Debra De Souza’s career spans over two decades within the marketing, PR, eventing and entertainment industries. She is currently the publicist for Showtime Management.
How did you start in the industry?
I started my career in the hospitality and events industry at Southern Sun Hotels and then Sun International, where I was fortunate to learn from many of this country’s specialists in marketing, PR, eventing and entertainment. A few years later I started my own as a communications/PR consultant with clients in the entertainment, retail and hospitality sectors. In 1996, top SA theatre producer and promoter, Hazel Feldman invited me to work as a publicist for the new generation show, Ipi‘Ntombi and 25 years later I am privileged and blessed to have been a part of the South African entertainment industry.
What does your typical work day look like?
I am sure that fellow colleagues in the events and entertainment industries will agree, we don’t have typical days or nights! As best we plan; each day brings their own set of challenges, needs and requirements. I usually start my day viewing, prioritising and responding to email messages, then glance over social media, news channels, etc. I prefer morning meetings so that the rest of the day is clear to delve into matters on hand (to do list!), write press releases, set up interviews, attend media engagements, admin, client liaison and manage whatever follows. Now with the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdown regulations, no day is the same as the last–guaranteed.
What do you think FAME Week Africa can offer the Pan-African Market?
This is an industry that has been destroyed by the pandemic, so how do you see our industry coming together through an event like this? An event such as FAME Week Africa is instrumental in bringing an industry together to open networking opportunities; showcase talent; to share problems, solutions, experiences and forward planning; to help each other in this “forgotten” industry.
What do you think the future of the creative industries look like?
We live in difficult and unpredictable times and the future won’t be easy for many, especially for those in the creative industries that need assistance and financial support in order to re-start but, we are mostly dependent on crowds or gatherings and until these are considerably increased our efforts are restricted.
With FAME Week Africa being hosted in the Mother City, what do you love about Cape Town?
Aside from the obvious beauty and diversity of the city architecture and aesthetics, Cape Town has its own unique character. This character is exhibited through its natural habitat and shared with its people through a host of cultural activities, events and attractions.