SA stars who made big strides internationally in 2023

DJ Black Coffee. Picture: Instagram

DJ Black Coffee. Picture: Instagram

Published Dec 7, 2023


DJ Black Coffee

In October, Grammy award-winning music DJ Black Coffee, real name Nkosinathi Maphumulo, marked a career-defining moment after becoming the first South African artist to fill Madison Square Gardens in New York City.

The musician from Umlazi, Durban, was lauded for making history and flying the SA flag high.

“The dream is becoming a reality. See you Saturday, NYC,” he said ahead of the event.

It is no secret that Maphumulo has been making big strides in his career, solidifying his name on many international platforms.

Trevor Noah. Photo by Jeff Schear/Getty Images for Comedy Central

Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah’s infectious personality has garnered him millions of followers across the globe, having hosted The Daily Show, one of the biggest shows in the US.

The renowned Erasmus Prize 2023 was bestowed upon Noah earlier this year.

The award was given to the international talent for original contribution to the theme “In Praise of Folly”, named after Erasmus’ most renowned book, which is loaded with humour, social critique, and political satire.

Noah was honoured for sustaining the “Erasmian Spirit” in the eyes of the jury with his sharp-minded, caustic yet inclusive political humour.

He has staked his claim in the realm of contemporary political satire as a humorist, television presenter, political pundit, philanthropist, and author.

Musa Keys. Picture: Instagram/@musakeys

Musa Keys

This year has been eventful for Musa Keys, having bagged one of the recognitions globally, a Grammy Award, for his hit song Unavailable with the Nigerian multi-award-winning artist Davido.

Critically acclaimed comedian Trevor Noah, and rising stars Tyla, and Musa Keys, joined other well-known global giants in celebrating this momentous milestone.

He is one of the two South African celebrities who were nominated for the first time as the organisation revealed its 2024 line-up.

Fresh from scooping an award at the inaugural Trace Awards that were held in Rwanda, Musa Keys is also making his name known.

With a certified gold single with Davido in the US, multiple music awards, and his first US tour under his belt, Musa Keys is thrilled to be returning home to host the largest homecoming event in Limpopo.

Media personality Bonang Matheba. Photo Supplied

Bonang Matheba

Dubbed an “icon of glamour” by many, Bonang Matheba celebrated one of the turning points in her career following her appearance at the Le Défilé L'Oréal Paris 2023 Paris Fashion Week, in France.

Matheba stunned thousands of her admirers by walking the star-studded runway in a magnificent maxi dress and receiving praise for her significant progress.

With more than 5 million fans, the well-known star tweeted her excitement and said: “Never in my wildest thoughts. Many thanks,” @lorealparis.

She has also been a consistent partner to the internationally acclaimed brand Steve Madden showcasing its glittering line of shows and bags.

Tyla. Picture: Instagram/@Tyla


Tyla had an eventful year, following the release of her hit song Water.

Millions of people throughout the world have been singing and dancing to her well-known tune which is dominating charts in other countries.

The artist has also been giving interviews on big shows, where she has shared her passion for music.

She is also one of three South Africans nominated for a Grammy Award, along with Musa Keys and Trevor Noah.

Aside from the stunning success of her chart-topping single “Water”, millions of admirers have voiced their admiration for Tyla’s genuine personality.

Born Tyla Seethal, she has interestingly taken over musically beyond South African borders recently, achieving a significant milestone in her career after the song was announced to have broken the record for the highest-charting Solo Song by an African Female Artist on the Billboard Hot 100 in 56 years.

Thuso Mbedu. Photo Supplied

Thuso Mbedu

After bagging a major role in the Hollywood blockbuster The Woman King, the internationally acclaimed actress Thuso Mbedu continues to solidify her name.

In May, Mbedu joined L’Oréal Paris’ line-up of international brand ambassadors, including British actress and activist Gemma Chan and actor and entrepreneur Anushka Sharma.