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    October 19, 2011

    Top 20 Followed South Africans on Twitter

    From DJs and entrepreneurs to celebrities and marketing mogules here is our top 20 most followed individual Twitter users in South Africa that we selected from a list of 100 and think you should follow. The top spot goes to artist Conor Mccreedy followed by 5FM DJ and Idol’s judge Gareth Cliff. Cricketer and test team captain Graeme Smith slots in at third place.

    So if you’re curious about what they have to say or eager to learn from their success click on the handle below and get tweeting.


    1. Conor Mccreedy (@CONORMCCREEDY)                    212, 704

    2. Gareth Cliff (@GarethCliff)                                            190, 830

    3. Graeme Smith (@GraemeSmith49)                            141, 454

    4. Nonhle Thema (@NonhleThema)                                 87, 129

    5. Nico Baird (@nicobaird)                                                 51, 948

    6. Steve Hofmeyr (@steve_hofmeyr)                                22, 563

    7. Justin Harrison (@justinharrison)                                  19, 125

    8. Quinton Carroll (@BigProfit)                                          15, 705

    9. Geoffrey Gordon (@geoffreygordon)                            15, 364

    10. Rob Vember (@Rob_Vember)                                     14, 658

    11. Donnette Davis (@donettedavis)                                14, 488

    12. Slapman (@slapman4u)                                               12, 168

    13. Matthew Bolkin (@Ixcoza)                                            8, 369

    14.  Kojo Baffoe (@kojoboffoe)                                            7, 613

    15. DerekD (@uncomman)                                                  7, 449

    16. Jack Maringa (@mringalnc)                                           7, 255

    17. Arthur C. Van Wyk (@arthur2point0)                          7, 134

    18. Griffin (@watkykjy)                                                         6, 502

    19. Reinhardt Gallow (@reinhardtgallow)                        6, 388

    20. Mike Saunders (@mikesaunders)                                5, 703


    Please note: The list above was sourced from twitaholics and was correct at the time of publishing and excludes group, publication and corporate accounts. The enitre list, from which we have chosen a selection of 20, may not be 100% accurate and figures may have changed, but we believe that it is a fair reflection of the popularity of individual users in South Africa.

    Update – title tweaked – Top 20 followed South African’s on Twitter. That was our goal – not the top 20 to follow.


    Listen in to our latest podcast!

    • She is a disgrace - Nonhle Thema (@NonhleThema)    take her off the list plz

    • Am I the only one that’s never heard of Conor Mccreedy before?

    • Stu

      And we should follow them why? Because they are popular?

      • I was actually going to ask that too, what criteria were taken into account to determine their positions. Can’t just follow people because they have a lot of followers 😀

    • Andrew

      A 1-liner bio of each person would have made this list more useful. 

      • Charl Norman

        Agreed – will include asap.

    • Lance

      Seth Rotherham – 2oceansvibe???? 15 000 plus followers?

      • Charl Norman

        We have excluded news destinations. @2oceansvibe is far from his personal account.

        • I second that, it’s like me combining @imodcoza and @ChristopherM, this was a list of personal accounts as per Kelly’s disclaimer 🙂

          • Douche

            then it would be like the most followers in the whole world ever. you are so awesome Chris M.

            • There’s always going to be an immature idiot amongst the pack. I hope leaving that comment made you feel great.

            • Gerald

              i liked the douches comment and your reply chris…..comments sans facebook can be fun:-) But well done to BWB for going for the controversy…..my bet is that this will generate the most traffic over the next 18-24months out of all the posts. 

    • Its because they are filtered by location as being South Africa, not for individual cities like johannesburg

    • Thanks guys. I am genuinely flattered. 

    • Glad to see that I am not following any of them.

    • Heya Kelly,

      Don’t get me wrong, this is a cool post and all, I just wanted to point out a few things, which you could perhaps take into account next time you do such a post.

      I’m not sure that twitaholic is the best place to draw statistics from and make such bold (TOP) statements. I looked around the site, I have 7000+ followers, yet I’m not on the South Africa page anywhere, but am on the Cape Town page.

      Further to this, I found that Alain van Heerden has 145,422 followers according to twitaholic, but upon visiting his @AlainVanHeerden Twitter account, he’s only got 887 followers – that’s an absolutely crazy difference?

      Cool list though, great to have an idea of who the people with big followings are, but I would have given the post a different title. Even the owner of the blog, Charl, has more followers than a few of the people on the list and he’s got a really firm position in South Africa, yet he’s not being listed as one of the “Top 20 South Africans to Follow on Twitter?”

      Cool list, just think it could have been done a little more accurately?

      Use it, don’t use it 🙂

      • Charl Norman

        Fair points – these lists can never be accurate. “Top” posts always cause controversy – thats why we did it. 

        • Sure thing! I’m just seeing BWB as a rising credible source, so I felt accuracy would be important, etc. No complaints, just opinion 🙂

    • Insane_insomniac

      I think there should be a variable for the ratio of following to followers. This will give a better indication of the account real popularity.

