Johannesburg, South Africa

After the successful launch of their flagship women’s magazine, Essence Of Africa with the December 2014 issue, which featured South Africa’s formidable actress and entertainer, Kgomotso Christopher, on the cover, Kwenta Media has had to instigate a name-changing process for the magazine due to unforeseen circumstances to do with the Essence Of Africa trademark.

Nawaal Nolwazi Mdluli, CEO of Kwenta Media and Founding editor of Essence Of Africa, said that the magazine would go by the new name of ESSAYS OF AFRICA from the 19th December 2014. Mdluli says of the journey to publish their new women’s lifestyle magazine: “When I went to Australia in 2009, I first came across the magazine Madison, and it was then that my idea for women’s magazine of that calibre for Africa was conceived. I didn’t want to publish just another rag for women that would compete for shelf space; rather, I saw a real need for the voices of African woman to be heard.”

That was the impetus for Kwenta Media to launch a conference forum for women in 2010 called Women of Substance. “As we rolled out this platform,” Mdluli explained, “we knew that we wanted a name for our new magazine that would be concise and still pack a powerful punch. Acknowledging that Africa is our motherland, we began to question what makes our motherland beat. Where is her centre of gravity? When you pull away all the layers and strip her bare, who is at the core and what makes her pulse run steady?”

It seemed obvious that Essence Of Africa should be the name of this new magazine, so Kwenta Media applied to Edcon for a license to use the Essence trademark in the form of Essence Of Africa. Edcon has the registration rights of the Essence trademark in South Africa, while a company in the US owns the Essence trademark. Mdluli explained, “When we first approached Edcon for a license to use the Essence trademark, they showed tremendous support of us and our vision as a black, female-owned South African company and were committed to helping us empower women through the magazine.”

Two months after the license agreement between Edcon and Kwenta Media, and shortly after the first issue of the first issue of the new Essence Of Africa had gone to print, Edcon made a unilateral decision to cancel Kwenta Media’s license, leaving Kwenta Media vulnerable to any objections to the use of the Essence trademark by the American owners of the trademark.

The recent turn of events regarding the trademark is a huge disappointment but Mdluli said, “As a very small company, Kwenta Media is not in a position to compete against big industry players the likes of Edcon and American companies regarding licensing and had to make the difficult decision to rebrand the magazine as ESSAYS OF AFRICA.” Six years into industry, and Kwenta Media has proved to be a force to be reckoned with. “This latest challenge has not defeated our vision,” Mdluli said. “Rather, it has inspired Kwenta Media and its advisory board to exercise innovation – a quality for which we have become well known in the media space.

The second issue will carry the new name of ESSAYS OF AFRICA and it represents a new beginning for us at Kwenta Media: a new year and a new name, but the same vision. It is good to be pushed to your limits,” Mdluli continued. “We had to come up with a more powerful name, one that connects with the heart of every woman. It has been an awesome journey!”

Issued by Kwenta Media (Pty) Ltd. For more information, please contact:

Mbalenhle Fakude

Tel: +27(0) 11 467 5859 | 082 533 2449

Email: mbali@kwentamedia.com

Website(s): http://www.essaysofafrica.com and http://www.kwentamedia.com

About Kwenta Media and Essays Of Africa magazine:

Essays Of Africa is a lifestyle magazine that highlights the black African woman’s journey from being a girl to embracing womanhood. It seeks to understand the internal and external factors that influence this woman’s cycle of life. Essays Of Africa challenges her character, as she cares enough to have that internal dialogue in order to effect the changes that are needed in her world.

Key messaging:

  • Topics reflect authentic, thought-provoking content written by Africans for Africans living in Africa and the diaspora.
  • Strong lifestyle element with the latest fashion, beauty and décor trends to emerge from the continent.
  • Chic and contemporary with an elegant design.

About Nawaal Nolwazi Mdluli:
Nawaal Nolwazi Mdluli is an entrepreneur and mother, and the CEO of Kwenta Media (Pty) Ltd. She is a dynamic black businesswoman and astute advocate for responsible parenting. A force to be reckoned with, Nawaal’s ability to mobilise and manage a dynamic organisation using a winning business model that is underpinned by fresh ideas and creativity, are key to her continued success.

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