Sappi wins top International Gold Quill Award for innovative video

Rosebank, 19 June 2020

Sappi Southern Africa's Forests division received top international recognition for their innovative video on their Sappi Khulisa programme at the virtual Excellence Gala held on Tuesday, 16 June 2020 at #IABC20. The video won the coveted 'Best of the Best' Award in the Audio/Visual Category.

Recommended by evaluators and reviewed by the Gold Quill Awards chair, vice chair and past chair, the Best of the Best winners represent the very best entries seen across the globe. The 2020 Gold Quill Awards Committee felt that the video pushed the boundaries of what can be done by combining local languages, storytelling and compelling ideas across multiple media, while involving the audience in collaboration with the project. The committee commented as follows: "This entry showed clear impact not only on the project, but on ethical business practice within the frame of environmental concern. The video and map used showed very professional and innovative execution - we view this as an example for others to follow.  Well done!"

The video is aimed at encouraging participants in Sappi’s Khulisa Enterprise and Supplier development programme, to become sustainable participants in the forestry value chain. Rather than just remaining as subsistence farmers focusing on small crops of timber, the video - which is narrated in isiZulu by SA celebrity story-teller Gcina Mhlophe- tells the story of how a grower can secure a future for her grandchildren by becoming self-sufficient through training and mentorship, provided by Sappi Khulisa. The video was produced by Zelda Schwalbach, Communications Manager for Sappi Forests, along with a team from Sappi Khulisa, led by Dutliff Smith, Development Manager, Sappi Forests.  The production company was Danegerous Pictures, under the direction of Dane Maxwell. The theme song was composed and produced by Phatjam Productions and was sung by Durban girl and former SA Idols Top8 contestant,  Nosihe Zulu.

Awards committee chair Ed Kamrin, SCMP, said of this year’s winners, “Recent events have highlighted that more than ever, we live in an interconnected world. The community of communication professionals is global, diverse, and vibrant. This year’s Gold Quill winners demonstrate that our commitment to strategic communication crosses borders—and that our work is vital to the organizations we serve. #IABCGQ

 “Gold Quill Award winners demonstrate a mastery of all elements of strategic communication and have measurable business results to prove their success. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners on your excellent work and on being recognized among the best communication professionals globally.” ends/

Marcel Sapet, Dane Maxwell, Gcina Mhlope and Zelda Schwalbach

About Sappi Khulisa
Sappi Khulisa was established in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa, covering the area from Mangusi near Kosi Bay in the north to Port Edward in the south and inland as far as Ixopo and Nongoma. Since inception, Sappi Khulisa has expanded to the Eastern Cape near the towns of Bizana and Lusikisiki.

Sappi Khulisa started as a tree-farming scheme aimed at subsistence farmers. It is now a successful job creation and entrepreneurship development model aligned with the South African Government’s strategy of promoting forestry as a means of creating sustainable livelihoods in rural areas. Sappi Khulisa forms the foundation of Sappi’s corporate social responsibility, enterprise development focus.

Sappi Khulisa exemplifies the principles of shared value: small growers build sustainable businesses and a decent income, while Sappi secures a quality fibre supply.
Read more about Sappi Khulisa and VIEW the video at:

About the International Association of Business Communicators
With 10,000 members and more than 100 chapters worldwide, the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) is the only global association that connects business communication professionals with the people and insights needed to drive business results. Founded in 1970 and supporting professional communicators at the heart of every organization, IABC serves the collective disciplines of business communication professionals through professional development offerings, certifications, awards and recognition programs, online resources, Communication World magazine and the annual World Conference.

Read more about the Gold Quills at
Watch the Awards video here