LEADING motoring journalist Mabuyane Mabuza has been appointed the interim Vice-Chairperson of the South African Guild of Mobility Journalists, replacing Graham Eagle.
As is tradition, the SAGMJ Vice-Chairperson has also taken on the responsibility of chairing the South African Car of the Year (COTY).
The SAGMJ said it was always aware that Graham Eagle’s tenure on the executive committee was not permanent and that, inevitably, he would tender his resignation to attend to a growing list of business projects.
“Graham’s technical knowledge and diligence in helping us plot the Guild’s future path, as well as his meticulous refining of some technical aspects of Car of the Year, have been invaluable,” said Dirk Gallowitz, Chairperson of the SAGMJ. “When Graham resigned as our interim vice-chair the executive committee unanimously and without hesitation agreed that Mabuyane Mabuza was the best candidate to step into the vice-chairperson position and we are very pleased that she has accepted.”
The SAGMJ said Mabuza exemplifies a passion for the industry. After completing her journalism studies in 1999, she got her first job at Pretoria News, and before long, Mabuyane was employed by The Citizen newspaper. She blossomed in the newsroom of the national paper, reporting on beats such as court and education but her love and passion for cars could not be contained, and she dreamed of moving into motoring journalism.
After knocking on many doors, one door finally opened, and she won a coveted position as SAGMJ Bursar. To participate, Mabuyane would have to resign from The Citizen and forfeit her hard-earned career and start all over in a very male-dominated field. After spending 2005 as a SAGMJ bursar, Mabuyane was offered a position at the Sowetan as their first-ever female motoring editor.
She grabbed the opportunity with both hands and grew the motoring pages from two to eight pages in a year. In 2010 another opportunity knocked, then Times Media, the owners of the Sowetan and several other newspapers, challenged Mabuyane to grow the motoring section. She launched MotorMania, a motoring supplement carried by Sowetan, The Times, The Herald (EC) and Daily Dispatch (EC).
Having conquered print, Mabuyane joined the SABC in 2014 as a contractor to provide motoring content for several radio stations, including Lesedi FM, Motsweding FM and Metro FM. During that time, Mabuyane started building her own publication, XploreZA, an online motoring/travel publication.
During the pandemic, Mabuyane took a break from radio, but she is ready to return to her favourite medium refreshed and more determined than ever. She will join Kaya959 (Kaya FM) as the station’s resident motoring specialist from 10 September 2022. Mabuyane wears many hats and is also a successful maize farmer!
“When I resigned from The Citizen all those years ago to become a SAGMJ bursar, I had no idea of how life-changing it would be,” Mabuyane commented. “The SAGMJ provided me with the opportunity to follow my dreams, and now I have the opportunity to help shape the SAGMJ for future generations. I’ve come full circle,” Mabuyane concluded.