An age of unlikely superheroes

Thanks to digital media the 2010s saw some unorthodox cultural spin-offs that produced some unlikely superstars.

This decade all you needed was a mobile phone, Instagram account and latest photo editing apps to create the content that people signed up for.

How dare you think that millennials are self-obsessed and lazy? They are coining it with user-generated content that has empowered the young. Beauty influencer Mihlali Ndamase used her curvaceous figure to break the internet. Plus-sized model Lesego "ThickLeeyonce" Legobane became the face of body positivity.

Visual artist Trevor Stuurman's camera connected him with the likes of Naomi Campbell and Vogue. Sbahle Mpisane and Nkateko "Takkies" Dinwiddy became the fitness bunnies.

Moshe Ndiki used YouTube to become this year's most sought-after male star. Provocateur Zodwa Wabantu went panty-less and the rest has been pop culture history.

This decade also saw the rise of Reality TV stars. From Nonhle Goes to Hollywood in 2011, a whole new world of the reality show star was birthed.

Sunday night television moved from movie night to reality TV night.

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Viewers tuned into Our Perfect Wedding just to hear Thembisa Mdoda say "sifike, sabona, satshatisa!" Jub Jub gave cheating drama and trash TV a new meaning with Uyajola 9/9. Thousands of single women yearned to be wife number five of polygamist and Uthando Nesthembu star Musa Mseleku.

Stars such as Bonang Matheba, Somizi Mhlongo, Faith Nketsi and Lasizwe Dambuza opened the doors of their homes to Mzansi. But Penny Penny has the best reality show of them all, Papa Penny Ahee!

Trevor Noah replaced Jon Stewart as the host of The Daily Show. Pearl Thusi joined Priyanka Chopra in espionage drama Quantico, before securing a lead role in Netflix's Queen Sono.

Emmy nominee Thuso Mbedu booked a lead role in Barry Jenkins's upcoming TV drama The Underground Railroad, while Nomzamo Mbatha joined Eddie Murphy in the Coming To America remake.

Atandwa and John Kani as well as Connie Chiume were part of Black Panther's star-studded cast. Guess what? Xhosa is the official language of Wakanda. We have lost count of the number of times that Soweto Gospel Choir and Ladysmith Black Mambazo have collected Grammy awards.

Sho Madjozi, DJ Black Coffee and Sjava scooped BET Awards. Zozibini Tunzi (2019) and Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters (2017) won Miss Universe, while Rolene Strauss (2014) won Miss World. Beyonce featured Busiswa, Moonchild, DJ Lag and Anatii on her songs.

Kwesta collaborated with Wale and Rick Ross. Controversial LGBTI+ film Inxeba: The Wound caused an international stir. Nelson Makamo's iconic artwork graced the cover of Times magazine.

In fashion, Kimberley-born Thebe Magugu became the first African designer to win the prestigious LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers.

David Tlale, Rich Mnisi, Quiteria & George, MmusoMaxwell, Laduma Ngxokolo, Marianne Fassler and Gert-Johan Coetzee, Paledi Segapo became the go-to designers for Oprah Winfrey, Beyonce, Naomi Campbell, Tevin Campbell, and Florence Kasumba.

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