Tecla Ciolfi, Journalist & Media Manager

Texx and the City is run by journalist and editor Tecla Ciolfi. Tecla has been a part of the music industry in South Africa for the last 13 years in various capacities, namely journalism, radio presenting, event curation and artist management, and most recently as the host of the #1 music podcast, Texx Talks.
Tecla Ciolfi

After building a portfolio writing for various SA publications, Tecla spent two years editing local music magazine Your LMG and hosting two successful series of events over the course of three years (Tuesdays On Fire in Cape Town and Jozi On Fire in Johannesburg).

During this time she also took up position of Editor and Marketing Manager at Deezer in South Africa which she held for four years, building the streaming service’s music catalogue and running label relations. Now, she uses all her hard-earned knowledge about streaming to educate unsigned and underground artists as to the FAQs surrounding all streaming services.

In 2018, alongside the Two Oceans Aquarium, Tecla created the sold out After Dark series which sees the I&J Ocean Exhibit transformed into a cozy, living room-style setting featuring two bands every evening.

In 2019, alongside Monster Energy, Tecla launched #TourWithTexx which saw her travel to Rock Im Park to cover Nuremberg’s premier rock and alternative festival, with the campaign due to launch a competition element in early 2020.

And then in 2020, under her new company Unicorn Media, Tecla launched a music interview podcast called Texx Talks, a weekly interview-style music podcast that takes a look behind the curtain at what fuels your favourite musicians – from Mzansi to the world. 

As one of Mail & Guardian’s Top 200 Young South Africans (2015), House & Leisure’s Rising Stars (2015) and one of Memeburn’s 50 Most Prominent SA Journalists on Twitter (2011), Tecla has grown Texx and the City into a fully-fledged music site that’s home to a team of young contributors who support the legends of tomorrow, today.

  • Tell us a bit about yourself and what your job entails on a daily basis.

From the moment that I knew I’d never work for myself, I decided that I’d be the most happy if I combined my talent for writing with my love of music. That manifested itself in my music website, Texx and the City, which has been going for over 10 years. My job is anything but boring which keeps me interested and guessing because I have a tendency to get quite bored when I’m not challenged or stimulated. During the day you’ll find me editing my team’s work, recording an episode of my music interview podcast Texx Talks, brainstorming on music-related brand campaigns and listening to, on average, 10-15 music submissions a day to find quality content for my site. 

  • How did your journey in the industry begin?

I worked at a live music venue in Long Street as a bartender. Most of the people who played at the venue, or others I ended up serving and working with, became people that I worked with to build Texx and the City. It wasn’t an easy journey – I worked for free and I worked horrible hours and I suffered from imposter syndrome a few times – but ultimately building my own business has been my biggest reward.

  • What are some of your career highlights?

Being included in Mail & Guardian’s Top 200 Young South Africans, something that’s voted by your peers, was a huge honour and something that I really never thought I’d be able to achieve. I also put on a sold-out series of winter events from 2018 to 2019 at The Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town that were incredibly special because of my love for the space. It really was a once-in-a-lifetime project. And then in 2020 I launched my music interview podcast called Texx Talks that climbed to #1 on Apple Podcast’s Top Music Podcasts. Texx Talks gave me something to focus on during lockdown and the fact that it became a success was just the cherry on top. 

  • What projects are you currently working on?

I’m in the process of recording Season 8 of Texx Talks, which will be available to stream wherever you get your Podcasts from the beginning of February. I’m also working on a few new content features to launch on Texx and the City over the course of 2022. I have an incredible team and the energy levels are super high this year so there’s a great renewed focus around our content that I can’t wait to share with everyone! 

  • What do you think FAME Week Africa can offer the Pan-African Market?

Last year’s FAME Week Africa was such a great networking tool for me and I learnt so much from the speakers that, just by sharing stories, FAME Week became a tool for us to swap lived experiences. Sometime I feel like I’m alone in certain sentiments, especially being an entrepreneur and working from home, so it’s good to get out and mingle and realise that I’m not alone in my thinking.  

  • What do you think the future of the creative industries look like for Africa?

Africa’s time is now, from every angle but especially a creative one. We’re no longer looking overseas for our influences or inspiration, instead we’re looking inward and as a result we’re going to see the most cutting edge trends develop and art being created. 

  • What is the best piece of advice you can offer someone wanting to get into the industry?

Don’t be afraid to work hard and get your hands dirty, but know your worth and don’t let people take advantage of you just because you’re green. 

  • With FAME Week Africa being hosted in the Mother City, what do you love about Cape Town?

My father has been a part of the Cape Town tourism industry for the last 35 years and as a result I’ve had the privilege to see every site and make the most of every tourist-related attraction around. It’s interesting to see the city through the eyes of a tourist, but also possessing the added benefit of having grown up here. There’s nothing quite like Cape Town, I had to move to Joburg for 2 years to fully appreciate what was right on my doorstep.  

Read more Behind the Scenes interviews here

FAME Week Africa

FAME Week Africa

FWA Connect bringing the Film, Arts, Media and Entertainment sector together by providing creative industry professionals on the African continent with news, trends and in-depth articles.

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