To celebrate and reflect on the year that is slowly drawing to a close, we invited our clients and suppliers to what started as a braai, but turned into something truly meaningful.
We wanted more than just a social occasion to share some drinks and a couple of laughs. The year, which has been challenging in many ways, felt like it needed something special, something deeper. So we invited two of the most inspirational people we know to share some of their wisdom with us.
Gabi Lowe, a long-time friend of the agency, joined us to talk about life, loss and leaving a legacy. After some welcome drinks and eats, we gathered to hear her speak, and an immediate solemnness settled over the agency as we remembered the incredibly wise and remarkably profound Jenna Lowe. Having worked on the #GetMeTo21 campaign, many remembered her unbelievable resilience in the face of what was ultimately a terminal illness. Gabi’s words and the story of her daughter’s attitude imparted a sense of empowerment to every ear they fell on. The fact that we as humans are able to overcome adversity, no matter how big or small, and that we can inspire and share love and joy through it, was a necessary reminder for all those in attendance, and through the entire Lowe family’s strength, we walked away ready to face life’s challenges with resilience, courage and hope.
After a quick drink top-up we gathered for our second speaker, Craig Foster. Craig is one of the world’s leading natural history filmmakers and spent many years documenting the lives and history of the San Bushmen in the Central Kalahari. But the moment that shaped, and ultimately changed his life forever, was a chance encounter with an octopus, in a kelp forest off the coast of Cape Town. His truly unbelievable story of friendship and companionship with what he calls his greatest teacher had every person in attendance on the edge of their seats. He recounted the many lessons this “Superstar” taught him, the discoveries he made, some of which never have been documented in marine biology before, and ultimately our relationship with nature. We were reminded to treat this earth we are travelling on with the utmost respect, and to take the time to listen to those we think do not speak, as they may just hold the answers to some of our greatest questions. Craig’s remarkable story forms part of the soon-to-be-released BBC Blue Planet II, and to hear it first hand was a true honour and a huge privilege.
We left the event empowered, inspired, and with a sense of renewed curiosity for the natural wonders around us.
With this, we will enter 2018 with fresh creativity and a desire to not only do great work in advertising, but hopefully even greater work in shaping the world we live in.
The Lowe family’s work in organ donation, and awareness for Pulmonary Hypertension continues with strength and momentum. Through their efforts, Groote Schuur Hospital now has a dedicated PH clinic caring for over 60 patients. Visit jennalowe.org for more information on the Jenna Lowe trust.
Craig Foster continues his work as a filmmaker and researcher as the director of The Sea-Change Project, a not-for-profit organisation mandated to promote and protect our marine and human heritage. Visit seachangeproject.com for more information.