How 3 of SA’s most famous families rose to fame

The Ranakas. (Photo: The Ranakas Instagram)
The Ranakas. (Photo: The Ranakas Instagram)

Long before we knew about the Kardashians, South Africa had –  and still has – quite a number of famous families. From the TV famous Ranakas to the Ngcobos who were made famous by their masikandi artist father Ihashi Elimhlophe.

Here’s how these influential families rose to fame.


The Ranakas are one of the most recognisable family in showbiz right now thanks to their successful reality TV show called The Ranakas. They came into the limelight through their talented daughters, actress Manaka and media personality Dineo.

Manaka has apart of productions such as Stokvel, Society, Gaz’ lam and currently Generations: The Legacy. Her sister Dineo wears many hats in the media space including a TV and radio preseneter, TV producer and her reality shows Dineo’s Diary and The Ranakas.

Through her reality show Dineo introduced us to the rest of her family, her mother, father and siblings Mpumi, Ziggy and Manaka.


The Ngcobo family embraces both their Zulu and Tsonga cultures. Everyone in the family can belt a note and sing you a tune. Their masikandi singer father Ihashi Elimhlophe and their mother Ebony has been in the music industry for decades.

While they were still young, Ntombi, Nkosinathi, Jabulani and Vusiwe had their own band called Amaponi. Even though Amaponi no longer make music, some of them are still active in the entertainment industry.

Ntombi ventured into television and radio presenting. Nkosinathi is his father’s back-up singer and dancer. Vusiwe is a qualified lawyer but also a Supersport presenter.


Were it not for their father Blondie Makhene, who was well known for his struggle songs, we might not have known the Makhenes.

Letoya, her two sisters and their cousin had a music band called s’Kool Girlz. It was one popular girls group of the 90s but the group ceased to exists after the passing of their mother Agnes Makhene.

The former Generations: The Legacy star and her father have recently partnered up to revive their music careers.

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