by MediaSlut (@MediaSlut) 2016 is drawing to a close, so it’s the perfect time to reflect upon some of the best, worst and most-talked-about magazine covers over the past 12 months. For the fifth year running, the 10 best South African magazine covers are a true testament to the high standards of the South African magazine industry, and definitely something to be proud of!

Here’s the publishing schedule for this year’s #MagLoveTop10 series:

Find a cover we should know about? Tweet us at @Marklives and @MediaSlut.
Pinterest icon Want to view all the covers at a glance? See our MagLove Pinterest board!

View 2015’s best South African magazine covers here.

#10. SA Rugby, August 2016

SA Rugby, August 2016

We’re starting off our countdown of Top 10 South African covers with our Blitzbokke. This SA Rugby cover was a really motivational cover with very high hopes, and beautifully done in green and gold, and the boys did everything they could to go for Gold. They still made us extremely proud by flying back home with Bronze medals around their necks! Read more here.

This is SA Rubgy’s second appearance on this list. In 2013, it made it to #1.


#9. Taalgenoot, Winter 2016

Taalgenoot, Winter 2016

For its winter issue, newly engaged couple, Tinarie van Wyk-Loots and Erik Holm, were quite, uhm, naked, but they definitely warmed things up with their chemistry and story of love. I saw this cover and cover story as raw and real, as it showed wheelchair-bound Holm in sometimes compromising positions yet, at the same time, at complete peace with himself and his partner. Read more here.

This is Taalgenoot’s second appearance on this list. In 2015, it made it to #4.

#8. DESTINY, July 2016

DESTINY, July 2016: Lira

#TeamLira looked #amazing and #fierce with this stunning black-and-white suit ensemble, with just a touch of red! She’s such an amazing, talented and Proudly South African export! The #powerhouse returns to our screens in 2017, as she’s once again a judge on The Voice South Africa. Read more here.

This is Destiny’s second appearance on this list. In 2015, it made it to #3.


#7. Car, March 2016

CAR, March 2016

I’m still not too sure whether Toyota Hilux or Ford Ranger drove off into the sunset as the winner, but I’m sure this cover caused a stir among hardcore Toyota/Ford fans, and created some very interesting watercooler conversations! I really like that these two vehicles weren’t over-styled (all clean and shiny) but presented all splattered to show they are rough and tough. Read more here.

(In 2017, it seems as if Car magazine will drive away as the overall winner, as Top Gear and TopCar magazines won’t be published anymore.)

This is Car’s first appearance on this list.


#6. Landbou Weekblad, 25 November 2016

Landbou Weekblad, 25 November 2016

As the child of a farmer, I became emotional when I saw this cover for the first time, as it captures such a beautiful and special moment of a farmer, as well of being a father. With the drought South Africa is currently facing, it’s the little rays of sunshine and happiness like this that makes one feel positive…

This is Landbou Weekblad’s first appearance on this list.

#5. British Airways High Life (South Africa), July 2016

British Airways High Life (South Africa), July 2016

Not only has British Airways’ High Life South Africa magazine consistently created brilliant and strong covers, its cover lines have been masterpieces in their own right! I refer to this effect as an onion because, with every cover line you read, you peel away a new layer, which reveals a different dimension and angle to the cover story. Read more here.

In this case, the cover lines reads:

Just another day at the office
(if you’re a caver)
Explore SA’s most secluded spots — with real agents of the underground

This is High Life’s fourth appearance on this list. In 2014, it made it to #1; in 2013, it made it to #3; and, in 2012, it made it to #4.


#4. Getaway, August 2016

Getaway, August 2016

With this cover, it’s almost as if we’re getting a glimpse of a very personal moment between these two majestic animals! It’s completed by great lighting for extra effect, and framed by trees that pull your attention straight to them. Read more here.

This is Getaway’s fifth appearance on this list — that’s five out of five! In 2015, it was #2; in 2014, it was #3; in 2013, it was #6; and, in 2012, it was #1.


#3. ELLE (South Africa), December 2016

ELLE South Africa, December 2016: Caster Semenya

ELLE South Africa definitely struck gold by placing Rio Olympic Gold medallist, Caster Semenya, on its cover, and the amazing, positive cover story and feature that went with it! Altogether, this made massive waves all around SA, plus got international coverage. Everything surrounding it just gives off positive vibes, and truly celebrates the amazing athlete and person that Semenya is. Read more here.

Watch ELLE’s behind-the-scenes video here:

This is Elle South Africa’s second appearance on this list. In 2015, it was #1.


#2. Financial Mail, 20 October 2016

Financial Mail, 20 October 2016: Thuli Madonsela

Some are already calling for our very own Superwoman to be in the running for President of South Africa, come the 2019 general elections, and support groups with tens of thousands of fans are popping up everywhere —#ThuliForPresident even trended at one stage! Financial Mail covered the essence of this Wonder Woman, as it celebrated her “last battle”. Adv Thuli Mandonsela is someone we may all be extremely proud of, and it’s great that we’re all able to celebrate and support her in so many ways. The future of SA looks extremely promising with someone like her in it… Read more here.

This is Financial Mail’s first appearance on this list.


#1. DESTINY Man, June 2016

DESTINY Man, June 2016: Nelson Makamo

SA artists don’t get nearly the exposure and support they should receive, as we’ve got amazing talents who need to be celebrated, not just by those who can afford it but by everyone who can appreciate it. This DESTINY Man cover with artist, Nelson Makamo, captures something extremely beautiful and special, screaming ‘talent and creativity’! Massive kudos to the DESTINY Man team for pulling off this vibrant and positive cover, and giving exposure to this brilliant mind and artist! Read more here.

This is DESTINY Man’s first appearance on this list.


Once again, I want to thank all the SA magazine publishers for always pushing the boundaries, and producing these world-class covers!


MediaSlutMagLove by @MediaSlut is a regular slot featuring the best local and international magazine covers every week, recognising well thought-out, powerful and interesting (and hopefully all three-in-one) covers and celebrating the mix of pragmatism, creativity and personal taste that created each of them. The anonymous (for now) blogger behind MediaSlut knows way too much for his own good about media in South Africa, magazines in particular. His mission is to show when SA magazines fail but, most importantly, also when they succeed. If you’re looking for a library about SA magazines and news, this is your one-stop pitstop.

Sign up now for the MarkLives email newsletter every Monday and Thursday, now including headlines from the company newsroom service!

Online CPD Courses Psychology Online CPD Courses Marketing analytics software Marketing analytics software for small business Business management software Business accounting software Gearbox repair company Makeup artist