“I am truly honoured to be recognised for doing what I love the most - crafting brands" - Pat Mahlangu

Pat Mahlangu receives Emerging Marketer of the Year award

From giving awards to receiving one. Marketing and media entrepreneur, Pat Mahlangu received the Emerging Marketer of the Year at the prestigious IMM Marketing Excellence Awards hosted by the IMM Institute this past week.

The award is given to a rising star in the marketing industry who has shown exceptional promise and potential.

Pat’s journey has not been a linear one. It is one of many pivots.

When he first got to the University of Johannesburg, he was enrolled for a degree in Information Technology – a course he says he never really enjoyed.

“I found sitting in front of a computer for long hours writing code really boring”,

he said.

He then changed it to Information Management so that he could study for an Honours degree in Marketing, then ultimately completed a master’s degree in Business Management.

Motivated by the desire to send money home and to look after himself whilst studying, Pat took on many part-time jobs.

At some point he was working four jobs whilst studying. He was a tutor, student assistant, cleaner and a promoter on weekends which exposed him to the world of brands.

The first brand he started was Swaggy Campus Life, which was a student lifestyle brand. He also co-founded a campus-based TV station called Varsity TV.

Whilst completing his master’s degree, he started Pat on Brands as a passion project. Today, Pat on Brands is one of the most recognised multimedia platforms in the marketing and advertising industry.

At 32, Pat has previously lectured at the University of Johannesburg and Boston Media, focusing on marketing. In 2020, he launched Lerato Agency, serving both local and international brands.

Pat’s commitment to inspiring young people led to the creation of the Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards, celebrating youth excellence in brand building.

Pat’s industry involvement includes serving on the IAB South Africa Education Council, acting as an Advisory Board Member at Tshwane University of Technology’s Department of Marketing, Supply Chain & Sport Management, and being a committee member of AMASA.

He’s also part of the analysis team at Brand Africa. In 2023, he was recognized as one of the Top 200 Young South Africans by Mail and Guardian and became a Play Your Part Ambassador for Brand South Africa.

“I am truly honoured to be recognised for doing what I love the most – crafting brands. Thank you to IMM Institute for the award and everyone who contributed to my journey thus far especially my mentors. I dedicated this award to my uncle and my aunt who raised me”

said Mahlangu.

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