It’s one thing to have a big Twitter after, and another to turn that after into cash dollars. South African fans just can’t get enough of these YouTube and Instagram stars.
1. Bonang Matheba
Queen B is the undisputed ruler of Mzansi when it comes to social media, star power and reality TV. With the third season of Being Bonang, Queen B has again opened the door to her private and professional life (and her whirlwind social life) as she jets about the world and makes appearances throughout South Africa, with Pinky Girl by her side.
With his effervescent personality, Somizi Mhlongo is the funniest Idols judge by far. He never holds back on constructive criticism when singers simply haven’t done their homework and rehearsals, and their performances fall flat, but he’s also quick to lavish praise and show his support for rising stars who he says are putting in the effort and will go far. Besides Idols, he’s also opened the doors to his fascinating private life in his reality show, Living the Dream with Somizi.
The vlogger-turned-reality star and younger brother of Khanyi Mbau knows exactly how to turn heads wherever he goes — and wherever he goes, people gasp. It’s because of his more than 500,000 followers on Instagram and other social media platforms that he was able to leverage his “insta-fame” into a reality show that is many things but never, ever boring.
4. Zodwa Wabantu
Zodwa’s dog ate her Steven Madden shoes. When you walk in Zodwa Wabantu’s shoes, your dog gnawing on your stiletto heels is just one of the surreal daily entertainment news headlines your over-the-top life generates. The woman often called the “misunderstood” Queen of gqom, Zodwa is living her life on her terms and showing Mzansi that everyone has the right to do the same and have about fun along the way.
5. Papa Penny
The reality TV star and Tsonga disco king Papa Penny (real name Eric Nkovani) has a crazy and totally over-the-top life — but in the most adorable way. Who doesn’t want to live the Papa Penny blinged-out life? Reality cameras document his life as he navigates being a musician, polygamist, father of 17 children, community leader and son to his 90-year-old mom.