The eldest of three children, she was raised in Meadowlands, Soweto's biggest township renowned for having produced a significant number of famous TV personalities.
A chip off the old block and daddy's girl, her father entered showbiz in the 1960s as a hotshot drummer with The Anchors, an Alexandra-based instrumental soul ensemble.
In the early 1980s, he produced and hosted Lapologa, a hugely popular talent and variety show. Vinolia took to the stage at an early age, performing with her father.
She distinguished herself as a gifted dancer, entertaining music fans at festivals. In her early teens, she starred in adverts before moving into a career as a television presenter and actor. Her first notable TV gig in the mid-1980s was music show Di A Rora.
Her co-presenters at different times were Lucky Diale, Kenosi Modisane and Motlalentoa "Shakes" Hlabatau - all of them from Meadowlands.
Mashego would prove that she was a star with staying power when in the next decade she became one of the original presenters of Jam Alley. Launched in December 1993 on then CCV TV channel, the game/talent show was initially intended to run for 13 episodes. But it went on to enjoy a decade of unprecedented cult following among millions of young South African viewers.
In its 10-year existence, Jam Alley boasted some electrifying presenting skills of livewire personalities such as Nimrod "The Sheriff" Nkosi, Samantha "Baby Sam" Adams, Joslyn "Pushie" Dunn, Zanele "Nestum" Nyakale and Seipati "Twasa" Seoke and others.
But it was V-Mash who put the celebrated show on the entertainment map, earning herself an Artes Award for best presenter. As a talent show, Jam Alley helped to launch the careers of a number of well-known artists, including Judith Sephuma, Mandoza and Mzambiya.
Some of these stars came to contest for their five minutes of fame but left the stage as winners of career-launching recording deals. Sadly, in 2001 she was axed from the show amid allegations of increasing erratic behaviour.
Her departure from Jam Alley marked the beginning of the end of the cult spectacle that defined TV viewing in the 90s. It was also during this decade that her brilliance as a screen actor became evident in Sepedi dramas such as Di Wele Makgolela and
Ditlabonyane Ke Ditlaboima.
In the latter, described as a story of murder, revenge and justice, she plays the role of a crime syndicate boss's daughter, Ntimetsa, working alongside seasoned thespians like Alfred Nokwe, Magic Hlatshwayo, Faith Kekana and Josiah Mpokeng as the crime boss Kadijela. These portrayals would pave the way for her short-lived but most famous role ever - Hilda Letlalo in Generations, the country's first soapie for black audiences. Letlalo, a scheming and ambitious advertising executive with a penchant for powerful men, was one of the original characters in the popular series that debuted in 1994.
In 1995, the role earned V-Mash an Avanti Award for best actress. But her success would prove to be her undoing. In 1997, Hilda Letlalo made an ignominious exit after the actress was fired, allegedly for unbecoming conduct including rowdy behaviour, late coming and inebriation.
After several years out of the spotlight, from 2010 she resurfaced with small acting and presenting roles in few TV dramas like Muvhango, Isibaya and recently, Giyani - Land of Blood. In 2013, she was featured in the documentary series, I Had It All - based on her rise and fall in the industry.
Her last gig was Bheka Sik'bambile, a candid camera show on Moja Love. She's survived by her parents, a son and two siblings.