July 2015
Contents / home
Special award for Limpopo learner
National Science Olympiad Awards
Youth Science Focus Week
Showing career opportunities to girls
Africa Code Week
FameLab International Competition
My FameLab experience
Debates winners off to New York
Finding solutions to energy problems
Centenary of Proxima Centauri
Meet SAASTA's Gao Tiro
Refocusing our lens on our youth
Science on a research vessel
Partnership to conserve water
Managing freshwater resources
Rhodes and SAIAB promote science
In the news
Upcoming events
It's a fact!

Meet the new custodian of the SAASTA brand, Gao Tiro

  Gao Tiro says he is inspired by "our ability to make tomorrow better than yesterday"
Seasoned writer and communicator Gaongalelwe (Gao) Tiro joined SAASTA on 1 May 2015 as Editor, Corporate Communication.

His new position comprises a varied portfolio that includes writing, marketing, branding and public relations.

Gao holds a Master of Arts in Journalism and Media Studies and a Professional Certificate in Government Communications and Marketing, both from the University of the Witwatersrand. His academic background together with his experience in the mainstream media has served to lay strong foundations for his current challenges. His skills range from copywriting, editing and proofreading to project management, marketing and event management.

Describing himself as a "news junkie", Gao's career has taken him from business reporting at The New Age, Sunday Times, Tribute, City Press, Sunday World and News24 to Senior Sub-Editor at Business Day, where he worked before joining SAASTA. He also gained valuable experience as a communication specialist at Bojanala Platinum Municipality in North West, where his responsibilities included internal and external communication, and as the owner and manager of GTANDA Consulting, where he gained business development and management experience.

Asked why he decided to join SAASTA, Gao says he has always been interested in corporate communication. "I believe it represents a natural progression in my professional career," he explains. "I have worked in the space before and have always considered it an alternative to journalism."

GetSETgo caught up with Gao to find out more about his current challenges and the things in life that excite him most:

Q: Tell us about your job at SAASTA
My job entails being the custodian of the SAASTA brand and includes putting out publications such as the GetSETgo online newsletter to inform stakeholders about the organisation's activities. It encompasses the whole gamut of marketing, branding and public relations.

Q: What did you do before joining SAASTA?
I have mainly worked in the mainstream press as a financial journalist for publications including Business Day, The New Age, Business Report, City Press and the Sunday Times.

Q: Where did you grow up?
Although I was born and bred in Temba, Hammanskraal, I went to a boarding school in Coligny near Ventersdorp in the North West for a couple of years. I spent my late teenage years in Zimbabwe where I did my undergraduate degree.

Q: What are your future plans?
Study further and complete a PhD within the next five years max. Teaching fascinates me.

Q: What is your favourite dish?
Nothing in particular, but I will generally opt for seafood.

Q: Your favourite holiday destination?
The trick is to continually see new places. Thanks in part to having worked as a journalist, I have travelled quite a bit and of the many places I've visited, Zurich in Switzerland stands out. Everything seems to work there.

Q: What excites you most about life?
Our ability to make tomorrow better than yesterday inspires me.

Q: Tell us about your family:
I'm blessed with a daughter who's turning five later this year. My folks (that is, my mother and father) are both still alive. I have three siblings – two brothers and a sister.

Q: Hobbies? Pets?
I'm a news junkie. The "default" channel on my TV is Al Jazeera. Though I have a special interest in political economy and mainly read books related to the subject, I also read lots of fiction, but it has to be fiction that embodies verisimilitude. No pets for me, thank you very much.