Throughout the series, the cast forms connections with each other in the city of Johannesburg. Although the cast members each have substantial social media followings, the Netflix program is their first venture into reality TV. Before the series airs on Netflix, see who the Young, Famous, and African cast are and how they started.
Diamond Platnumz, real name Nasibu Abdul Juma Issack, is a Tanzanian bongo Flava recording artist, dancer, and philanthropist. In addition to his art, Diamond also has a knack for entrepreneurship.
According to his Instagram page, he is the CEO and founder of WCB Wasafi Record Label, Zoom Extra, Wasafi Bet, and Wasafi Media. However, the 32-year old multitalented star began his music career long before his business efforts.
When he first entered the music industry in 2007, Diamond wanted to be a rapper. But Diamond changed his mind after realizing rap wouldn’t make his career thrive.
“When I started making music, I started off with rap,” he said in an interview, per Sound City. "But when I did my calculations, I saw that rap is not taking me anywhere. I was struggling. I had to switch styles.”
Khanyilese Mbau is a South African actress, television host, and artist based in Soweto. According to her IMDb, she’s been acting since 2014 and landed a spot on Dancing With the Stars. However, the 36-year-old divorcee took a small hiatus from working in 2019. She recently landed a starring role on Showmax’s The Wife.
“I am over the moon,” Khanyi told the Saturday Star, per IOL. “This is the resurrection of my acting career and the neatest challenge I have been given in a very long time.”
The Red Room star will likely work on the show while filming Young, Famous, and African. Khanyi recently revealed how excited she is about the show on her Instagram page.
Nadia Nakai Kandava is a South African-born Zimbabwean rapper, songwriter, and television personality. The 31-year-old artist first received her big break in 2011 when she joined fellow rapper Cassper Nyovest’s record label, Family Tree. After spending over a decade with the label, Nadia recently ended her relationship with Family Tree and went under new management.
According to her DRUM interview, the “40 Bars” rapper stated she wanted to switch up her management to “grow” outside her old label. Nadia also told the outlet she’s excited to see what being a part of the Young, Famous, and African cast has in store when it premieres.
“I am excited about this year; I plan to drop an EP and an album,” Nadia said. “And the Netflix African reality show is coming out in the first quarter of this year, which is also a big deal, and I am excited about that debut. It is about how we have our growth, impact, and what we do to elevate our careers. It is an interesting and amazing show with a cast of hard-working people I can’t wait for people to see.”
Annie Macaulay-Idiba is a Nigerian model, presenter, and actress. According to Glamour South Africa, she worked as a child actor and eventually reached superstar status in her country. In 2009, Annie received the "Best Supporting Actress" nomination at the Nollywood Awards. She’s also produced several videos titled Front Door and Front Door 2.
As a Young, Famous, and African cast member, Annie will give her fans a glimpse into her home life. In 2012, she married 2Baba and became a “super mom” to their children. Although she didn’t enjoy being away from her family while filming, Annie told Glamour she’s looking forward to showing her authentic self on the show.
“There’s no hiding anything with me. I’m like see-through glass,” Annie said after stating that she’s “humbled and grateful for the opportunity.”
Andile Ncube is a television personality and producer. According to his IMDb, he worked as a presenter for several episodes of The X Factor South Africa. The gig came after multiple hosting opportunities he received since starting his career in 2003.
Although he’s proud of his career, Andile doesn’t focus on it much on Instagram. Instead, he shares several at-home moments with his partner, Sebabatso Mothibi, and his children. In addition to his 1-year-old son with Sebabatso, he also has two other kids from previous relationships.
Zarinah “Zari” Hassan is a socialite, entrepreneur, and musician based in Jinja. After attending school in London for music, she launched her career at home. While there, she met and eventually married her husband, Ivan Ssemwanga. Throughout their marriage, the couple also co-founded Brooklyn City Colleges, which is headquartered in Pretoria and has satellite campuses throughout South Africa. When Ivan died of a stroke in 2017, Zari took over as the CEO.
Zari will also see a familiar face while joining the Young, Famous, and African cast. The entrepreneur shares her two youngest children — Latifah and Prince Nillan — with Diamond Platinumz.
Swanky Jerry, real name Jeremiah Ogbodo, is a Nigerian celebrity stylist. In 2012, he launched Swanky Signatures Styling and began gaining notable clientele. According to his Instagram page, Swanky has received several accolades throughout his career, including Forbes Africa's 30 under 30 lists and the Forbes Icon award.
As a celebrity stylist, it’s no surprise that he will interact with one of his notable clients on the show. Annie’s husband, 2Baba, is also joining the cast and has worked with Jerry in the past.
When does ‘Young, Famous, and African’ air on Netflix?
Young, Famous, and African will premiere on Netflix on March 18. While preparing for the premiere, many cast members posted the trailer via social media. In addition to sharing the drama from the show, Netflix promised viewers that “shade never felt this cold” among Africa’s elite.
“Young, Famous, and African follows a group of young, affluent, and famous media personalities from across the continent who come together in Joburg on a quest to make new connections, find love, and possibly rekindle old flames,” the show’s description reads. “These jet-setters will see their relationships and patience tested as they mingle with the who’s who of African entertainment.”