Sylvester Chauke

THE READER: Sylvester Chauke

The marketing maven tells us about the books that inspire him


Sylvester Chauke is the founder of DNA Brand Architects, a branding agency based in Johannesburg. The former head of marketing at Nando’s, his career has included stints at Draftfcb, Ogilgy and DDB. He has worked on some of the world’s biggest brands, including Sprite and MTV. Chauke attended the 2013 World Economic Forum in Davos as a member of the WEF’s prestigious Global Shapers Community.

What are you reading at the moment?

Endings and Beginnings by Redi Tlhabi.

What book has had the greatest impact on you?

Professionally it must be Buyology by Martin Lindstrom. Personally –  A Sprat to Catch a Mackerel by Raymond Ackerman.

What is your favourite novel of all-time?

Bling by Erika Kennedy. I was so engaged it was unreal. Endings and Beginnings by Redi Tlhabi was same.

What were your favourite books as a child?

The illustrated Bible was cool as a child. It was so much fun imagining Moses parting the sea and such. I also liked superhero stories such as Superman, Batman and Spiderman. The more colorful and dramatic, the better.

What’s the last book you gave as a gift?

Men of the South by Zukiswa Wanner. Such a beautiful read.

What book would you give to the President of South Africa to read?

The Art of the Idea by John Hunt. There’s more he can do to inspire the nation.

Which book have you never been able to finish?

The Towering World of Jimmy Choo. Got so bored along the way.

What book do you turn to for advice?

The Art of the Idea by John Hunt.

Do you read mostly paper books? On your iPad? Kindle? All three?

Paper. I like paging and making notes!

If you could be one fictional character, who would it be?
Mimi in Bling by Erica Kennedy. She had star power and yet she was so unaware of it at first. I appreciated how she overcame her personal challenges to really make her life tick. I love strong characters who see something that no one else sees nor believe and still soldier on.



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