On August 31, 2016, I went to the Cedar School of Art in the Mitchell Plains just outside Cape Town, South Africa. I was accompanied by Ms. Monique Gieskes (Vlisco), who was a session speaker at INTA’s Building Africa with Brands Conference in Cape Town, September 1–2.
We met with the school’s principal, David Charles, and our Unreal “Champion” at the school, Courtney Edwards, educator, who ensured that we had all the support we required.
We made two presentations at the school on that day, first to approximately forty students and a second to about ten Business Management students from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology who were interning at the school during our visit.
We commenced our presentation by introducing INTA and the work that the organization does with regard to trademarks and other intellectual property rights (IPRs).
We played two videos illustrating the dangers of purchasing counterfeits as opposed to real products. Utilizing the Unreal Campaign presentation guidelines, we proceeded to educate the students on the importance of trademarks. The students were well aware of many international brands but were shocked to learn about the dangers that counterfeit products pose to the consumers.
Ms. Gieskes informed the students of the long history of Vlisco in Africa and showed them the differences in quality of authentic and fake fabrics, which was fascinating to the students.
The highlight of the presentation was the quiz. We can state without a doubt that our session was quite interactive!
The teacher in charge of the class was attentive and interested in the topic and invited us back to speak to the economics class the next day. The seventeen-year-old economics students were as enthusiastic as the students we’d presented to the previous day.
September 1, 2016
Ms. Brenda Matanga (Matanga IP Zimbabwe), Akeem Aponmade (A.O. Aponmade & Co., Nigeria), and I returned to the school on September 1, 2016, to make a further presentation to approximately forty grade 10 students (between fifteen- and sixteen-years-old) and received the same positive reception as when we made the presentation to the other students.
In addition to being astonished at what they learned about counterfeiting, they were surprised to find that an organization such as INTA would take time out to inform them of the importance of trademarks and the dangers of counterfeits.
According to feedback we received from the school, the students thoroughly enjoyed the presentation and posted the pictures of the presentation on Facebook.
To learn more about the Unreal Campaign, please visit INTA's landing page.