• 23 September 2019
  • Gallagher Convention Cent


Simon Dingle, Host of (Tech)5 - 5FM

Simon uses first-hand examples of the work he does with innovative businesses to reveal how the world’s most disruptive companies turn established markets on their ears. By using smartphones and running apps, he demonstrates real examples of the leading user experiences and how the new world is impacting you – and your clients.

Simon Dingle advises disruptive companies on strategy and user experience (UX) design.

Simon hosts a weekly technology show on 5fm and regularly appears on local and international television and radio shows including Tech News Today and The Money Show.

He recently featured in the Mail & Guardian’s Top 200 Young South Africans list.


Gareth Woods, Director - Game Ventures

Gareth works in various fields in the gaming sector to promote games and in particular esports.

Within esports he works as an ambassador helping to grow the industry through work as a caster, stage host and strategic consultant.

He connects brands with gamers by creating engaging and authentic experiences and content. He is an expert in category marketing specialising in developing markets and holds extensive corporate career experience in sponsorship and category marketing to help to facilitate brands engagement with gamers through esports and gaming across all platforms.

Dave Sidenberg, Executive Director & CEO - BMI Sports Info

David is unquestionably one of the sports & sponsorship industry’s most influential thought leaders and alongside his company BMI Sport Info, are credited for the pioneering role they have played in helping sponsorship evolve into the leading marketing communications medium it has become.

As part of the ever expanding BMI Group, David has access to over 25 years of independent research and data across all media channels.

Sidenberg also launched SSN – a niche sponsorship and broadcast rights commercialisation agency which is already credited with structuring some of the largest broadcast deals in the country on both subscription and in particular FTA broadcast platforms.

Spanning areas such as strategic fit assessment, rights packaging & commercialisation, fee analysis, broadcast & new media rights, he has provided analysis & consultation for the top sponsors, broadcasters, agencies and sport federations.

Ben Myres, Co-Founders - Nyamakop

Since forming Nyamakop in 2015, South African game developers Kimani and Myres have built their studio into “one of the most promising studios in African game development” as described by Polygon.

Their debut game, Semblance, has been exhibited all over the world at consumer shows such as E3, PAX East, Gamescom and EGX in addition to more than a dozen intimate arts festivals such as Slamdance Film Festival, South by South West (SXSW), A MAZE and Out of Index. They have also participated in prestigious residencies such as the Stugan retreat and ‘Train Jam’, and were listed on Forbes Africa’s ‘30 under 30’ list for 2018.

Carol Weaving, Managing Director - Reed Exhibitions Africa

Carol brings to Reed Exhibitions, a diverse working background in the business, tourism and events industry. Over 30 years, Carol’s career has expanded through many sectors within the industry, and her knowledge and expertise spans across marketing, exhibition management, events, conferences as well as venue and facility management.

Reed Exhibitions is the largest and most successful exhibition and venue management companies in Southern Africa and is now in a position to grow its footprint across the African continent with many new ventures in the pipeline.

Nicholas Hall, Head of Interactive Entertainment SA

Nicholas Hall is very well known in the South African video games industry, where he is a founding member and chair of Make Games South Africa the largest online community for game developers in South Africa.

He is also CEO of the local industry association for video game development, Interactive Entertainment South Africa

Kevin Meltzer, co-founder & CEO - Big5 Games

Kevin Meltzer is a successful entrepreneur who is on a mission to get Africa playing more games through growing the games and esports industry across the continent.

Kevin is co-founder and CEO of Big5 Games which is focussed on mobile games and esports across Africa. Kevin has deep experience in B2C and B2B businesses in Africa and the Middle East after founding three companies. His first startup Consology was acquired by the largest listed IT company in Africa after which Kevin went on to explore his passion for games.

Kevin is a regular speaker at technology and gaming events.

Emmanuel Oyelakin - President/CEO and Founder - Esports Nigeria/League of Extraordinary Gamers

Emmanuel Oyelakin is a Business Technology Development Professional with extensive experience in Banking and Technology spanning over 12 years. A firm believer in the potentials Africa possesses and opportunities therein, he is passionate about seeing the African youth rise up to bring about development on the continent and on the global stage while strategically driving the narrative straight from an African perspective.

His passion and commitment towards gaming and esports in Nigeria saw him recently elected as the Founding President of Esports Nigeria. He also serves as executive member of the committee for the Africa Esports Championship as well as the board of the World Esports Consortium (WeSCO) as member, African Advisory Board.

Youssef Mohsen - Founder & Managing Partner/ Co-Founder - Anubis Gaming S.A.E. / DGL Desert Gaming League

Youssef Mohsen is the founder and Managing Partner of Anubis Gaming and Co-founder of the Desert Gaming League.  Anubis Gaming's objective is to represent the region, with what is currently Egypt's number one eSports team, on the international stage.

Anubis Gaming is the first and the leading professional eSports organization in the MENA region, founded in Egypt in 2015.It has rosters in multiple games which are "League of Legends","Overwatch","CrossFire". Due to its strong League Of Legends roster it dominated the MENA region tournaments and became so popular so fast.

