Monday, 25 September 2023

In Business

The Digital Maestro from Africa

The journey to Mastery in the Digital and Internet space begins with passion and discipline, as did for Oscar Habeenzu who now oversees brands and media related businesses in several African countries. He has become a Digital Maestro. 


Oscar Habeenzu, the Digital Maestro, with business interests in East Africa, and Africa at large, is a turnaround strategist in Media, Web, Marketing, Brand Building, Campaigns and Public Relations, using Digital and all things Internet, who has over 1,000 projects and campaigns, spanning a career of 20+ years in eight African countries. He currently runs a digital marketing agency based in South Africa, and a few other African markets, that offer services to small, medium, and large-scale enterprises, from social media strategy, execution, analytics, training and support services.


With a Putinology approach, Oscar Habeenzu has led successful lead generation campaigns for Bureau De Change businesses during seasons of low tourism in SA, has got politicians into parliament using WhatsApp Campaigns instead of physical rallies, has managed models using social media, started publications online that got New York listed company syndications, has ran non-profits without budgets using social media, and has crafted a digital marketing diploma and is ran in several African countries for entrepreneurs. 


Through client projects, consultancies, he has done work in diverse industries that include Construction, Financial Services, Education, Multinational Conglomerates, Technology, Media, Listed, Non-Profits, Pharmaceuticals, Hospitality, Farming, Accounting, Aviation, just to name a few.


Oscar Habeenzu is a multi-talented digital maestro who is a fluent Web and Software Developer, Digital Marketer, Writer, Speaker, Graphic Designer, and Thought leader, whose pursuit of Mastery began in 1995.


As a teenager, he started off as a Data Capture Clerk in 1995, Programmer (Software Developer), Technician, and then in 2001 became IT Manager. The radical move from Technician to IT Manager was due to his demonstrated expertise in Web, ERPs, CRMs, and Systems Development that saved the Zimpapers Limited (a listed Zimbabwean media company) working capital at his assigned subsidiaries. From 1995, Oscar Habeenzu started a software development journey, learning programming languages such as VB, C++, Java and HTML.  


A few years later, he took up a Researcher Internship with a Senior Officer at the African Regional Intellectual Property (ARIPO), researching and publishing research papers on eCommerce in Zimbabwe and Zambia from 2003-2005. During this period, he increased his programming journey by learning database development in SQL, PHP, and Scripting languages on UNIX, Linux and Web platforms, as well as Mac OS. 


He moved on to become a Systems Analyst for the Integrated Spatial Resources and Allied Systems in Harare, and led software development for Market Research analytical applications for projects by Research International, that included Unilever South East Africa, and government departments, from 2005 to 2007. In this same period, he continued a dual-citizenship approach to technology and media, developing software for Call Centres, whilst writing books and business content. 


As he was consulting as a Systems Analyst, he spread his wings into Digital Marketing in 2006, launching an online newspaper that turned into a Magazine in Zimbabwe and Zambia called Mauya Travel Guide. The magazine transformed into what later became an online media company in 2010. During this same period, he wrote a book called “A Successful Website”, a book that only sold 26 copies, each giving him a Web Development consultancy that then created a business called iNduku Africa, later to be incorporated into current enterprises. Under iNduku Africa, there are over 1,000 website projects across the world. 


In 2007, Oscar Habeenzu turned on the volume in Digital Marketing, by consulting for Innov8 Motivation Group, and then getting appointed National Director of Youth Encounter Zimbabwe, a then 25-year-old teenage and twenty-somethings outdoor adventure and personal development organisation. 


It was at Youth Encounter that he wrote his debut book “Beyond Rebellion”, whose second edition was released in 2013 in Zimbabwe. The book was based on a market research project that he called “The Behaviour Report”; later to be converted into a publication that contributed to the lives of executives and thought leaders in Zimbabwe for until 2016. A story for another day.


Soon after the youth adventure leadership stint, Oscar Habeenzu moved on to consult as Web Developer and Content Creator for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2010, building their cluster website, and creating content for a contracted period. 


At the birth of his son in 2010, the booked “A Successful Website” was re-written and published as “Everyone Online Zimbabwe” targeted at Marketing executives. The book was reviewed by Managing Editor of ZimboJam, Fungai Tichawangana, saying “No one really knows how Zimbabweans use the Internet, their surfing habits and what their online needs are. It’s one of those areas that have remained steeped in mystery, covered by technological jargon and hindered by infrastructural shortcomings- until now”. 


Everyone Online went on to become the basis of his current Digital Marketing agency and training Academy called DigitalPlus Africa. DigitalPlus Africa is a Digital Marketing Agency, operating in several African Markets, and a training consulting firm based in South Africa. The DigitalPlus Course, is a professional occupational development course, created for and managed by Cabanga Media Group (Pty) Ltd, to train the Marketer, Business Owner, and Manager on marketing in digital cyberspaces the African Way, for African businesses and brands. With unique theories, concepts and case studies, the DigitalPlus course includes subjects like Internet and Social Media Fundamentals, Content Marketing, Social Media Advertising, Email Marketing, Digital Public Relations, Social Media Security, Consumer Behaviour and Analytics, Campaign Management and Digital Anti-Terrorism. 


The course follows the South African territory educational methodologies for teaching and assessment. The DigitalPlus course has been active since 2015, and went regional in 2018, with remote classes hosted via social networking videos. There are over 25 companies trained in South Africa alone, that include Accounting Firm like Setbooks Accounting in Gauteng, and pharmaceutical companies like Genesis Pharmaceuticals in North West.


To prove the concepts and theories of the DigitalPlus course, Oscar Habeenzu, consulted for the Money Group, for 100 Days ending mid-August 2021. Money Group is a financial service and FMCG multinational company with brands and businesses in SA, MZ, ZM, UAE, and Hong Kong. At Money Group, Oscar Habeenzu executed interventions that increased Brand Visibility and generated Sales Leads for their subsidiaries - Forex World (Pty) Ltd, Cash Center (Pty) Ltd, and Emperor Finance (Pty) Ltd, of over 14,000% in return on investment of Advertising budgets. Interventions included Digital Marketing Audits, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (Google Ads), Social Media Advertising, Email Marketing, Content Creation, Analytics, Ad Campaign Management, and Content Marketing.


In 2016, Oscar Habeenzu, was contracted by private investors, to grow an online media company in Zimbabwe, for a three-year period, called Online Media Group (OMG Africa). He led the company, growing it from one publication to fifteen titles, and in July 2017, Bloomberg Businessweek syndicated OMG Africa for a three-year period for several of its titles. Exposure to international digital newsrooms, coupled with his visionary perspective has earned him opportunities to work and partner with global and regional organisations and FMCG brands. 


He was selected to head OMG Africa because of his publication TheBehaviourReport, that was incorporated into the stable. TheBehaviourReport was an "eccentric and refreshingly great content" platform as reviewed by TechZim, the leading technology magazine and portal in Zimbabwe.


In June 2019, Oscar Habeenzu started the journey of African business media and thought leadership publishing, with his private partners, established thoughtful business magazines and content portals in Botswana, Ethiopia, Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe, under the one house called Cabanga Media Group. 


The Digital Maestro is open for business in any African country.


Source: Ganizo Magazine, 3Mob, GetAPlan, The Herald, Techzim, ZimboJam