The power of poetry for Youth Day

On 16 June, South Africa commemorates Youth Day which this year marks the 41st anniversary of the Soweto uprisings - a day when South African students demanded their right to a decent education.

Vodacom joins South Africa in marking Youth Day by sharing an inspiring message for the youth of the nation.

Technology and connectivity have the power to change people’s lives by providing access to information they would otherwise be denied. The youth of today have greater access to knowledge than any generation before them - they are connected, hold educated opinions and show an active interest in their own future and the future of the country.

The ‘This is Your Time’ campaign from Vodacom aims to give the youth a platform to speak about the power of education. It is a rallying cry for them to persevere to find success, no matter their circumstances. It offers a message of encouragement that empowers and reinforces the idea that, with access to information and the right attitude, anything is possible.

The campaign consists of an anthemic television commercial that uses spoken word poetry to speak about harnessing the power of underestimation, allowing it to fuel ambition instead of hindering it. It offers an uplifting message about not allowing your situation to hold you back from achieving your dreams.

The television commercial is supported by radio and online video content showcasing the creative writing of South African spoken word poets, all under the age of 25. Vodacom collaborated with five prolific female poets to create uplifting poetry that was originally written and performed for Youth Day 2017.

Vodacom is passionate about empowerment and is a proud facilitator of the spread of knowledge and access to information for all South Africans.

Collaborator Quotes - Veli Mabena

Vodacom’s Veli Mabena says the company has invested significantly in free mobile education for both students and teachers: “Technology and connectivity play a key role in education, especially through the expansion of access to information and thought, and ‘This is Your Time’ is a rallying cry of encouragement for young South Africans on such a significant day to make their voices heard and to persevere for knowledge and success, no matter what their circumstances are.”

Commercial Director – Dan Mace

This board really stood out for me from Ogilvy, as it was something super rich in performance. It’s honest and engaging and gave me a chance to work with a creative forward-thinking team. Being a one-day shoot, we really had to move quickly and the performance had to be on point. We did loads of prep with our protagonist to get her into the right space, but when she was on set it just came naturally. She was great to work with and took direction really well. I am proud of the end product and stoked to be able to be a part of a message so relevant to our country. Those are the ads I dig.

Creative Director – Candice Hellens

I feel humbled to have worked on such an incredible project, with such a positive message for South Africa. The youth that we had the privilege of collaborating with were all such smart, professional, kind, forward-thinking and talented individuals. They were truly inspiring and the experience has given me a deep sense of pride and optimism for the future of this country.

Credit List:


Pete Case, Chief Creative Officer
Matthew Barnes, Executive Creative Director
Candice Hellens, Creative Director
Mantwa Toka, Art Director
Palesa Motiki, Copywriter
Lerato Molele, Business Unit Director
Helen d’Hotman, Producer

Egg Films:

Dan Mace, Director
Vjorn du Toit, Producer
Colin Howard, Executive Producer
Fabian Vettiger, DOP
Lisa Holland, Assistant Director
Zolani Shagease, Directors Assistant


Veli Mabena, EHOD
Deidre Lowig, Marketing Manager
Refiloe Dikgole, Assistant Brand Manager
Jeanine Ferreira, Digital Portfolio Manager

19 Jun 2017 11:43