Simon Fourie


Simon Fourie





Personal information:
Simon lowered the tone of a neighbourhood in Springs, east of Johannesburg, in 1944 by being born there. He started his school career in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) and finished his matrix school year in the USA by being chosen as an American Field Service scholarship exchange student. Thereafter he returned to South Africa and started his tertiary educational career at University Of Natal in Durban from 1964 where he had trouble convincing the rector and academics that his half a BA and half a Law degree equals to one degree. Simon always had a passion for motorcycling and this passion did not come cheap.

Career information:
In order to finance his studies and passion for motorcycling, Simon had to do various part time jobs from giving after hours motorcycling lessons to school children to driving a taxi (also running a thriving sailor's shebeen business from the boot of this taxi). He also wrote a weekly column for The Natal Mercury and stories for the Cape-based SA Motorcycle News. This led to Simon's big break in journalism, because he was invited to become the Editor of BikeSA in 1975. BikeSA is South Africa's longest serving motorcycling magazine and has had the honour of having Simon as an editor since he started in 1975 until today. Simon is also one of the longest serving editors in the world of a motorcycle magazine. In 1976 he bought BikeSA and started another magazine, Quad & Offroad SA, five years ago. Simon also owns a motorcycling TV show, titled Bike SA TV, which has been running for two years, with 30 minute slots on DSTV, the main one on Tuesdays at 6,30pm. He has been on radio for nearly 30 years, doing a weekly biking chat on Radio 5 since 1980 for 13 years and thereafter Radio Sonder Grense with “Op Twee Wiele” still running, with a show every Thursday from 4,30pm.

Other businesses, aside from the two magazines and the TV show that he owns, are three motorcycle rallies (not the competitive kind - each is a weekend of jollity and music and fun and games), the Rhino, Impala and Paradise, two annual Namib Desert Run sojourns to Swakopmund, Woodstock, the annual music festival, and the Hartbeespoort Resort, 20 hectares of chalets, log cabins, swimming pools, campsite, caravan park...

Recognitions and awards:
Bike SA, sell more than 30000 copies a month (audited by ABC), once going up to 38000 last year, is by far the biggest-selling bike magazine in South Africa, with none of the rest of the South African bike mags selling more than 10000 a month.It is also the highest penetration into the biking market, per capita of bikes sold in the country, of any magazine in the world. Simon Fourie values these achievements more than he does awards.
Simon is of the opinion that " There have been no formal awards. Most journalists (and journalism students) want to work for big circulation magazines and, to keep up circulation, the magazines employ the best journalists, but they don’t win awards. I have often and consistently said that if I ever won an award for journalism, it will go hand in hand with falling circulation and I’ll know I’m doing something wrong, and have thus not entered for any awards. I shall change my mind when Car magazine, with a circulation of around 100,000, wins more awards than the small car magazines.Or when Omo ads win awards."




Simon Fourie





References:

Primary Sources
1.Simon Fourie ( personal interview, 19 October 2009)

2.BikeSA http://www.bikesa.biz/ : Retrieved 19 October 2009


Secondary Sources:
3. BikeSA TV http://www.bikesa.biz/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=63&Itemid=73
: Retrieved 19 October 2009

4. Search.co.za Books and Magazines. http://www.bikesa.biz/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=63&Itemid=73
: Retrieved 19 October 2009

5. photograph: provided by Simon Fourie: http://i1023.photobucket.com/albums/af351/complicatedna
mibian/DSC_0293.jpg
: Retrieved 19 October 2009

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