Ms Lungi Morrison is a humanitarian by nature, a social development strategist and communications executive whose depth of experience and skills amassed over the years renders her best place to traverse both commercial and social/public service/development landscapes. Her academic qualifications including a Masters degree in Anthropology & Sociology from the University of Auckland – New Zealand, informs her extensive involvement in development as well as, cause related marketing, communications, advocacy and activism in both local and global markets. 

 

Ms Morrison has lived, studied and worked in a number of different countries, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Brazil, the UK (including time in Norway), New Zealand and parts of the United States. As such, Lungi’s ability to adapt to different cultures means she is not only multi-lingual but also, predisposed to adapting to diverse human experiences, evidenced by major socio-cultural and macro-economic trends of the 21st Century.

 

Returning home from exile (post Apartheid) in 1998, Lungi played a pivotal role in the development of social policy and the implementation thereof in South Africa’s post democratic health and labour market landscape. This involved developing and running among other things, HIV/AIDS awareness programs, education initiatives and brand development programs tantamount to South Africa’s transformation agenda. Drawing on her global networks, Lungi has worked with the likes of the Henry Kaiser Family Foundation (based in Silicon Valley San Francisco) and the Bill &v Melinda Gates Foundation who supported the roll out of innovative youth initiatives like loveLife. In 2000, the establishment of this youth driven HIV/AIDS initiative illustrated the existence of that hybrid space between, the then popular culture narrative informed by brands and fashion and, behavior change (in the context of a raising HIV/AIDS pandemic). loveLife identified an opportunity to influence positive behavior and decision making among youth (particularly young girls 12-17yrs) through popular culture – fashion, music and design. 

 

Following a few years with loveLife as media communications and insights manager, which included engaging the United Nations youth agenda and key local and global media (MTV etc) Lungi transitioned to sharpen her commercial experience in the advertising agency world working for the likes of Added Value Group (AVG), a WPP agency (which included exposure to other global giants like Ogilvy, Saatchi, Publics etc). Working with AVG London, Ms Morrison project managed accounts and clients like Nestle, Coca Cola, Gucci, and Levis in the retail marketing and strategy space. Returning to South Africa in 2008, Lungi worked as a consultant with then pioneering African fashion brand Stoned Cherrie founded by Nkensani Nkosi. Stoned Cherrie was at the time among the only authentically African fashion and design houses championing South Africa’s pre-millennial fashion revolution. As a result, new Africa focused platforms like Africa Fashion International (AFI) emerged, founded by Dr. Precious Moloi-Motsepe. Working with Nkensani Nkosi of Stoned Cherrie, Lungi travelled to New York on an strategic insights exploration journey seeking to better understand among other things, the prevailing Northern hemisphere narrative about African design and our fashion industry in general.  

 

In 2010 Lungi worked for global African sponsor of the FIFA 2010 World Cup, African telecommunications giant MTN. In this role, Ms. Morrison managed a multi-pronged stakeholder portfolio, which included liaising with South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Coordination (DIRCO), Foreign Affairs. She interacted directly with Ambassadors and ministers in markets where MTN has a footprint; Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana as well as, working with the Local Organizing Committee back in Johannesburg. Leading up to during and post the soccer world cup, Lungi also informed strategic delivery of MTN’s CSR Legacy initiative – 1Goal, United Against Malaria (FIFA World Cup Education Legacy Campaign, engaging local and global campaign ambassadors including artist Kelly Rowland and a few football stars). Lungi also facilitated partnerships with between MTN and African Leadership Academy founded by Fred Swaniker and Acha Leke (located in Johannesburg).

 

In 2014 Lungi participated in executive development summer program at Harvard University graduate school Boston Massachusetts, studying Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Emerging markets (BRICS). She has served and interacted with global leaders including, Gordon Brown, Malala Yusuf, Sir Richard Branson, Strive Masiyiwa, ex-President Thabo Mbeki, Nelson Mandela and Graca Machel. 

 

Seeking to consolidate her multi-disciplinary experience that spans two decades, Lungi established an e-commerce business Onibespoke (www.onibespoke.com) in 2016. A contemporary lifestyle brand, onibespoke curates African designs specifically, interior décor, accessories and art. ‘Oni’, a Yoruba word meaning ‘source’, Onibespoke curates handmade African designs from across the African Continent. It is Lungi’s contribution to telling rich, compelling African stories. A keen Pan-Africanist, Lungi believes the arts are a fundamental driver of Africa’s ‘new economy’ and narrative. Africa’s cultural and creative industry is, and will revolutionize the way Africans see themselves, North to South East to West. Through her new brand Lungi seeks to unearth the ‘gems’ inherent to Africa’s heritage, their provenance, indigenous knowledge, legacy and ingenuity. She believes, as an African woman, it is important to take ownership of how Africa’s creative industry is marketed and ‘sold’ in key markets like the UK, Scandinavia, the United States and eventually Asia. 

 

A global citizen, mother, and eco-warrior, Lungi passionately applies her social development, ethnographic, communications and brand strategy skills, inspiring and connecting people everywhere to their Devine spark – the beauty that makes each of us a ‘creative-alchemist’.  

 

 I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
 
If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.
 
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.

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