Celebrating South Africa’s Icons

21 ICONS is a visual celebration of remarkable individuals who have shaped the world around them for the better. Inspired by Nelson Mandela, it tells the stories of people who have continued his legacy – whose lives have made the world a better place. 

Conceived and executed by Ginkgo Agency, the 21 Icons project is an editorial-content format created to appeal to the hearts and minds of the broad South African social spectrum. Content assets included 21 photographic portraits, 3-minute short films, 30-second promo films and behind-the-scenes photography per season.

Global Acclaim

As a narrative the project was celebrated by South African audiences, but also found broad acclaim on the global stage. Content was distributed via national media in broadcast, print, and online through international media partners including The Wall Street Journal, The Times and The Australian. Over the course of three seasons the project reached 757 million people. 

By making these personal stories accessible, the goal is to show the way forward for a new generation of socially conscious and active citizens. The project demonstrates the extraordinary change that can be brought about through the power of collective effort, and reveals a fundamental truth: together we are better.