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Youth-led brands are challenging the norm – Brand Africa


Staff Reporters

Local clothing brand, Bonono Merchants, has been voted as the country’s most admired brand in a development suggesting the emergence and resilience of youth-led brands.

Bonono was recognised during this year’s Brand Africa 100 rankings, which were released on August 30 this year.

 The rankings are based on a survey, analysis and rankings by Geopoll, Kantar and Brand Leadership, respectively, across Africa and in Lesotho. 

They are part of the Pan-Africa research across 32 African countries that account for more than 85 percent of the continent’s gross domestic product (GDP) and population. In Lesotho the survey is led by Tangerine Co.

Advocate Phelane Phomane, the chairman of Tangerine, said the survey has shined the spotlight on local brands and branding like never before.

“Before we engaged on this initiative with Brand Africa, we did not have an objective assessment of the state of brands and branding in Lesotho. Now, three years into this edition, it is incredible but not unexpected given the youth dividend and unemployment, to see the emergence and resilience of youth-led brands challenging the ‘established’ brands,” advocate Phelane said.

“The survey is in an unexpected way, a measure of the state of the nation.”

The founder and chairman of Brand Africa, Thebe Ikalafeng said Bonono’s recognition is good news to Lesotho’s hope for international trade.

“At a local level, it is gratifying to see that local brands, albeit in the minority, remain competitive, and the growth of youth-led Lesotho brands such as the number one brand, Bonono, which bodes well for the mountain Kingdom’s future contribution to African branding landscape.”

Ikalafeng however, expressed concern that many African consumers seemed to prefer non- African brands instead of supporting their own.

“While it is concerning that despite the momentum in operationalising the AfCFTA, rising internal pride in continent albeit against global economic challenges, that overall African consumers have put their trust in mostly non-African brands, rather than give African brands a chance.”

While Bonono was ranked the most admired Lesotho brand, Nike was the most admired non-Lesotho brand in the country, according to the annual survey.

In the category for the most admired African brands, MGC and Shoprite were ranked the number one Lesotho and non-Lesotho brands.

MGC and Shoprite were further ranked the number one Lesotho and non-Lesotho brands in the category for the most admired brands that reflect African pride.

PC FM and SABC were ranked the most admired Lesotho and non-Lesotho brands in the category for most admired media brands.

In the category for the most admired financial services brands, Alliance Insurance and FNB were ranked the most admired Lesotho and non-Lesotho brands.

In the category recognising brands that are doing good for people, society and the environment, MGC, emerged as the most admired Lesotho, while Vodacom and Unicef/UN were the most admired non-Lesotho and NGO brands in Lesotho.

The legendary visual artist Meshu Mokitimi, was also honoured for inspiring excellence in the creative industry and contributing to building Lesotho’s distinctive identity.

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