A graduate of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, the 2014 alumni studied Business and Entrepreneurship at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, USA. Lerato Tshabalala was voted by the Mail and Guardian newspaper in South Africa as one of the 200 Young People to watch in the Media category in 2013.
With almost 20 years’ experience in the South African print publishing industry, she has moved between newspapers and magazines in the country (including Oprah (SA) and Marie Claire (SA) as a senior writer). Her first management position was at the age 22 as a women’s editor at South African weekly publication, Drum magazine. Since then she has moved up the management ranks at different companies, including South Africa’s largest Sunday paper, Sunday Times, where she edited SA’s largest Lifestyle supplement for five years. As the editor of South Africa English women’s title, True Love magazine (a position she left in April 2014 to take part in the Mandela Washington Fellowship, formerly known as YALI) she oversaw the day-today as well as a strategic running of the magazine. Lerato currently works in digital and social media as a creative director, having established content studios for SA’s biggest telecoms company, Vodacom (2017) and the world’s biggest brewer, AB InBev (2019).