FEEL GOOD | 2019 - The year South African talent rightfully took up their space on the world stage

Zozibini Tunzi (Photo: Getty)
Zozibini Tunzi (Photo: Getty)

Cape Town - From the Ndlovu Youth Choir waving the South African flag high in Hollywood, to Sho Madjozi putting Limpopo on the world's radar - 2019 was the year South Africans proudly took up space and made the country proud. 

During the final round of questions at the 2019 Miss Universe pageant earlier this month, Zozibini Tunzi was asked: "What is the most important thing we should be teaching young girls today?" 

"Zozi's" answer gave South Africans gooseflesh: "I think the most important thing we should be teaching young girls today is leadership. I think we are the most powerful beings on the earth, and that we should be given every opportunity. That is what we should be teaching these young girls - to take up space. Nothing is as important as taking up space in society and cementing yourself."


Zozibini's words rang true in 2019, and here are four other South Africans who rightfully took their place on the world's stage this year:


In 2019, Tsonga rapper Sho Madjozi made history when she became the first South African female to walk away with the title of Best International Act at the annual BET Awards.

Sho ended 2019 just as strong as she started, with the release of her track John Cena which catapulted the 27-year-old to global stardom. 

Not to mention, she got the surprise of her life when she finally met John Cena in person when she appeared on The Kelly Clarkson Show in November - and he only had the most beautiful things to say about her!


Other than her incredible musical talent, and slew of awards, Sho has also inspired hundreds of young South Africans with her colourful fashion sense. 

Parents have taken to social media to share photos of their children sporting colourful hairstyles - with many hoping the award-winning artist will release a line of children's apparel in 2020.

A video of one girl in particular went viral, when instead of "Sho Madjozi braids" she got colourful beads - and the interaction with her parents is priceless.

2. Trevor Noah 

35-year-old Trevor Noah made South Africa proud when he received his first-ever Grammy nomination in 2019, after earlier in the month making history as the first African comedian to sell out Madison Square Garden

To top off his long list of success, Forbes released their list of the highest-paid comedians in the world for 2019, and Trevor ranked at number four.

ALSO READ: Trevor Noah on his Grammy nomination: 'What a life I've been blessed enough to live'

3. Ndlovu Youth Choir

The choir, who hails from Limpopo, captured the attention of global audiences with their inspiring America's Got Talent audition in June. 

Making it to the final of the reality show competition, the choir, unfortunately, fell short of the big-win, when California's Kodi Lee was crowned the season 14 winner.

After arriving home, choir director Ralf Schmitt revealed that the group had been offered a deal with Simon Cowell

Simon, who is one of the judges on the reality show, has produced and promoted albums for various singers, as well as signed Westlife, One Direction and CNCO.

"We are very excited that Simon Cowell and his company have exercised their option to sign the choir and together with Sony Music in South Africa are working on exciting projects," he said.

ALSO READ: From Limpopo to the top of the world: Ndlovu Youth Choir's incredible rise to international stardom!

4. John Kani

Empowaworx and The Speakers Firm honoured legendary actor, Dr John Kani, in November.

In 2019, the veteran actor took on the role of Rafiki in the remake of The Lion King, as well as Colonel Ulenga, alongside Jennifer Aniston in the Netflix original movie Murder Mystery.

At the time, according to the streaming service, the film had the biggest opening for an original movie in 2019!

In 2018, John starred in Black Panther, and with his experience, managed to influence the studio to adopt isiXhosa as Wakanda's official language.

ALSO READ:  John Kani, Adam Sandler, and Jennifer Aniston walk the red carpet at Los Angeles movie premiere

Compiled by Graye Morkel
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