31 August 2016
Sharing experiences that relate to your audience is one of the key things
several of South Africa’s most popular female vloggers have learned on their
journey towards internet fame and increasing followers online.
In celebrating Women’s Month, we talk to a few of them.
Friends Thembe Mahlaba, Bongeka Masango and Nwabisa Mda live and work in
Cape Town. Masango and Mahlaba are originally from Durban and Mda hails from
Johannesburg. The three young women say they had similar interests and decided
to discuss issues relating to them via YouTube.
The name of their collective was born when Mahlaba mistakenly said “pap
culture” instead of “popular culture” when they were talking about possible themes
and names. They laughed about it, paused and realised the name fitted. “Of course
we know that pap, the mealie meal, is something synonymous with South Africans,”
These young women have covered topics such as blessers, township tourism
and Project Find a Bae.
Watch Pap Culture’s taxi experiences in Cape Town:
Masango told the online magazine 10and5 that they were surprised by how well they had been received by their audience. “We are surprised at how excited people are to watch our content and also how engaging people are.”
Mahlaba added: “The thing we always say is: ‘Guys we had this conversation
amongst ourselves, obviously we are extending it to you. Without coming out corny,
we want to be your friends.'”
The women of Pap Culture say their favourite female vloggers include beauty
and lifestyle vlogger Cynthia Gwebu, comedian Anne Hirsch, television presenter
and comedian Farieda Metsileng, and the web series Foxy Five, the story of five women and sisterhood.
Watch Pap Culture host television personality Khanyi Mbau on their show:
Anne Hirsch was one of the guests featured on Pap Culture’s Ride Along vlog.
On her (s)talk series, The Anne Hirsch Show local celebrities are invited to visit Hirsch.
Apart from the opportunity to hug these celebrities, Hirsch gets them to take
part in an activity. For instance, radio DJ Anele Mdoda was asked to go through her
phone contacts to call the most famous person on there.
After numerous calls to local celebrities, Olympic medallist and well-known
swimmer Cameron van der Burgh answered his phone.
Watch Mdoda and Hirsch discuss local celebrities – and then try to phone
Hirch and her team started the show in 2013. “It’s not really ‘vlogging’, as I
think that’s more like a video diary, although I suppose The Anne Hirsch
Show is a diary of my celebrity stalking in a way.
“It’s been such an amazing ride with my team so far. We’ve done some crazy
things and we’re looking forward to taking the show further.”
She is happy they have the freedom to do what they like with it. “Sometimes
this counts against us of course, but there’s something wonderful about making
content, putting it out there and then people actually watching it,” she says.
“And of course [I enjoy] smelling celebrities, lots of smelling of celebrities.”
Hirsch says she learned that you could put anything online. “People will kind of
like it as long as you make a fool of yourself.”
Her favourite female vloggers are the team of Pap Culture.
Watch Hirsch with comedian Marc Lottering on her show:
Nadia Jaftha started off as a fashion vlogger. She told radio station Cape Talk that she was showing more videos of her interacting with her family, especially her mother, though. “When I started doing funny videos, more people started messaging and following me. This
is because I became more relatable.”
Watch Jaftha and her mother doing their make-up without using a
She started pranking her mother – first by acting as if she was smoking in front
of her mother,who threw margarine at her. Jaftha’s audience thought this was
hilarious. “My mother has always been against me smoking. When I smoked in front
of her, she was ready to literally kill me,” Jaftha laughed.
“She got even more upset when she found out she wasn’t in on it.”
She was the only one – the whole of Jaftha’s household knew about the prank
beforehand. Her audience loved seeing her mother upset, she says.
Watch Jaftha and her mother going to the gym:
Suzelle DIY recently celebrated their 100 000th subscriber by teaching viewers “How to make a piñata”. Suzelle became an internet sensation through her do it yourself videos on YouTube. On her shows, she motivates her viewers to be creative, “because anybody can [do it yourself]” as she says.
Watch Suzelle show you
how to make a piñata for a party:
In another video, Suzelle shows her viewers “How to dolly your trolley”. She
tells them to be eco-friendly – for example by taking their own basket to the
supermarket for their groceries. “You don’t have to use any packets, because the
basket can go straight into your car,” she says.
Another popular video is Suzelle showing her audience how to make a braai
pie. She has even had Tim Noakes on her show to help show viewers how to make
pizza out of cauliflower.
Her greatest tool was not something you would find in a tool box because it
was her creativity, she told Media Club South Africa. “Sometimes when you don’t
have the tool, you need to get creative,” she explained.
Suzelle has also recently helped a friend and freelance game park ranger, Ryno
Erasmus, launch his YouTube show, Ryno in the Bush.
Watch Suzelle show you how to make a cinderblock bench:
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