George carries with him the story so many South Africans from our townships aspires to have. And that is a story of coming from a childhood of struggling to get by and being considered a statistic that will not make the ‘so called standards’ of success. He used all he has at his disposal to change his life for the better.
I met him through social connections, and what struck me the most was how ideas driven he was. At that point, he was working at establishing his most recent venture, Marvin. It was a concept I immediately fell in love with and I participated in many conversations that formed part of his research.
George was born in Alexandra Township and loves graphic design, which really translates to the love of the creative industry. Naturally, that is what he became drawn to and wanted to pursue. His parents were not able to afford to take him to tertiary, so he became a self-starter and looked for ways he could pursue his dreams. He applied for, and won the DJ Fresh scholarship competition that ran regionally on YFM at the time. Through this, he was able to complete a Diploma in Graphic Design from Boston Media House.
This was to be the stepping stone to many milestones that have contributed to who he is today. He began his career in the advertising industry by joining TBWA/Hunt/Lascaris as a Junior Art Director and worked on brands like MTN and BMW among others.
True to his eagerness to grow, he became a contestant on the reality TV show called The Cut, The participants were challenged with several tasks and he got to shoot a music video, design the look and feel for a local awards ceremony and shoot a TV advert for the 46664 concert.
While working in the media industry, he observed that there was no publication that reflected himself and his peers in the creative industries. So he started an online magazine called Studio83 which became a home for designers, photographers, illustrators, writers and artists across the platforms to share their work, exchange ideas and keep abreast with the latest trends in their respective fields.
Over the years of its existence, they had many collaborations with artists from across the globe and were able to tackle social issues through creative means. Later, Studio83 added a new magazine in their fold, which was called ‘Celebrate Life’. The publication increased its global footprint, recognition and participation from its many readers and contributing artists alike.
George continued his growth in the industry and worked for other agencies like Metropolitan Republic. Later, he pursued his love of magazines by taking on freelancing work and got his break with YFM. He also worked with Africa Investor magazine as a Creative Director.
He has been in the media industry for ten years, working with many exciting and relevant brands in the market. This exposure, I believe, has been key to why he is so in-touch with the current market needs. With a drive like his, he founded Seanokeng Media, an online digital marketing agency and is the Creative Director of his latest online magazine called ‘Marvin’, which deals with all issues related to what it means to be a man in general and navigating life as a black man in particular.
Marvin has grown and has been endorsed by publisher and media specialist Khanyi Dlhomo of Ndalo Media, who sings her praises for the work he has done in the digital magazine space. Because in order to keep growing and evolving, one needs the influence of others around them, he sought the mentorship of Andile Khumalo of MSG Group and has a lot more to offer to the industry as he learns and grows from strength to strength.
George has recently done something which I wholly believe in. He is paying forward the life changing opportunity he received back as a young boy. With the help of Boston City Campus and DJ Fresh, he has started up the Marvin Scholarship Programme which is taking a young boy to tertiary this year. He has also been chosen as one of the top 10 Influential Gentlemen for 2016 because of his impact to the media industry.
The reality series has let 8 distinct men and women show us what they want South Africa to know about them without any restrictions and red tape. It will propel someone who is about to become big into being bigger, and make an already large character into one whom people at home can call an icon. My World series has been a success because for once on South African television, talented people are treated as humans and not intangible figures without a background, family, disappointments, dreams, pain and fears. My World season 4 will become an even larger stage to showcase SA’s best in a humble and honest manner. This seasons’ theme is based on the 20 years of democracy in South Africa where we will see the worlds of these individuals celebrated parallel to our countries democracy. The show will travel across Mzansi meeting the individuals whose worlds have helped shape normal citizens to become inspired in their daily lives. My World has become a place where each story is treated with the utmost respect and dignity – a place that every famous person would like to be a part.
The show reaches over 4.5 Million viewers across South Africa.