LEON JACOBS

A slightly self-indulgent post

Added on by Leon Jacobs.

I have come home. After approximately six years, working in Asia and Europe, my journey brings me back to Cape Town. It is weird and wonderful to be back. I feel like the same person who left, as if the point of departure has been tied over to the point of arrival so that the in between years are almost a separate part of me.

But they are not. They are there, like the skin a snake sheds after the winter. I made mistakes. I had failures. But I also had successes. In all, I am a more experienced human being for having passed through so many airports. For meeting so many interesting people. China. India. Japan. Vietnam. Poland. Hungary. These are places I have come to know and they have enriched me. The people, so humble and kind and gentle have made me miss my people. Especially those who are less fortunate and who always get by with a big smile and warmth of heart.

I am grateful to Saatchi & Saatchi for everything that I have learned whilst associated with them. There are some wonderful people in that network and I will always feel close to the name. It was my first agency in 1995, and it has been my home since just before my daughter was born. They literally let me into this business.

But today I am very proud to join a very exciting independent group: Joe Public - the 2012 Agency of the Year in South Africa and an agency that under the leadership of Gareth Leck and Pepe Marais have just gone from strength to strength. They are admired by peers, clients and staff alike. But, above all, I love their focus on purpose.

Today we form a partnership to re-establish Joe Public in Cape Town. I will be working closely with Gareth and Pepe to bring something new to the city. There are some great agencies in this town, so being competitive here will be a huge challenge. But I know we have something very interesting to offer - not just to the local industry, but also to global clients. Joe Public Cape Town, as part of the anti-network network, will be the same but different as its parent company. Same, in the sense that what is working for the group in Johannesburg will be replicated, but different in that we take cognisance of the differences of the Cape Town market. It will be a Joe for Cape Town.

Lastly, I am so happy to be back here in South Africa. Yes, this country has many challenges, but it is through challenge and obstruction that we become stronger and more creative. And it is through the strength and creativity and warmth of South Africans that we will keep pushing to build South Africa into the world power it can be. We just need to welcome the obstruction into our lives. Not back off from it, but embrace it.

So, here's to a new chapter. A return home and a great new partnership.