Rhodes Business School 2019 MBA class member recognised abroad

Rhodes Business School 2019 class member, Brandon Peel
Rhodes Business School 2019 class member, Brandon Peel

While the year 2020 has seemingly hit a standstill due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is not all going downhill for Port Elizabeth illusionist Brendon Peel, who has been nominated for the African Business Excellence Awards by the international MEA Markets business magazine.

Peel said he was not allowing the global crisis get him down, despite having had all his gigs put on hold due  to the uncertainty surrounding the virus and its resultant restrictions.

The 27-year-old has been recognised by the UK magazine for his creative input in the African business spectrum through his magic tricks.

MEA Markets is a quarterly publication dedicated to researching and publicising major news and events as they happen across the entire Middle East and Africa region.

“Just being nominated on an international platform is a big deal for me, especially considering that I started this business from the ground and I have grown to where I am now while running it individually.

“It’s quite humbling to see that you can start off very small and grow to a point where you are recognised internationally,” Peel said.


The magician has grown from strength to strength in the entertainment business since he started off by performing magic tricks for patrons at Spur about 15 years ago.

He has marked a footprint locally and internationally, performing at corporate events, birthday parties and festivals in SA abroad.

Peel earned the recognition when he performed at the Sharjah Fringe Festival in the United Arab Emirates earlier in 2020.

The fringe festival was organised by the SA National Arts Festival.

Like many other artists who make a living by performing for masses, Peel’s plans for 2020 were disrupted when Covid-19 hit SA at the beginning of March.

“When a pandemic like this hits, one of the first things to be cut off people’s budgets is entertainment and artists are affected massively because most their work needs crowds of people,” he said.

“But most artists are now being innovative by trying to make use of the online space and I have also done a couple of live streams to connect with people.

“I am hoping that we can start getting back to some kind of normality soon because I don’t know if functioning only online is a long-term solution for us.”

Peel said he was planning to hit the ground running as soon as a solution to the pandemic had been found and restrictions lifted.

He said he still had high hopes for the rest of 2020.

“2020 is still going to be a good year.

“I am ready to continue with my shows as soon as soon as this is all over and there is something bigger that is coming but I just can’t discuss details around it yet,” he said.

Award winners will be announced on May 20 on the MEA Markets website and magazine.

Brandon studied MBA and PGDip (Enterprise Management) at Rhodes Busciess School.