Never average, always awesome. My mentor shared this quote with me when I was doing my first year at UJ and I have since lived by it.


Film & Media


Pat on Brands / Lerato Agency

Pat Mahlangu, 32, founder and chief executive of Pat on Brands and Lerato Agency is driven by the desire to challenge the norm and to rise above challenges.

He’s a young man full of drive, passion and tenacity and started his own advertising agency and launched Youth Owned Brand Awards (YOBA) in 2022 to celebrate the amazing work done by newcomers in the industry.

With an MCom in business management, Pat was also an advisory board member at Tshwane University of Technology (2020), former education council member at IAB and a committee member at AMASA. He has lectured at the University of Johannesburg, Vega and Boston Media House.

His role entails coming up with the overall strategic direction of a business and mobilising resources for the company. Pat represents the company on a public platform, pitches to clients, assembles teams to work on projects and creates an environment that will enable them to flourish.

What would he like South Africa to look like in five years? “I would like to see the youth being given the space to lead the country. The Gini coefficient should be reduced so that the gap between the rich and the poor is not so vast,” he says.

  • BCom, Information Management (University of Johannesburg)
  • BCom (Honours), Marketing Management (University of Johannesburg)
  • MCom, Business Management (University of Johannesburg)
  • Diploma Digital Marketing, (Digital Marketing Institute, Ireland)

  • Founded the Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards (2022)
  • Advisory Board Member at Tshwane University of Technology (2020)
  • Former Education Council Member at IAB,
  • Committee Member at AMASA 
  • Lectured at the University of Johannesburg, Vega, Boston Media House
  • Chairperson, Thomas Sankara Residence (2016)
  • Tubingen-South Africa Scholar (2016)

My uncle who raised me sacrificed so much for me. He paid for me to get extra lessons when I was in matric. He didn’t have much as he was a taxi driver. He always said to me education was the only way out of poverty. The extra lessons enabled me to learn how to use a computer and boosted my final results which got me to university. Today, I am where I am because of the education I received.

You are never too young to start doing great things.

I would like to see the youth being given the space to lead the country. The youth will infuse positive energy and not only come up with fresh ideas but implement them as well. 

I would also like to Gini coefficient to be reduced so that the gap between the rich and the poor is not this vast. This will have so many positive spin-offs for the country. Crime levels will drop as many people will live above the poverty line.

View previous winners from 2018 to 2022

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