We’re little over two weeks away from casting our ballots, and Facebook is getting ready for South Africa’s 2019 National Elections. The social network…
The South African blogosphere has in the past copped its share of criticism for being rather male, and rather pale. In recent years, there has been a surge of black South African bloggers writing on matters ranging from fashion to music, politics and the economy. Here is a list of black bloggers who are carving out mini-publishing empires — and who provide a compelling snapshot of life, culture and business in South Africa right now.
Khaya Dlanga – Thought Leader, YouTube, Personal blog, Memeburn, News24
Dlanga is arguably the most popular and successful black blogger in South Africa whose work spans a range of platforms, formats and media types. He is big on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, has his own blog, writes for both Mail & Guardian Online blogging platform Thought Leader and is a contributor to this site, Memeburn. To top if off he also plays in traditional media with a somewhat irregular column on News24.com.
Dlanga, together with Ndumiso Ncgobo (featured below) was one of the first bloggers to be invited to Thought Leader by the then Mail & Guardian boss Matthew Buckland — largely on the basis of his political commentary on YouTube. Dlanga picked up a Highway Africa award for his blogging on Thought Leader in 2008 and was chosen by Google as a key vlogger to help launch YouTube’s South African presence earlier this year. In 2008, he managed to get US president Barack Obama, who was campaigning at the time, to directly answer his questions on YouTube.
In his own words Dlanga is a “Speaker. Columnist. Creative Excellence Manager. Humourist. Seriousist. Typoist and Too schooled to be cool.” We think he should be president of the country actually. The campaign should start here.
Content: Thoughts. Politics. Social commentary. Social Media.
Magogodi Makhene – Africa’s Moment
Founder of Zenzele Circle, an angel investment network linking sub-Saharan African start-ups with seed and growth capital and strategic relationships. Her blog, Africa’s Moment, chronicles her adventures exploring the landscape of African social innovation.
Content:Africa. Entrepreneurship. Change
Thami Masemola – In4ride
Thami Masemola is an entrepreneur, writer, journalist and a car fanatic, and the man behind the car blog, In4ride. Thami is always one of the first to test drive new machines and is a member of the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists.
Content:Machines. Motor Shows. Technology. Automobile Business.
Kasiekulture! – Kasiekulture! Blog
An arts and culture blog influenced by township lifestyle, and written in an easy, accessible township-style.
Content:Music, films, books, documentaries, comedy, multimedia, fashion and awards.
Facebook THE Kasiekulture BLOG
Neo Muyanga – neomuyanga.wordpress.com
Neo is a creative soul — an actor, gifted composer, artist and one half of the soul group Blk Sonshine. His blog takes you behind the scenes, into his music and his many, varied creative projects.
Content:Music. Arts. Creativity
Ndumiso Ngcobo – The Silwane Files
Ndumiso Ngcobo is one of the most respected writers in the country. Not many people know this, but he was probably one of the very first bloggers ever in South Africa — invited to Mail & Guardian Online’s now defunct (and the country’s first) blog platform, known as Blogmark, as early as 2003.
Blogmark was evolved into Thought Leader in 2007, and Ngcobo was invited by the then-M&G Online head Buckland and Strategist Vincent Maher to be one of the first bloggers on the platform. He was also the first to cover a major political event as an accredited blogger, the ANC’s seminal Polokwane conference in late 2007. He is now a featured columnist in South Africa’s Sunday Times newspaper.
Content: Humour. Social commentary. Politics
Facebook:Ndumiso Mapholoba Ngcobo
Lelo – Just Curious
Just Curious is a South African entertainment website targeted at males and females between the ages 18 and 35 years who are curious about Mzansi culture. Run by LeloB, the blog also offers a platform for local entertainers to react to the tabloid headlines and give fans their side of the story.
Content: Entertainment. Music. TV. Pop Culture . Expressions. Youth.
Sentletse Diakanyo –Sentletse Diakanyo, Thought Leader.
Another one of the featured writers on the Mail & Guardian’s Thought Leader, Sentlentse Diakanyo writes across a wide range of political and social topics. He claims he is “not a journalist and his readers should not expect balanced articles”.
Content: Politics. Social commentary. Expression
Zinhle Mncube – Zee fashionista
Zinhle Mncube is a fashion fanatic and can’t imagine a day without a dose of the exciting, fast paced and breathtaking world of fashion. Her blog is stylish, and simple with great insights into the world of fashion.
Content:Fashion. Style. Creativity. Business of Fashion.
Sipho Hlongwane – Thought Leader, The Daily Maverick
Well-known by his Twitter handle, ComradeSipho, Hlongwane is another stalwart of political group blog, Thought Leader. He’s a blogger with bite, a motivator and an organiser. We know this from the SpeakZA campaign he started in early 2010, protesting against what he saw as a curtailment of media freedom in the country involving the ANC Youth League and a City Press journalist.
