20 Biggest South African Social Media Influencers on Instagram

Social media has become a great meeting point for celebrities and their followers. In South Africa, platforms such as Instagram and Twitter have taken center stage in giving fans a day-to-day easy look into the lives of the celebrities they want to keep up with daily. Because of this, the biggest South African social media influencers on Instagram, who happen to be celebrities, have millions of followers.

Most of the celebrities have been on Instagram even before 2015, but it is in more recent years that they have gained the status of a real social media influencer because of the followers they have now gained.

A Look At Who A Social Media Influencer Is

A social media influencer is someone who has gained authority on any particular topic or area of expertise on social media. As a result, they have many people following them. They are also believed to have built a reputation for their knowledge and expertise on a specific topic.

To be considered a social media influencer on Instagram, they will have to continue to make posts about the topic that is related to them, which will, in turn, get them followers and generate overwhelming engagements.

Someone is finally considered a social media influencer if one has a large following or access to a large number of followers. You can persuade your audience to act based on the things you recommend to them. An influencer can be anyone from a celebrity to an online entrepreneur, a blogger, or anyone who can create a huge following thanks to one’s knowledge or expertise.

Here Are The Topmost South African Social Media Influencers on Instagram

1. Boitumelo Thulo

  • Real name: Boitumelo Thulo
  • Instagram handle: @boity
  • Number of Followers: 4.8 million
  • Industry: Acting

Boity is a lot of things; a model, actress, TV star, and entrepreneur, and so it only makes sense that she has a high number of followers on Instagram. Her legion of 4.8 million followers on the platform makes her the most influential South African on Instagram, with hardly any argument.

Named amongst Forbes 30 under 30 in 2019 under the creative category, she has used her talent to turn her name into a brand, something she continues to tap from on social media. Boity’s rise on Instagram is a fascinating one, as she was not the first celebrity in the country to hit the 1 million mark, but she might as well be the first to reach 5 million.

The South African beauty posts on beauty, fashion, entertainment, and a little personal stuff. She uses the platform to promote fashion brands, drinks, music, and her brand. She doesn’t fail to keep her followers motivated.

2. Cassper Nyovest

  • Real name: Refiloe Maele Phoolo
  • Instagram handle: @casspernyovest
  • Number of Followers: 4.5 million
  • Niche: Music

At the heels of Boity is none other than the South African rapper, entrepreneur, record producer, and songwriter Cassper. Why this is ironic is because of the history they once had as lovers. He has built an impressive following on Instagram thanks to his status as arguably the best rapper in South Africa.

The Channel O Music Video awards-winning rapper has consistently grown on Instagram since he reached the 1 million milestone in 2016. It would take him two more years to get to 2 million in 2018, and then by 2020, he had doubled it up again to 4 million followers in 2021.

He mostly posts about music and entertainment in general. Cassper is one of the South African celebrities with the most endorsement deals, and so it is not unusual to see him promoting various brands on his Instagram.

3. Bonang Matheba

  • Real name: Bonang Dorothy Matheba
  • Instagram handle: @bonang_m
  • Number of Followers: 4.3 million
  • Niche: Media

Everyone’s crush, Bonang Matheba, has 4.3 million Instagram followers to also emerge as one of South Africa’s most influential celebrities on the platform. She is a media personality, model, businesswoman, and philanthropist who has been in the public light for a very long time since the early 2000s.

Queen B reached over a million followers on Instagram in 2016, making her among the first celebs in the country to cross the million mark. By 2018, she had already gone past 2 million followers on Instagram, and then by 2020, she had already gone more than 3 million. What is even more fascinating about Bonang is that she is a queen of social media in general; she also has more than 4.7 million followers on Twitter.

One of Forbes Africa’s 50 Most Powerful Women for 2020, she uses her platform to share regular pictures of herself and promote her modeling career. More than that, she also tries to empower women and young people on her Instagram, where she also promotes her business and other brands.

4. Minnie Dlamini

  • Real name: Minenhle Dlamini Jones
  • Instagram handle: @minniedlamini
  • Number of Followers: 4.2 million
  • Niche: Showbiz

With 4.2m followers on the platform, Minenhle Jones Dlamini is also one of the biggest South African social media influencers on Instagram. She is an on-air personality, actress, and model whose overwhelming talent and beauty have helped her amass such a generous following.

