For more information, please contact Mauro Black at [email protected]


BUSINESS UPDATE - 16 January 2018

ZAlebs becomes an official member of the IAB SA

The IAB SA is the official representative of the South African digital industry to all sectors, including the marketing community, the media, the South African government and the public.This non-profit association currently represents more than 200 members including online publishers, brands and educational institutions, as well as creative, media and digital agencies. 

Through our membership we have access to a platform where we can engage and interact with each other and address digital issues of common interest, thereby stimulating learning and growth within the South African digital space. 

Additionally, this has opened up the door for ZAlebs to become a partner in Effective Measure; the most important website ranking entity out there. Sites are ranked based on the number of unique browsers aggregated, in addition to the gathering of demographic data from website visitors to increase the effectiveness of marketing initiatives. 

The ZAlebs team is very excited to join both initiatives and start playing a more active role as an industry leader.


SPECIAL FEATURE - 01 December 2017

Following our 20 September  release we were contacted by The Media (print magazine) and The Media Online about doing a special feature on our Executive Editor Zibuyile Dladla. Find the full online article HERE.

The Media Online - feature article Zibuyile Dladla ZAlebs

Get your hands on The Media magazine November issue (in stores 1 December) for a print version!


PRESS RELEASE - 18 October 2017

South African Fashion Week & ZAlebs Partner Up

SAFW and ZAlebs Are Proud To Announce A Collaboration To Bring Together The Most Engaged Audience And The Biggest Fashion Event in South Africa

Johannesburg, 17 October 2017: What is hot in South Africa? Please ask ZAlebs, one of the most popular websites for the young, the fashionable and the cool in the nation. With a focus on lifestyle and celebrity news, fashion, music and events, it is only logical ZAlebs is now one of the official partners for SAFW in the promotion of their Autumn and Winter 2017/2018 event.  

ZAlebs SAFW - The Business Of Fashion

“We are very excited about this collaboration and the two brands are a great fit. We can offer our audience exclusive, behind-the-scenes insights and interviews with starring fashion designers, as well as the chance to win tickets to shows and other prizes. We help raise awareness of the event, the shows and collections, as well as drive traffic to the site for SAFW to generate sales. This is the biggest style event in the country and as it is a returning event, we hope this is the beginning of a lasting partnership.” says Mauro Black, Managing Director of ZAlebs.

The interest of ZAlebs’ following in fashion is certainly there. Pieces on style trends and ‘Who wore it best’ get top reach and engagement numbers among its 10 million fans and followers on the site and social media. The partnering this time will entail ZAlebs coverage on interviews, running of competitions for the audience to win tickets to fashion tickets and fashion accessories, social media coverage and distribution, as well as programmatic advertising for the event. 



PRESS RELEASE - 20 September 2017

South Africa’s ZAlebs Announces New Leadership And Continuing Growth

ZAlebs Is Proud To Announce The Appointment Of Managing Director Mauro Black As The Fastest-Growing Site In The Country Enters Its Next Phase Of Growth

Johannesburg, 20 September 2017: Effective immediately, Mauro Black is the new Managing Director of ZAlebs, responsible for not only its continued growth in South Africa but also heading up the company as it seeks to expand throughout Southern and Sub-Saharan Africa. ZAlebs’ total monthly engagement continues to be in excess of 10 million young black South Africans.

“I am very happy to join such a young and dynamic website that enjoys impressive popularity, and I know I can contribute to making ZAlebs an even stronger, more modern and diverse brand focused on giving our audience what it wants,” says Mauro Black, Managing Director of ZAlebs. 

Mauro Black, Managing Director @ ZAlebsMauro Black - Managing Director @ ZAlebs

He continued by saying “This is one of very few sites that is able to actively capture the attention of a hard-to-tap-into audience. The ZAlebs audience is 90% in South Africa, over 90% black and between the ages of 18 and 35 years old – there is a huge potential for advertisers who want to collaborate with us and engage with our audience. This is one of the largest sites in South Africa and growth will continue.”

Mauro joins the company after a successful career at several media companies, including most recently CNBC Africa as well as Provantage Media Group and Times Media. His work has been awarded multiple times, and he brings a diverse portfolio to the forefront that promises interesting new paths for ZAlebs. Plans to expand content to include music and more video, become active in event design and organization, and syndication are all on Mauro’s plate to help assess and launch. 

