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APO Group announces stunning jury for the inaugural Rugby Africa Media and Photography Awards

The judging panel will be headed by the Chairman of World Rugby, Sir Bill Beaumont, and also includes executives at multinational organizations such as Canon, Jaguar Land Rover and DHL

We are thrilled to have a jury that reflects the magnitude of these awards - and shows the popularity of rugby in Africa

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, August 10, 2021/APO Group/ --

APO Group (www.APO-opa.com), the leading Pan-African communications consultancy and press release distribution service, and World Rugby’s African association, Rugby Africa (www.RugbyAfrique.com), are delighted to announce the jury panel for the inaugural African Media and Photography Awards (www.bit.ly/2QsBoEu).

The two awards celebrate the very best in African sports journalism and photography, and the jury will be looking for news stories and images that capture the passion of rugby in Africa, and demonstrate the promotion and progression of the sport across the continent. 

APO Group has been the Main Official Sponsor of Rugby Africa since 2017. Led by Founder and Chairman, Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard (www.Pompigne-Mognard.com), the company has assembled a fantastic judging panel. It is headed by the Chairman of World Rugby, Sir Bill Beaumont, and brings together luminaries from the worlds of business and sport. No fewer than three of South Africa’s Rugby World Cup winners of 2019 are on the jury - including Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira’.

There are also representatives from dozens of multinational organizations operating in Africa, from Google to Uber; Toyota to Visa; Pfizer to Harley Davidson!

Here is the full list of jury members:

  • Sir Bill Beaumont, Chairman of World Rugby (Chair of the jury)
  • Hennie Heymans, CEO - DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa
  • Nitin Gajria, Managing Director of Google Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Richard Gouverneur,  Managing Director of Jaguar Land Rover South Africa and Sub-Sahara Africa
  • Allan Kilavuka, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Kenya Airways
  • Dr. Kolja Rebstock, Vice President of Europe - Middle East – Africa of Harley Davidson
  • Tendai Beast Mtawarira, Rugby World Cup-winning Springbok legend, CEO of Umlindi Security and Founder of The Beast Foundation
  • Somesh Adukia, Managing Director  of Canon Central & North Africa
  • Jaco Beyers, Managing Director Africa Middle East of John Deere
  • Dr. André Schulz, General Manager Southern Africa & East Africa of Lufthansa Group
  • Patrick van der Loo, Regional President Africa Middle East of Pfizer
  • Dr. Johan van Zyl, Chairman of Toyota South Africa Motors
  • Godfrey Motsa, CEO of MTN South Africa
  • Hendrik Du Preez, Vice President – Africa of Qatar Airways
  • William McIntyre, Regional Director Africa of Radisson Hotel Group
  • Mark Alexander, President of the South African Rugby Union (SARU)
  • Thulani S Gcabashe, Chairman of Standard Bank Group
  • Danni Xu, Vice President of TECNO Mobile
  • Frans Hiemstra, General Manager of Uber Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Sipho Dlamini, CEO South Africa and Sub​-Saharan Africa of Universal Music Africa
  • Aïda Diarra, Senior Vice President - Visa, Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Samaila Zubairu, President and Chief Executive Officer of Africa Finance Corporation (AFC)
  • Grégoire Ndjaka, CEO of the African Union of Broadcasting (AUB)
  • Gert Jonk, Senior Vice President EMEA of Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise
  • Thusang Mahlangu, CEO of Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty Africa
  • Angela Russell, CEO of the American Chamber of Commerce in South Africa
  • António Nunes, Board member of Angola Cables
  • Brandon Oelofse, Regional General Manager - Sub Saharan Africa of Atlas Copco
  • Babalwa Latsha, Captain of the Springbok Women, First pro female rugby player in Africa
  • Bruce Schubach, Director of Operations, Africa of Baker McKenzie
  • Breyton Paulse, Former Springboks 
  • Garreth Bloor, President of Canada-Africa Chamber of Business
  • David Preston, CEO and Managing Director of Canon South Africa
  • Collins Injera, Kenya Rugby Sevens player and two time Olympian
  • Zemedeneh Nigatu, Global Chairman of Fairfax Africa Fund
  • John Saunders , President & CEO of  FleishmanHillard
  • Lee Martin, Senior Advisor of Getty Images
  • Rupert Adcock, CEO  of Global Career Company Ltd
  • Humphrey Kayange, Chairman of the Olympics Kenya Athletes Commission, World Rugby Player of the Year Rugby 7s panel member
  • Ian MacIntosh , Former head coach for the Springboks
  • Christian Bwakira, Managing Director, Middle East and Africa of Ingenico
  • Inia Maxwell, Former Cultural advisor of the All Blacks
  • Dr. Pascal Lorot, Chairman of Institut Choiseul
  • Robert Hersov, Founder and Chairman of Invest Africa
  • Jacques Burger, Former Namibia captain and Saracens flank          
  • Jean de Villiers, Former Springbok Captain 
  • Pierre Havenga, Managing Director, MEA of Vertiv
  • Wayne Godwin, Head of Advisory Sub-Saharan Africa of JLL’s Hotels & Hospitality Group
  • John Smit, Former Springbok Captain, CEO of SSG Holdings
  • Kelly Brown, Former captain of the Scotland national rugby union team
  • Ron Stuart, Executive Director: Head of Clients & Markets of KPMG
  • Nic Rudnick,   Group CEO of Liquid Intelligent Technology
  • Lukhanyo Am, Rugby World Cup Winners 2019     
  • Phillip Liu, General Manager of the Middle East and Africa of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence
  • Alisdair Sinclair, Managing Director, South Africa  of Mondelez International
  • Simon Rahmann, CEO of Mondia Pay
  • Douglas Rowlings, Senior Vice President- Head of Africa, Relationship Management of Moody's Investors Service
  • Makazole Mapimpi, Rugby World Cup Winners 2019
  • Hassan El-Houry, Group CEO of National Aviation Services (NAS)
  • Amadou Gallo Fall, Basketball Africa League President
  • Ms. Vidya Ramnath, MEA President of Emerson Automation Solutions
  • Jean Willers, Managing Director of Nielsen Sports South Africa
  • Precious Pazani, Rugby Africa referee         
  • Michael R. Yormark,  President and Chief of Branding & Strategy of Roc Nation
  • Ryan Collyer, CEO of Rosatom Central and Southern Africa
  • Coralie van den Berg, General Manager of Rugby Africa
  • Duncan Bech, Chairman of Rugby Union Writers’ Club (United Kingdom)
  • Nelly Mukazayire, CEO of Rwanda Convention Bureau
  • Oliver Fortuin , Group CEO of Seacom Ltd
  • William Moroney, Managing Director, Middle East & Africa of Temenos
  • Tim Vieira, CEO of Brave generation Academy / Special Edition Holdings Africa; Honorary member of the SA Rugby Legends           
  • Tonderai Chevanga, Former Springboks, Director at QMM and co-founder of the S-Group
  • Olivier Laouchez, Co-founder, Chairman and CEO of TRACE
  • Robins Tchale Watchou, CEO of Vivendi Sports
  • Alioune CISS, CEO of Webb Fontaine Group
  • Wejdane Limame, Citing commissioner of World Rugby, Rugby Africa and the French professional championship (Top 14)                   
  • Dillyn Leyds,  Former Springboks    
  • Raymond Rhule, Former Springboks
  • Abi Mustapha-Maduakor, CEO of African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCA)
  • Matthew Weihs, Group Managing Director of Bench
  • Brian Katzen,  Chairman of BLK Sport SA
  • Laurent Kayser, CFO  of Cafeyn Group
  • Keegan Cooke, Strength & Conditioning Coach, Touring Manager of Zimbabwe national rugby sevens team
  • Sami Porkka,  Former American football player
  • Laurent Larrieu, Founder and CEO of Larrieu Terrassement
  • Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard, Founder and CEO of APO Group (Award Director)

