From Nothando Mathe-Mokone (Johannesburg)

My name is Nothando Mathe-Mokone.   I am currently employed by South African Airways as Global Manger: Marketing.    Previous to SAA, I spent six years at SA Tourism as Country Manager: SADC, looking after both the SADC countries and South Africa.

I started my career as a Public Relations Intern at M-Net (Electronic Media Network) trained and mentored by John Badenhorst.    When I joined M-Net I didn’t have a formal working history and John took it upon himself to train me as the professional person I am today.   I learned a lot from John; from his understanding of the social and economic issues that ultimately affect how PR professionals make decisions in their day-to-day jobs.    I was promoted to Junior Public Relations Secretary and worked closely with John on a variety of M-NET initiatives.

John is highly skilled, especially in ensuring that his employees understood the importance of :

  • Stakeholder Management
  • Valuing relationships with media practitioners, suppliers
  • Event management and execution
  • Understanding different micro and economic issues relating to the projects that we undertook, e.g. in Ghana, Egypt, Tunisia, London
  • Ensuring that we understood the environment that we operated in, in an old South Africa, and taking the company into the new South Africa.

He instilled confidence in us, as new young, black professionals entering the corporate sector.   He believed in us when nobody else thought it was possible.

In 1994, a year that redefined South Africa, John Badenhorst was at the helm of change, leading the corporate communications division of M-Net and it was his tenacity, agility and understanding of the bigger picture that significantly contributed to M-Net being part of the change.    His personal contribution to laying the foundation for future growth at M-Net was invaluable.   And it’s an honour to reflect on having been part of that change, serving in his tenure.

John Badenhorst has worked on many continents but ensured that he kept in touch with the people that he worked with, directly and indirectly.   With so little time available to all of us, that’s one of the skills I most admire in him – the ability to follow up and make time.

From Natasha Wadvalla (Johannesburg)

I worked in John Badenhorst’s PR/Communications Department at M-NET from 1990-1993.

I was employed as a junior PR secretary, in my first job.   John has a special ability to identify talent, grow the talent, develop it and act as a mentor.   The training he gave me has been invaluable in my career.   John helped me to set a sound foundation that I frequently refer to, even 24 years later.

He focuses on the basics of PR and Communications, but never loses sight of the importance of brand reputation.   His global insight allows him to relate to people from all backgrounds and all cultural groups.  John was not only instrumental in my training and development, but he also built in us a passion and love for the industry.

We are still good friends today, which attests to his nature of building and maintaining relationships, professionally and personally.

I am currently Head of Communications for Kagiso Media and previously worked for ten years as Head of Communications, Events and PrimeTalent  for Primedia Broadcasting

From Bassel Al Zirki (Riyadh)

John Badenhorst was my PR Director at Weber Shandwick, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 2006-2008.   John taught me how to practise the discipline of PR in a professional way.   From Weber Shandwick I went to another agency, Hill and Knowlton, and then to Arab Bank, where I am now Senior Communications Officer.   I use the things John taught us every day.

He is very knowledgeable about the industry and shares his knowledge easily.  He is culturally sensitive and connects effectively with people from another background.   I am so grateful to have spent time working with him and it is a pleasure to recommend him.