Building Great African Brands &
Global Brands in Africa

In The Travel Bag
Indwe: SA Express, February 2010

Branding guru Thebe Ikalafeng travels often and shares a few tips for SA Express frequent flyers.

A digital camera is always in my bag when travelling. Being in a visual business and always travelling somewhere, it’s the most important asset to capture what’s happening around.

I use it to capture brands, people and environments that inspire and reflect Africa’s growing branded view - eg how MTN is painting Africa yellow or how the global world is adapting its offering to Africa, like Coca Cola-sponsored“chisa nyama” venues in townships.

I read or I sleep. It’s probably the one place where I actually sleep peacefully whether it’s a short hop to Botswana or a long-haul direct to NY. Sleep and quiet is my antidote when on board aircraft. The best tips I can give when travelling on board an aircraft? Get an engaging magazine like Monocle, Wallpaper or Time. Great magazines wipe out the time.

Sit closer to the exit or front. I don’t enjoy the thought of parading through the whole aisle just to get to my seat. Be cordial to the staff, they’re doing the best under all circumstances. They’ll remember you next trip.

Knowing, acknowledging and respecting the airline staff saves me time and energy when travelling. I’m always the last passenger in the line and in the plane. I hate waiting in line and at airports, even in lounges. I like to rush in and collapse with fatigue - or rather, earn my sleep - which I inevitably get when flying. It’s like a calm after the storm. I work to the last minute and arrive just in time to travel. That suits me best.

If I’m early, I go straight to the nearest airport bookshop and while away the time until it’s time to dash. If you know the staff, you’re always front of queue anyway, so to speak, as you can make arrangements ahead and avoid the irritation of queues and waiting. A premium loyalty card and good interpersonal skills sorts the rest out.

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In The Travel Bag