South African Female Writers

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite South African Female Writers

 1 Prue Leith

Prue Leith
5
Famous As: Restaurateur
Birthdate: February 18, 1940
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: South Africa

British-South African chef and culinary expert Prue Leith had begun her career with a lunch-supplying business. She later launched her Michelin-starred restaurant Leith's in Notting Hill and a culinary school. Best known as a judge on The Great British Menu, she is also associated with various charitable initiatives.

 2 Nadine Gordimer

Nadine Gordimer
3
Famous As: Writer, Political Activist
Birthdate: November 20, 1923
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Transvaal, South Africa
Died: July 13, 2014

Nadine Gordimer was a South African political activist and writer. Gordimer, who wrote extensively on racial and moral issues such as apartheid in South Africa, was honored with the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature. An important member of the anti-apartheid movement, Nadine Gordimer's advice to Nelson Mandela led to his famous 1964 defense speech, which eventually led to his conviction.

 3 Zindzi Mandela

Zindzi Mandela
5
Famous As: Diplomat
Birthdate: December 23, 1960
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Johannesburg, South Africa
Died: July 13, 2020

Zindzi Mandela was a South African poet and diplomat best known as the daughter of the famous anti-apartheid activist, Nelson Mandela. From 1996 to 1998, she also served as a temporary First Lady of South Africa. Over the years, she has been portrayed in films and TV films, such as Mrs Mandela (2009), Invictus (2009), and Mandela (1987).

 4 Mary Renault

Mary Renault
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: September 4, 1905
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: December 13, 1983

Mary Renault was a British writer best remembered for her historical novels. Some of her historical novels, such as The King Must Die and The Bull from the Sea were adapted into a BBC Radio 4 serial. Although she is renowned for her fictional portrayals of prominent real-life characters like Alexander the Great, Mary Renault also wrote Alexander's non-fiction biography.

 5 Ruth First

Ruth First
3
Famous As: Author, Politician, University teacher, Writer, Journalist, Martyr, Political activist
Birthdate: May 4, 1925
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Johannesburg
Died: August 17, 1982

South African activist/journalist Ruth First is remembered for her relentless fight against apartheid. Born to Latvian immigrants and founders of the South African Communist Party, First was later tried for treason and detained. While working at a Mozambican university in exile, she was assassinated in a parcel bomb attack

 6 Olive Schreiner

Olive Schreiner
2
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: March 24, 1855
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lesotho
Died: December 11, 1920

 7 Fatima Meer

Fatima Meer
2
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: August 12, 1928
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Durban, South Africa
Died: March 12, 2010
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 8 Ingrid Jonker

Ingrid Jonker
2
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: September 19, 1933
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Douglas, South Africa
Died: July 19, 1965

 9 Bessie Emery Head

Bessie Emery Head
2
Birthdate: July 6, 1937
Sun Sign: Cancer
Died: April 17, 1986

 10 Lauren St John

Lauren St John
1
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: November 30, 1966
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kadoma, Zimbabwe

 11 Heidi Holland

Heidi Holland
1
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: October 6, 1947
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Johannesburg, South Africa
Died: August 11, 2012

 12 Elsa Joubert

Elsa Joubert
1
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: October 19, 1922
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paarl, Cape Province, Union of South Africa
Died: June 14, 2020

 13 Mary Benson

Mary Benson
1
Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: December 8, 1919
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Pretoria, South Africa
Died: June 19, 2000

 14 Sarah Millin

Sarah Millin
1
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: March 19, 1889
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: South Africa
Died: July 6, 1968