Nowadays being a YouTuber can be a full time job, whereas before it was thought of as more of a hobby. Putting the time and effort into content creation on this platform leads to a horde of subscribers to your channel.
We used social media measurement tool SocialBlade (which is YouTube approved and pulls data directly from the platform’s own application programming interface) to find out which South Africans make up the top 15 most subscribed YouTubers in the country. Note: we’re only listing individuals or duos and not YouTube channels of companies.
Scraping into the top 15 is Julia Anastasopoulos, with her character Suzelle. As the name of the channel implies, Suzelle posts bite-sized do it yourself (DIY) tutorials, which make DIY a breeze. As her tagline says, “DIY, because anybody can”. Her friend Marianne regularly appears in her videos to assist with projects and she has translated her YouTube success into multiple mainstream media appearances.
Subscribers: 123 614
Total views: 23 287 392
Joined YouTube: 7 May 2014
Number of posts: 76
Estimated monthly earnings: $79 – $1.3K
Estimated yearly earnings: $943 – $15.1K
Most popular video: How to Make a Cinderblock Bench (2 607 482 views)
Air Arms ambassador Matt Dubber uses his YouTube channel to promote the sport of Airgun Hunting & Shooting through videos of shooting tutorials, equipment reviews, hunting documentaries, and compilations. If you love animals then this channel is not for you, but fans of hunting are the channel’s target audience.
Subscribers: 134 449
Total views: 27 494 382
Joined YouTube: 13 June 2011
Number of posts: 177
Estimated monthly earnings: $248 – $4K
Estimated yearly earnings: $3K – $47.7K
Most popular video: Egyptian Goose Pest Control with an Airgun (3 562 780 views)
Some people may find the below video disturbing.
13: Derick Watts & The Sunday Blues
The comedy duo of Nic and Gareth serve up to their subscribers a uniquely awkward, piquant style of humour, with a wide variety of comedy videos, including original animated shorts, music videos, parodies and social satire. Their channel description reflects their approach to videos with part of it stating, “In their spare time, they enjoy writing channel biographies and receiving unsolicited phone calls from telemarketers. They have also stolen your car’s hubcaps whilst you were reading this.”
Subscribers: 148 004
Total views: 54 628 642
Joined YouTube: 4 September 2011
Number of posts: 73
Estimated monthly earnings: $300 – $4.8K
Estimated yearly earnings: $3.6K – $57.5K
Most popular video: Do You Wanna Build A Wall? – Donald Trump (Frozen Parody) (24 231 865 views)
12: Rob The Ranger Wildlife Videos
If you’re a wildlife and nature lover then there is plenty of content on this channel to keep you engaged and entertained. It features videos of wildlife sightings in the Kruger National Park and as the description of the channel explains it is “Real Animals, Real Situations, Real Africa”.
Subscribers: 148 926
Total views: 156 716 771
Joined YouTube: 15 March 2008
Number of posts: 2 027
Estimated monthly earnings: $1.4K – $22.7K
Estimated yearly earnings: $17K – $272K
Most popular video: White Rhino Marking His Territory (16,603,545 views)
11: Skip to the Beat
The first of four channels dedicated to music on this list, this YouTuber brings their subscribers videos of the best beat drops in music tracks used in vines, soccer score videos and popular songs. Aiming to keep the party pumping, it is unfortunate that this YouTuber has not posted a new video in around 8 months.
Subscribers: 171 404
Total views: 35 522 218
Joined YouTube: 25 February 2011
Number of posts: 34
Estimated monthly earnings: $80 – $1.3K
Estimated yearly earnings: $957 – $15.3K
Most popular video: The Best Beat Drops and Vine Songs Mega Mix (257 songs) (10,318,872 views)
10: Caitlin de Ville
This Zambian musician, based in South Africa, posts videos of her electric violin covers of songs, as well as vlogs about her life, particularly regarding her musical performances. De Ville has performed in 25 countries to date around the world, including for royalty, presidents and world leaders, and has utilised YouTube to not only promote her music, but herself as well.
Subscribers: 186 245
Total views: 41 276 553
Joined YouTube: 23 March 2009
Number of posts: 84
Estimated monthly earnings: $1.4K – $22.1K
Estimated yearly earnings: $16.6K – $265.1K
Most popular video: Rockabye (Clean Bandit ft. Sean Paul & Anne-Marie – Electric Violin Cover (8 238 017 views)
9: CRASH driven
The person behind this channel (unknown at time of writing) is a gamer who posts videos around their game play (specifically vehicle crashes) on BeamNG.drive, a vehicle simulation video game. Having only joined YouTube in the middle of last year, this user has racked up an impressive number of subscribers and views for such a young channel.
Subscribers: 216 118
Total views: 65 493 991
Joined YouTube: 17 May 2016
Number of posts: 305
Estimated monthly earnings: $1.4K – $22.2K
Estimated yearly earnings: $16.7K – $266.7K
Most popular video: BEST OF INSANE CRASHES 10 000 Subscriber Special (3 425 155 views)
8: Theodora Lee
The sister of well-known YouTuber Caspar Lee (he features later on in this list), Theodora has charted her own YouTube course, posting videos mostly around physical, mental and spiritual wellness. As she says in her channel description, “Explore my playlists for advice, love and all things life.”
