Uhuru Communication, a wholly black-owned company and home to several well established magazines, has announced its intention to expand into TV production, digital web-based publishing, marketing and client liaison – what chairman Des Sampson describes as “a one-stop shop”.
The company is based in Cape Town and also operates in Mauritius, where it already has a TV production division. Its titles include TennisLife Africa, which sells throughout Africa, DENOSA, the magazine that serves 85 000 members of the nursing profession, Southern Anglican, the mouthpiece for the some three million members of the Anglican Church in Southern Africa, The Aids Guide, and Wildside, an eco tourism publication. It also publishes Public Sector Manager for the Government Communications and Information System (GCIS) and Municipal Focus for the Local Government Business Network . The Mauritius office publishes the Islander , Air Mauritius’ in-flight magazine, Waka, which serves the Indian Ocean islands of Mauritius, Reunion, Seychelles, Madagascar, Rodriques and Maldives as well as a youth/student magazine, Career World.
Uhuru has also for the past six years published Sawubona, SAA’s in-flight magazine, but is passing that baton to Media 24 (Ndalo Media) at the end of March. Sampson says: “We’ll be sorry to see it go but it will free us to pursue our own objectives and we’ll be handing it over with pride. We lived through three SAA boards, the introduction of several new routes, the restructuring of the airline and an incredibly tough economic period to make it the premier magazine it is today. It was great working with the SAA team and we also managed to build an exceptional rapport with loyal advertisers, often challenged by the turbulent times. “One of our greatest privileges was to be the forerunner in the marketing for the FIFA Soccer World Cup in 2010 and the IRB’s Rugby World Cup. And today it’s a publication that the country can be proud of.”
All Uhuru sales staff that worked on Sawubona will hopefully be transferred to the new publishers. “It was our prime concern that they should not be affected,” he added. Elaborating on the shift to web-based publishing and digital, Sampson explains that the company has been completely restructured and now has two distinct divisions namely a print division headed by newly appointed sales director, Nardine Nelson that includes all formats of print publishing (The company has now aquired a printing company that trades under the name and style of IMPRESSUM) and an electronic division, headed by Samm Bain, that includes publishing and communications in all electronic formats and applications used by consumers world wide. A new board of directors has been appointed and three staff members that have served the company well in its 11 years of operations, have been appointed to the board, namely Nardine Nelson (sales), Craig D’Oliviera (design) and Tommy Wildschutte (operations). “To ensure our penetration into the African and global market the company has appointed Oduwole Ademole (a Nigerian/American) as a non-executive director. The restructured company commenced trading in its new format on 1 January.