He at the time wrote: “…the ANC Youth League’s latest trend of threats, intimidation, allegations of spying and outright spying on journalists perceived to be “enemies” of the youth league and its president, Julius Malema. Malema and his crony, Floyd Shivambu, seem willing to stop at nothing to protect their political and personal interests. Curtailing media freedom is often one of the first steps despots use in asserting their might and imposing totalitarian rule in their countries.”
Hlongwane refers to himself as a “Wordsmith. Columnist. Coconutist. Counter-revolutionary”. He has now found gainful employment for his writing skills, first honed as a blogger, at new political commentary site, The Daily Maverick.
Content:Politics. Social commentary. Truth
Eusebius McKaiser – Saffer Politics
Eusebius McKaiser is an influential columnist and talk show host. His blog provides an “unashamedly honest, and analytical, comment on mostly South African politics, and social issues, mostly from a moral philosophy viewpoint”.
Content:Politics. Social commentary. Philosophy
Facebook: Eusebius McKaiser
Siphiwe Mpye – and now for life
Siphiwe Mpye is a writer, editor, broadcaster and entrepreneur. He is the Associate Editor of GQ Magazine and a leading columnist in numerous publications. His blog is “is a little slice of the sweet and bitter ‘everydays’ of some passionate and engaged people down South.”
Content:Social commentary, arts, lifestyle and entertainment
Muzi Mohale – Travelwires and Already Inspired
Muzi Mohale is a prolific blogger, documenting the “business of travel and tourism in Africa” on Travelwires, as well as about his love for blogging on AlreadyInspired.com. Content: Tourism. Africa. Entrepreneurship. Blogging.
Timothy Maurice Webster – Timothy, DestinyConnect.com
Author, conference speaker and sought-after columnist for his insights on personal branding. Timothy refers to himself as “A thinker, speaker, strategist and style philosopher”.
Content:Personal Branding. Ideas. Entrepreneurship. Inspiration.
Township Vibes – townships.iblog.co.za
A vibrant blog dedicated to the life, beauty and culture of the township.
Content: Lifestyle. Art. Entertainment. Community.
Sipho Ngcobo – The Perfect Storm
Sipho Ngcobo is the former deputy editor of Business Report and ex-managing editor of Enterprise Magazine. He blogs regularly for Moneyweb.co.za on issues related to politics and the economy.
Content:Politics. Economy. Public service. Social Commentary. Leadership.
Kojo Baffoe – kojobaffoe.com
Kojo Baffoe has strong international roots which are on displayed on his wide-ranging and topical blog. He is an editor, writer, speaker, MC, poet, social commentator, media consultant and artist.
Content: Social Commentary. Lifestyle. Poetry. Africa. Conciousness. Ideas. Entrepreneurship. Music. Arts. Technology. Social Media
Malika Ndlovu – malikandlovu.wordpress.com
A performance poet, writer and founder member of Cape Town-based women writers’ collective WEAVE, Malika Ndlovu’s blog is infused with poetry, art, film and a strong focus on African women.
Content: Thoughts. Poetry. Activism
Consciousness – consciousness.co.za
Founded by Karabo Mkhabela, consciousness is “an African History & Arts lifestyle magazine founded 2006 by Karabo Mkhabela at the Tshwane University of Technology”. The blog has grown to become a platform of expression and a source of knowledge for a large number of the youth in SA.
Content:African history. Arts lifestyle. Social expression.
Nonkululeko Godana – Creating Wild Woman
Nonkululeko Godana is a “writer/poet/online content manager who has a passion for music, youth development and social change”. She blogs regularly about the Cape Town cultural scene and her life in a bold, passionate manner.
Content:Thoughts. Social Commentary. Change. Music. Arts. Freedom
Lindile Ndwayana – L-Type
Lindile Ka-Ndwayana blog is primarily photo-driven about fashion and music. It’s all about inspiration from places beyond the universe. He says “You can expect my views on fashion advertising campaigns, lifestyles of the the unique and interesting”.
Content:Fashion. Photography. Creativity. Lifestyle
Fro Chick – frochic.wordpress.com
Another photo-driven blog, this time dedicated to the love, appreciation and beauty of natural black hair. Its mission is to show black women how beautiful & manageable natural hair can be & encourage them to love their hair as God made it.
Content:Natural styles. Celebrity Interviews. Afrocentrism.
George Matsheke – Studio83
George Matsheke describes himself as a Graphic Designer by education, Art Director by profession, Creative Editor by passion anda Modern Man. He’s the brains behind the art and photography magazine, Studio 83, which explores “South Africas ‘popular’ culture through the eyes of all those who are creative”.
Content Photography. Videos. Art. Creativity. Thoughts.