About Sizakele MarutlulleCorporate Strategist | Creative Problem-Solver | Global Speaker | Facilitator | Fire-Starter | Cultural Creative
Sizakele Marutlulle has over 23 years experience in the business leadership, brand building, innovation & people development universes.
She is a disruptive thinker, cultural creative, business architect, ideation activist and public speaker with experience across various sectors and geographies. She has the rare talent of having worked in the public and private sectors, with small and established businesses, as well as founding several ad agencies. She applies this deep and diverse knowledge to unlock sustainable commercial success for her clients.
Given her specific work experience, corporate leadership, brand expertise and consumer engagement in South Africa, The Americas, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Tanzania and a working knowledge of Asia and Europe, top-tier companies engage her as advisor and consultant to advance their ambitions as well as imagine new futures. With a burning desire to positively impact Africa’s fortunes, she has a special focus on Fentrepreneurs©, as in female entrepreneurs, to help them build bankable and scalable, future-fit businesses.
She is often invited to direct programs and/or speak at high-impact leadership and communication events in South Africa and beyond. At the invitation of Ms. Debra Lee, Chairman of BET, she addressed the 7th annual BET Networks – Leading Women Defined Summit in Miami, USA – sharing the challenges and opportunities of doing business in Africa with an all-powerful collection of African – American Women in leading corporate/entrepreneurial positions.
She contributes articles to leading business, marketing and lifestyle media in South Africa. She invests much time mentoring young and emerging professionals and speaks by invitation, at various institutions of higher learning.
She is currently a PhD student.
Some milestones include;
- 2014-6: served at the invitation of the Vice Chancellor of the University of Johannesburg, on their Global Think Tank to help re-position that institution as a centre of African Inquiry.
- 2014: Admitted as a PhD scholar into the School of Diversity at WITS – exploring the economic and social cost of gender discrimination, especially as it relates to Black Female Professionals who are childfree.
- 2012-3 : Served as Head of Marketing for South Africa’s biggest bank my customer numbers Absa/Barclays Africa. Consolidated the brand and delivered a disruptive and award-winning thematic campaign for the category, with application across pan-African region. It remains a success story to date.
- 2011-2012: drove the commercial revival and reputational growth of Grey South Africa, an ad agency in the world-acclaimed WPP communications stable
- 2008-2011: was appointed with a creative partner by the Government of River State, to develop a destination branding & marketing campaign for this strategic state in Nigeria.
- 2005-7: was appointed by the Minister of Environmental Affairs & Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, to serve on the inaugural Tourism Council to drive transformation in the tourism sector (considered South Africa’s ‘new’ gold).
- In 2005: she was awarded the highly competitive Ford Foundation Award to pursue filmmaking studies in the USA. This was sacrificed when she responded to the call to serve her country as Chief Operations Officer at South African Tourism.
- In 2004: Sizakele was rated one of 5 top five business personalities in South Africa, acknowledged by the Business Women’s Association.
- In 1998: she became the youngest recipient of the Good Citizen Award by the Professional Development Program for her contribution to the South African Economic landscape.
- In 1995 : won the highly contested Professional Development Program award, which led to her spending 1995 in NY in training at NW Ayers & Partners and TBWA Chiat-Day Ad Agencies. In this time she also engaged with multi-cultural communication stalwarts such as the late Caroline Jones and Byron Lewis of Uniworld Group.
- Honorable mentions in books – Black Jerusalema by Happy Ntshingila, Doing Time by Peter Vundla and The Hidden Agenda by Kevin Allen complete the circle of what some smart people have said about her.