Sokanyile, Malekutu, Casaletti-Bwalya Vie for Woman in PR & Sponsorship

Three leading Public Relations and Sponsorship mavens, Cricket South Africa Media Manager, Sipokazi Sokanyile, PR and Communications Consultant, Lerato Malekutu, and founder of Optimize Agency, Emy Casaletti-Bwalya, will battle it out for top honours in the gsport Woman in PR and Sponsorship category at the 2021 Momentum gsport Awards.

These gamechangers play a very pivotal role in elevating women’s sport. From ensuring that media have access to information and athletes, sitting in boardrooms and courageously securing sponsorships for women in sport at a time when women’s sport desperately needs superheroes to help them rise up globally.

Sokanyile has risen up from being an intern to taking charge of media relations for the Proteas Women and in recent times taking on the challenging role of being Media Manager for the Proteas men’s side. Now an international media star, Sokanyile can be credited for driving interest in women’s cricket at a time when the game desperately needed a lift.

Sokanyile is elated to be a #gsport16 finalist: “I just want to firstly say that gsport has done a tremendous job over the past 15 years, I am extremely excited this year be a finalist in the Woman in PR and Sponsorship category. I am really looking forward to the awards, looking forward to celebrating fellow women in sport.

“We have so many amazing and phenomenal women in sport here in South Africa. We have athletes that are absolutely exceptional, and we get to celebrate them through the Momentum gsport Awards during Women’s Month. All the best to all finalists and I cannot wait to see who comes out as winner.”

Casaletti-Bwalya has been changing the game for women in sport for more than three decades now. Casaletti-Bwalya has been in sponsorship since the early 1980s, through her work for Kaizer Chiefs, Reebok, Kappa, WC2020, and had her contribution recognized in many countries across the world through her work with FIFA. She has been at the forefront of women’s sport through organizations such as CAF and COSAFA. Her consistent support and management of Kgothatso Montjane has helped elevate the brand presence of the wheelchair tennis sensation.

“What a surprise to be nominated. I am humbled because I know for a fact there are a lot of women out there working hard in the same field. It would be great for more women to come to the fore instead of being stuck in the background while others take credit. Brands need to acknowledge that women in sport, in whatever form, produce results, be it on the field or in the boardroom. A woman placed on the right trajectory will move mountains.

“This is something that the Momentum gsport Awards has realized and brought to life. Rewarding women in sport is rare, we are grateful for this mention and acknowledgment,” said the formidable Casaletti-Bwalya.

Lerato Malekutu is a force in the PR and Sponsorship industry. Her ever-impressive list of accolades is inspiring. Malekutu was the first black female to be appointed Media Manager of the South African men’s national cricket team, a role she excelled in. Her phenomenal work earned her a spot as a finalist for Woman in Media Award at the gsport Awards in 2010, and in 2014 she was named one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 young South Africans.

Speaking on being a #gsport16 finalist, she said: “I am honoured to be recognized, I’m so passionate about our industry; there are phenomenal women in sport who are doing phenomenal things out there, we continue to put South Africa on the map. It’s special to be singled out among two other inspiring women who have been trailblazers in their field, I hope this will lead the way towards other women being inspired to make an impact in their field. All the best to all the finalists.”

Malekutu also took this moment to reflect on her journey: “The past year has been one of the most challenging and rewarding years of my career. Starting a sports PR and Communications business during a pandemic has not been easy, but I am proud of the way I have pivoted and adapted to the new normal of building brands and leveraging commercial partnerships during a pandemic. I’m so honoured to work with some of the best athletes and brands in the world, they have trusted me with their special and valuable story and vision. I pinch myself every day that I get to call this a job.”

PR and Sponsorship is a crucial part to the growth of the game and since this category was launched in 2018, the Momentum gsport Awards has honoured leading lights like GolfRSA’s Lali Stander, PR consultant, Marisa Calvert, and M-Sports Marketing’s Keabetswe Taele, who are putting their best foot forward for women’s sport.

You can catch the latest women’s sport news in the Momentum powered gsport newsroom and register a free membership at the gsport website to cast your vote for your leading woman in sport here.

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