It’s just days after we hosted the first-ever COSMOPOLITAN Influencer Awards ceremony, in partnership with Bernini and African Extracts, and we still can’t (read: won’t) stop talking about it. The event was held at the gorge SMAC Gallery in Keyes Art Mile, Johannesburg on Thursday, 27 June.
COSMO editor-in-chief Holly Meadows and her team invited guests to celebrate the force of strategic digital entrepreneurs who have used social media to turn content into currency – proving that content is kween!
The categories for the awards included: Best Style Influencer, Best Beauty Influencer, Best Travel Influencer, Best Health & Wellness Influencer, Best Newcomer, Best Disruptor, Best Celebrity and Influencer of the Year Sparkle Award.
Thanks to our COSMO readers for nominating their favourite influencers in March. After a three-month selection process, the COSMO team chose the eight leading content stars for 2019.
Meet The Winners Who Are Creating Tables, Taking Seats and Shaking Things Up!
Best Newcomer Influencer: Kiara Kittner (@by_kiara)
She’s new to the social-media scene, but she’s definitely making her mark. Kiara has grown her following in a considerably short period of time. With just over 16 000 followers, she produces written, visual and video content of an exceptional standard. She is in the process of creating her very own IG filter so that her followers can enjoy her minimalist yet modern aesthetic.
Best Style Influencer: Sarah Langa (@sarahlanga)
This category celebrates fashion’s finest influencer who not only sets trends but also provides authentic and organic content that makes her an authority on all things style-related. Sarah serves followers with a daily dose of style inspo. She has consistently grown her brand, has collaborated with some of the most luxurious brands and has her own fashion business, selling pre-owned designer goods.
Best Disruptor Influencer: Yoliswa Mqoco (@yoliswa_mqoco)
This award celebrates an influencer who is using social media to disrupt the status quo and advocate for social change. Yoliswa is breaking down the stigma around mental illness, and she’s an advocate for LGBTQIA+ visibility and rights. Her love for fashion and social media has inspired her to push for body diversity and inclusive representation in media and fashion advertising.
Best Travel Influencer: Thithi Nteta (@travelgirlboss)
This award celebrates the wanderlust go-to girl – an influencer who takes their followers on a journey in an exciting and engaging way. This is not just about dropping locations, but leveraging the experience to teach followers about these destinations. Thithi is not only a boss babe during her 9-5 – she is a seasoned content creator whose travel content has evolved over the years. With more than 33k followers, she is your go-to gal for stylish tips, tricks and trips.
Best Health & Wellness Influencer: Juanita Khumalo (@juakhumalo)
This category is awarded to an influencer who encourages and motivates their followers to lead healthier lifestyles, while engaging with their audience in an authentic and educational way. Juanita has proven to be the authority with regards to wellness and fitness. She has gained more than 18 000 followers on Instagram, and she’s constantly inspiring and motivating South African women to look and feel their best.
Best Lifestyle Influencer: Kefilwe Mabote (@kefilwe_mabote)
After we received an overwhelming number of nominations for influencers who featured a hybrid of content relating to fashion, beauty, food and travel, we created this category. Kefilwe is business-savvy, a true content perfectionist and she does not compromise on staying true to her personal brand identity.
Best Celebrity Influencer: Bonang Matheba (@bonang_m)
This category is awarded to a celebrity who uses their social-media influence to market their own brand in a relatable and powerful manner. And you can’t say power without thinking of B! She recently picked up a Global Social Award in Prague, has produced her own movie, Public Figure (about the psychological effects of fame and social media) and, most importantly, she has used her platform for social change with her bursary empowerment foundation.
COSMOPOLITAN Influencer of the Year Sparkle Award and Best Beauty Influencer: Mihlali Ndamase (@mihlalii_n)
We chose this boss babe for multiple reasons, and one of them includes reaching an incredible 100 000 subscribers on her YouTube channel (she now has more than 150 000!), being the first black female beauty influencer in SA to do so. Her rise to the top is nothing short of phenomenal. She is a master video content creator and has also dedicated her time to give back and empower young, underprivileged girls through her very own Siyasizana Foundation.
Huge congratulations to our eight influential winners – they’re paving the way for those following in their footsteps!
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