Since she joined Instagram, she rose pretty fast, getting her first one million followers in 2016. She was the first South African celebrity to achieve such a feat. By January 2017, she was already celebrating her first 1.5 million followers. In excitement, she took to her Instagram to celebrate, promising she was not going to cry. By the end of 2017, she had already reached 2 million followers, and from then on, there was no slowing down. She reached 3 million in 2019.

Dlamini takes advantage of her Instagram to share beautiful pictures of herself and her family, as well as their good life. She also promotes products from various brands and shares her thoughts on various issues.

5. Natasha Thahane

  • Real name: Natasha Thahane
  • Instagram handle: @natasha_thahane
  • Number of Followers: 4.2 million
  • Niche: Showbiz

Beautiful South African actress Natasha Thahane is also another heavyweight on Instagram, where she has more than 4.2 million followers. She reached her 4 millionth mark at the start of 2021, which seems to be a long way from 2017 when she celebrated her first 1 million followers.

While she might be a stunning actress, her talent is yet another thing that has contributed to her rise on the platform. Being an entertainer, it is only normal that the New York Film Academy Alumni posts about actors and actresses, movies and TV shows, modeling, health and fitness, and a little bit about sports.

6. Somizi

  • Real name: Somizi Buyani Mhlongo-Motaung
  • Instagram handle: @somizi
  • Number of Followers: 4 Million
  • Niche: Dance and showbiz

Apart from Cassper, Somizi is the next male among the top biggest South African social media influencers on Instagram. The all-around entertainer and choreographer is considered one of the most successful entertainers in the country, which explains why he has his huge following of more than 4 million on Instagram.

He reached a million mark on the social media platform in 2017, and he celebrated the milestone with a bottle of Moët & Chandon. The “Idols SA” judge and Metro FM presenter reached the 3 million mark in April 2020. He reached 4 million followers in 2021. The fascinating thing about his growth on Instagram is that as of 2020, he was behind other stars such as DJ Zinhle, Nomzamo Mbatha, and even Amanda du-Pont, who are all now behind him.

Somizi is very active on Instagram, and he touches a lot of things from humor to music and dance, fashion, modeling, and celebrities.

7. Pearl Thusi

  • Real name: Sithembile Xola Pearl Thusi
  • Instagram handle: @pearlthusi
  • Number of Followers: 3.9 million
  • Niche: Showbiz

Pearl Thusi is a very talented individual who has been in the limelight for many decades now. She is an actress, a model, and a media personality who started her career in 2003. Because of her involvement in many things, many people have different reasons to keep up with her. She also has an international presence thanks to the hit US television show, Quantico in which she appeared alongside Priyanka Chopra-Jonas.

She celebrated reaching 1.8 million followers on Instagram in 2018, and then in 2019, she had exceeded 2 million followers, and by December 2020, she celebrated reaching 3.7 million followers on Instagram.

With her following, she is one of the most bankable celebrities in the country, which is why she has attracted some big brands, including MAC cosmetics which launched a collection called MAC X Pearl in 2020 featuring the face of the actress. She makes posts that cover entertainment, acting, actors, movies, fashion, beauty, and arts.

8. Amanda du-Pont

  • Real name: Amanda du-Pont
  • Instagram handle: @amandadupont
  • Number of Followers: 3.8 million
  • Niche: Acting

Amanda Du-Pont is in the eighth spot amongst other most followed South African social media influencers on Instagram. She fits the description of others who have a huge following on social media; Amanda is a highly talented actress, model, businesswoman, and TV personality. The Swazi-born South African celebrity started her career in 2006 and has remained a popular face in the country’s entertainment.

She hit her 2 millionth mark on the platform in March 2019, and to celebrate the feat, she received a couple of balloons from her Adidas family. By April 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic, she attained the 3 million mark. To celebrate the milestone, she appreciated and prayed for her fans, encouraging everyone to remain positive. She continues to grow on Instagram and other social media platforms thanks to her national and international presence thanks to her many movie roles, including 2019 hit Netflix series Shadows, where she played the main role of Ashley.

The beautiful actress posts about various interesting things such as fashion and beauty, movies, fitness, and training, among other things. She also uses her platform to promote her brands and other brands she is associated with.

9. Nomzamo Mbatha

  • Real name: Nomzamo Mbatha,
  • Instagram handle: @nomzamo_m
  • Number of Followers: 3.7 million
  • Niche: Showbiz

Closely following Amanda Du-Pont is actress, television personality, businesswoman, and human rights activist Nomzamo Mbatha. Like others, her vast talent and involvement in many things have contributed to making her a major Instagram influencer in the country, with more than 3.7 million followers at her heels.