Applications for these awards are still open, but the deadline for entries is July 17, 2021. The results will be announced on August 18, 2021, with the two winners walking away with USD1,500 in prize money.

Entries can be submitted through the following links:

Rugby Africa and APO Group have a common goal to help African rugby break through on the international stage. APO Group is using its unparalleled media network and international reach to bring the best of African rugby to new audiences all over the world. South Africa’s win at the 2019 Rugby World Cup might have grabbed the headlines, but the sport is on a huge growth trajectory across the whole continent, with 24 African nations now full or associate members of World Rugby. 

“We are thrilled to have a jury that reflects the magnitude of these awards - and shows the popularity of rugby in Africa,” said Coralie van Den Berg, General Manager at Rugby Africa.

“It is so inspiring to read the stories and see the pictures produced by the talented men and women who are chronicling our sport. Their work deserves recognition, and I’m delighted we are able to share and celebrate the best of African journalism and photography on such a grand scale.” 

“I would like to personally thank all the jury members for devoting their time and energy to these Awards,” said Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard, Founder and Chairman of APO Group, and the Award Director. “The size and influence of this group of people is extraordinary, and it just highlights the level of support that exists for the game of rugby in Africa. I look forward to joining them in trying to find winners that have captured the spirit of African rugby, and brought it to life.”

This is a joint press release by Rugby Africa and APO Group.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of APO Group.

Media Contact:

About APO Group:
Founded in 2007, APO Group (www.APO-opa.com) is the leading pan-African communications consultancy and press release distribution service. We assist private and public organisations in sharpening their reputation and increasing their brand equity in target countries across Africa. Our role as a trusted partner is to leverage the power of media and build bespoke strategies that enable organisations to produce a real, measurable impact in Africa and beyond. The trust and recognition granted to APO Group by global and multinational companies, governments, and NGOs inspires us to continuously enhance our value proposition within Africa to better cater to our clients’ needs.

Among our prestigious clients: Facebook, Dangote Group, Nestle, GE, NBA, Canon, Coca-Cola, DHL, Marriott Group, Ecobank, Siemens, Standard Chartered, Orange, Jack Ma Foundation, African Development Bank, World Health Organization, Islamic Development Bank, Liquid Telecom, Rotary International, Kaspersky, Greenpeace…