Here's Our List of 17 Captivating Influencers from 10 Countries in Africa That We're Following Now
As I browsed hashtag holidays for 2018 a few months ago and put a check mark next to Mandela Day, I realized we hadn't done a roundup on African influencers. That's bananas, right? There were nearly 1.3 billion people in Africa, and 453 million Internet users across the continent at the close of 2017.
As my feed Instagram feed has been curated so I see lots of content from family, friends, tough guys (I'm a big MMA fan), and marketers, I don't get to see much content from the fashion world, the comedy world, or the world of fine foods. That left me actually wondering what the influencers in different African countries were like.
I mean, Nigeria (which accounts for more than 20% of Africa's Internet users), Egypt and South Africa aside, I couldn't think of many social media influencers from African countries.
So, my goal with this post was to pull together a diverse collective of legit social media powerhouses (meaning the fraud detection tool was in full effect - I was fair, but a little strict) from a small sampling of just 10 African countries who are exciting, stylish, engaging, talented, and definitely influential.
I found influencers who don't do sponsored posts, and I found influencers who recommend products as a matter of habit. I found political activists and self-taught chefs, and I found fashion editors and college students. It's pretty dope.
So, without further ado, I give you The List.
Laurie Frempong - @laurie_frempong - GHANA
With nearly 16,000 Instagram followers, Laurie Frempong (@laurie_frempong) is a fashion and lifestyle blogger, content creator, and rising model from Ghana. In addition to posting to her personal Instagram account, she’s also the curator of the Laurie’s Blog account (@lauries_blog) on Instagram and a blog by the same name. Laurie posts about beauty, fashion, her hometown, and the wonderful world of modeling.
Yara Mel - @_yaramel - MOZAMBIQUE
Yara Mel is fresh, young fashion blogger and Instagram micro influencer (@_yaramel). I included her because the moment my 16 year-old daughter saw her face, she got a little excited. “I love Yara Mel!”
Do you? Wow. Social media is something else.
Yara Mel recently made her return to Mozambique upon completing her studies at university in the UK. She is the creator of the blog Desiring Style, Mel, Etc. and the YouTube channel Yara Mel, which you can find here.
Bella Naija - @DiscoveringNatural - NIGERIA
Bella Naija is a popular Nigerian beauty blogger, who focuses her content on her family, Nigerian culture (though they live in the U.S.) and hair care. With more than 22K followers on Instagram (@discoveringnatural), 23K+ followers on Facebook, and 108K subscribers to her YouTube channel, Bella Naija’s Discovering Natural brand is a popular go-to for men and women who want tips, hacks, and best practices for growing and keeping health natural hair.
Tasneem Abdulla - @tasneem.abdulla - ZIMBABWE
One of the more interesting accounts I came across is that of 20 year-old Tasneem Abdulla, a self-taught Henna artist AND designer from the capital city of Harare in Zimbabwe. Her primary Instagram feed (@tasneem.abdulla) has more than 12K followers and is almost exclusively her designs, some are even live action shots of her creating the designs. Her second account (@tasneems.henna) has pictures of completed applications.
Crystal Kasper - @crystal_kasper - SOUTH AFRICA
Crystal Kasper (@crystal_kasper) is co-founder and one-half the fashion duo that makes up @theduodesk. Kasper is a South African style blogger whose dynamic pairing with fellow fashionista and Instagram influencer Palesa Mahlaba is a parade of the most exquisitely adventurous, fun and out-of-the-box style choices you’re going to see. Period.
Palesa Mahlaba - @simplypalesa - SOUTH AFRICA
With more than 78K Instagram followers to her credit, former fashion editor and current style icon Palesa Mahlaba (@simplypalesa) is a popular fashion blogger and co-founder of @theduodesk with Crystal Kasper. She has masterfully curated an Instagram feed that is overflowing with bold colors, bold style choices, and bold swagger. I can’t get enough of it.
Kaluhi Adagala - @kaluhiskitchen - KENYA
Kaluhi Adagala (@kaluhiskitchen) is a Kenyan food blogger and Instagram influencer who plates the most amazing-looking foods. She is the creator of the award-winning Kenyan food blog Kaluhi’s Kitchen. A self-taught cook, Adagala earned her degree in finance before venturing into the blogosphere. And just to keep ‘em guessing, both her blog and her Instagram feed have a bit of lifestyle content and fashion sprinkled in for good measure.
