Skip to content

Head of Momentum Brand Marketing, Charlotte Nsubuga-Mukasa owns her success

Charlotte Nsubuga-Mukasa has positioned herself as brand leader to a brilliant team of young minds in the insurance industry.

Her role is part of a key purpose that is to lead her team and ensure that all members remain on course in terms of reframing and revitalising the company’s brand story.

She is motivated to personify the #SheOwnsHerSuccess ethos, and is determined to empower all women who seek to make unimaginable advances where they are planted.

Nsubuga-Mukasa is a mother to a 7-year-old son, is always open to conversations that bring men and people of various orientations, into the brand property with purpose and intention.

She studied at the University of Free State and graduated with a degree in Mathematical Statistics and Computer Science. She pursued her honours in Risk Analysis and broadened her horizons at the Wits Business School.

Nsubuga Mukasa’s passion for people led her to become a marketing maverick. She cut her teeth as an advertising and marketing professional working with big names such as MTN Group and BMW South Africa.

Charlotte Nsubuga-Mukasa, Image: Supplied

It’s here that her journey to success sparked the beginning of her pursuit to understand the psychology and the anatomy of Marketing in its entirety.

Professionally, she recognises that money is emotional and so she is constantly evolving and creating new financial narratives that speak to the Momentum brand and how consumers can improve their money moves with power of good and simple financial advice.

We sat down with the brand marketing titan to chat about her life and how she has become the go-to person for the Momentum group’ marketing department.

Glamour: Thank you so much for talking to us, briefly tell us a little bit about yourself, and where did your journey in the financial sector begin, and tell us a little bit more about your previous jobs?

Charlotte Nsubuga-Mukasa (CNM): I am a mom to a beautiful and curious 7-year-old boy, who I am raising to be a feminist, hoping that one day he grows to interpret what this means for himself as well as whatever he defines as community at the time.

What does the above mean for me right now? Championing the causes of women who are looking for cues in society, to dramatise their value. Woman have got to be encouraged to see that their contribution in the household and at work, which touches the hem of how society structures its belief system and community structures.

Charlotte Nsubuga-Mukasa, Image: Supplied

I’ve tried to resist it, but I am natural born teacher, but I am way too busy to consider being an effective mentor. So, I’ve created something called ‘mentorship moments’ – where I have long lunches or bite size conversations – that help me take a deep breath so that I can exchange or impart the wisdom of how to navigate corporate structures and its demands.

On the outside, we may make it look sleek and super easy, but you’ve got to have a strong sense of self, so that you don’t lose your own identity, as you pursue one purpose with 15 000 other people in the workplace.

When I think of my childhood, I loved reading detective books like Nancy Drew, the Secret Seven, the Hardy boys and the Famous Five. I knuckle it down to my introduction of books at the school library, in a little town called Butterworth and then later in life, the bigger city called East London.

In the past, books were my travel escape because we could not afford DSTV, but now they are a firm favourite to help me wind down from a long week. These days podcasts make for shorter snippets of powerful edutainment – either way – I love reading, writing, and crafting words.

Charlotte Nsubuga-Mukasa, Image: Supplied

I do however have a secret passion – which is my love for criminal and detective series. I’ve got to find out who the killer is first - but I rarely ever do.

Some of those Hollywood writers really know how to string along a lot of clues to lead you down the wrong path. So be careful, don’t fall for the obvious candidate.

In truth, writing is a talent. But I can’t quite climb into a hammock by the sea to write, and so I default to finding empowering quotes to inspire a good cup of tea, as the sun peeks its head over the clouds, every morning.

Everything about me is done in bite size chunks these days. It’s the only way to get a lot done in a 24-hour day.

When it comes to my academic background. I studied Mathematical Statistics, Computer Science and Risk analysis at the University of the Free State, but my journey to success, took an interesting detour into Marketing, which is what I love to do now.

I started my career as a graduate business analysis in FNB’s first innovation hub called d-Business tap, but after almost 3 years there, I got an opportunity to dabble in the Advertising industry. It is here that I got to understand how to bring brands like BMW, Absa, and Smile telecommunications to life.

Charlotte Nsubuga-Mukasa, Image: Supplied

I soon left the advertising industry to assist MTN as a marketing project manager - one of my dream jobs. I got to manage and participate in their sponsorship take of Africa’s very first Soccer World Cup. All I can say of this amazing experience – is that there are no words.

This marketing and project management mix however gave me the stepping stones to do what I do now – which is to reposition and breathe life into an amazing brand like Momentum.

No statistical crunching here from my university days per se, but it just goes to show you that you don’t have to stay limited to what society expects of you. Once somebody sees your inherent potential – make magic, get out there and prove them right.

Glamour: What does your job entail, and what does your average workday look like these days?

CNM: No day is the same, but we do plan months in advance. We first start with our brand positioning strategy – a credo or manifesto of sorts. It reminds us why we do what we do.

