1994 was a landmark year, with the abolishment of Apartheid finally introducing a new era of hope for South Africa. And as transformational, albeit on a much smaller scale, a few ad industry legends decided to address their frustration with conventional academia by starting what was then known as the “School of Logic and Magic”.

Why Logic and Magic? Because they believed that what set the “greats” in business apart was the capacity for both commercial logic and creative magic. 25 years later, we are proud to say this compelling formula has paid off, producing Alumni who have gone on to build remarkable careers, both globally and locally, across a variety of industry sectors.

We are proud of the indelible impression we left on their lives, and committed to doing even more in the next 25, and more, years ahead. We started preparing for this late last year with our repositioning to a Creative School of Business, and extending our full-time and online offerings beyond marketing, advertising and communications, together with a stronger focus on developing essential human skills like creative thinking for the rampantly-digital world ahead. Playing on all our inherent strengths, but ramping them up for the 21st Century.

Looking back has made us rather nostalgic, with a strong dollop of pride. Not only in our incredible Alumni whose lives we’ve played role in enriching, but also to commemorate and honour the inspirational humans who built the school into what it is today. From the industry legends Bob Rightford, Allan Raaff and Brian Searll-Tripp to others like Hazel Pearson, who was known as the ‘heart and soul of the school” for many years, to the incredible lecturers we bring our purpose to life. Too many to mention here, but just know that we are beyond grateful and salute each and every person who has poured their heart and soul (and often blood, sweat and tears) into getting us to this 25 year milestone.

Enough from our side, let’s hear from the people who matter:

Health warning: Many of these quotes were long and beautiful, but have been précied for time-purposes. And there were so many more, but we know time is limited.

Our Alumni

I think the most powerful thing about Red & Yellow is that it teaches you to understand humans better. A phrase which is written up on their wall is “Be a sponge”. And this is how I’ve lived my life”
Conn Bertish – Founder & CEO of Cancer Dojo / Survivor / Speaker on Resilience / Creative strategist / Social Entrepreneur (Class of 2012)


“There is probably no more powerful tool in business, whatever industry it is, than being able to tap into people.When you put a Red & Yellow graduate versus other people in an interview, somehow the Red & Yellow student always seems to come out on top”.
Faheem Chaudhry – Strategy Director at M&C Saatchi London (Class of 2011)

“Whether you’re an accountant, or lawyer, somehow and somewhere in your day to day thing, digital always comes into play.”
Veli Ngubane – co-founder and CEO of Avatar (Class of 2008)

“I think that so much of modern “education” tends to dumb down the parts of people’s skill sets that will not count towards a university exemption, leaving many highly talented, brilliant people thinking they are not intelligent. I wasn’t sure where I belonged until I was at Red & Yellow, but being at your school was the first time I was surrounded by people just like me. I believe that schools like these are the future, especially in today’s overpopulated, under-resourced, unequal, global, local society.”
Daniel Beatty  – General Manager Greater China at Red Bull (Class of 2001)

“Never did I imagine my mind would be so stretched. The knowledge Red & Yellow has imparted is invaluable. Thank you for leading us to understand that greatness lies within each of us – not in what one does.”
Robert Grace – Founding Partner & Head of Strategy, M&C Saatchi Abel (Class of 2000)


“Through Red & Yellow, I have become real again, after a difficult few years when I was doing something that I could do, but not necessarily what I wanted to do. My mind has truly become illuminated”.
Cath Morony – (Class of 2002)

Industry who love us

“Just a quick note to say congratulations to Red & Yellow. …after having received 50 CVs, the Red & Yellow grads were the only ones that made the short list. In fact, 3 of them got the job. David, Sarah and Juliet all demonstrated a “real-world” acumen and a skill set that you don’t soak up at other tertiary institutes. All 3 have made an impression and impact within their first few weeks.”
Greg Potterton – Instant Grass, The Consumer Collaboration Agency


“Running an agency is all about having the right people… I am pleased to say that almost half our staff are Red & Yellow graduates and that we’ve found them all to be tremendously well-equipped for the rigours of advertising. Life without them would be unthinkable.”
John Davenport – Ireland Davenport


“The client and I feel that the results are spectacular. The work is remarkable for such youthful students.”
Nick Green – NGC Consulting: on the 2002 Bain’s Brand Challenge, the positioning we came up with is still used today

And to the people who made us

“I learned so much from your style of leadership: the way you always make time for other people, the positivity of your interactions, your honesty, your dedication to lead with passion and your humble approach. These are the universal principles that cross linguistics and cultural divides, and I use them every day in my career, 12 000 km away.”
Daniel Beatty on John Cooney’s influence


“As parents, we were so anxious about our son, as varsity had not been an enriching experience for him and he had no idea where to turn to. Red & Yellow offered him a complete change, and from the first day, Patrick was stimulated, happy and inspired. We’re so grateful for the caring and personal environment that surrounds the students. Thanks to a brilliant school”
The Potgieter parents on Hazel Pearson and team’s input


I am still in contact with many of the Alumni and just watching their achievements locally and beyond makes me feel very proud to have been a small part of their journey.
Hazel Pearson – Former Ops Director


I shall leave it to Rob Stokes, our Chairman, to have the last word.

“My passion for education saw me lecturing at Red & Yellow while still running Quirk. So when I sold my agency to WPP, I leapt at the opportunity to take over from the founders (who I deeply admired), together with a group of equally committed investors and entrepreneurs. Our mission going forward is to use education to not only equip humans for the very different work-world of this digital age, but also to drive real transformation in this country. I can’t wait to see the future business leaders and change-agents we produce.”

We love knowing about the astounding things our Alumni are up to – so please take a second to update your email address and career progressions. It also means you won’t miss out on exciting news.