5 Proudly South African Brands That Built a Global Following (2024)

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5 Proudly South African Brands That Built a Global Following (1)

From brands like SAB Miller, to personalities like DJ Black Coffee,there areplenty of reasons to be proudly South African,despite thechallenges the country faces.

South Africans love their local brands.TheIcon Brand survey byAsk Africa,a market research company, revealed that local brands resonate strongly with South African consumers because they give them a sense of belonging and trust.

And it’s not only South Africans who feel a strong connection with local brands. Globally, South African brands are becomingrecognisedfor their quality, innovation and very specific South African influence.

Here are our selection of 5 well-known brands and the moment each of them made us proud.


Nando’sis South Africa’s biggest restaurant export.
Image credit:Nando’slogo

Nando’sis aperi-perichicken franchise best known for their satirical and comedic advertising campaigns.

Launched in 1987 by Fernando Duarte and RobertBrozin,Nando’sis arguably one of South Africa’s biggest and most successful restaurant exports, having expanded to more than 30 countries so far including the US, UK, India, Portugal, and more than 1000 outlets worldwide, with head quarters inPorto, Portugal, andLondon, UK.

Stand with us: Print or pick up this sign at our DC restaurants and display it Inauguration Day.#EveryoneIsWelcomehttps://t.co/OTpR9AQZPR

Nando’sPERi-PERi(@NandosUSA)January 11, 2017

The restaurant chain has also taken their comedic ad campaigns global, poking fun at politicians like US President Donald Trump with their #EveryoneisWelcomecampaign, launched ahead of his inauguration in January this year.


Rooibosteas around the world.TheRooibosplant has become synonymous with South Africa. The plant is used in everything from hot tea, iced tea, cappuccinosto beauty and health-related products, and is well-known for its healthproperties.

The plant growsin South Africa’sfynbos, and is used commonly as a tea.Khoisanshaveused the leaves for centuries in theCederbergregion of South Africa, and the usage nearly ended with them until it was rediscovered by a botanist named CarlHumbergand interest in the tea was revived.

Rooibostea has become a popular choiceamong a variety of herbal teas around the world. According to a report on theSouth AfricanRooibostea market value chain,South Africa is the only exporter ofRooibostea in Africa and exports approximately more than 6000 tons per year.

Rooibostea is exported to more than 30 countries across the globe, including the UK, Australia, and the US.

The South African tea is even sold byone of the biggest US retailers, Walmart, and is one of the few truly South African products to be sold bythe major retailer.


South Africa’s leading beer brewer, SAB Miller.

The South African Breweries, or SAB Miller, is also flying the South African Brand flag high as the nation’s leading brewer and is one of the longest standing and mostrecognizablecompanies in the country. The beer brewerwas founded in 1895andwas the first industrial company to list on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

SAB Miller’s claim to fame hasn’tbeen one single moment but has over its 122history grown asa locally and internationally trusted brand.

In the 1970’s SAB madehistory by becoming the first South African corporate to instigate affirmative action and preferential procurement.

The 1990s was a profitable decade forSAB which celebrated 100 years with a marketcapitalisationofR30billion and a recordR10billion in added value for the South African economy. The company also began expandingto other parts of the world, including the UK and the US, and in 1996 becameone of the world’s top brewing-basedorganisations, a position it has maintained to this day.

Apart from their local and global success as a beer brewer, the brand has been lauded for its CSI initiatives – as a sponsor forvarious corporate social responsibility and economic empoweringprogrammes, for example, theTholoanaEnterpriseProgrammeandSABKickstarterProgramme, both which work to develop and support South African entrepreneurs.

Special Mention Goes To:


DJ Black Coffee andDeputy Minister of Communications StellaNdabeni-AbrahamsatPhefeniSecondary School in Soweto.
Image credit: Flickr/DJ Black Coffee

Black Coffee is an award-winning DJ and record producer who has released fivealbums since launching his careerin 1994.

His first big break camein 2003 when hewaschosen to participatein theRed Bull Music Academy, a world-traveling series of music workshops and festivals held in Cape Town. Since then he has become internationallyrecognised, havingtouredand performedin countrieslike Australia, Nigeria, the US, Brazil, Angola and Greece among others.

In 2012, Black Coffee released his much-anticipated DVD and CD, Africa Rising, which sold double platinum in thespace of a month, and later won the award for Best Dance Album at the 2013South African Music Awards.

Zone. ✈️ Nigeria Lagos tonight. #onemanband #Godsveryown

A post shared by Black Coffee (@realblackcoffee) on

His profile has continued to grow internationally. He has performedat some of the world’s biggest festivals, including the 2016 Ultra Music Festival andCoachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

DJ Black Coffee alsoboasts a list of international accolades, including the 2016 BETAward for Best International Act: Africa,2015 Breakthrough DJ Of The Yearaward at the DJAwards in Ibiza, and variousSAMAawards, and2016BET Awardfor Best International Act: Africa, making history as the first South African to win a BET award, and trumpingfellow South African nominees, AKA and CasperNyovest.

Most recently Black Coffee has also been in high demand to collaborate with international names, including US musiciansDrake andAlicia Keys.


Trevor Noah on The Daily Show.
Image credit:
Instagram/Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah is the South African funnyman who has captivated audiences with his national and international comedy shows.

Born and raised in Soweto, Noah started out as an actor and standup comedian.

Noah has performed for both local and international audiences. In2012, he made his debut inthe US performing his one-man comedy showTrevor Noah: The Racist,based on his similarly titled South African specialThat’s Racist.

It wasn’t long before Hollywood came calling – the comedian in 2012first appeared on theTonight Show and The Late Show with David Letterman.

Find you someone who looks at you the way Snoop looked at me after I won.#mtvmovieandtvawards2017pic.twitter.com/TTCz4JRCT2

— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah)May 8, 2017

His appearances on TV showsearned him a position at the Emmy award-winning television show The Daily Show in September 2014 as a contributorand fourmonths later, he was asked to take over from former host, Jon Stewart. Noah has been hosting the show since September 2015, which reached a spike in viewership the last few months, attracting over 1.5 million viewers in February, 17 percent from the year before.

5 Proudly South African Brands That Built a Global Following (2024)
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