The beautiful and good-natured actress has been growing consistently on the platform since she first hit her first 1 million followers in 2017. By August 2019, when Boity was already celebrating 3 million followers on the platform, she had an incredible 2.4 million followers. She reached 3 million in 2020, and thanks to her role in the 2021 sequel of Coming 2 America, she has sure seen her numbers going even higher, and she might hit 4 million followers before the end of 2021.

The fashionista has been named among OkayAfrika 100 Women 2018 Honorees. She posts about fashion and beauty, natural hair, movies and entertainment, and activism and charity. She is a brand ambassador to big names such as Puma. More importantly, she is very respected in the social media community.

10. DJ Zinhle

  • Real name: Ntombezinhle Jiyane
  • Instagram handle: @djzinhle
  • Number of Followers: 3.7 million
  • Niche: Music

Self-acclaimed Africa’s No1 Female DJ, NtombeZinhle Jiyane, who is better known as DJ Zinhle, is also one of the South African celebrities with a huge Instagram following of 3.7 million. Also a producer, media personality, and businesswoman, she doesn’t need so much introduction for many South Africans, having been in the entertainment scene since 2004.

Zinhle reached 1 million followers in 2016, and she celebrated the mark with an appreciation post to all her followers. It will take her until 2020, before she finally made it to 3 million followers. Her influence is not surprising as Oprah Magazine named her one of 21 Most powerful African women and Glamour’s Woman of the Year 2020. She also won the Forbes Woman Africa Entertainer Award in the same year, among other accolades.

She posts about things such as beauty, fashion, entertainment, and music. There are also motivational posts that she makes. She is also another South African celebrity who has many endorsement deals that include Sony and Standard Bank South Africa; hence she also posts about the different brands. Thanks to the social media influence of the South African DJ, her daughter Kairo Forbes who is 5 years old, has more than 1 million followers on Instagram as of 2020.

11. Nasty C

  • Real name: Nsikayesizwe David Junior Ngcobo
  • Instagram handle: @nasty_csa
  • Number of Followers: 3.3 million
  • Niche: Music

Yet another rapper that has garnered much following on Instagram is everyone’s favorite, Nasty C. The Spank Daddy, as he refers to himself on the platform, made his rise thanks to his huge influence and authority in the South African music scene. Born Nsikayesizwe David Junior Ngcobo, the songwriter and record producer, started his career in 2013.

He reached 1 million followers on Instagram in 2017, having reached the same mark on Twitter the previous year. To celebrate his Instagram feat, he released a single, Dance. In April 2019, he recorded 2 million Instagram followers, and then in June 2020, he grew his followers to 3 million. After hitting the mark, he revealed that it was prayer and patience that took him to that height, and it was going to take him even higher.

A South African Hip Hop Award-winning rapper, his posts mostly revolve around his music,  entertainment in general, and other celebrities. Considered to be one of the most important South African exports in the music industry to the rest of the world, his following is expected to grow due to his recent activities, including his performance for Coming 2 America.

12. Pearl Modiadie

  • Real name: Pearl Modiadie
  • Instagram handle: @pearlmodiadie
  • Number of Followers: 3.1 Million
  • Niche: Showbiz

Pearl Modiadie fits in the spec of anyone who can become a top social media influencer on Instagram; she is talented in many ways. She is beautiful and in good spirits, and she has her way with social media. A television presenter, radio DJ, actress, and producer, she has been in the entertainment scenes since she debuted as a TV presenter as the host of Craz-e in 2006. The Trending SA host has also handled many other shows and has appeared in various productions.

She reached 2 million followers on Instagram in April 2019, and she celebrated the feat by sharing racy photos on the platform. At the time, she had already had more than 4.4 million followers on Twitter. Her posts revolve around things such as motherhood, fitness, her career, and entertainment. She keeps a better part of her life private, but she also lets her followers into her daily dealings. Many brands have tapped from her influence both on social media and otherwise by making her their ambassador. Some of such brands include Nivea and Woolworths SA.