It also helps us not to get distracted from our true north (There are tons of nice things to do in the world, so if you are not careful, you can easily dilute your brand essence if you’re not focused). We then decide what chapters we want to surface in the road to telling South Africa about the Momentum brand story.

We usually look around to ask where we can draw our inspiration from i.e., research, social media trends, out of category lifestyle brands, financial advisers and the global business community at large.

Charlotte Nsubuga-Mukasa, Image: Supplied

Even our own families can inform a perspective that we need to surface our stories in a way that resonates with the market we’re trying to woo and capture for an ongoing relationship.

Once we are clear on the chapter and narrative we want to play out, we engage our agency, brand PR, sponsorships and internal business partners - to discuss the merits of the ideas we have on hand to tell a good brand story.

Charlotte Nsubuga-Mukasa, Image: Supplied

Where there are people, there are a lot of opinions. So we’ve opted to only have robust debates that have the backing of some sort of data behind them.

How big we go, is always based on the business case before us. But whatever the case – what we deliver has got to be easy to munch on, maverick and meaningful.

Glamour: How would you define your brand?

CNM: Contemporary, bold, ambitious, and yet still somehow wholesome and intelligent in its pursuit to be one of South Africa’s top 3 insurers - that stand for ‘enabling financial success’.

Glamour: Over the years, you’ve worked on various campaigns, among which were #SheOwnsHerSuccess, #ForcesOfMomentum and for the past two years, #ScienceOfSuccess, which one would you say has been your most successful marketing campaign, and why?

CNM: They were all successful in their own way, but given the eyeballs and the love South Africa has shown us with their support in the last four years, I’d have to say it has to be #SheOwnsHerSuccess. Here are my six reasons why.

1.In 2022, we partnered with a few A-list Hollywood actresses for the first time:

a.) Our keynote address was delivered by Oscar winner and children’s book author Lupita Nyong’o

b.) Tasha Smith, a veteran Hollywood actress, director and businesswoman joined me in conversation from the USA - to discuss her take on her relationship with money and how pivotal the support of men in her industry have been for her career success.

2.It’s also the only campaign wherewith we host three #SheOwnsHerSuccess workshops to drive home specific messages in how woman can become empowered to take practical steps to build financially and emotionally fit households.

Last year, we hosted these workshops across a physical and hybrid environment in the month of August. This live crossing strategy was borrowed from the Oscars. A move that maintained high energy levels and resonated with our digital audience online in a big way.

3.We joined forces with top tier influencers in SA. They took over our Momentum Instagram account to give our followers an unfiltered ‘on the ground’ perspective of how these workshops look, feel and sound – in high heels and champagne in hand I must add.

4.Our Social media team also did a competition for our Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg online followers. This was done to reward their loyalty and engagement with the platform during the month of August.

Charlotte Nsubuga-Mukasa, Image: Supplied

5.The #SheOwnsHerSuccess went on for a further 3x months and included digital success stories of our IT Varsity partners, a beneficiary of the Momentum Metropolitan holdings group.

6.However, the ultimate surprise was our partnership with Waze. It sought to put women owned businesses on the map. A 1st in Africa. We started by uploading 300 businesses by encouraging ordinary South Africans to add their suggestions to our database.

Glamour: What career advice would you give to aspirant young marketing and branding professionals?

CNM: Firstly, shadow someone in marketing to understand its full value chain – there may be specific disciplines or functions that you like more than others.

Secondly, if you are not ready to fully commit, try a few free online digital courses, it will help your CV stand out. It also gives your new or potential employer a clue of your love of self-improvement, curiosity to learn and ambition to get promoted when the right time comes around.

Lastly, dress for success – wear the right attitude and accessorize with qualifications and street cred, as you move up the corporate ladder to do big things.

Glamour: What do you love most about working in the brand management space?

CNM: Marketing is another way of studying people to give them what they want, and sometimes, what they don’t even know they need. But what I love most about brand management - is getting South Africans to authentically reconsider your brand - as you shape and sharpen it for their own unique needs.

Glamour: What advice would you give to your younger self and what would you do differently?

CNM: Land your debate in three points.

Remember the difference between your purpose, your career and a job. Never lose your ability to put affordable clothing and jewellery pieces together, it is your superpower. Make time to upgrade yourself, the world is big for a reason!

Charlotte Nsubuga-Mukasa, Image: Supplied

Also, short lefts also count as baecations and staycations, don’t wait for Italy to come. Do more for your passion for rural woman who suffer from obstetric fistula, your voice is much bigger than you think.

Don’t worry about Maths, just make friends who get it, and practise geometry with coloured pencils. Sports is not a luxury you can afford to stop. Keep at it, a healthier body makes for off the cuff witty campaigns

Most importantly. Stay on point with God, he will never leave you. Stay curious about people, it’s a sustainable career

Share this article: