Although Xaba's appointment is officially effective from April 1 he has been at the helm of the top-selling Durban-based title for the past four months.
With close to 20 years experience in journalism, Xaba is no new kid on the block but his refreshing youthful approach coupled with a seemingly unflappable style have already made him a big hit with both his readers and his staff.
"I have been part of Isolezwe
since its launch in April 2002 and was also in the mix in the conceptual stages of the newspaper, giving input in a variety of spheres," says Xaba.
"I started off as chief sub but my role rapidly grew as we discovered that the work of producing a daily newspaper, managing staff and liaising with the outside world required more than one person."
Xaba was officially appointed deputy editor which involved him heading the title's Sunday edition, Isolezwe ngeSonto
, launched just three years ago but already making its mark in terms of growing circulation and readership figures.
is so successful because we give our readers what they crave - a quality, non-politically aligned newspaper published in their language. The newspaper is now a strong and popular brand and that is something I plan to entrench and enhance.
"What's exciting is that I take over at a time when we are celebrating Isolezwe ngeSonto
's third birthday and later this month we'll celebrate Isolezwe
's ninth anniversary!"
Xaba says he was always interested in writing and the social upheavals and political violence in South Africa in the 1980s influenced him towards journalism as a career.
"After training at the Argus School of Journalism I joined the Daily News
as a general reporter in 1992. I reported on the political violence as massacre after massacre erupted in the province and also did general reporting ranging from writing about the sardine run to covering trials in the Magistrate's and Supreme Courts."
Xaba, married with three children, jogs to keep fit and enjoys going to the golf practice range. "When I see Gary Player still on the course at his age I hope there's still time for me to take up the game seriously and maybe even turn pro," he adds with a wry smile.