Ton Vosloo is one of South Africa’s most widely admired newspapermen and businessmen. Under his leadership, Naspers evolved from a print group into a media giant with investments across the world. In his memoir, Vosloo tells the story of his remarkable career, spanning fifty-nine fractious years – years that saw a great many changes in South Africa, in the media and politically.
Born in 1937 in Uitenhage, Vosloo started out writing sports reports for local newspapers while he was still at school. Once he had cut his teeth in newspaper journalism, his career took him to Parliament, where he worked as a parliamentary correspondent, and then on to editing Beeld, the popular Afrikaans daily. In 1970, he was awarded a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University; it was during this time in the USA that he became increasingly aware of the unsustainability of apartheid.
In 1983, Vosloo was appointed managing director of Naspers and set about vigorously transforming the company. On the commercial front, with Koos Bekker and other media companies, he established M-Net, the country’s first pay-television network. In 1992, Vosloo became chairman of Naspers, with Bekker later succeeding him. Today, Naspers’s story of singular and commercial success continues – a success that has its roots in Ton Vosloo’s stewardship.