5 SA celebrities who took the world by storm in 2023

Tyla. Picture: Instagram

Tyla. Picture: Instagram

Published Dec 29, 2023


South African celebrities have shown up on the global stage in ways that can only make us even prouder to be South African.

Most recently, our golden girl, Tyla Laura Seethal, had the world eating out her palms with the release of her single “Water”.

Since its release in July, the single has been a top 10 hit in a dozen countries, including the UK and Australia.

It was also the first song by a South African soloist to enter the US Billboard Hot 100 since jazz legend Hugh Masekela’s “Grazing in the Grass” 55 years ago. A couple of weeks later, the breakthrough smash then reached the Hot 100’s top 10.

Most recently its reached number one on the Billboard’s Rhythmic Airplay chart, making it the most played song in the US, beating Drake and SZA.

The single also got everyone and their grandmothers doing the “Water” challenge on TikTok.

Tyla continues her success with the release of “Truth or Dare” and prepares for her self-titled album release.

Here are other South African celebrities who have made incredible global strides this year.

Uncle Waffles

Uncle Waffles. Picture: Instagram

2023 saw the DJ grind harder than ever before, and it certainly paid off.

In April she made history at the Coachella festival for being the first amapiano DJ to perform on one of the main stages at the acclaimed global music and arts festival.

The “Asylum” album-maker went on to sell out her first headline international show at the Great Hall, Avant Gardner in New York.

Later, she bagged another deal with international fast food franchise KFC, and if that isn’t enough, she is also nominated for a Grammy award under the categories Best Global Music Album for “Asylum” and Best African Music Performance for “Yahyuppiyah”.

She has also appeared on several magazine covers, including “Forbes Africa” and “Galore Magazine”.

Most recently, she was honoured with a Woman of the Year award at the GQ Men of the Year 2023 awards.

The sky is the limit for Waffles, who clearly shows no signs of slowing down.

Black Coffee

DJ Black Coffee. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng

After winning a Grammy award in 2022, DJ Black Coffee went on to solidify his career by becoming the first South African artist to fill up the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Later, he went on to showcase how big his footprint is when he was invited to give a guest lecture at Harvard Business School in Boston in the US.

The renowned DJ was also among the honourees for this year’s British GQ Men of the Year 2023.

Soon after, “DJ Mag”, a British monthly magazine dedicated to electronic dance music and DJs, revealed that the South African had made number 25 on their prestigious list of Top 100 DJs.

Ending the year on a high, the DJ partnered with entrepreneur Themba “Euphonik” Nkosi and retail pioneer Arie Fabian to open up the first Amiri store in Sandton.

The brand is a pioneering international luxury fashion brand that has become well known in the luxury fashion industry in the US.

Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah. Picture: Instagram

The South African export flew the South African flag high as he stepped foot in countries around the global as part of his international comedy tour.

The comedian was also awarded the prestigious Dutch Erasmus Prize 2023, becoming the first humorist awarded the honour since Charlie Chaplin in 1965.

Noah further received his first Golden Globe nomination in one of the new categories, Best Performance in Stand-up Comedy on Television, for his latest Netflix special, “Where Was I”.

He will be competing alongside fellow nominees Ricky Gervais, Chris Rock, Amy Schumer, Sarah Silverman, and Wanda Sykes for the award.

The 39-year-old closes 2023 of with a bang, as he announced that he will be returning to host the Grammy Awards again next year, making it the fourth time he would host the annual event.

Thuso Mbedu

Thuso Mbedu. Picture: Instagram

The “The Woman King” may have elevated Thuso Mbedu’s career, but her star is constantly working hard to maintain success.

This year the award-winning actress joined the L’Oréal Paris line-up of international brand ambassadors, which includes British actress and activist Gemma Chan and Bollywood actress and entrepreneur Anushka Sharma.

The opportunity saw Mbedu join the Miss South Africa 2023 judging panel.

During her time as judge she brought her unique perspective and experiences to the competition, and encouraged the contestants to embrace their individuality and walk confidently.

She also got a chance to walk confidently when she took to the catwalk at the prestigious Le Défilé runway show hosted by L’Oréal Paris at Paris Fashion Week.

Most recently, the “Underground Railroad” actress bagged another role in Brad Ingelsby’s new crime series.

The HBO series will see Mbedu take on the role of Aleah, a sergeant detective who is recruited for a special task force.

She is also among the voice-over cast for the new Netflix offering, “Castlevania: Nocturne”.