CHINI Africa, Cannes Lions official festival representatives in Nigeria and organisers of Pitcher Awards, has named the jury presidents and speakers for the 2020 edition of the internationally recognised and respected awards.
They are Ivan Johnson, Executive Creative Director & Partner 3Verse Capetown, South Africa who is President for Heritage Jury; Fiona Uwagwu, Managing Director, Ogilvy Nigeria, Innovation Jury President; and Emeka Okeke , Founder and Group CEO, Media Fuse Dentsu Aegis Network Holding Company, Channel Jury President.
Confirmed Speakers, on the other hand, include Alero Balogun, Head, Corporate Communications and CSR, Oando Plc; Biodun Adefila, Chief Operating Officer SO&U Limited, Lagos; Collins Teke, Tech & Media Entrepreneur, Founder Black Voice Media; Kelechi Nwosu, Managing Director and CEO, TBWA\CONCEPT Lagos; Lampe Omoyele, Managing Director, Nitro 121, Lagos, and Osayi Alile, Chief Executive Officer, Aspire Coronation Trust (ACT) Foundation.
Speaking on the forthcoming event, Nnamdi Ndu, Chief Executive Officer of CHINI Africa, said: “2020 is a very important year for Africa. We have seen awareness grow about the need for Africans to come together and take their destinies into their own hands. We have seen Africans speak against xenophobia in one voice. We have seen the signing of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. 2020 is the year when we will begin to see the practical implications of all these developments and Pitcher Awards is to lead in this new charge by celebrating and showcasing the creativity of Africa to the world.”
It would be recalled that Pitcher Awards, now in its third year, has become one of the most valuable and internationally respected accolades for creative works coming out of Africa. It started as an annual celebration of creativity in West Africa; but beginning with the 2020 edition, the scope has now widened to include all works created, released or implemented anywhere on the African continent in line with its vision to provide the true and authentic benchmark for African creative excellence.
Entries for the 2020 edition of the awards, opened recently, are for campaigns created or implemented in any of the 54 African countries. The entries will close on February 14, 2020, while the festival will run from March 26-30, 2020.
Ivan Johnson, the President for Heritage Jury, has learnt his craft at most of South Africa’s multi-national agencies including Y&R, Bates, FCB and BBDO. Of his 32 years in the ad business he spent 15 years at BBDO Cape Town, first as Creative Director then Executive Creative Director and shareholder. While there, he won his cabinet full of Cannes Lions, D&AD Pencils, One Show Pencils and scores of Loerie Awards.
Ivan’s attention to craft made him the first South African to be invited as juror on all the South African-recognised award shows – Cannes Lions, D&AD, Art Directors Club NY, CLIOS USA and Dubai Lynx (x2). Ivan is now the proud partner in a locally owned agency – 3Verse. His memoir about growing up during the Apartheid (struggle) years has yet to hit the shelves. One chapter of it has been published in the SA Matric English 2nd Language handbook.
On her part, Fiona Fiona Uwagwu, Innovation Jury President is a career marketing professional and a 19-year veteran in advertising working at some of the biggest agencies in the UK including Saatchi’s, TBWA & Ogilvy. After nearly five years working at Ogilvy UK on American Express and Nestle, she moved to Africa to lead the Digital discipline for Ogilvy Africa across Sub-Saharan Africa. Most recently, she moved to Lagos to become Managing Director of the new Ogilvy Nigeria office.
Emeka Okeke, Channel Jury President, is the Founder, Group Chief Executive Officer of Media Fuse Dentsu Aegis Network Holding Company Limited and Director of Dentsu Aegis Network Ghana. He is responsible for the development of Dentsu Aegis Network’s global and local service brands in Nigeria.
With over twenty-seven years’ experience spanning across the Print Media, full service creative and media agencies notably in Nigeria and Ghana; Emeka launched Ghana’s first Media Independent Agency Network – Premier MediaCompany Ghana in 1999 (now Vizeum Ghana, a division of Dentsu Aegis Network Ghana) to pioneer the development of professional media planning and communications practice in that part of Africa.
In 2014, Emeka led Media Fuse Dentsu Aegis Network to winning the Fastest Growing Agency Network Award at the 2014 Marketing World Awards and won for himself the Media Entrepreneur of the Year award at the same event.
In 2017, he earned the Outstanding Leadership Award in Advertising at the 2nd Edition of DAAR Awards for his contribution to modern advertising practice in Nigeria and in 2018, received Advertising Professional of the Year in West Africa in Ghana from Marketing World Awards 2018 as well as Outstanding Media Advertising Leadership Award from MARKETING EDGE.
A Fellow of National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria and a member of different industry professional bodies, Emeka plays leadership roles in Media Independent Practitioners Association of Nigeria, where he is an ex-officio member of the body’s executive committee.
His professional work life has taken him to many global communication networks and afforded him the opportunity to be in a position to support clients from different product and service categories spanning across conventional media communications, digital marketing and communication strategy in today’s dynamic media landscape and evolving global digital economy.
Notably, Emeka is an Alumni of University of Nigeria Nsukka, Lagos Business School and IESE University, Barcelona, Spain, to mention a few tertiary institutions that contributed in shaping his career in marketing communications.