“Our evolution has been impressive, and this is the right moment to bring Mauro into the ring as he has the work experience and attitude we need to take ZAlebs to the next level. With the engagement rates and reach we are seeing across our website and social media channels, there is so much more potential for us as a brand to get involved in the topics of most interest to our audience – video, fashion, music and events.” tells Zibuyile Dladla, Executive Editor for ZAlebs.

“At the core of our success is our amazing content team tapping into what young, black South Africans want, and fostering a close relationship with our followers. It is the popularity of our content that have made us a successful partner for MSN, and we are approached almost daily by other content networks, advertisers and media agencies about how we can connect our hyper-engaged followers to their brands and products.” adds James Cannon Boyce, one of the primary partners in ZAlebs.

Gisele Wertheim Aymes, an additional partner in the company, explains: “We are very excited about the phase ZAlebs is in right now, and the excitement and experience Mauro is bringing to the team. The South African media landscape has shifted dramatically in recent times, and traditional marketing and sales strategies have to be combined with more dynamic content and experience offerings. This is where ZAlebs is and will be strong.”



BUSINESS UPDATE - 10 August 2017

We Have The Best Fans

300,000 Facebook Page Likes and counting. Our followers across social media channels, as well as unique website visitors, just keep growing. Not only do we reach a truly impressive number of young, black South Africans, but they are so MOVED by our content  that we get engagement numbers that no other site can claim!

Facebook 300000 likes

 Whether it's an article on an up-and-coming musician, an update from our style editor on what's up this winter, a piece on a famous actress speaking out against domestic abuse, or  an exclusive Q&A with your favorite South African celebrity, ZAlebs will  continue to try and offer our audience the latest on Life, Love and What's Hot.


BUSINESS UPDATE -  07 July 2017

Finger-Lickin' Good Music and ZAlebs

South African youth love fast food and music. The KFC Soundbite campaign therefore provided the perfect opportunity for the ZAlebs fan base to engage with the KFC brand. And engage they did!


South African youth love fast food and music. The KFC Soundbite campaign, therefore, provided the perfect opportunity for the ZAlebs fan base to engage with the KFC brand. And engage they did!

After a previous collaboration on the trail-blazing Soundbite The Movement campaign which started in August 2015, the ZAlebs team jumped at the opportunity to report on all the celebrity buzz on the relaunch of the innovative services. 

KFC and their media partners have truly found their way into South African's hearts; recognizing that people not only flood its outlets because of the luscious chicken but because the brand is cool. They support young, local artists and musicians, utilize innovative technology and online platforms, and make great music available to the public for free.

ZAlebs audience simply ate up the coverage on the celebrity tweeting on the campaign content with one website article and one video, pushed on our social media channels, reaching over 145,000 South Africans. Highlights included:

  • 4,500 Video Views
  • 17 Shares on 1 Facebook post
  • 9,703 Unique page views on 1 website article
  • 2,487 Impressions on 1 Instagram post
  • 11,640 Overall unique page views
  • 145,000 Overall reach

Kentucky Fried Chicken is planning more stages in the development and outreach of the Soundbite campaign over the next months, and we at ZAlebs cannot wait to sink our teeth in!


BUSINESS UPDATE - 20 June 2017

ZAlebs Actively Supports The South African Anti-Smoking Campaign 

Smoking is not for children, and both ZAlebs and the British American Tobacco support the raising of the legal smoking age in South Africa to 18 years.

British American Tobacco Anti Youth Smoking

Through the strategic placement of banner ads on the ZAlebs homepage starting 20 June 2017, we are helping to raise awareness of the legality of buying and selling of tobacco and hopefully contribute to a reduction in youth smoking. 

Read more about the campaign here.


PRESS RELEASE - 05 June 2017

The Fastest Growing South African Website Does It Again

ZAlebs Record-Setting Growth Continues In May With Over 1,400,000 Site Visits, 3,000,000 Page Views, 6,000,000 Facebook Engagements And 2,000,000 Twitter Impressions

Ms. Zibuyile Dladla - Executive Director @ ZAlebs

Johannesburg, 5 June 2017: ZAlebs ( the leading South Africa lifestyle website with a focus on “Life Love And What’s Hot” in South Africa, is proud to release record-setting numbers for May which continue the surge in traffic and engagement with young black South Africans. This rapid growth of the site intensified with Bhala Ventures assuming control of the brand in January of this year.

“We continue to see day to day and even hour to hour that young, black South Africans want a site that talks about what is important to us, and shares the latest news about the people we know and care about,” according to  Zibuyile Dladla, the Executive Editor of ZAlebs. 