13. Ntando Duma

  • Real name: Ntando Duma
  • Instagram handle: @dumantando
  • Number of Followers: 3.1 million
  • Niche: Showbiz

There is also the amazing Crza-e’s Ntando Duma. The beautiful South African actress and television personality have a way of attracting attention to herself, and so it is not surprising that she brags of more than 3.1 million followers. Also a model, the social media influencer, she only started her career in 2014, but that has not stopped her from getting such a huge follower-base on the platform.

She reached her first 1 million followers on Instagram in 2018, having been on the platform for more than three years before that. Even before then, she has been very active on Instagram, which helped her get such a following. She did not relent as she continued to post as she had always done, giving fans what to talk about. This helped her to reach and surpass 3 million followers by 2021.

Founder of Inspire A Teen SA Foundation, she is Skechers SA’s first black ambassador. Her posts are sometimes raunchy, but beyond that, she also has a good sense of humor. She posts on issues relating to youths, entertainment, movies, and much more that interest her. Ntando Duma doesn’t have a Facebook account, so she regularly uses her Instagram since she doesn’t have many followers on Twitter.

14. Thando Thabethe


  • Real name: Thando Thabethe
  • Instagram handle: @thando_thabethe
  • Number of Followers: 3 million
  • Niche: Showbiz

Thando Thabethe is a versatile South African who came to the limelight as an actress, TV personality, and Radio DJ. She started her career when she was only 14 years old with a role in a TV show. However, until her role in My Perfect Family in 2008, she started gaining serious attention. Since then, she has been able to navigate her career both as a TV and radio personality and also as an actress, among other engagements.

In March 2021, she celebrated reaching 3 million followers on the platform. She thanked her followers, whom she describes as #TeamThabooty. Interestingly, it was only in July 2019 that she reached 2 million followers.

Her high level of influence on Instagram has helped her become the first ambassador of Nivea in Africa. Named one of Forbes Africa’s 30 Under 30, she posts captivating photos of herself. Also, she posts about things she deems important such as her work, entertaining content, and some bits of motivation. She has many endorsement deals on her path. Hence, she also makes posts promoting various brands.

15. Black Coffee

  • Real name: Nkosinathi Innocent Maphumulo
  • Instagram handle: @realblackcoffee
  • Number of Followers: 2.9 million
  • Niche: Music

Hardly is there anyone who will find it surprising that DJ Black Coffee is also on the list of the most important South African Social Media Influencers on Instagram. Considered the richest musician in South Africa and one of the most known DJ from the country, he has gained his generous following through his musical career.

The first South African to win a BET award, he currently has more than 2.9 million followers on the app. Unfortunately, he has not kept followers updated with the major milestones he has recorded on the app.

He shares pictures of himself, friends, and family members on Instagram and keeps followers abreast of his music and other activities. The DJ also uses the platform like many others who have such a huge following to promote his music, businesses, and other brands he has affiliation or endorsement deals with.

16. AKA

  • Real name: Kiernan Jarryd Forbes
  • Instagram handle: @akaworldwide
  • Number of Followers: 2.9 million
  • Niche: Music

AKA is a force to reckon with in the South African hip hop scene and on social media, where it emerges as one of the most influential celebrities on Instagram. Born Kiernan Jarryd Forbes, he is a rapper, music producer, and businessman. He has built his following on Instagram thanks to his stands as arguably the most respected hip hop artist in the country.

As one would expect, he makes posts about music and the entertainment industry in general, and celebrities. Also, AKA takes advantage of his social media to share posts on the various businesses he is into, and the endorsement deals he has to his name. His child with DJ Zinhle, Kairo Forbes, has the aforementioned 1 million followers on Instagram. The young girl has attained her following thanks to the combined influence her parents have on social media.

17. Nandi Madida

  • Real name: Nandi Madida
  • Instagram handle: @nandi_madida
  • Number of Followers: 2.8 million
  • Niche: Music

Like many other celebrities that appeared on the list, Nandi Madida is a multitalented individual. She is a singer, an actress, model, and television presenter. She started her career as an entertainer in 2004, but in the early 2010s, she started getting the recognition she truly deserves.

The Award-winning singer has been on Instagram since June 2013. Even though she is not topping the list of the biggest South African social media influencers on the platform, she still gets so much engagement, with some of her pictures getting over 130,000 likes. She has since opened an Instagram account for her son, Shaka Madida, and although the account is private, it still manages to have close to 20,000 followers.

The actress and singer have gained recognition on the platform thanks to her posts that revolve around beauty and fashion, her career, and entertainment in general. She has had endorsement deals with several brands that she promotes, including ALDO Shoes South Africa and Lux.

