Indigenous language to be celebrated at this years’ Pendorings Awards

Exceptional work created in South Africa’s 10 indigenous national languages will be awarded Gold or Silver Pendorings, with the highlight of the evening being the Prestigious Umpetha Award. 

Winners will be announced at this year’s prestigious gala scheduled to take place on 31 October 2019 at the University of Johannesburg’s Art Centre. 

This year’s event format promises to be an exceptional evening hosted by Hulisani Ravele and Schalk Bezuidenhout backed up by Bombshelter Beast, with local cuisine and entertainment setting the scene for a local celebration. 

The 2019 Pendoring finalists include a variety of striking executions by South Africa’s top creative agencies and students of Creative Communication at tertiary institutions, all created in indigenous languages.

The complete list of finalists can be viewed here:

 “It’s our collective responsibility to create an enabling environment for our indigenous languages to thrive. By putting local languages at the heart of creativity we can begin to entrench multilingualism and celebrate the rich cultural diversity of our society,” said Eben Keun the Pendoring organiser.  

“The Pendoring Awards are excited to have UNESCO and the South African National Commission for UNESCO as endorsement partners starting this year as part of The Year of Indigenous languages campaign.”

Keun continued: “If our entries are anything to go by, indigenous languages are making significant inroads in advertising! We received a record number of entries, with the isiZulu language entries taking the lead in numbers for the very first time.

Debut Pendoring entries in XiTsonga and Tshivenda also serve as a testament to the crucial creative evolution taking place in the advertising and communications space. When we see locally inspired work rising to the top, we know that we are encouraging our nation to break new ground in cultural reinvention.”

The Pendoring Advertising Awards are 24 years old this year – a truly unique initiative that celebrates the 10 indigenous national languages of our country – quite simply, at Pendoring, we speak South African.

Originally created in 1995 to promote and stimulate the use of Afrikaans in advertising, the Pendoring has gone through a number of changes to celebrate all South Africa’s indigenous languages. “In 2016 we amended rules so that all languages could compete on equal footing and in 2018, we have gone a step further and eliminated prizes that rewarded Afrikaans separately from the remaining nine languages,” said Keun. 

Pendoring is unique in that it is the only advertising competition in SA with substantial cash prizes, not only for the overall winners but also for gold and silver winners in each category. 

The overall winner across all categories will enjoy an overseas trip worth R100 000 as a part of the Prestigious Umpetha Award. The overall student winner is set to walk away with a cool R10 000, while every winner of a gold Pendoring will receive R6 000 and the silver award winners walk away with R2 500 each.

The judges for these awards are Steph van Niekerk (Creative Director – WPP Liquid); Molefi Thulo (Creative Director – Ogilvy);  Claudi Potter (Creative Director – Joe Public) ;Khaya Mtshali (Designer – IBM iX) ;Marcus Moshapalo (Senior Creative Director – MC Saatchi) ;Mpumi Ngwenya-Tshabangu (Creative Group Head – Riverbed Agency); Mukondi Ralushayi Kgomo (Co-Founder of Think Creative Africa); Nkgabiseng Motau (Co-Founder of Think Creative Africa); Sunshine Shibambo (Managing Director – Cheri Yase Kasi); Seth Beukes (Art Director – Bain & Bunkell); Grant Sithole (Chief Creative Officer – Avatar Agency);Khanyi Mpumlwana (Senior Copywriter – FCB)  and Nico Botha (Creative Director – Joe Public).

The 2019 Pendoring Awards Judge and Creative Director at FCB Africa, Khanyi Mpumlwana, said: “The fact that each entry is underpinned by skilled craftsmanship and emotionally engaging storytelling is evidence that quality work is being submitted this year, which I’m excited about.” 

Mpumlwana added: “The best Pendoring entries are ideas in the mother tongue that become concepts and then campaigns. Translations just don’t cut it.” 

University of Johannesburg Arts Centre is the host venue.

Ticket sales for the awards ceremony have officially opened and are available for purchase on

Image (Actress and entrepreneur Hulisani Ravele to host the 2019 Pendoring Advertising awards alongside Schalk Bezuidenhout on October 31 at UJ Johannnesburg Campus).

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