Thithi Nteta - @teeteenteta - SOUTH AFRICA
Thithi Nteta (@teeteenteta) has built an Instagram audience of more than 32K highly engaged followers. The South African travel blogger is the creator of the Travel Girl Boss blog and the growing YouTube channel Teetee at Large. She curates content for both her personal Instagram account as well as the account @travelgirlboss with a smart mix of travel tips, amazing sites, and inspiration for how the stylish go about living out of a suitcase.
Somaya Nabil - @somayanabil - EGYPT
This one is pretty cool, too. Somaya Nabil (@somayanabil) is an Egyptian fashion designer andstyle / mommy blogger. No kidding. She designs clothes for women and children. She mode lifels her own blouses, tees, blazers, and skirts on Instagram that women can contact her through WhatsApp to buy.
Luvvie Ajayi- @luvvie - NIGERIA
Podcaster, author, and social media influencer Luvvie Ajayi, aka Awesomely Luvvie (@luvvie), is a Nigerian bloggers whose content is both powerful and clever. She has grown an Instagram audience of 150K followers, a Twitter audience of 209K followers, and a Facebook community of 294.5K.
Her popular Rants and Randomness podcast has thousands of listeners, she is the creator of the blog Awesomely Luvvie, and her Ted Talk, Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable has been viewed more than 2.2 million times. She is the author of the book, I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual.
Side note: She has a shoe fetish, which she chronicles on her curated Instagram account, @mustluvvshoes, which has 6300+ followers.
Silvia Njoki - @silvianjoki - KENYA
Aisha Baker - @bakedonline - SOUTH AFRICA
South African blogger Aisha Baker (@bakedonline) is the founder of Baked the Blog, a fashion, beauty and lifestyle hub where African-based fashion and trends meet Western and European culture. Baker has an Instagram audience of more than 132K followers, a Facebook community of 13K+ with 18K more followers on Twitter.
Diana Moss (Miss Moss) - South Africa
Diana Moss is a South African lifestyle blogger and web designer with a sweet spot for interior design. She’s the only Pinterest influencer on my list, with 142K followers on Pinterest and a whopping 5.5M monthly views. Her pins are gorgeous.
She is the founder of the blog Miss Moss, as well as creator of Diana Moss, which is an online portfolio of her website designs. One of the things I found so interesting about Diana Moss is that she doesn’t accept sponsored posts and she writes all of her own content, which certainly lends itself to her authenticity as an influencer.
Edith Jude - Editorial Naturalbeauty556 - NIGERIA
Nigerian beauty vlogger Edith Jude is the go-to woman to talk about all the unbeautiful beauty tips, tricks and hacks. We’re talking about all the things you only talk to yourself about - prettying armpits, smoothing the skin in the bikini area, removing dark spots on your face and your inner thighs, belly fat, less-than-perfect boobs. And she’s absolutely CRUSHING IT. She has racked-up more than 208 million views on her YouTube channel Editorial Naturalbeauty556, which is her primary platform. In addition, she has crossed the 12K mark on Instagram (@is_editorial). Jude is the founder of the Editorial Beauty blog.
Nasrin Suleiman - Tanzania - @nazyxo
Nasrin Suleiman (@nazyxo) is a Tanzanian graphic designer, photographer and travel blogger whose growing Instagram following is nearing 80K. Her feed is full of the most amazing seaside photos.
Wilson - @wilsonphotographer - ANGOLA
Wilson Photographer is a photographer (@wilsonphotographer), designer (@wilsondesigner), and videographer from Angola. You have to see his feed. His photography is gorgeous; his primary Instagram account is a work of art. Together with his Facebook page, he has amassed an audience of more than 30K followers.
Ihssane Benalluch - @ihssanebenalluch - MOROCCO
Ihssane Benalluch (@ihssanebenalluch) is a popular lifestyle influencer, journalist and vlogger from Morocco. She has 990K followers on Instagram, and more than 600K subscribers to her YouTube channel, 29M+ video views and 62K Facebook followers. She creates multimedia content about everything from her family life, to cooking, to beauty tips.
So, what do you think? I know I missed tons of great influencers. Who do you think should have made the list? Let us know because you have to know round 2 is coming.
I wrote a bit about my methodology to describe how I went from 400 Internet users to 1294 African potential influencers, down to the 17 I chose in this LinkedIn post. It's a short read, but it will probably help you get a better understanding of how influencer targeting works in real life.
Happy Mandela Day!
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