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Follow That

Scared of missing out on the biggest social media stories? Sahil Lala finds 10 local online influencers everyone should be keeping an eye on.

Which Twitter celebs are setting trends and which are merely tiresome bores? Whose Facebook habits help to shape national conversations, and who is merely “internet famous”? It’s answers to these questions that both ordinary readers of social media and big brands are desperate to find.

To that end, we spoke to Tiger Maremala. Maremala is a campaign manager at social media specialist Webfluential, a firm that keeps tabs on who’s the centre of attention. It identifies “influencers”: people to whom brands are desperate to talk to because their fingers are on the pulse of online conversations and they help to define the way they unfold.

“Influencers boast faster-than-usual audience growth and have a great resonance with fans, along with their ability to create remarkable content consistently,” Maremala says.

We listened to Maremala and threw in a few of our own choices too, in order to put together this top 10 list of South African cultural influencers to follow in 2017.

Hloniphizwe  Coleman

Coleman is a photographer with an eye for nature and painstaking attention to detail. His Instagram account has over 50 000 followers.

Miklas Manneke

Manneke is a SAFTA-winning director and was nominated for the Student

Oscars. His Instagram account has over 77 000 followers and he often posts visually stunning photos of his travels.

Chef Sue-Ann Allen

Allen is a MasterChef South Africa finalist and South African food media personality. She presents a #FoodInspired show on Hashtag Radio every Tuesday and Wednesday.

Calvyn Justus

An avid vlogger who has amassed over four million views on YouTube, Justus is an Olympic swimmer from Durban.

Pap Culture

Nwabisa Mda, Thembe Mahlaba and Bongeka Masango, the trio behind Pap Culture, use video and photo-sharing sites much like an old-fashioned (albeit online) magazine show.  Their topics range from voting to the frivolous .

Cynthia Gwebu

A Cape Town-based beauty and lifestyle blogger, Gwebu maintains an active presence across Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Her YouTube channel has over 400 000 views, and is filled with make-up artistry, skincare and beauty tips.

Suzelle DIY

Julia Anastasopoulos, better known as Suzelle DIY, is a YouTube sensation who uploads quirky DIY videos to her channel. She also has a TV segment on Comedy Central Africa, showcasing her Top 20 DIY creations.

Warren Bright

Bright is a South African YouTuber who uploads videos based on his travels, lifestyle and adventures. He has also uploaded a series of business advice videos, and his Instagram features some intriguing stories.

Lauren Dixon-Paver

Self-proclaimed “Aesthetic

Chameleon” and “Maker of Things”, Dixon-Paver uploads craft tutorials to YouTube. She’s also a designer by trade and can be found sharing her passions on Twitter.

Grant Hinds

A South African YouTuber and TV personality, Hinds is a videogames enthusiast. He uploads “Let’s Play” videos and livestreams gaming titles that have just been released.

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