carolyn Steyn’s regular schedule – which includes a radio show, her charity work with 67 blankets, and an improvised cardio routine of running up the stairs – has helped to maintain some normalcy during the Covid-19 lockdown. To her shock, she hasn’t fought with her husband once so far, but to her delight the world has shown unilateral empathy where needed… and she expects this to continue beyond lockdown. BC and AC will take on a new meaning – AC, After Covid will be different, but better. She is proud of her president and proud of her fellow citizens. A theatre performer and lover for life, she will do what she can to help the show go on!

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Two budgies, a chicken, and a bobble head of Jesus. No that’s not a Scandinavian indie band’s name – it’s the lockdown reality of ‘That Romantic Afrikaans Rapper’, Jack Parow. As a man who is always travelling, the lockdown has been a double-edged sword mentally, the rest has reinvigorated the creative juices… but the rush of performing in front of a live crowd cannot be replaced by love nor money. It’s been 10 years of the edgy ‘zeff’ star producing hit after hit. Jack also has an exclusive announcement, there’s something special to come for his fans!

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Though the new comedy club he had just opened with his business partners a year ago had to shut down due to Covid-19, fortunately this quick-witted comedian didn’t have all his eggs in one basket. Donovan has written stage comedy off for 6 months, but lockdown has inspired him to create an Instagram show and corporate South Africa has already come on board to sponsor. Living with a professional violinist sounds great – until you remember that she teaches children online for hours… every day! The true creatives will shine through in lockdown, and humour and laughter are the highest form of compassion right now.

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The best comedy often comes from the darkest places. Nina details her struggles with mental health and what cues she looks for to know if she might need some help. Having rid herself of smoking and drinking as vices some time back, she has a deep empathy for those who suffer with addiction. The unhealed wounds of Apartheid are revealing themselves in this pandemic, as South Africa struggles to appease all citizens with its lockdown policies. What does a comedian do to relax? Every day you can expect content to drop on the socials from this hysterical human during lockdown. Sorry excuse me, her black cat’s name is who… and the white one is who? Oh yes… and we can’t say this enough, “Thank God for Cyril!”

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One of Botswana’s finest exports of all time reveals that as a home body, lockdown for him has been a picnic so far. Fortunately he pivoted a few years ago and was already working digitally, so his business has not suffered. Being OCD, he is always over-stocked with essentials – including booze – so no worries there either. His family in Botswana relies on him for information and a sense of calm regarding Covid-19, and he has done his best to ease their nerves. Although Oneal doesn’t believe he makes good company in real life, his online DJ sets have taken off and the sponsors are flooding in. The music industry in South Africa may have become stagnant, now is the time to evolve and adapt to create new revenue streams. His advice is, be careful who you choose to stay with for lockdown!

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Imagine you suffer from anxiety, and your phone and wifi crash in the first week of a pandemic fuelled lockdown? How does one regulate anxiety, what do you look for physiologically? The booze ban… is it good or bad that South Africa imposed this? Is Africa equipped to absorb the unilateral effects of Covid-19, or should we be concerned? Gender-based violence is a terrible affliction in South Africa’s society – how can vulnerable women trapped in hell on earth during this lockdown period with abusive partners call for help? Rosie details the options. Yes you are in lockdown, but you do not have to lockdown your voice!

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Zimbabwe is a nation which finds itself uniquely poised to face this pandemic. What looks like backward ways may very well be an advantage in the long term. Cash-based economies will not feel a credit crunch as 80-90% of industry in Zimbabwe is informal trading. K.F. is fortunate enough to have work in the marketing sector and can work remotely, but he details how a country with a medical system which could barely serve its people in normal times is responding to Covid-19. The Zim people have known empty shelves before… are they hoarding essential goods?

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Though his letter of employment says extinguished, he is quite the opposite. The distinguished Professor Jonathan Jansen is a prolific author and educator, and lockdown for him has meant more marking of postgraduate papers and finishing manuscripts for his next book… same old, same old really. The scholar and avid Blue Bulls fan has interesting observations about the possibility of state authoritarianism becoming a tool of continued terror post lockdown – especially against the vulnerable. As an educator, he lays out ideas of how South Africa’s largely underprivileged schoolchildren can catch up a lost syllabus year. How do the idiosyncrasies of South Africa’s economic inequality affect how we should govern the lockdown? He’s happy to wash his hands, but not to sing Happy Birthday… find out why.

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