Safaraaz Sindhi, known as Saf Sindhi started his career in 2010 and since then has honed his skills and garnered a number of local and international awards.
Sindh Courier Monitoring Desk
Safaraaz Sindhi or Saf Sindhi, as he is known in South Africa, is a big name in the advertising sector recognized for his creative talent since the year 2010. For that reason, Ogilvy Johannesburg had appointed Saf Sindhi as its creative partner in 2021.
Over the years Sindhi had been working on some of South Africa’s most memorable and iconic ads and campaigns. He was the creative lead on the famous KFC ‘Make a Meal of It’ campaign that was viewed, liked and shared by over 4.2 billion people around the world. It is one of the most successful ad campaigns SA has ever seen.
Sindhi believes that a great working culture facilitates great work. “I like to cultivate a work environment where everyone on the team feels as free as the artist they reference. I think that creativity serves brands best when observations are turned into insights.”
He started his career at Lowe Bull JHB in 2010 and then moved to FoxP2 CPT, Network BBDO and Ogilvy CPT. Over the last ten years Sindhi has honed his skills and garnered a number of local and international awards.
In 2015, he became the first South African to win the prestigious Loeries Young Creative award and the Cannes Young Lions’ competition in the same year. In the 2016 Loeries creative rankings, he was ranked the second-best copywriter in the country at just 28 years old.
“Saf has been there and done that. His body of work speaks for itself, and he is held in high esteem across our industry. I am very excited by this appointment and what it will achieve both for our current and future clients, and for our team as a whole,” the agency’s executive creative director, Peter Little, had said last year on August 27 while announcing the partnership with Saf Sindhi.
During the course of his career, Sindhi has served on numerous judging panels both locally and internationally. In 2018, he was inducted to serve as a committee member on the board of Africa and the Middle East’s premium creative awards show, the Loeries, a position which he served with pride until 2020.
Safaraaz Sindhi shares his story
Before I started in advertising I was just a kid from a tiny, little town in the West Rand of Johannesburg called Azaadville. Where I come from the only music you could get your hands on was rap music and the only movies you’d ever watch were the skop skiet en donner action movies tonight one. “Where I come from you grow up to become a doctor or a lawyer if you’re lucky, if you’re unlucky you run your dad’s motorcar spares shop and if you’re really, really just shit out of luck, you’d get a job at the Oriental Plaza. For me, that was life,” he says.
“So, when I walked into my first ad agency in 2010, in a predominantly white male industry, it wasn’t the color of the skin of the people I worked with that intimidated me, it was their knowledge of popular culture. My gut reaction was, yikes! Am I going to make it? And no, not just because I was a few shades darker than everyone else – it was more because I wasn’t prepared – I wasn’t equipped to write witty ads that made references to cult films that everyone else’s award-winning ads did. You want to hear a secret?”
“Before I started out in advertising I didn’t even know who Wes Anderson was. I’d never heard a song by the Beatles and I honestly cared very little about Chuck Palahniuk. I didn’t know it back then but my lack of knowledge on these subjects is what would give me my edge in the industry. You see, I could have gone out and read a bunch of books, listened to some music and spent my weekends watching their movies, but I soon figured that I didn’t need to do that to tell stories. I figured, that to tell stories in the ads I made I didn’t need to know everything they knew, I just needed to know everything they didn’t. My different view of the world allowed me to bring fresher insights into my work, it allowed me to solve problems differently, be more relevant and most importantly I could speak to the markets I advertised to in a language they could understand, because in most cases, I was the market.”
Saf Sindhi further said, “We live in a diverse country – we have eleven different languages and we’re the proverbial cultural melting pot of the continent – yet all of our advertising looks, sounds and feels the same. We’ve got to ask ourselves, why is this happening? We have so many of our own stories to tell, so much of our own cultural richness to expose but instead we create work that resembles advertising from different continents to such an extent that international award shows could never tell us apart. We need to create an identity that represents our diversity. And if for nothing else, therein lies the reason for transformation.”
“And transformation isn’t just about bringing black talent or female talent into our agencies, it’s so much more than that. It’s about teaching them how to harness their own knowledge and their own personal experiences into great advertising, and when agencies realize the power in doing that for their brands, perhaps one day a TV ad written in vernacular will win a Grand Prix at Cannes.”
(No information could be sought from any source about the family background of Saf Sindhi. Sindh Courier has tried to approach him on Twitter)