About us

Founded in 2020, the Essential Millennial began as a very simple WordPress blog, that was nothing more than a casual collaboration between our co-founders, Kyle Smith and Melissa Da Costa. Our goal was to create a space where millennials can read stories relevant to their lives, covering everything from news and lifestyle trends to Netflix reviews, climate change reporting and technology journalism.

And over the course of a few months, our project has grown, while we’ve also collaborated with other millennials who have shared their stories and opinions as guest contributors. From our first articles, we’ve been slowly developing a brand identity and produced content on a regular basis to the point where we have reached more than 5,000 individual readers from 82 different countries around the world. We pride ourselves on the integrity of our stories and our balanced, objective reporting. Our first rule has been to write about subjects that we’re passionate about, without restriction and we believe that this mantra has directly benefited the quality of our content and therefore our readers’ experiences.

Essential Millennial transparant circle full logo

Kyle Smith

CEO & Editor in Chief

Meet the team: Kyle Smith

Kyle studied a Bachelors degree in Politics, Philosophy & Economics, before completing his Honours in Journalism at Stellenbosch University. He then began his career working as a sports journalist for a number of years before joining a non-profit Telecommunications firm, Ammbr, as the Digital Content Editor, where his focus shifted towards cryptocurrencies, technology and providing affordable Internet access to people all over the world, particularly those living in rural areas. He has also operated on a freelance basis across a broad range of fields, including financial reporting, music festivals, lifestyle, and political commentary. Kyle is an avid follower of American politics, enjoys listening to podcasts, reading and learning new skills.


Melissa Da Costa

Deputy Editor, Head of Design & Social Media

Meet the team: Melissa da Costa

Melissa graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Fine Art and moved on to complete her Honours in Journalism at Stellenbosch University. Following this, she moved abroad to Fukuoka, Japan, where she kept an online travel journal whilst teaching English as a foreign language. She has since returned to Cape Town and intends to continue her travels to other parts of the world while running her new YouTube Channel, Chat in English With Mel, where she gives advice to non-English speakers about the basics in day-to-day conversation. Melissa’s primary focuses have been photojournalism, videography, social media and blogging. See some of her freelance photography work by visiting this site or follow her on Instagram @avo_maki. She’s a proud vegan and her interests include digital painting, eating vegetables and going to the gym.

Email me: melissa@essentialmillennial.com 


Aleida Brink

Brand and marketing consultant

Aleida is a social media, brand and marketing specialist who has been the brains behind many of our efforts to bring the Essential Millennial to a large audience, with engaging content. She currently works as a Marketing coordinator with Software Keep – a  software company in Vancouver, Canada. She has also previously worked as a social media specialist and designer, in Art direction, digital design and in web sales research. Aleida is passionate about traveling the globe, having spent four backpacking through Latin America, she loves art and enjoys spending time in the outdoors.






Email me: aleida@essentialmillennial.com

Simon Doveton

User experience consultant

Simon has a background in Visual Design, having completed a 3 year BA Visual Communication Design Degree in 2014. His journey into UX began at his internship with a digital agency in 2015 and he has since accumulated more than five years of experience accross a variety of platforms for multiple internationally recognised brands. Simon currently works for MDA Property Systems – an MRI software company – in Cape Town. His interests include reading, music, surfing and taking road trips whenever he gets the chance!


Anneke Roux

Guest columnist

Meet the team: Anneke Roux
Anneke is a high school teacher with a passion and flair for writing. Her journey with the Essential Millennial team started when we were in our infancy with her hit personal story, “Conquering Mountains: A Story About Exposure”. Since then, she’s come back again and again, dazzling our readers with countless stories about her life, conquering her insecurities, looking after her mental health and living a healthy lifestyle. To say that Anneke is an inspiration would be the understatement of the year. Over time, she has become an extremely valuable part of Essential Millennial’s lifestyle section and a shining example of what we consider our publication’s goal – to tell the stories of millennials from around the world, to captivate an entire generation, to bring people that share our passion for writing together and to share ideas. Anneke likes to exercise and to spend time with her friends and a glass of wine.

Nicole D’Almeida

Food writer, copywriter and SEO consultant

Meet the team: Nicole D'Almeida profile picture

Nicole is our in-house “essential vegan chef”. After completing her Bachelor’s Degree at Vega School in Cape Town, she has gathered plenty of experience as a copywriter, technical writer, digital marketer and as an SEO specialist. She currently lives in the small seaside town of San Pedro Del Pintar, just outside of Murcia, Spain. She teaches English as a foreign language, has traveled extensively and is passionate about sustainable living, starting with her plant-based diet. She shares countless values that are critical to the Essential Millennial team as well as the entire millennial generation.




Email me: coledalmeida@gmail.com

Rachel Ward

Literary critic

Read With Rachel @cptbookgirl

Rachel Ward, the latest edition to the Essential Millennial team, is an avid reader, based in Cape Town. Follow her on Instagram at @cptbookgirl to read her reviews and to keep up with her literary adventures. Rachel graduated with a Bachelors Degree in History and Social Anthropology from the University of Cape Town. Following this she began her career in the non-profit sector with the Pebbles Project, which is based in Stellenbosch, working with farm worker communities. Six years later, she still works for Pebbles as their Sponsorship and Fundraising Coordinator focusing on building and maintaining donor relationships and social media presence. Rachel is passionate about designing and creating content in the non profit sector, equality, justice, social development, cats, reading, current affairs and eating out.

Want to work with us?

Visit the Contact page

Essential Millennial

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