A Forbes Magazine cover of Sibusiso Leope (DjSbu) emerged on social media, showing him as a successful social entrepreneur recently, with the following caption “The most spoken about energy drink in the market. I did warn them last year ukuthi uyeza umlilo (the fire is coming)…”.
It was well received by a few South Africans, who see this as black entrepreneurs making waves internationally. Whilst others critique it from the very beginning, comparing the cover accolades with the many Forbes cover they know, saying it is impossible for Forbes to allow a cheap cover marketing. Analyst also related to critics by saying it is impossible for Forbes to allow leope to hold a can of his drink on the cover, as it is unethical marketing and could be fake.
A public statement on Monday afternoon, then surfaced from the magazine’s publisher denying that Sibusiso Leope had appeared on the cover of the magazine. The magazine said it was made aware of the fictitious cover, featuring Sibusiso Leope (DJ Sbu) holding his MoFaya energy drink, on Friday.
“The cover in question was fabricated by DJ Sbu and is in no way an endorsement by Forbes Africa or its affiliates. The fabricated cover bears resemblance to an October 28, 2013 Forbes US cover featuring Twitter CEO Disk Costolo,” the magazine said in a statement.
Forbes Africa’s PR company Marketing Executive Sian Schlebusch says Forbes Africa became aware of the image after “a colleague internally who follows him on social media saw the images so it was an internal pick-up…”
Leope who relayed how he got the image and shared it on social media has not explained why he received the credit given by many when the picture was published. Many are very concerned about the image a story of such portrays, as sibusiso leope has received credit where it is undue. Despite a story of the energy drink making a feature in the online magazine of Forbes published by Farai Gundan, it is not correct for a fabrication to be endorsed by sibusiso leope.
The Confirmation of the bogus cover has made many journalists who reported the story earlier as a success to withdraw the story or apologise to their readers. Sibusiso Leope, on the other hand, is unhappy about the way people are interested in the source of the image and not the story of the fabrication. However, Leope confirmed that he hadn’t been in touch with Forbes Africa yet.