#MzansiStandUp: Tyla, Black Coffee, Thuso Mbedu & Uncle Waffles fly SA flag high

todayDecember 29, 2023 136 1

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As South Africans head into the new year, YNews is celebrating some of the country’s most recognised international acts.

Waving the South African flag high both locally and abroad, these young talents are breaking barriers in the entertainment industry.


Johannesburg-born singer, Tyla, joins a long list of South African musicians who’ve found global fame, with the release of her smash-hit “Water” in July.

The 21-year-old, whose real name is Tyla Laura Seethal, quickly solidified herself as one of Africa’s rising talents with the viral success of her catchy song. 

She’s the youngest ever South African artist to grace the Billboard Hot 100 chart, with “Water” becoming the first song by a South African to hit the prestigious list since the release of Hugh Masekela’s “Grazzing in the Grass” in 1968. 


 The track also landed Tyla a Grammy nomination for Best African Music Performance.

Artists, including Megan Thee Stallion, Christina Aguilera and Tinashe, were just some of the A-list celebs who took to social media to show their love for the smash hit.  

Since catapulting to global fame, some of Tyla’s career highlights include performing live on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and joining RNB heavyweight Chris Brown for his “Under the Influence” tour in Europe.

Black Coffee

Grammy award-winning DJ and producer Nkosinathi Maphumulo, better known as Black Coffee, cemented his position among the musical greats in October, when he became the first South African to fill the 20 000 seat capacity Madison Sqaure Garden in New York City. 

Top musical acts who’ve previously graced the world-famous stage include Elvis Presley, Stevie Wonder and Madonna. 

Industry veterans, including Oskido and DJ Sbu, took to their social media accounts to sing the musician’s praises. 

Mzansi’s first citizen, President Cyril Ramaphosa, also joined in the celebrations. 


Uncle Waffles

2023 was a big year for South African DJ and record producer, Lungelihle Zwane, professionally known as Uncle Waffles. 

The world took notice of the Eswatini-born DJ when Drake posted a video of Uncle Waffles dancing while deejaying.  

The 23-year-old, who made her entrance to the music industry as an amapiano DJ, has gone on to grace the cover of Forbes Africa and even had a KFC burger named after her! 

The Peacock Revisit hitmaker topped the year off by winning the GQ Women of the Year Award.

Taking to her Instagram, Uncle Waffles shared some of the highlights from her incredible year.

 Thuso Mbedu

Award-winning actress, Thuso Mbedu, was yet another South African to make history this year, becoming L’Oréal’s first Black brand ambassador for sub-Saharan Africa. 

Mbedu first gained recognition among local audiences in 2014, after landing a small role in the second season of the Mzansi Magic soapie, Isibaya

Since then, she’s gone on to share the screen with Hollywood heavyweights, including Oscar-winner Viola Davis, who she starred alongside in The Woman King.  

It’s only the beginning for the 32-year-old starlet, whose set to work alongside Avengers actor, Mark Ruffalo after recently being cast in a new HBO series. 

The untitled project will see Mbedu playing the role of Aleah, a sergeant detective who is recruited for a special task force. 

Written by: Naomi Kobbie

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