OUR PEOPLE

MEET THE TEAM

Urban Brew Studios has transformed substantially, since entering the television production industry in 1995. The ongoing evolution of the production house, which is 100% owned by Kagiso Media, has led to a fully inclusive management team that reflects South Africa’s diverse population. The eleven member executive committee is now made up of more than 70% previously disadvantaged individuals and more than 60% females.

Richard Tsai –COO

 

Richard took up the position of CFO after five years at Kagiso Media head office as Group Financial Manager where, amongst other things, he oversaw the financial performance of the different business units and was in charge of budgeting across group.

 

Prior to that he held the position of Senior Auditor at Deloitte & Touche.

Gugulethu Gregory – Head of Facilities:IT, Systems and Broadcast Architecture

 

Gugulethu, who has more than a decade’s worth of experience with the technical side of media, joined Urban Brew Studios from the SABC, where he was Manager of Systems Administration. He has also previously held positions at popular radio stations; East Coast Radio and Kaya FM.

Joanne Lurie-Head of Creative

 

Joanne Lurie, who has been in the TV industry for 13 years, spent eight of her nine years at Urban Brew Studios producing 3Talk with Noeleen. Before joining the company, she worked on international formats, including The Weakest Link, The Biggest Loser and Big Brother.

Derek Wykes – Commercial Director

 

Derek joined the Exco team as Commercial Director after having worked as Account Director at Kagiso Media head office since October 2014. Before joining the media landscape Derek was Client Executive at Dimension Data and prior to that he worked at IBM for 13 years, having started as an Engineer and moving up the ranks. Derek brings with him a track record of establishing and building strong C-level relationships.

Verona Duwarkah- CEO

 

Urban Brew Studios announces the appointment of Verona Duwarkah as their new CEO. Verona, who has extensive television and content production management experience, takes over from Richard Tsai who’s been the acting CEO since the beginning of this year. Tsai takes up the role of COO at Urban Brew Studios.

Verona takes up the position of Urban Brew Studios CEO with immediate effect. During her 26 year career in the media industry, she has held various leadership positions at the SABC including General Manager of Strategic Projects between 2007and 2012 and Group Executive of SABC Television between 2012 and 2016. Most recently, Verona has been a Consultant and Business Manager at Cote Ouest, the largest distributor of content in Africa.

Kagiso Media Group CEO Mark Harris says, “We look forward to Verona sharing her experience, which spans various aspects of the business, including finance, TV channel management, content production management, strategy development and implementation as well as general and executive management. We welcome her to the Kagiso Media family and know she will be an asset.”

Verona says she looks forward to working with the talented Urban Brew Studios team, “I am incredibly excited to take on this challenge as I move on to the next level of my career in an entirely different business environment. I look forward to applying my many years of media experience in this business ensuring that it grows and adapts to a rapidly changing landscape.”

Natasha Wadvalla-Marketing Director

 

Natasha brings with her over 17 years’ experience in broadcasting and over 20 years’ experience in public relations. She joined Urban Brew from Kagiso Media head office where she held the position of Group Head of Marketing and Communications since 2013. She has also held various key marketing and public relations positions at Primedia broadcasting.

Kenosi Lekaota- Senior HR Manager

 

Kenosi has extensive HR experience across numerous sectors. Prior to joining Urban Brew Studios she worked within the Kagiso Media group as HR Consultant for East Coast Radio. She has also held positions at Business Connexion and Old Mutual.