Career Quick Five with The ‘Beyoncé of Branding’, Amanda Sibiya

Amanda Sibiya is a passionate African entrepreneur, lead strategist and founder at Branding Africa, a digital consulting agency operating in South Africa and Uganda with the aim of enabling African businesses to achieve sustainable growth through effective strategy.

With a decade of experience as an entrepreneur, she believes that the key to growing the African economy lies in developing the minds of those who will create sustainable African brands that represent innovation on the global stage.

Amanda’s entrepreneurship and brand-building experience has allowed her to work with a range of big and small brands across borders. She delivers talks and conducts workshops on branding, entrepreneurship, mindset, and shifting brand perception, with a focus on African entrepreneurs. In addition, she currently leads Hadithi Africa, a modern online educational platform that teaches and showcases the African heritage. In this Career Quick Five feature, she shares some challenges that she has faced in her industry and a major advice for her younger self. 

1. What practical boundaries have you set to avoid work encroachment on your personal time?

This one is difficult for a lot of entrepreneurs because we’re always working, but one thing that’s worked for me is never bringing my laptop into the bedroom and never opening my laptop in the lounge. We all falter and something I do it, but I’ve set a boundary to never do it so when I’m switching off and I’m closing my laptop, it’s over, and when I come home from the office, work is over.

2. What animal represents your mood during that first call?

You know that saying “the earliest bird catches the fattest worm”? I am that bird, I’m the bird who’s 5 minutes early, and I’m that bird who catches the fattest worm.

3. What challenges do you face in staying updated with the latest industry trends and technologies?

The tricky thing about the industry that I’m in is that things are always changing, and technologies are always updating. What was trending yesterday, is not trending today and that can be a challenge. But also finding reputable organizations where we can get statistic and reports on the state of the industry in Africa is one of the challenges I always face. 

4. Flats or stilettos? How do you set the footwear mood for the day?

Flats and sneakers all the way, because stilettos are for those day’s or those events where you need to go from the car to the table, and from the table back to the car then take them off. For that reason, give me flats over stiletto’s, any day.

5. What advice would you give to your younger self starting out in your career?

My younger self, listen to me carefully. Networking can get you into boardrooms that your degree cannot, so network like your life depends on it. Remember why you started because it’s going to get very difficult. And lastly, Always put God first.

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