Thank you Suhana.

I’ll be turning 44 years old in a weeks time.

Which makes me just four years older than the Loeries. (For all the copywriters out there)

I’m also going through the most amazing mid-life crisis you can imagine.

Also kind of like the Loeries.

And I can tell you now that all the movie cliches are true.

That’s because a mid-life crisis is a real life stage.

Like a second wave of the teens. But with more hindsight. And a fully developed brain.

What I’m realising is that you can either let it destroy you.

Or you can ride the tsunami to a better version of yourself.

I have chosen to do the latter. And this comes with asking some hard questions.

Like what’s really important?

I have a few tough questions for our middle aged industry.

What is important to us?

What do we want to achieve in our second half?

Is is ok that we are still white male dominated?

Are we happy that 99% of kids in high schools think advertising is something actors do?

Does it really help us to viciously defend our creative borders from the rest of the continent

Despite the fact that most of our clients operate in a pan-African context.

Should we not rather learn from each other and raise our collective creative might?

Who do we really serve if no one else knows we exist?

Lastly, is it not about time we got a female voice over artist to announce the award categories?

As you can tell, I have more questions than answers at this stage.

But I believe that difficult and uncomfortable questions force us to take a more critical look at the way things are. So we can change them for the better.

I’m hoping that in the next 2 years as Loeries Chairman,

I’m able to help the award show and industry figure out what is really important.

What the next 40 years looks like.

And what we want to be remembered for.

I discovered the advertising industry by accident.

Let’s not let chance decide who the next generation of creative leaders are.

I would like to thank the Loeries committee, the previous chairs and all of you

For entrusting me with a second, but no less important, mid-life crisis to deal with.

Here’s to the next 40.

Thank you.