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NATIVE GROUP MD: Cynthia Tsumake


The native boss

This week we meet Cynthia Tsumake, the Managing Director (MD) of Native Group, a consultancy and advertising agency that excels at taking brands to the next level.

The 37-year-old Ramotswa born takes us through her journey in the corporate world, which started in print media before transitioning to radio and finally ending up as a Native.

Tsumake also takes time to address Covid-19’s impact on the business and how they positioned themselves to deal with the situation.

Firstly, tell our readers a bit about yourself.

I am a 37-year-old mother of two beautiful boys from Ramotswa, a daughter who is fortunate enough to still have both parents and a sister to two siblings.

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And from a professional perspective, talk us through your journey in the corporate world?

My journey started off at Botswana Guardian and The Midweek Sun. Then I moved to GabzFM, followed by a move to Yarona Media Holdings, before finally landing at The Native Group.

I have always had a passion for Media and Communications.

How have you found the switch from radio to advertising?

Challenging and interesting; multi dimensional; more so that it gave me opportunity to diversify my skill set in an Advertising Agency set up.

You’ve only been at The Native Group for two years yet have already been appointed MD. What do you credit your rise to?

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I was fortunate enough to find a young and dynamic team that worked well with me in getting the desired results.

As a dedicated individual, this complemented my work ethic.

I also believe I am a strategic thinker who passionately believes in the power of collaboration and strong alliances that have helped.

What do you regard as the highlight of your career so far?

Working on the ‘50 Change Makers’ project, where we assembled and profiled 50 young Batswana for Botswana’s 50th Jubilee.

The project even partnered with Mail and Guardian. That was such a learning experience.

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And on the other end of the scale, what has been your lowest moment?

Sometime in my past I was given a set of duties and responsibilities and ended up taking on too much in an eager effort to impress.

As a result, the sacrifice took its toll on me. In the same light, it taught me balance and also allowed me to discover my strength for eventing.

Covid-19 has had a disastrous impact on most businesses – how has the pandemic effected Native Group?

It has been challenging in terms of being forced to give mandatory discounts and slow business activity overall.

So we had to restructure our service offering to suit the conditions we were put under.

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However, this also brought opportunities for us to be more creative and innovative in our offerings as a business.

Opportunities such as?

We decided to align offerings and services to client’s needs and the positions that Covid-19 has placed them under.

Basically to still have them consume adverts from where they are as per their respective industry setups.

Ending on a personal note, away from the office what keeps you busy?

I love nature. I am family oriented, so any chance to be with family I will.

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I also mentor a lot of young people on their career paths.

Being strongly spiritual also helps me align and find my strength.



Tlotlo Cynthia Tsumake


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Would rather not say






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Anastacia Martin, Maria Machailo-Ellis, Karin Van Wyk


Range Rover Velar




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Bogobe and Seswaa


Sparkling wine


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Deceitful people

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