Sal Masekela

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Sal Masekela
Sal Masekela - Summerlin TPC, Las Vegas-crop.jpg
Sal Masekela in 2009
Born Selema Mabena Masekela
(1971-08-28) August 28, 1971 (age 43)
Los Angeles
Occupation Actor
Television host
Television commentators
Years active 1992–present

Selema Mabena "Sal" Masekela (born August 28, 1971) is an American television host, sports commentator, actor, and singer.


He is the son of the South African jazz musician Hugh Masekela, and Haitian mother[1] Jessie Marie Lapierre .[2] He was born while his father was exiled from South Africa for 30 years. Sal is also the maternal older half-brother of Survivor: Cook Islands contestant Nathan Gonzalez. He was raised in Staten Island, New York until age 16 when he moved to Carlsbad, California. In Carlsbad he attended Carlsbad High School.


Sal Masekela is a beloved commentator, journalist, musician and producer best known for his work presenting NBC’s Red Bull Signature Series; ESPN’s Summer and Winter X Games, which he hosted for 13 years; his cultural reporting in South Africa during the 2010 FIFA World Cup; and hosting E!’s Daily 10. In February 2014, Sal made his Olympic broadcasting debut from the Winter Olympics in Sochi, reporting features for NBC’s nationally syndicated Olympic Zone. In 2015, Sal joined the Emmy-award winning investigative series VICE on HBO as a correspondent. He will also appear in the remake of the cult classic POINT BREAK, scheduled for release in December 2015.

Sal is the co-founder of Berkela Motion Pictures with Jason Bergh..

Sal Masekela, the definitive voice in action sports, hosts the Red Bull Signature Series on NBC all year long. Launched in 2012 with Red Bull Media House, the series delivers the most innovative snowboarding, skiing, surfing, mountain biking, skateboarding, motorsports and BMX events, on custom courses inspired by the athletes themselves. See more at

His career began as the receptionist/intern at Transworld Publications in 1992, home of TW Snow, TW Skateboarding and TW Surf magazines. An avid surfer, skateboarder and snowboarder, he is described by some as the face and voice of action sports.[3] He served as an NBA sideline reporter for ESPN during the 2003-2004 season. Sal Masekela was co-host of The Daily 10, a countdown of the day's "top 10" entertainment stories, on the E! network until it was cancelled on Sept 27, 2010 (last show Oct 1, 2010).[4] He was also host of both the X Games and Winter X Games on ESPN for 13 years but left in 2012 to work for NBC and NBC Sports Network through a contract with Red Bull Media House.[5] He appears in the "Green" episode of Yo Gabba Gabba singing the song "Hello World" which aired on Nick Jr. on April 22, 2009.

In 2010, he was hired by ESPN to help as a correspondent in its coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.[6] While working as a correspondent, Sal was featured, with his father, Hugh, in a series of videos on ESPN. The series, called "Umlando - Through my Father's Eyes", aired in 10 parts during ESPN's coverage of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. The series focused on Hugh and Sal's travels through South Africa. Hugh brought his son to the places where he grew up. It was Sal's first trip to his father's homeland.[7]

In 2012, Sal's film Alekesam (his last name spelled backwards) premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival[8] Alekesam’s music has been featured on Entourage and House of Lies, with their newest single, ALL IS FORGIVEN featured on the season four premiere of the Showtime hit. ALL IS FORGIVEN has been played everywhere from Los Angeles’ KCRW “Morning Becomes Electric” to the hip-hop morning show staple “Sway in the Morning,” a tribute to the music’s soulful and infectious sounds.

Sal’s creativity and mastery of story telling extends behind the camera to his production company, Emmy Award winning UX Entertainment. Based in Los Angeles, UXE specializes in film, commercials, music videos, and animation work. The award-winning work of UXE puts it in elite company amongst the boutique production firms in entertainment and sports. His design aesthetics also extend into fashion through his clothing company, Art of Craft, which donates a percentage of every sale back to charity. Sal is often called upon to lend his encompassing and captivating style of hosting to live events, including YouTube’s Brandcast in New York and Paris, YouTube Live on Stage from the Kennedy Center and Google’s Zeitgeist.

In addition to his hosting, producing, acting, writing and voice over work, Sal lends his name and time to the charity he cofounded, Stoked Mentoring, a nonprofit action sports organization for at-risk youth whose mission is “developing successful teens with opportunity, knowledge, experience, and determination through the use of action sports, mentoring and coaching.” Sal also serves on the board of the Tony Hawk Foundation.

Social initiatives[edit]

Sal is involved in several social initiatives, and is the co-founder of Stoked Mentoring, an organization dedicated to mentoring at risk youth through action sports. He also serves on the advisory board of The Lunchbox Fund, a non-profit organization which provides a daily meal to students of township schools in Soweto of South Africa. Sal is also a strong public supporter of the Surfrider Foundation and Life Rolls On.


External links[edit]

Personal website: