Fathima Ebrahim. Provided for Women In Marketing
Women In Marketing,  South Africa

Women In Marketing 2024 Edition ft. Fathima Ebrahim from Liquid Intelligent Technologies

We had the opportunity to chat with Fathima, the Head of Marketing at Liquid Intelligent Technologies. Before settling into marketing, she envisioned a career as an Egyptologist. She is a trailblazer in the industry, having worked across various industries and continuing to make a significant impact. Learn more about her in this segment of Women In Marketing

Personal Background:

Thanks for taking the time to participate in our ‘Women in Marketing’ feature. Where were you born, and what childhood memories stand out for you?

I was born in Durban

My childhood memories are of my cousins and I sitting after school, all doing our homework, and my aunt, who looked after all of us while our folks were at work. Also being at the best school ever (St. Anthonys) helped. I worked at my granddad’s barbershop, earning my own money, because he felt I should be independent – thank you so much for this important lesson. That was the start of great things to come. Also fishing with my uncle at the Durban Harbour—ok, he fished—I watched!

Awesome beach days with my family. 

My cousin, who is 7 months older than me, I’d follow everywhere. She even did my homework when I would forget, and on the first day of school, I cried because we were split up and sent to different teachers.

I was a tomboy – I remember making my parents buy me a Battlestar Galactica game! However, I still have the doll I was gifted by my grandmother for my 5th birthday. The doll has less hair now!

Describe your high school and college years. You were the coolest one, right?

I was always a shy kid. In high school, I preferred sports over academics and represented my region in volleyball. College was a better experience. I completed a B.A.D. and loved one of my majors, industrial psychology. To date, this has come in handy in every facet of my life.

Fathima at work. Provided for Women In Marketing

What’s your favourite meal that you wouldn’t share with anyone?

I love anything chicken, but how could I not share? 

Dare I say, followed by chocolate Haagen Dazs ice cream? Oh, and chocolate Cinnabons. So anything chocolate, you would have guessed by now.

What would be your plans for a sudden $10 million windfall if you were to receive it tomorrow?

Assist family, friends, and myself. Charity is most important in my religion. I would continue to sponsor orphans in a school in KZN. I would also give money towards more boreholes. I did this when my dad passed, as we believe water is the continuous gift of giving. Send a few people for the holy pilgrimage of Hajj. Build a safehouse for those in need. Get beggars off the streets, especially the little ones who should be in school. Invest the rest so that even when I am no longer on this earth, this money will continue to grow and be given to those in need, like feeding schemes.

Take my entire clan of family and friends on a super amazing holiday—relationships are everything. 

Can you share an interesting fact or hidden talent not found on your LinkedIn profile? Previous Women in Marketing candidate Anastasia Hamel says that she can breathe fire!

I sing! Or should I say I used to sing? 

Sunday supper clubs: I won many rounds of a singing competition and then the finals. I was offered a contract to go to the USA, but at such a tender age of 12, my parents did not send me—no biggie—because I believe I am where I am meant to be. 


Oh, and I used to collect model aircraft—I love anything aviation. I had a stunning collection until my gorgeous nephews came along and thought the models were toys. Perhaps one day I will start a collection again.

Career and Work:

How do you typically start your day, and are you #TeamCoffee, #TeamTea, or both?

My day starts with prayer at around 4 a.m. On some days I do the school drop-offs. Cereal and coffee before I hit the road. At the office, another coffee—just because.

Fathima on her travels. Supplied for Women In Marketing

Then admin, meetings, and networking. 

During the day, lots of tea—I love my tea (5 roses, thank you!). My day includes mentoring where I can, brainstorming with the team, and finding new and unique ways to make our company brand stand out from the crowd.

What inspired you to pursue a career in marketing? Didn’t the “I want to become a doctor” bug bite you?

I never had the doctor bug. Would you believe I wanted to become an Egyptologist? I am fascinated by Egyptology. But it did not seem feasible and shy me could not think of the thought of leaving mom and dad. I have been lucky enough to have been to Egypt a few times and will always go back. I started in comms and media, and over the years marketing joined the mix.

Fathima in Egpyt, standing in front of the pyramids. Provided for Women In Marketing.

Many industries had to create systems overnight that would enable their respective workforces to work from home due to the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. What’s your perspective on remote and hybrid work, and how have you dealt with its challenges? Do you have a preference?

COVID taught us resilience—the human spirit can withstand most things. I like the blend of remote and hybrid, and companies have adopted this approach. I guess it’s all about being disciplined when working remotely. While it gives us flexibility, one must be committed to deliverables. Working remotely has worked amazingly for me; I tend to put in more productive hours. At the office, I love connecting with my team; this is important.

The Future of Remote Work, According to Startups. Women In Marketing 3
How productive is remote work? According to Visual Capitalist

AI is the hot topic of the day, most specifically generative AI tools like ChatGPT and Gemini. How do you address the challenges you face in your day-to-day responsibilities? Any specific tools you’d like to plug us with? 

