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.
Meet the team:
CEO & Editor in Chief
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.
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Melissa Da Costa
Deputy Editor, Head of Design & Social Media
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.
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Brand and marketing consultant
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User experience consultant
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Food writer, copywriter and SEO consultant
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.
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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.