      • Interesting Insane_insomniac. I love this sort of discussion. What’s your opinion, someone with a ton of followers, but only following a few means that he/she should get more “points” in the authority algorithm? Interested to see how people think this should work as it’s a topic that interests me 🙂

        • Insane_insomniac

          Well if we look at celebs for example, they usually follow about 100 or so people. But in the list above there are  some accounts that follow 4000 plus accounts. To me this indicates a automatic tool that finds accounts and follows people. Cause I would be damned if I could think of 4000 people/companies/celebs to follow. This gives the account followers because hey, people like to follow back sometimes.

          So for example a profile has 4 000 followers and is following 3 700, This account should be lower in the ranking against an account that has 4 000 followers that only follows 100.

          • I agree with you, I always get a funny feeling when I see someone with 4000 followers and following 4000 people. I follow about 300 people and have 7000 odd followers, which does ring better, I don’t know more than 300 people worth following.

            Would be really interesting to work on an algorithm to determine this – blast, there goes my TV hour tonight 😉

            • Charl Norman

              Our mistake. Post title tweaked – Top 20 followed South African’s on Twitter. That was our goal – not the top 20 to follow. Those are impossible to do. 

              Agree with both of you. 

              Even now the list is not 100% accurate – hence the disclaimer.

            • Sweet!

              Now I should be in the list, so should you lol

            • That was a punk move. Obviously the author had intended the post to be her opinion of the “Top 20 South Africans to follow on Twitter”. Nobody said THIS blog is the absolute gospel.. it’s just the expression of an individual or collective opinion on a particular subject.. nothing more. 

              So how will readers trust this blog in future when you do a post on e.g. “The 10 best startups to work for in South Africa”???? (if it could easily change to “10 startups owned by people I know” in a day or two)

            • David

              Are you actually basing the credibility of this blog on a post about Twitter? Do me a favour.

            • All I’m saying is that a blog post.. any blog post.. is the expressed opinion of the author. Why change the title based on someone else’s whining? If Kelly decided to title her post as she did.. that’s her opinion. It’s not popular opinion or gospel. That’s like Seth Godin changing his book title to Green Cow because The Vatican complained about purple being the colour of heavenly royalty and cows are food.

            • Charl Norman

              From Kelly’s opening paragraph: “From DJs and entrepreneurs to celebrities and marketing mogules here is our top 20 most followed individual Twitter users in South Africa”

              The post was always an indication of local Twitter users with the most followers.

            • David

              Tweetadder? http://twittercounter.com/compare/ChristopherM/3month/followers

            • My Twitter policy is that if someone found me interesting enough to follow me, I should reciprocate by following them back.. until they give me a reason to unfollow them. This is the digital space where a lot more than what we can accomplish offline is possible, so why treat it like the real world where we actually only know around 300 people when we can build vast networks of people that we can market to as business people, share information with, learn from and connect one to another based on common interests or overlaps in certain areas.. 

              I think not using the full capability and/or capacity of the technology is nonsensical.

          • Or some of them made a point of following every one of their followers back.. since 2008, making it something that’s been happening for the last 3 years now.. 

    • Ben Mamathuba

      Don’t see @clairemawisa on the list…???? She’s got about 30,581 followers

      • Charl Norman

        We will add her and other to the list shortly.. give it another go. We know there are people missing from the list – hence disclaimer. 

    • Joe

      Hmm.. very 1990s, by this logic everybody should listen to KFM – I follow 0 out of this 20. Point me at something useful.

      • Charl Norman

        We’re not saying ‘follow these people’ – the post is more about featuring a selection of the top followed users in SA – there are some surprises there.

    • Thanks! Honored to be on this list!!

    • @DJFreshSA  over 130 000 not on list, so how accurate is your list???

      • John Savage

        Did you read the post? It says the list is not 100% accurate and its a selection of top 20 users.

    • Nonhle Thema is one siff human being.

    • You can try this list http://j-j.co.za/toptwits/ 

      • Justin

        Thanks for the mention Gerard. It was for exactly this reason I made my list. The other sources were just terribly inaccurate. Mine is what it is, accurate for those users I know about, at a point in time. Seems a bit more accurate an the one above, but needs a refresh. Will try do an update again at the end of the month.

    • Because twitterholic pulls from those who clearly state their location as South Africa, it is very misleading. That’s the reason why those like Fresh, Bonang, Lebo Mashile, Claire Mawisa, Khaya Dlanga, and countless others with large followings aren’t on list. I find tweet.grader.com a lot more interesting in reflecting some of the Top Twitter people in SA and beyond. End of day, it’ll never be accurate. My two cents.

      • I set my Twitter location as Durban, South Africa so on tweetgrader I come up for both Durban, KZN and South Africa. Not all tweeters are marketers.

    • &BaconStrips

      This is the most comments I’ve seen on BWB. Oh and btw Justin Harrison is a fraud.

      • Luis

        why do you say Justin Harrison is a Fraud?

    • These lists are never ever accurate – I know from my personal work links that there are many 5FM DJs missing…. people don’t accurately set their location on the profiles so it renders these ‘stats’ inaccurate.

      • Accuracy aside.. 2 hours later the list probably changed on Twitter.. altering the positioning of some on the list and removing some.. temporarily or forever.. 

        It’ll never be accurate cos the only thing we can really really rely on in the digital space is change..

    • Why am I not on this list 🙂 I should be at 8th. Hehe.

    • Nicole

      Obviously you haven’t seen @RichSimmondsZA