In 1995 a number of major Afrikaans media role-players joined forces to create the Pendoring Advertising Awards with the purpose of promoting and stimulating Afrikaans advertising.

In line with a changing South African landscape, this enterprising project has since evolved and includes all indigenous languages and for the first time, in 2016, all of South Africa’s indigenous languages competed on equal footing for Pendoring’s sought-after gold and silver trophies in all the categories.

What’s more: Pendoring is also unique insofar as it’s the only advertising competition in SA with substantial cash prizes, not only for the overall winners, but also for gold and silver winners in each category.

Pendoring’s highest accolades, the Prestige and Umpetha Awards, both comprise of an overseas trip worth R100 000 for the overall winner of the best work in Afrikaans and in an indigenous language respectively. Likewise, the overall student winners of the best Afrikaans work and in an indigenous language, each receives R10 000. In addition, every winner of a gold Pendoring receives R6 000, while winners of a silver Pendoring each walks away with R2 500.

The move to include and reward the best indigenous advertising on an equal footing with Afrikaans has been lauded as ground-breaking and as the most meaningful platform for the acknowledgement of local creative work by creatives and marketers across the board. 

Firmly positioned as a truly South African awards event that showcases the country’s rich diversity, Pendoring speaks to the very heart of the South African nation insofar as it promotes the use of all indigenous languages so that each and every language can take its rightful place in the advertising environment. More importantly, Pendoring raises a stronger and wider awareness of the impact and power of mother tongue marketing communication.

Over and over, research has shown that communication in a person’s home language is far more effective than in a second or third language. When you communicate with people in their mother tongue, they not only tend to clearly understand the message and all its nuances; emotionally it hits all the right buttons, prompting consumers to open their minds, hearts and wallets. Marketers who recognise this, may well benefit richly when they communicate to a target market in its home language.

There is a benevolent ignorance and assumption that all South Africans understand English, but the reality is that more than 90% of South Africans’ mother tongue is not English. Some insights and ‘big ideas’ are so entrenched in indigenous culture that they lose their impact when communicated in English.  The 90% market for mother-tongue speakers in South Africa simply cannot be ignored. 

South Africa’s indigenous languages contribute in no small measure to this country’s uniqueness and are a treasure trove to be cherished. By honouring and promoting mother tongue advertising, Pendoring is determined to continue making a contribution towards the preservation of all our indigenous languages and our country’s rich diversity.