Sal Masekela popular TV personality is a San Diegan
You may recognize his voice from the X-Games or perhaps you’ve seen him as a host on “The Daily 10” on channel E!, but would you have guessed he is one of San Diego’s very own? Sal Masekela- who moved to Carlsbad when he was 16- has become an identifiable voice in the action sports world, and his career began right here in San Diego.
Masekela, 38, has emerged as a popular voice for entertainment and action sports networks. The clever host has captured the attention of youthful generations as he manages to connect all aspects of music, sports, and cutting-edge events together. He began his career as a 21-year-old answering phones for the haven of action sports, Transworld Media.
“North County is the hot bed of action sports. You are second place to be on the basketball team or the football team. What makes you the cool kid is: do you surf, snowboard, skateboard?”
He found a home within the world of action sports and although he competed at a young age in local surf competitions, Masekela found his niche in the industry as an emcee. He stumbled upon his talent to engage audiences with his voice and personality taking turns on a microphone while working events for Board Aid, a music and action sports AIDS education youth program.
During the mid 90s the media caught hold of the action sports lifestyle that would soon grow into an enormous industry.
“Action sports celebrate the individual and the collective at the same time,” Masekela said. “It’s an artistic form. Your adding to the pot…it’s never stale.”
After being spotted and heard by Planet X representatives, the young emcee got the chance to do his first big interview with a fellow San Diegan, Tony Hawk. Soon after, he was offered a job at Planet X and his career relished.
In 2004, Masekela was approached by Steve Larosiliere to create the organization Stoked Mentoring. The vision of Stoked emerged as a way to give back to “at-risk” youth that didn’t have the opportunities to be exposed to the lifestyle of sports. Stoked has an array of different partners and sponsors such as: Zoo York, ESPN, Fuel TV, DC Shoes and Snow Summit.
Stoked is a collective effort to provide a way for the youth to become successful, gain knowledge and experience for the world through action sports. As co-founder Masekela has been able to use his connections and relationships within the industry to help provide products for the kids to enjoy the sports.
Stoked is about “exposing this lifestyle to kids. To effect change in their lives,” Masekela said.
Being apart of the media industry has thrown Masekela inevitably into the public eye, so what does he find rewarding about being in the spotlight?
“I love what I do,” Masekela explained. “I love when people, especially people of color, say they never would have payed attention to the X-Games before. It makes me very humbled.”
Although this San Diegan has moved to Los Angeles for his career, he’s intent on moving back to North County someday to start his own family. “I still consider myself a part-time resident,” Masekela said as he frequently visits when the waves are good.
He claims to be the ultimate Chargers fan as he said, “I eat, sleep and drink the blue and gold- I am a Chargers fan. Every Sunday I wake up and say, ‘today it’s time to ride the lightning.'”