18. Jessica Nkosi

  • Real name: Ayanda Nkosi
  • Instagram handle: @jessicankosi
  • Number of Followers: 2.7 million
  • Niche: Showbiz

South African actress and TV presenter Jessica Nkosi has 2.7 million followers on Instagram. Her rise to fame is exciting, most especially because she only started her career in 2013. Making her first post on Instagram in 2013, the actress celebrated reaching 1 million followers on the platform in 2017 by appreciating her followers. In 2020, she reached 2 million followers in an eventful way as it coincided with her 1 million mark on Twitter, which means she had 3 million followers across the two platforms at the time.

Nkosi is also among the most bankable social media stars in the country. She has endorsement deals with brands, including Volvo, Clinique, and G.H. Mumm. Most of her posts are on entertainment, celebrities, and motherhood, among other things that matter to her.

19. Khanyi Mbau

  • Real name: Khanyisile Mbau
  • Instagram handle: @mbaureloaded
  • Number of Followers: 2.7 million
  • Niche: Showbiz

Born in 1985, Khanyi Mbau‘s rise to fame is almost as interesting as her rise on social media into becoming one of the most important influencers in the country. She is an actress, television host, and artist who has been in the entertainment scene since 2004. She gained fame through her appearance on the SABC soap opera, Muvhango from 2004 to 2005. The often controversial celebrity started her TV show, Katch It With Khanyi, before she later took part in Strictly Come Dancing in 2014, all of which continued to add to her fame.

Khanyi Mbau recorded her first 1 million followers on Instagram in 2017. In celebration of the achievement, the TV and radio personality thanked her fans and followers for walking the path with her. Her followers have continued to grow since then.

She makes posts that cover things such as beauty and fashion, as well as celebrity and entertainment. She doesn’t fail to post about music which she has also gone into. Like others, she promotes several brands.

20. Lerato Kganyago

  • Real name: Lerato Kganyago
  • Instagram handle: @leratokganyago
  • Number of Followers: 2.5 million
  • Niche: Media

Lerato Kganyago is a TV presenter who has also emerged as one of the biggest South African social media influencers on Instagram. She is a highly talented star who is also into other things, including DJying, although she recently announced she is halting all gigs in that aspect to concentrate more on her health. The beauty first came to the limelight after she was crowned Miss Jam Alley in 2002, and after that, she was crowned Miss Soweto in 2005. She gained real fame on Soweto TV, where she was the face of the channel.

An award-winning presenter, the Metro FM host and television presenter has been on Instagram since 2014, and she has continued to grow steadily. Her posts mostly revolve around entertainment, celebrities, beauty, and the different causes she is interested in.

How Social Media Influencers Make Money

South African Social Media Influencers
Cassper Nyovest (Image Source)

The above listed South African social media influencers on Instagram, just as other social media influencers, make money through various means, including the following:

1. Sponsored social media posts

One of the most popular and lucrative means is through sponsored social media posts. This means that influencers get paid by marketers of products or even by brands to make posts and promote the particular product or brand. For an influencer with more than a million followers, you can make over $1,405 for each sponsored post on Instagram.

2. By becoming a brand ambassador or representative

Another way that social media influencers can make money is by becoming brand ambassadors. This means one may be offered a contract by the brand for a partnership from a couple of months to even years. It can be extended at the end of each contract. Influencers get to have the product for free, and in exchange, they will make posts about it on their Instagram handle. You can also get paid for your services.

3. Through affiliate marketing

Social media influencers on Instagram can make a good amount of money when promoting and selling products that yield them commission in the process. This is another amazing way to make money if you have large and loyal followers. The money you make depends on how you can make sales.

4. Creating your product line

Some of the above-listed South African social media influencers on Instagram have their own products, which they promote on their Instagram handles. If you have a huge following, this is a great way for you to make money.

5. Co-create product lines

Apart from all the means above, nothing stops you from joining forces with brands to co-create products in partnership. While this is a great means to make money, it depends on your contract and the number of followers at your beck and call.

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Tim van der Walt
Tim van der Walt
Tim is another of our talented writers, the one who plays music on replay, drinks more coffee than beer, plays video games, and reads poetry. In between, Tim reviews products, write about computers, games, and talk tech and arts. If there is a WIII, he thinks it could be caused by bad writing.


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