Why The Influencer Marketing Trend Is Catching On In SA And The Names You Should Get To Know

Updated on 1 January 2018

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Influencer, Aisha Baker.
Image via: Instagram/bakedonline. Pic by Rizqua Barnes

The influencer marketing trend is fast becoming a billion dollar market globally.

Although still a relatively new trend in South Africa, we are seeing more brands work in this marketing space, particularly within industries such as fashion, health and fitness.

It is a trend that is seen to hold huge benefits for brands, with a recent Adweek report stating that as much as “94% of those who’ve used influencer marketing believe the tactic to be effective” according to a Bizcommunity article.

Influencers’ growing popularity is no surprise, says Sara Maggioni, director of retail and buying at trend forecasting agency WGSN, in an article in Wanted Online.

“Influencers are fundamentally like celebrities/brand ambassadors, but the fact that they are ‘real people’ makes them more trustworthy and authentic as their followers can emulate them, they can buy into their lifestyle (or the idea of it) – something you can’t do with superstar celebrities as they are unreachable, a dream,” she says.

Maggioni explains that in commercial terms, influencers have the power of “influencing” people to purchase a product or engage with a brand. Brands and companies choose to work with influencers to reach their considerable following.

Faces such as photographer and major brand collaborator, Trevor Struurman and fitness entrepreneur, Cara-Lisa Sham, one of the local players in the multi-million Rand health and fitness sector, are part of the local influencer trend who are contributing to its growth.

Here are South African 6 Influencers who are carving their space in the local scene you should know about.

Trevor Stuurman
Street-Style Photographer, Blogger And Stylist
A celeb-favourite, Stuurman is a sought-after photographer and stylist who’s been invited to speak at various prestigious events such as the Black Portraiture Conference as well as Oxford University. He’s also worked with major fashion magazines such as Elle.

Brands Worked With: Woolworths, Absolut Vodka, Nike and Mini Clubman


Nadia Jafta
Fashion And Travel Blogger, Clothing Designer
Jaftha is regarded as one of SA’s rising internet sensations and shares a variety of content including style looks posts from her blog, Birdline, photo shoots and events on her Instagram page. Her travel adventures include places as exotic as the Crater of Taal Volcano and The Vatican.
Brands Worked With: Organics, Clinique SA


Health Blogger, Fitness Enthusiast, Wellness Coach, And Founder of the Caralishious Brand
Cara-Lisa Sham took her passion for nutrition, sports and dance and created her blog, Caralishious. She has since grown a sizeable following becoming an influencer through her blog and Instagram.
Brands Worked With: Adidas SA, Sudio


Mihlali Ndamase
Beauty Blogger And Make-Up Artist
Featured in numerous publication such as Elle, Ndamase built a name for herself through her YouTube channel and Instagram page where she has racked up an enormous following. She provides tips and tutorials on how to master various beauty skills on her social media channels. Ndamase is also the co-founder of Siyasizana Foundation, a non-profit organisation that supports underpriviledged children.
Brands Worked With: NYX, Mac, Superbalist, Labello


Aisha Baker
Fashion Blogger
Named one of the country’s best bloggers by Cosmopolitan, Aisha Baker began her blog, ‘Baked The Blog’ – a popular spot for everything from the latest looks to make-up tutorials, at 18 whilst studying at university.
Baker was last year part of the 2016 Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards, where she was nominated in the category of Favourite African Blogger and was also one of the winners of Glamour Magazine’s 2016 Most GLAMOURous Awards.

Brands Worked With: Estée Lauder South Africa, Maybelline


Lulama Wolf
Fashion Blogger
Lulama “Wolf” Mlambo is a fashion, art and food blogger. She made the Superbalists 100 in 2015. Mlambo is one of South Africa’s leading influencers popularly known for pushing the envelope with her sense of style and hair.
Brands Worked With: Woolworths, Rimmel London SA, Mercedes Benz



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