Homecoming Revolution, the recruitment firm for global Africans, hosted an interactive careers and networking event at the Park Plaza Victoria on 4 & 5 March.
The event, attended by approximately 400 people, equipped Africans living in the UK with everything they need to know about returning home including careers, property, relocation services, schools & immigration advice.
“People flew in from Belgium and France especially for the Brand South Africa Cocktail & Pam Golding Lunch, highlighting the level of interest among Africans in Europe in opportunities back home,” says Homecoming Revolution CEO Angel Jones.
Attendees encountered exciting career opportunities back home with top Pan-African employers including: Agco, Bryanston Consulting, Guaranty Trust Bank, Ipreo, Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, Mace, MultiChoice & Africa Health Placements.
Delegates also learnt about the African property market with Pam Golding Properties, received advice on removals and shipping from White & Company, and found out about leading private schools back home: Kingsmead, Bishops, Hilton College, St John’s College & Roedean School.
South Africa’s only Xhosa-speaking Jewish Comedian, Nik Rabinowitz, kept the audience in stitches as he approached South Africa and Africa’s recent challenges in a satirical light.
Delegates were also inspired by true homecomer stories & received expert insights on the continent from incredible keynotes including: Bankole Cardoso (Nigerian homecomer & entrepreneur), Eddie Mandhry (Director for Africa, Yale Office for International Affairs) & Pumela Salela (Brand South Africa UK Country Head).
Each attendee received a Taste of Home snack pack filled with some of South Africa’s best-loved snacks, sponsored by Makro as well as Five Roses & Fresh Pack Tea, sponsored by AVI Brands.
Jones says the four key trends that emerged from the event are:
Trend 1: More young people want to return to Africa than ever
“There has been a marked increase in the number of young people expressing a desire to return home. 70% of attendees at our London event were aged below 45. They were mainly young singles, newly married couples & families with small children,” says Jones.
Trend 2: Africa “surpRISING” is the new narrative
“You can’t put Africa into a box. It will continue to surprise you and that kind of unpredictability makes for a tenacious person. The risks are big but the rewards are even bigger,” adds Jones.
Trend 3: Africa has growing critical skill requirements across industries
“As industries across the continent evolve and diversify, the need for skilled African diaspora professionals becomes ever more apparent. This was our most diverse employee event ever. While the event is usually top heavy in the financial services space, industries it covered now include consulting, construction, agriculture, healthcare, media, research and financial data.”
Trend 4: More South Africans are open to the idea of returning to Johannesburg
“Cape Town and Durban are usually top of the list for people considering returning home, but more and more people are beginning to view Johannesburg as a preferred destination. In recent years, the city has shed its black sheep image in favour of becoming the continent’s career hub as well as a hip and buzzing urban centre.”
Attendee and Client Comments
“A well-organised event which was a one-stop shop for acquiring talent for all our operations across the continent,” Clement O’Reilly, MultiChoice.
“It was a great platform to showcase what Ipreo has to offer potential homecomers,” Alois Nyamarebvu, Ipreo.
“An exceptional event. This year, we saw an even greater emotional connection to Africa,” Pumela Salela, Brand South Africa UK Country Head.
“Through Homecoming Revolution, Angel is living her heart’s passion. Her obvious vulnerability to the fact that she is embracing her dream has encouraged me to commit to living a life that serves the interests of the next person. uMntu ngumntu ngabantu,” Esther Dlamini, Africa Health Placements.
“My overall impression is that I was surprised by how many diverse young South Africans were positive about South Africa in spite of the problems,” Lanice Steward, Pam Golding Properties.
“Thank you so much for a lovely event, it was so inspiring, gave me goose bumps and definitely gave me a hope of returning in the future,” Danielle Lefebvre.
“I’m convinced that this event was solely God’s plan for my return. I spoke to the team and I have already decided it is time for me to go home and render services for my people. I am looking forward at an offer then I’ll be officially part of the team. I always tell people that South Africa is the best place to be! Keep it up! KEEP SHINING!” Dr Nomusa Raphesu.
“Thanks very much for laying on such a great event. I will be heading back to SA, or possibly another African country this year having worked in Broadcast in the UK for 18 years,” Julian Smith.
“This has been a wonderful, fast-paced event. A very good platform to fund specialised skills in agriculture,” Althea Wicomb, AGCO.
“The event has really helped me confirm that moving back home to Cape Town is 100% the right thing for me. So thank you! Now that the decision to move back is set, I need to make it happen. Homecoming Revolution’s event has given me so much hope,” Juanique Ferreira.
“Inspiring, thought-provoking and I feel absolutely energised and excited about the prospect of returning back home. I think Homecoming Revolution has absolutely achieved its objectives in every way,” Nana Ocran.
“Inspiration, motivation, passion to go back home is still on thanks to the drive and dedication of the team,” Pumlani Bangani.
“Chair of the event, Nik Rabinowitz, the world’s leading Xhosa-Speaking Jewish South African comic, was hilarious. The venue is top class and easy to reach by London transport. I’m positive the best is yet to come. Long live Homecoming Revolution,” Xolani Xala.
“I am considering relocating and the event was very informative. I needed something to give me that push and this event was it,” Michael Muyinda.