Mzansi Profiles! People Selema Masekela Biography: Early Life | Career | Lupita Nyong’o

Selema Masekela Biography: Early Life | Career | Lupita Nyong’o

Selema Masekela Biography: Early Life | Career | Lupita Nyong’o post thumbnail image

Biography: Selema Masekela is a multifaceted media personality who has hosted, produced, and acted in various sports, entertainment, and documentary projects. He is also the son of South African jazz legend Hugh Masekela.

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Early Life and Family

Selema Masekela was born on August 28, 1971, in Los Angeles, California. He is the son of a Haitian mother and South African jazz legend, Hugh Masekela. He also has a half-brother, Nathan Gonzalez, who was a contestant on Survivor: Cook Islands. Selema grew up in Staten Island, New York, and Carlsbad, California, where he attended Carlsbad High School. He developed a passion for surfing, snowboarding, and skateboarding as a teenager, influenced by the Southern California culture.


Selema Masekela Biography

Selema Masekela Biography [Image: @selema/Instagram]


Selema Masekela Media Career

Selema started his career as an intern at Transworld Publications in 1992, where he worked for magazines related to snowboarding, skateboarding, and surfing. He then became an NBA sideline reporter for ESPN during the 2003-2004 season. He also co-hosted The Daily 10, a show that counted down the top ten entertainment stories of the day, on the E! network until 2010.

Selema is best known for hosting the X Games and Winter X Games on ESPN for 13 years, from 1999 to 2012. He covered various extreme sports events and interviewed athletes and celebrities. He also worked as a correspondent for ESPN during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, where he visited his father’s homeland for the first time and explored its culture and history. His journey was documented in a series called Umlando – Through My Father’s Eyes.

In 2012, Selema left ESPN to work for NBC and NBC Sports Network through a contract with Red Bull Media House. He was a features reporter for the Olympic Zone during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. He also became a correspondent and executive producer for VICE, an Emmy Award-winning investigative series that aired on HBO. In addition, Selema hosted and executive produced Vice World of Sports, a documentary series that premiered on VICELAND in 2016. The series showcased the stories of people, politics, and culture through sports in different parts of the world.

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Acting And Music Career


Selema Masekela Biography

Selema Masekela Biography [Image: @selema/Instagram]


Selema is also an actor and a singer. He has appeared in films such as Point Break (2015), Uncle Drew (2018), and Sneakerheads (2020). He leads his own band called Alekesam, which shares the name of his first film that chronicled his relationship with his father and their connection through music. The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2012. Alekesam’s music has been featured on shows such as Entourage and House of Lies.


Selema Masekela Personal Life and Interests

Selema is currently single and has no children. He dated Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o, but they broke up in October 2023.

Selema is an avid traveler and philanthropist. He has visited various countries around the world and has supported causes such as education, environmentalism, and social justice. He is also a fan of basketball and soccer and supports teams such as the Los Angeles Lakers and Arsenal FC.




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