Reality television is a guilty pleasure we’ve all found ourselves completely lost in at one point or another, and how could it be complete without the drama from our local celebrities and socialites?
With glamourous lifestyles, TV-worthy cat fights, and deep dives into the personal lives of some of South Africa’s most recognised celebs, these queens opened a window into their lives for the country to get a glimpse of their daily hustle.
From the legendary one liners from Queen B to intense emotional moments from the Ranakas, these ladies have kept us entertained with their onscreen antics and offscreen controversies.
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Here are some of our favourite Mzansi A-listers who have made it to reality TV royalty:
1. Kelly Khumalo
The self-proclaimed Voice of Africa has had a meteoric rise to fame over the years, and her fair share of controversies to match. The musician has risen the ranks of the entertainment industry with her award-winning vocals, and has viewers glued to their screens with three seasons of her Showmax original series Life with Kelly Khumalo.
Kelly has been the subject of intense scrutiny in the public eye for a good portion of her career, with high-profile relationships and conspiracy theories circling her career. But one thing Kelly knows how to do is to keep us hooked with her intimate glimpses into the woman behind the headlines.
2. Khanyi Mbau
A socialite and actress who is essentially seen as a talent in the world of television, Khanyi Mbau has managed to make a lucrative career out of her onscreen appearances, whether she’s showcasing her acting chops in beloved shows like The Wife or grabbing the spotlight as herself.
From her successful talk show Katch it with Khanyi to reinventing herself and showcasing her luxury on Mbau Reloaded: Always Rise and Young, Famous & African, Khanyi remains a force in the industry.
3. Sorisha Naidoo
Real Housewives of Durban’s Sorisha Naidoo has been a fan favourite since the show’s inception in 2021, with her high-class lifestyle and nurturing demeanor winning over viewers.
Since the airing of the third season in February 2023, the businesswoman and jetsetter has been trending all over social media with very mixed opinions. Her newly direct and straight forward approach has left fans reeling and questioning motives, but the drama is what we live for.
4. Dineo Ranaka
No reality TV queens list would be complete without Dineo Ranaka, the famed actress, radio, and TV personality who has taken us through the journeys of her personal and professional life since 2016 in her reality show Dineo’s Diary.
The success of Dineo’s Diary, which brought to the viewers her fun and relatable family, saw the birth of The Ranakas, a show centred around the lives of Dineo, her siblings and parents, which has cemented the family as a fan favourite.
5. Evodia Mogase
“What a joke, my darling!”
Who could forget the iconic line that came from Real Housewives of Johannesburg’s Evodia Mogase – who referred to herself and became affectionately known as Madam. The entrepreneur and self-described motivational speaker had audiences in stitches when the show premiered in 2018 and in her short-lived reality series Madam & Mercy in 2020, and she hasn’t left our minds since.
6. Bonang Matheba
Queen B needs no introduction. The successful socialite, media personality and businesswoman has amassed a following like no other through her radio and TV stints. From People’s Choice Awards to Forbes lists, Bonang has had quite the journey in her career.
What her fans would most recognise her from would be her reality show Being Bonang which aired for three seasons from 2019. The series spotlighted her business ventures and rise to mogul status, and with talks of something new on the horizon, Mzansi can’t get enough of her.
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7. Buli G
Certified as a successful businesswoman in the Eastern Cape, having been in the radio and media industry for 20 years with the personality to match, Buli G Ngomane is just the figure needed in the Gqeberha’s instalment of the Real Housewives franchise.
Buli G has grabbed the attention of Real Housewives of Gqeberha stans countrywide with her bubbly yet straight-talking attitude and continues to stir up the drama that keeps viewers wanting more.
8. Faith Nketsi
Faith Nketsi-Njilo has been shaking up the entertainment scene and making headlines after bursting into the scene as a dancer in the dance group Pro Twerkers, performing and making appearances in chart-topping music videos in the 2010s.
Faith ventured into the reality TV market in 2021 with her smash hit series Have Faith, which shows her navigating the world of business and entertainment as she takes her friends along for the ride.