SHINING AT THE HELM OF MEDIA
“You should be a writer” said Tshabalala’s matric teacher. Who knew these words would transform into reality for Tshabalala.
She is the editor of black woman’s bible-True Love magazine since 2011. Her first cover was a December issue graced by the media ”IT” girl Bonang Matheba. Tshabalala is listed on the current Mail and Guardian 200 list of Young South Africans. In 2004 she won a Mondi award for best feature with a provocative piece titled “Would you put this up your vagina?.
Tshabalala has the print world on the palm of her hands.
It wasn’t always easy for the 33 year old Tshabalala. After matric she didn’t know what to study. Until she read Anne Frank’s book called The Diary of a Young Girl. “Here I was, an African girl at the tip of the continent reading a story about the Holocaust by this girl who decided to write how she felt. I realised the power of expressing oneself,” Tshabalala said.
She then decided to study Journalism but her father was against her choice of career. He believed that journalists are poorly paid and drunks. Tshabalala proved her father wrong as she has been in the industry for over a decade now.
Tshabalala honed her writing skills at Fairlady magazine, then went to become a women’s editor at Drum magazine. Climbing the media ladder for Tshabalala was inevitable as she became the senior writer at O magazine and Marie Clare. She was at the helm of her career when she joined Real Magazine as the assistant editor. Tshabalala went to make history at the Sunday Times when she became the only first black and young editor of the Sunday Times lifestyle supplement.
As the editor of the Sunday Times Lifestyle supplement Tshabalala was responsible for the Sunday Times Literary Awards and worked closely with international syndication publishing groups and book publishers.
Tshabalala’s advice to women in the publishing industry is they must pay it forward. “There are too few black women in publishing. Those in the industry had a responsibility to “pay it forward” by mentoring those aspiring to enter the field and to look for talent in unlikely places, she said.
Tshabalala added “To illustrate this point, she referred to columnist Ndumiso Ngcobo who took up writing at age 36 forging a successful corporate career”.
Whether Tshabalala is busy editing the black women’s bible or making the Mail and Guardian 200 Young South African list., she is a lady with a mission to change the media world of South Africa. In doing so, staying humble and more beautiful.