AI is certainly on our doorstep. For me, it is not a challenge but an opportunity to learn; otherwise, you lag behind. I have seen some amazing AI presentations that blew me away, and this encouraged me to want to learn more. I try very hard to see challenges as an opportunity to learn, even if the circumstances may be tough. Something good has to always come of it.

According to the WEF, the pandemic caused a 4.2% reduction in women’s employment compared to 3% for men (from 2019 to 2020). How can organisations better support women and mothers, especially in light of the pandemic’s impact on women in the workplace?

The organisation I am at places huge emphasis on supporting women, including moms and dads! To me, it would be important for women to continue to speak, use their voices, and ask for what they want. We must not expect things to be given to us; ask and don’t make assumptions that if you are silent, it will come to you. Use Your Voice. I ensure I am at events that support and celebrate women – this has to be a continuous effort.

Graph showing employment levels amongst genders from 2006 until 2021
Source: ILO

How can organisations ensure equal opportunities for women to advance into executive positions?

This is already high on the agenda, and the idea would be for women to continue to speak up, make themselves heard, and earn their spot at the boardroom table. We are fortunate that the times have moved in this direction and that great strides have been made; I believe that organisations are now compelled to spotlight the deserving, talented women in the organisation. As women, we must not be shy to fill male-dominated areas. We have to continue studying especially in male-dominated fields so that we break the stero-type thinking.

2024 and Beyond:

How have you been since the start of the pandemic, and have there been any significant personal or professional moments from then until now?

During the pandemic, I moved jobs, and the company I moved to was fully remote, with my team across Africa. Then I moved to a new role, and this was weird as I only met most of my colleagues months later. This taught me resilience and to navigate with what you have.

It taught me that juggling is an art form, figuratively speaking. It was insane at times—trying to work and then, at the same time, all of us at home trying to help my nephews with projects or when the teacher spontaneously said “Go find some wool”—and there we were all trying to remember where we kept the wool! It was frightening to watch loved ones pass on or hear about people we knew who had passed on. It made us take stock of our lives and what’s important. The pandemic shifted our thinking, in our homes and careers. 

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self?

Don’t be so shy; speak up; otherwise, you will miss out on opportunities. Believe in the impossible becoming possible. Second chances are ok to give to people, but that’s where it stops. Last but not least- it is totally ok to let go of things that serve no value in your life. 

What are your personal or professional goals and aspirations for the future? We hope to see you on Forbes’ Most Influential CMOs list. No pressure!

Professionally, I will continue to create magic, smash boundaries, and leave my mark on this world. I do hope to be blessed to be able to go on the Holy Pilgrimage of Hajj.

Personally, be there for whoever needs me; make a difference in lives, even if it’s just one. I enjoy every moment with my nephews, watching them grow into fine young men. Oh and yes when I win that 10 million, be able to do with it, what I said I would.

Who are some of your sheroes?

My late grannies, my mom, and my aunts. Also, Malala Yousefzai—it goes without saying that what she went through and what she stood for are simply incredible. To be so young and to stand for a cause—we need more of her. 

What are you currently reading, and how do you consume your content?

On Paperback, I am currently reading ‘The 5am club‘.

The holy Quran (During Ramadan). I make a point of reading the English version—so that I can learn and respond when asked about Islam.

I also utilise Headway which is a mobile app with tons of content across various genres.

What are you currently streaming that you’d recommend?

I love watching the NCIS, FBI and CSI series.  

You wake up one day, and before you know it, you are nearing retirement. What would you like your professional legacy to be? Furthermore, what do your colleagues and superiors admire about you the most?

My legacy would be that I made a difference and mentored individuals across the world, and for me, I hope that my knowledge and guidance moved the needle for them. I have been told I am a strong woman who knows what she wants. Also my honest, genuine self – with a tad bit of humour.

We are always looking for amazing women in marketing to profile. Who would you like us to get in touch with?

Reem El Tonsy, my colleague in Egypt.

Share a unique message for young professionals in the marketing industry.

#fixhercrown is something I strongly believe in. While you are trying to make your mark in the world, do it with dignity, respect, and kindness. Help other women grow, and do not be the reason to hinder their progress. Be the reason that someone else’s light shines because of you.

Fathima Ebrahim at the Taj Mahal. Provided for Women In Marketing

Thank you for your time, Fathima. We hope this interview will inspire future leaders and other women in marketing. How can people follow you and your company on social media? 

I am available on LinkedIn as well as Liquid SA.


As Managing Director at naughtybanana, I am responsible for leading and managing the organisation’s marketing strategies and business development. I am involved in driving brand awareness, customer acquisition, and revenue growth through effective marketing initiatives, market research, and collaboration with cross-functional teams. I have experience working with clients in various industries such as defi, crypto, music and events, consumer packaged goods to name a few. I am passionate about entrepreneurship and creative problem-solving which help me stay updated on industry trends and foster innovation to drive the organization’s competitive advantage in the market.