Subscribers: 235 169
Total views: 11 894 159
Joined YouTube: 16 October 2010
Number of posts: 145
Estimated monthly earnings: $10 – $167
Estimated yearly earnings: $125 – $2K
Most popular video: Boyfriend vs. Brother (1 710 051 views)
Gamers are some of the most subscribed to channels on YouTube including Jacksepticeye, Markiplier and the most subscribed to YouTuber of all time Pewdiepie. This South African gamer posts videos around his game play of Minecraft Pocket Edition. The game consists of players building things in a world using blocks and tools, while trying to avoid enemies such as spiders and zombies.
Subscribers: 238 779
Total views: 48 382 612
Joined YouTube: 25 December 2012
Number of posts: 353
Estimated monthly earnings: $125 – $2K
Estimated yearly earnings: $1.5K – $24K
Most popular video: Minecraft PE 0.12.0 Gameplay (CONCEPT) (1 950 691 views)
6: Trevor Noah
Despite not posting on this channel for more than a year now, Trevor Noah’s official YouTube channel still remains in the top 10 for most subscribers. Consisting mostly of clips from his various comedy performances, Noah seems to have now shifted his focus to a new YouTube channel that he is involved in, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.
Subscribers: 415 743
Total views: 50 381 438
Joined YouTube: 19 October 2006
Number of posts: 27
Estimated monthly earnings: $165 – $2.6K
Estimated yearly earnings: $2K – $31.6K
Most popular video: Zambia loves escalators, just “don’t be gay”. (6 575 530 views)
5: Kruger Sightings
Created by young entrepreneur Nadav Ossendryver this channel is dedicated to videos of wildlife sights from national parks across Africa. People submit their recorded sightings, so the content is not all being created by Ossendryver, which is not the same as most of the other channels on this list. If you love wildlife and nature, then this definitely the channel for you to visit!
Subscribers: 529 377
Total views: 544 064 774
Joined YouTube: 5 January 2011
Number of posts: 308
Estimated monthly earnings: $2.9K – $47.1K
Estimated yearly earnings: $35.3K – $564.9K
Most popular video: Lion Shows Tourists Why You Must Stay Inside Your Car (94 271 597 views)
4: Cobus Potgieter
With an obsession for cheese, based on his channel’s description, this musician posts videos mostly of himself drumming. He also vlogs a bit, showing himself on tour with bands and playing gigs. This part of his channel description sums it up best: “I am a normal dude from a small town in South Africa and I’m just trying to pursue the things that I am passionate about, while connecting with people the world over. Connection over attention, always.”
Subscribers: 712 362
Total views: 213 589 165
Joined YouTube: 1 August 2006
Number of posts: 187
Estimated monthly earnings: $394 – $6.3K
Estimated yearly earnings: $4.7K – $75.7K
Most popular video: Avenged Sevenfold – Afterlife (Drum Cover) (9 919 050 views)
Hosted by Peter Carvell, this channel is dedicated to fitness workouts with the following description: “www.sixpackfactory.com is all about helping you get ripped in the shortest possible time. NO BS, just straight forward, hardcore workouts that will help you get six pack abs fast. So if you are tired of all the SCAMS out there today and just want honest and free advice on workouts and eating plans that will get lean quickly, then welcome to your final destination!”
Subscribers: 1 083 698
Total views: 179 559 483
Joined YouTube: 7 August 2006
Number of posts: 558
Estimated monthly earnings: $704 – $11.3K
Estimated yearly earnings: $8.5K – $135.2K
Most popular video: Get 6 Pack Abs in 12 minutes, This Workout Works! (12 574 583 views)
2: Die Antwoord
The oftentimes controversial hip-hop duo of Yolandi Visser and Ninja (real name Watkin Tudor Jones), bring their zef style to YouTube, posting their music videos and official audio tracks onto their channel. Most recently the band has been releasing their final album, The Book of Zef, as well as previewing a new project, Zef TV.
Subscribers: 1 515 624
Total views: 432 438 468
Joined YouTube: 20 January 2012
Number of posts: 79
Estimated monthly earnings: $3.1K – $50.2K
Estimated yearly earnings: $37.6K – $601.9K
Most popular video: Ugly Boy music video (100 804 483 views)
Caution: The video below contains strong language.
1: Caspar Lee
While not technically South African (he was born in London England but grew up in South Africa, before moving back to London), we will claim Lee as one of our own. His uploads consist of a variety of formats, from pranks and challenges to celebrity appearances. What is most interesting is that he beats the second placed channel by more than five million subscribers, and his second channel, morecaspar, would be ranked number 2, if it was not combined in this entry. It just shows you how far behind the rest of South Africa’s YouTubers are.
Subscribers: 7 510 622 on his main channel, 1 989 182 on his second channel.
Total views: 819 016 633 on his main channel, 114 433 188 on his second channel.
Joined YouTube: 10 November 2011 for his main channel, 25 October 2012 for his second channel.
Number of posts: 288 on his main channel, 175 on his second channel.
Estimated monthly earnings: $6K – $95.4K
Estimated yearly earnings: $71.6K – $1.1M
Most popular video: Girlfriend pranks my roommate (21 321 618 views) on his main channel, Reaction to ThatcherJoe pranks (4 397 884 views) on his second channel.
All data was sourced from SocialBlade and was correct as of writing.
All embedded videos courtesy of the YouTuber’s channel.
If there is a channel that is not on this list, which you feel was overlooked, please email email@example.com.
Follow Michael Bratt on Twitter @MichaelBratt8