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Thami Masemola

Thami Masemola has been writing commercially since 1998. He has worked for and contributed to various high-profile magazines, websites and newspapers including Finland-based motoring news hub, CAR magazine, Sowetan newspaper, ThisDay, Dunhill magazine, Telkom magazine, Sunday World, City Press and FinWeek (then called Finance Week).

At 16 years of age during his Matric year, he became a published poet by contributing to a set English book. Plenty of his hours at tertiary school were spent at the campus radio station where he was the Music Manager, mainly responsible for training on-air DJs, keeping the music library current, and compiling the station’s playlist. This is where the media bug truly bit and he could not release a cure strong enough to quell the blazing fire within.

Three months into his first formal media job as a Features Writer he was appointed Editor of a national music magazine called e’Vibe, where he stayed for an additional six months before joining the then-new YFM-owned Y magazine as Features Writer in November 1998. A year later he was one of the three Editors, as well as Motoring Editor, and later stayed on to be the sole Editor. His team had improved Ymag circulation by over 120% within a 12 month period.

Then at 25 he became youngest-ever Editor of the high-class glossy then 17 year-old TRIBUTE magazine, which was aimed at the burgeoning black middle class. Within six months of applying much-needed changes in design, editorial and Ad Sales, the new TRIBUTE turned profit for the first time in 17 years. Tragically its funders went bust and had to close shop.

Following a freelancing stint with ThisDay newspaper where he worked as Motoring Editor, Masemola then joined BLINK lifestyle magazine in 2004 as Managing Editor and was to end up as Editor and Publisher two years later. In his role as Publisher/Editor, Masemola assisted in helping to double BLINK circulation.

In 2006 he was chosen as one of the judges at the Johnnie Walker Striding Man Competition. He was also one of the original ten national brand ambassadors for the Flight of the Fish Eagle brand that created the now-highly successful Fish Eagle Experience events.

Returning to a relaunched TRIBUTE under new owners in the role of Editor, he worked an additional two years and subsequently left to spend priceless time as one of the Editors of the world-famous

At the same time he had started his own small online publishing entity called IN4RIDE, found on the domain, which he still owns and runs today.

IN4RIDE was the first, and remains the leading 100% black-owned and run dedicated Motoring online publication when it launched in November 2008. It was a response to growing demand for a publication that spoke a slightly different language about cars, one that appealed to previously- unspoken to audiences. A steady growth curve has recently seen IN4RIDE reaching a great milestone of over 600 000 hits a month, without the big marketing muscle called upon by its chief competitors. Some of its innovations include being the first site of its kind to have a presence on popular social networking sites such as FaceBook and Twitter, as well as wide content syndication.

As a writer, the multi award-winning Masemola is a jack-of-all trades, straddling seamlessly between covering cars and technology, to general social commentary and economy-related topics. In 2002 he won the Pica Award for Best Overall Consumer Magazine with Ymag, and has also taken home merit awards in the Motoring journalism field.

The inventor of the now commonplace word “Mzansi” has helped to build several ground breaking media platforms that have spawned others and influenced the popular culture of their day.