The Desert Gaming League is the Middle East and Africa's all new eSports platform. Play, win and succeed with DGL!   

Ollie Ring - Head of Business Development and Media at Esports Insider

Esports Insider is a leading business to business events and media company based in London, UK. We operate in the blossoming esports industry.

We pride ourselves on providing second-to-none content to create value to each and every delegate who attends our events.

Get in touch to learn more about our first foray into the US with ESI New York (23rd April) as well as ESI Hall of Fame (Los Angeles, @E3) and our main event, ESI London (September).

Akshat Rathee - Managing Director - NODWIN Gaming | ESL India & South Africa | DreamHack India

Akshat is an experienced Serial entrepreneur with a demonstrated history of working in the start-up space. His traditional experience has been in the management consulting industry with Ernst & Young. He is currently invested into esports and Gaming. Akshat has a proven track record of multiple exits, the latest being the exit of NODWIN Gaming to Nazara Games and ESL. Akshat is skilled in Management, Business Development, Training. His areas of expertise are Gaming, Telecommunications and Venture Capital. Akshat has strong business development and marketing skills and is a seasoned industry professional with a focus on leadership from Aspen Global Leadership Initiative.


Ebenezer Kwesi Hayford  - President  Ghana eSports Association

Kwesi Hayford is an eSports Evangelist, Creative Designer, and a Digital Media enthusiast with a passion for the youth culture, technology and education.  He inspires and empowers young people to create opportunities for themselves in digital media for the socio-economic growth for Africa.

Currently creating synergy, developing collaborations of eSports with all stakeholders both Ghana and internationally with the Ghana eSports Association which focuses on grassroots participation and content creation.

Kwesi Hayford has been very instrumental in organizing eSports events and helping professional gaming communities develop.

I am also founding member of the Africa Esports Championship. The dream to connect Africa with a Championship tournament is currently ongoing, with 29 countries already on board and committed to the project. 

Sam Cooke, Managing Director and Co-Founder Esports Insider

Sam Cooke first entered the world of esports as a journalist covering the industry from a betting perspective for SBC News in 2015. Recognising an opportunity and gap in the market, he co-founded and grew the business news site, media and events company Esports Insider.

Since the launch of ESI in the summer of 2016 it has grown into one of the leading industry sites globally, and has organised more esports focused business events than any other company. In the position of Managing Director, Sam oversees the growth of the company and direction of the company, as well as its day-to-day affairs.

Louis Du Pisani is the CEO of Cali4ways Games

A small team based in Joburg trying to make fun games that are uniquely local and awesome! We love Joburg and we want to keep making great games for a long time.

Cali4ways Games is working on Boet Fighter, a game that, according to the press stuff, “celebrates everything that makes the South African middle class so shitty, but packaged in a loving way” so mom doesn’t klap you with a flip-flop.

Steve Pinto, Founder and Director – New Reality and Cali4ways Games

Steve Pinto is a VR/AR expert and game designer. Immersive experience design is not just his vocation; it’s in his DNA. New Reality were raised as audience members, and trained as filmmakers, game developers and technicians. Together, we form a medium agnostic collective, using emerging technologies to mesmerize audiences in a new reality.

We are a production company that specialises in virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality, and video. We offer a full production service that facilitates everything from the scripting of your bespoke branded content through to delivery.

Sam Wright – Esports Commentator, Youtuber, Blogger and gaming streamer

Sam “Tech Girl” Wright entered the world of esports broadcasting in 2016. Since then she has worked

across the globe commenting on various esports events including Overwatch Contenders Europe, the

Crossfire Stars Grand Finals in China, PUBG Europe League and various Nintendo European Championships.

While she works internationally in esports, locally she has built various successful content creation

channels with a core focus on gaming and tech. Her blog, YouTube channel and social media platforms

focus on behind-the-scenes vlogs of events, live streams and interviewing popular gaming personalities. Sam’s bridges the gap between traditional video game enthusiasts and esports fans alike.

Mario Rizzo – Founder & CEO, Artisan Studios

Mario is a 17-year veteran of the video game industry working as a game designer and executive producer on some of the top franchises in the industry (such as Star Wars, FIFA, Battlefield, and Warhammer). He has held senior management roles at Sony Interactive Entertainment, Electronic Arts, Inc., and Ubisoft Entertainment. He has also served as a volunteer instructor at the HEC Paris MBA school for entrepreneurship.

To date, Mario has managed 3 video game start-ups (in France, Germany, & Canada) that have raised over $30M USD from NA and EU investors to create independent video games and bring new IPs to the global market. In 2016, he co-founded the award-winning Artisan Studios, Inc. in Canada. A developer specializing in the creation of console / PC video games for the Japanese market. Their new title Super Neptunia RPG released this past June worldwide, winning a silver award from Famitsu, the largest media outlet in Japan.