She continued by saying “Our audience is 90% in South Africa, 90% black and between the ages of 18 and 35 years old – we have over 500,000 unique visitors in this market making us, we believe, the largest site in South Africa and definitely the most engaged.”

ZAlebs is run by Ms. Dladla out of Johannesburg with support from Bhala Ventures, the venture and media development company founded by Gisele Wertheim Aymes, publisher of Longevity and former publisher of ELLE SA and ELLE DÉCOR SA, and James Cannon Boyce, formerly of the Huffington Post, and digital strategist behind (RED) during its early years.

“I have never seen a site with the passionate engagement that you see on ZAlebs – on Twitter, we often have posts with 30% engagement rate and on Facebook we average over 200,000 engagements every single day”, told James Cannon Boyce.

Gisele added by saying “Advertisers and brands are starting to notice that sites like ZAlebs have the audience they really want and the numbers are really there” and further noted that brands such as KFC, ShowMax, Research Unit and RwandAir have all begun working with ZAlebs. 

Other highlights of ZAlebs’ May results include:

  • Over 50% of the audience, or more than 700,000 visits, per month are within the key 25 – 34 age demographic
  • The audience remains female skewed but still attracts over 200,000 site visits from male South Africans every month.
  • The audience is firmly focused on Gauteng with close to a million visits a month occurring in this one province.
  • 80% of the traffic is mobile, with Vodacom and MTN being the dominant carriers.
  • Top stories routinely receive over 20,000 page views on in a single day.

“We have big goals for growth and some next steps – we are adding to our team, we just launched our first email program and our content is growing every week – we want to see if we can get to 1 million unique visitors and then go from there.” Zibuyile further noted.

James explains: “We see this as a model that will continue to boom in South Africa and then we are looking at other countries where there is a real need to build a local, smart, fun engaging site for people within that country that is built for them and by them.” He confirmed that the company is looking at countries ranging from Kenya to Nigeria and hopes to be live soon in at least one more country.

“I have seen the media landscape shift dramatically in South Africa in the last five years – and even more so in the last 18 - 24 months. The brands from Europe that used to attract so much interest are in decline and the marketers are catching up to where the audiences truly are.” Gisele shares. She tells the story of meeting a young South African graduate recently who confirmed that ZAlebs was their go-to site, telling Gisele “This is my site, it’s where I go every day to find out what is important to me.”



PRESS RELEASE - 12 May 2017

Where Style And “Life Love Gossip” Find The Perfect Match

South Africa’s most innovative luxury accessory brand and favorite lifestyle website are making waves as Research Unit and ZAlebs tighten ties

Cape Town, 12 May 2017: ZAlebs ( has recently added another great brand to its growing list of collaborators. Crafted in South Africa, Research Unit ( was founded by young couple Erin-Lee and Chad Petersen in Cape Town in 2011.

Being dissatisfied with the offer of leather products in South Africa at the time, they made it their mission to redefine the concept of luxury and to bring handcrafted quality leather goods to the fore.  Their combined experience in luxury retail, Erin’s background in Journalism and Marketing and Chad’s background in Engineering and Industrial Design contributed massively to taking this concept to the next level.

RU Berliner Duffle - Olive

They started their research on YouTube and quickly had a growing following of RU-enthusiasts encouraging them to expand and set up shops for their then simple billfold design. The range now includes a variety of high-quality canvas and leather products, including the new, very popular Berliner Duffle Bag, shoppers, clutches, wallets, as well as the iconic Scoutpack.

The coolness factor of the RU story and the high quality of these beautiful accessories make RU a perfect fit for ZAlebs and its young, stylish, black South African fans and readers, especially seeing as how ZAlebs continues to rapidly grow and define the 18 to 34-year old black South African audience. In April alone the site received over 1 million first-time visitors, and with a developing focus on “Life Love Gossip” ZAlebs is dominant in social media in South Africa with over 5 million Facebook engagements every month. 

“When we were looking for brands to partner with, ZAlebs stood out – not only because it is a South African brand looking to encapsulate a broader lifestyle identity like we are, but because it has the young, dynamic South African audience we are looking to connect to,” said Erin-Lee Peterson, Co-Founder Research Unit.

Aside from highlighting more of RU’s amazing products through online advertising and connecting fans of both brands through newsletters and giveaways, the ZAlebs team will also work together with Erin-Lee and Chad on exciting events taking place later this year to expand on both brands’ youthful, stylish and quality profiles.