The South African film industry is moving in leaps and bounds. The top-earning South African screen personalities can even rival the earnings of actors and actresses anywhere in the world. This is because South African films are becoming more popular all over the world, and also because South African movie stars are finding a bigger audience all over the world.
As a matter of fact, some of the names on this list would surprise you because they are not only popular but because they are established personalities that have featured side by side with some of the biggest names in the world of movies. South Africa is probably the place to be if you intend to find a stepping stone to Hollywood, or if you want to become a world-recognized screen icon.
The South African movie industry may not be the best in Africa. But when it comes to movie industries in Africa with the highest-paid actors and actresses, South Africa is not one of those you can ignore. The industry has a good number of outstanding actors and actresses. In fact, a good number of its actors and actresses have featured in foreign moves. But who among all South African actors and actresses, is the highest-paid? Well, this is why we wrote this article, and let’s get to it.
Highest-Paid Actors/Actresses in South Africa
1. Charlize Theron
Charlize Theron is a South African and American actress and producer. She is the person to beat right now when it comes to supremacy in Hollywood. She is one of the world’s highest-paid actresses right now, and it did not come by luck. Charlize Theron has proven her worth in several blockbusters. She has played prominent roles in top movies like The Italian Job (2003), Hancock (2008), Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), and The Old Guard (2020).
She has won several awards including Academy Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, and others. She has also been named among the 100 most influential people in the world.
2. Sello Maake Ka-Ncube
Sello Maake is perhaps the most recognized face in the South Africa home-based film industry. Interestingly, when you think about the South African movie industry as a non-South African, Sello Maake’s face is the first thing that comes to mind. No wonder he has represented South Africa in so many top movies. Sello Maake was Lucas Nyathi in the film Scandal, and he was Archie Moroka in Generations. He was also in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and Taxi to Soweto. Hiring Sello Maake for a film is quite an expensive venture; you will need to shell out anywhere from R200,000 to R300,000 every month.
He has been in the movie industry for a very long time and only a very few South African actors and actresses can match his acting skills. Aside from having acted in the South African movie industry, the man also happens to have acted in the movie industries of other countries. And some of these countries in question, include the United States, Great Britain, and Canada.
And as you would expect, Sello Maake Ka-Ncube is the recipient of many local and international awards. He has been receiving awards since 1994, and it isn’t uncommon to see him receive new awards these days.
3. Jamie Bartlett
Jamie Bartlett is one of the highest-paid actors in South Africa, and he earned that right with over thirty years of consistently top-notch performances. He was Mike O’Reilly on Insidingo, he played the role of David Genaro in Rhythm City. He was once a judge on South Africa’s Got Talent. He has starred alongside Idris Elba, Anjelina Jolie, and other super-stars in major international movies.
If you want to feature Jamie Bartlett in your production then you will have to be willing to pay between R100,000 to R200,000 per month. Even with the money, it may be easy to get him because he is usually quite busy in Hollywood.
4. Moshidi Motshegwa
Moshidi Motshegwa is one of the highest paid actresses in South Africa. She played Ledwaba on SABC2 series, Zero Tolerance, and she has featured in so many films since then. Moshidi Motshengwa has also played in the movie, Drum with Taye Diggs. She is a major force to reckon with, and just having her on your screen can drive up interest and she knows it, which is why she charges about R100,000 to R160,000 per month for roles. She is no doubt one of the heavyweights of the SA film industry.
5. Minnie Dlamini
Minnie Dlamini has gained the reputation that enables her to have such a huge wage bill. She demands anywhere from R100,000 to R120,000 per month for roles which include acting in film productions, to hosting television programs. She has hosted and presented several music shows, and other live events on South African television.
6. Sizwe Dhlomo
Sizwe Dhlomo is also one of the highest-earning Television Personalities in South Africa; a good reason why he quit his career as a computer programmer to focus on Television production. He mostly works as a show host; in which case he is usually the first choice of the many production houses that seek his services.
7. Bonang Matheba
Bonang Matheba is one of the screen goddesses in South Africa that have earned the big bag of cash. She mostly enjoys hosting Television shows, in which case viewers don’t know whether to focus on her beautiful body or her lovely voice. She earns somewhere around R100,000 per month to feature on television shows, and she is quite highly sought after. She is also quite charitable; she has given out money on several occasions in support of the less privileged, especially in these troubled times.
8. Connie Ferguson
Connie Ferguson has cemented her place in the history books of South African television with over 25 years of undiluted talent, and powerful performances. She played the role of Karabo Moroka in the acclaimed South African television soap opera, Generations. She also played the role of Mavis Mabaso in the telenovela Rockville. She was also one of the stars of the movie, Danger Zone.
9. Unathi Msengana
Unathi Msengana is one of the television personalities that few people know she earns such a huge amount for features. She has gradually proven herself to be a very talented and versatile personality in the field of television with several very diverse roles which she has handled brilliantly. She has featured as a judge on the popular talent show, Idols, as well as played the host of the MetroFM breakfast show. The icing on the cake was when Disney Junior hired her to play a voice artist in the animated television show Doc McStuffins.
10. Sindi Dlathu
Sindi Dlathu earns big money for her acting roles, and it is not a mistake. She showed her prowess in the internationally acclaimed film, Sarafina. She has since grown from strength to strength with superb appearances in such films as Muvhango, The River, and so on. She is said to earn around R100,000 per month for her acting roles.
Television is big business; it can be a hugely rewarding venture indeed. Of course, the figures posted here are just estimates because acting contracts are not always calculated in monthly installments. For example; Charlize Theron can possibly charge several tens of millions of dollars for a movie role, and the filming could take a few months at a stretch to become reality. The same rule applies to any of the superstars on this list; they cannot truly be considered salary earners; some even get paid per appearance.
Some interesting works of Sello Maake has been involved in, include Othello, The Suit, Smallholding, Raisin in the Sun, The Good Woman of Sharkville, Guess Who’s Coming for Dinner, Prophets in The Black Sky, The Lion King, Aaron, Titus Andronicus, Othello: A South African Tale, Djadje: Last Night I Fell Off a Horse, Taxi to Soweto, Bopha!, The Good Fascist, Wheels and Deals, Dark City, The Rutanga Tapes, and A Dry White Season.
Some interesting popular movies Jammi Bartlett has featured in; American Ninja 2: The Confrontation, Sweet ‘n Short, American Ninja V, A Private Life, Ernest Goes to Africa, Bravo Two Zero, Beyond Borders, Red Dust, 12 Days of Terror, Avenger, Prey, White Lion, Nothing for Mahala, and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.
Some of the movies Moshidi Motshegwa featured in among others include Zero Tolerance, The River, Friends Indeed, Gaabo Motho, Flat 27, Generations, Justice For All, Joburg Blues, Behind the Badge, Ke Nnako, SOS, Hillside, and The Lab and Jozi H. We would also like to state that she is a recipient of many awards including the Golden Horn Award for Best Actress.