Inspirational People Series: Thulani Hadebe ("Toolz") of Brand Ambassadors

I’ve been thinking about ways to make this blog more interesting for you guys in less “superficial” ways. As much as I love the glitz of spas, holidays etc, I’d also like to write about stuff that can make a difference to your life. So I’ve decided to start a series where I will be interviewing people who inspire me and who I am sure will inspire you too.
These are all normal people who have started out like you and I, but who are now really successful.

I am so proud to start the first post in this series with a profile on Thulani Hadebe. I always think of him as the Jonathan Cheban (Kim K’s publicist) of South Africa. He owns the really successful PR company called Brand Ambassadors (I’ll refer to this as “BA”), who represent some of SA’s hottest celebs and companies, including Lee-Ann Liebenberg and the much publicised Brutal Fruit Glam Camp. Thulani has also travelled extensively- and has sent me some of his personal photos to share with you 🙂 I thought it would be fun to break up each question with a picture, so enjoy!

Tell me a bit about yourself, where did you grow up?
I have lived in South Africa my whole life, Johannesburg to be specific. During my years at varsity I worked part-time at a record store and then in clothing, where I found my love for PR. Over the years I have learnt so much about myself. I like to think of myself as an extroverted people’s person. Since I can remember I have had lots of friends and always been the one to stick out in a crowd.

Thulani with his family in Singapore
Tell us more about BA?
I met a lot of the key players when I was in the fashion industry. I networked with each and every person, and slowly I got to know the industry. I never had an entrepreneurial mind and I had an epiphany that I could do this on my own. I resigned from my job and started Brand Ambassadors. We started off with fashion PR, but we have now grown to hosting events and representing brands and celebrities. 
Rice fields in Bali

Share some of the moments at BA that stand out for you 
Accolades that I have been very proud of, being at Brand Ambassadors would have to be working with Brutal Fruit on their Glam Camp, touring the country with international celebrity Dr. Robert Rey, signing the best talent in South Africa and just the growth my company has had. Having dinner with Khloe and Kim Kardashian was also a highlight.


Do you have any advice for people who want to work in Media/ PR?

  • Always keep a level head.
  • The industry is not about the glamour, it’s about hard work.
  • A publicist does not take the centre stage, but is in the wings when their star is in the lime light.
  • Network, network, network.

Shopping in Melrose in Los Angeles

Where are your favourite restaurants to eat at in Johannesburg? 
In Johannesburg you’ll find me at any Tasha’s. I love going to Pigalle, Orient, The Saxon, Koi and Kong Roast for dinner. Excellent food and service- add great company and you will enjoy your meal.

Sprinkles Cupcakes on Rodeo Drive

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
By this time I would hope that I would have offices in Johannesburg & Cape Town looking to branch out to New York & Los Angeles. Also being the one-stop shop for the hottest brands in the country. 
 If you could give 1 piece of advice to people who are trying to find their calling in life, what would it be? 
Don’t waste your time doing what you don’t love. Life is too short to give up on your ultimate dream. If you do believe in yourself, you can make it.
Thulani with Melinda (ex Heat editor- who, incidentally, will be the next person I feature!) in Cannes for the Film Festival

Thanks so much Thulani, your 1 piece of advice really resonates with me as I completely believe that if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life!
Also, your pictures made me so jealous, those are ALL destinations I haven’t yet been to but would love to experience.

Follow Thulani here on Twitter.

Look out for the next profile which will be on Melinda Shaw of Shaw Media.