Toby Shapshak writes and speaks about how innovation is better in Africa.

His TED talk on how Africa is solving real problems has had over 1,4-million views; and he has been featured in the New York Times.

Toby is the editor-in-chief and publisher of Stuff magazine; is a contributor to Forbes and writes a weekly column for the Financial Mail. He co-hosted a weekly TV show on CNBC Africa for the past three years.

He believes Africa is a mobile-driven continent, about which he has written for CNNThe Guardian in London and for Forbes. He is writing a book on innovation in Africa, looking at how the problems Africa is solving for itself will benefit the rest of the world.

Toby has spoken at the South by South West (SxSW) conference in Austin, Texas, (thrice) on how mobile is being used in Africa (2013) and how music is being consumed (2014); and again in 2017 about how innovation is better in Africa. He also spoke at The Guardian‘s Activate: Johannesburg on innovation out of necessity.

He has also spoken at Intel’s IDF conference in San Francisco, Germany’s Zukunftskongress (Future Congress), Sweden’s The Conference, AfricaCom in Cape Town, TEDxGateway in Mumbai, Pivot East in Nairobi, and Tech4Africa in Joburg.

Toby was named in GQ’s top 30 men in media and the Mail & Guardian newspaper’s 300 influential young South Africans list; and has won the ICT Journalist of the Year. GQ said he “has become the most high-profile technology journalist in the country” while the M&G wrote: “Toby Shapshak is all things tech… he reigns supreme as the major talking head for everything and anything tech.”

As a news and political journalist, he ran Mail & Guardian newspaper’s website when it was the first news site in Africa, shadowed Nelson Mandela when he was president, and covered the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

He has interviewed a range of tech industry luminaries, including Apple co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.


Download a pdf of Toby’s biography here

Awards & interviews


ICT Journalist of the Year

“Toby David Shapshak, technology editor of the Mail & Guardian and contributing editor of GQ magazine, has been named the overall winner of the third annual Telkom Information and Communication Technology Journalist of the Year Awards.” [full story]

Geek speak – M&G interview

“Toby David Shapshak, winner of the Telkom ICT Journalist of the Year award, translates techno talk into digestible English”. [full story]

A neophyte by any other name – The Media interview

“Toby Shapshak is many things: techno junky, journalist and editor – mostly he’s just a really talented writer who knows stuff.” [pdf]

GQ’s Top 30 Men in Media

Toby was named a part of this prestigious alongside M&G founding editor Anton Harber, struggle stalwarts Tokyo Sexwale and Murphy Morose, and M&G owner Trevor Ncube.” [pdf]

M&G influential young South Africans

“Toby Shapshak is all things tech. As the editor of Stuff magazine – a geek’s publication paradise that comes complete with scantily clad girls holding the latest must-have gadgets – he reigns supreme as the major talking head for everything and anything tech.”

“Shapshak regularly appears on CNBC Africa, writes a technology column for The Times and is a contributing editor for Business Day’s Wanted magazine. But this former contributing editor at GQ magazine is not all glamour and gadgets. He cut his teeth at Sapa, where he covered the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings. Still, Shapshak is a nerd at heart – he’s a known collector of Star Wars memorabilia and Nelson Mandela kitsch. Albeit the kind of nerd that runs the sexiest technology magazine on the market.” [full story]