Cadbury ‘Mrs Mabena’




Advertising, , PR



There are currently 9.6 million illiterate adults in South Africa above the age of 15. Our latest campaign for Cadbury is on a mission to improve literacy in South Africa. Launching in South Africa only, the campaign lands Cadbury’s brand purpose of shining a light on the power of human generosity and will lead with an emotive TVC.

The hero film ‘Mrs. Mabena’, tells a powerful story of Sifiso, his mum and Mrs Mabena who become more closely connected through a small but meaningful act of kindness and generosity. Mrs. Mabena looks after Sifiso whilst his mother is at work, insisting he learns English during their time together. We see a familiar domestic scene, with Sifiso doing all that he can to resist Mrs. Mabena's strict instructions. The film then cuts to a scene where we see Sifiso's mother try to pay Mrs. Mabena, to which she refuses. 

Sifiso realises that Mrs. Mabena is trying to help him and his mother and decides to return her act of generosity with his own, slipping his Cadbury Dairy Milk bar into her bag. The film ends with Mrs. Mabena finding the chocolate and smiling, closing out with, ‘there’s a glass and a half in everyone’.

Langa Khanyile, Chocolate Equity Lead, Sub Saharan Africa: “Cadbury has always been a brand that aims to bring people closer together, we are founded in the spirit of generosity and pioneering social impact. This work forms part of a journey that calls on all South Africans to help tackle the pertinent social tension of illiteracy and help re-write the narratives of our people, in our own words, one word at a time. We are delighted to launch the first TV activity linked to this social mission, Mrs Mabena.”


We've all known a Mrs Mabena. Especially when we were kids. Seemingly stern on the outside, yet an absolute generous gem on the inside. We are extremely proud of this work and the goal to improve literacy in South Africa. Chris Birch, Executive Creative Director, VCCP
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