Nedbank, one of South Africa’s leading banks, shows its support for Pride Month by lighting up its Joburg office in rainbow colours and committing funds to LGBTQI+ causes.
On Monday night, the Nedbank head office in Rivonia was bathed in the rainbow colours as the country’s LGBTQI+ community continued to commemorate Pride Month. The building will remain lit in the colourful display for two weeks.
In a statement, Nedbank said it is “the first major bank [in South Africa] to deliver such a visual demonstration of commitment to a more inclusive and accepting society.” The initiative aligns with the bank’s ‘People Promise’ “to be an organisation that makes a purpose-driven impact by positively influencing individuals, businesses and society, helping to build a culture of inclusion and belonging.”
To further underscore its commitment and support, Nedbank’s Group Sponsorships and Cause Marketing division has also pledged R100 000 towards LGBTQI+ causes in South Africa. The move is a welcome (and rare) one that lends substantial weight to the company’s symbolic visual affirmation.
The bank told MambaOnline that it is still establishing how and under what criteria it will distribute these funds but registered NPOs are welcome to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to Craig Barnes, Nedbank LGBTQI+ Forum Chairperson, the bank hopes that its demonstration of solidarity will help to spark awareness and a deeper understanding of the LGBTQI+ community and the challenges that many of its members face every day.
“The idea for the building light-up came from the members of Nedbank’s LGBTQI+ Forum and quickly gained the full buy-in of the Nedbank leadership,” Barnes said. “We hope that this visual show of allyship and support from one of South Africa’s most respected brands will help create a more tolerant, open and inclusive society.”
The building light-up has been reinforced by a social-media campaign and video that aims to educate the broader South African community about the meaning behind each of the colours in the Rainbow Pride flag (see below).
“Our Nedbank People Promise commits our bank and people to being the positive difference that we want to see in society, and this initiative is a visual representation of that promise in action,” commented Khensani Nobanda, Group Executive for Marketing and Corporate Affairs at Nedbank
“We hope that through this demonstration we will not only show our desire to be a strong voice in the country’s LGBTQI+ conversation, but also help destigmatise the LGBTQI+ community in the interests of a more harmonious and tolerant South Africa,” added Nobanda.
Pride Month is typically commemorated in October in South Africa (and in Gauteng in particular) to mark Africa’s first Pride march, which was held in Johannesburg on 13 October 1990.
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