Sylvester Chauke first came to the attention of Men’s Health when at the beginning of his speech at a media conference he proceeded to dance to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies”. The entire song. All 3.29 minutes of it while slack-jawed conference goers watched in amusement and awe. It was clever, a sucker punch to the high impact speech that followed.
Making an entrance (and making an impact) is what 32-year-old Chauke’s game is. He made a name for himself while working as Nando’s National Marketing Manager – where he was instrumental in developing innovative strategies that shone a spotlight on the brand and cemented its status as one of the most loved (and cheekiest) brands in South Africa.
Post-Nando’s he directed marketing and communications for MTV Networks Africa. Now Chief Architect of his own marketing consultancy outfit, DNA Architects, the larger than life Chauke’s upwards curve continues.
In 2011, his novel thinking and fresh approach was recognised outside of the South African pond when he was selected as a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum. In 2013 he was the only South African youngster to be part of the WEF Davos Annual Meeting – representing the voice of young people on South Africa (and probably dancing his butt off at a bunch of grey-suited bankers). Nando’s, MTV… Davos? Little wonder his personal motto is “Stand against bland”.
#BestAdvice: Do it, but do it differently
“It seems that in today’s world, there is little demand for excellence. Truth is, our nation is steeped in mediocrity. At work, at home, as we go about our daily lives. This is so apparent that we get so shocked and surprised when people do amazing work. When we are so mediocre, it’s surprise that we end up with mediocre leaders, mediocre services, mediocre work, mediocre standards and a mediocre nation. We forget that being brilliant is really not for the lucky few! There are far too many people doing a lot of talking and not enough doing. My advice is simple: less yada yada, more do do! And while you do that – stand out, be different, don’t be the norm, aim for the highest standard amidst the mediocre, push yourself further and put in the hours! That way, you’ll stand out as one who acts. Stand against Bland!”
*By Tudor Caradoc-Davies