Resilient, gritty, and hardworking are some of the words that describe the people of South Africa. For a country that has been plagued by political turmoil and unrest for the major part of the 20th century, her inhabitants have always managed to bounce back with even higher determination than before. Centuries ago the country’s vast reserves of gold and diamond attracted the Europeans to settle here thereby influencing not just the cultural heritage, but also the social make up.

Elon MuskElon Musk
28 June 1971
Entrepreneur, Engineer, Inventor
Nelson MandelaNelson Mandela
18 July 1918
Anti-Apartheid Activist, President of ANC and

Charlize TheronCharlize Theron
07 August 1975

J. R. R. TolkienJ. R. R. Tolkien
03 January 1892

Trevor NoahTrevor Noah
20 February 1984
Actor, Comedian,TV host

Belle DelphineBelle Delphine
23 October 1999
Kimbal MuskKimbal Musk
20 September 1972
Venture Capitalist, Restaurateurs

Oscar PistoriusOscar Pistorius
22 November 1986

Tosca MuskTosca Musk
20 July 1974
Filmmaker, Entrepreneur
Cyril RamaphosaCyril Ramaphosa
17 November 1952
President of South Africa

Sarah BaartmanSarah Baartman
1787 AD
A Freak Show Attraction
1787 AD
Zulu Emperor

Jacob ZumaJacob Zuma
12 April 1942
Fourth President of South Africa

01 December 1984
Singer, Actress

Desmond TutuDesmond Tutu
07 October 1931
Anti-Apartheid Activist

AB de VilliersAB de Villiers
17 February 1984
Dave MatthewsDave Matthews
09 January 1967
Lead vocalist and guitarist for the Dave Matthews

F. W. de KlerkF. W. de Klerk
18 March 1936
Former State President of South Africa

Princess CharlenePrincess Charlene of Monaco
25 January 1978
Princess consort of Monaco

Demi-Leigh Nel-PetersDemi-Leigh Nel-Peters
28 June 1995
Model, Miss Universe 2017
Juliet ProwseJuliet Prowse
25 September 1936

steve bikoSteve Biko
18 December 1946
Anti-apartheid Activist
Glynis JohnsGlynis Johns
05 October 1923

David BaleDavid Bale
02 September 1941

Kevin CarterKevin Carter
13 September 1960
Reeva SteenkampReeva Steenkamp
19 August 1983

Winnie Madikizela-MandelaWinnie Madikizela-Mandela
26 September 1936
Politician, Anti-Apartheid Activist
Watkin Tudor JonesWatkin Tudor Jones
26 September 1974

Patrice MotsepePatrice Motsepe
28 January 1962

Alice KrigeAlice Krige
28 June 1954
Candice SwanepoelCandice Swanepoel
20 October 1988

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Gary PlayerGary Player
01 November 1935
South African golfer
Miriam MakebaMiriam Makeba
04 March 1932

P. W. BothaP. W. Botha
12 January 1916
Former Prime Minister of South Africa

Lucky DubeLucky Dube
03 August 1964

Cariba HeineCariba Heine
01 October 1988
Hendrik VerwoerdHendrik Verwoerd
08 September 1901
Sobhuza IISobhuza II
22 July 1899
Former King of Swaziland

John KaniJohn Kani
30 August 1942
Actor, Playwright, Director

J. M. CoetzeeJ. M. Coetzee
09 February 1940
Novelist, Author

Christiaan BarnardChristiaan Barnard
08 November 1922
Cardiac Surgeon
Paul KrugerPaul Kruger
10 October 1825
President of South Africa

Kagiso RabadaKagiso Rabada
25 May 1995

Hansie CronjeHansie Cronje
25 September 1969

Moses SitholeMoses Sithole
17 November 1964
Serial Killer

Ahmed DeedatAhmed Deedat
01 July 1918
Ernie ElsErnie Els
17 October 1969
Professional Golfer

John DiefenbakerJohn Diefenbaker
18 September 1895
Former Prime Minister of Canada
Caspar LeeCaspar Lee
24 April 1994
YouTuber, Vlogger

Nadine GordimerNadine Gordimer
20 November 1923
Writer, Political Activist

Errol MuskErrol Musk
1946 AD
Elon Musk's Father
Bryce CourtenayBryce Courtenay
14 August 1933

Abdullah IbrahimAbdullah Ibrahim
09 October 1934
Pianist, Composer
Sydney BrennerSydney Brenner
13 January 1927

Joshua PietersJoshua Pieters
17 September 1993
Social Media Star

Max TheilerMax Theiler
30 January 1899

Lebo MathosaLebo Mathosa
16 July 1977

Allan McLeod Cormack Allan McLeod Cormack
23 February 1924
Albert John LuthuliAlbert John Luthuli
04 June 1898
President of African National Congress (ANC)

Candice PoolCandice Pool
19 October 1977
Jewelry Designer, Entrepreneur

Nikki WilliamsNikki Williams
09 November 1988
Singer and Songwriter

Mzi KhumaloMzi Khumalo
04 November 1955
Wilco FronemanWilco Froneman
1986 AD
Rugby Player, Jonathan Van Ness’ Boyfriend

Jackson TheronJackson Theron
2011 AD
Charlize Theron’s Adopted Child
Stefan BenzStefan Benz
26 September 2006
Pop Singer

Byron LangleyByron Langley
01 July 1993

Alex LangeAlex Lange
03 March 2001
Instagram Model
Ivanah CampbellIvanah Campbell
2013 AD
Instagram Dancer

Prue LeithPrue Leith
18 February 1940
Caster SemenyaCaster Semenya
07 January 1991
Olympic Athlete

Lara LoganLara Logan
29 March 1971

Kevin PietersenKevin Pietersen
27 June 1980
Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzuluGoodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu
14 July 1948

Arnold VoslooArnold Vosloo
16 June 1962
Film actor, Stage actor, Television actor
Sharlto CopleySharlto Copley
27 November 1973
Actor, Film director, Film producer, Screenwriter

Charlene, Princess of MonacoCharlene, Princess of Monaco
25 January 1978

Basil RathboneBasil Rathbone
13 June 1892

Sid JamesSid James
08 May 1913
Jacques KallisJacques Kallis
16 October 1975
Neill BlomkampNeill Blomkamp
17 September 1979
Film director, Screenwriter

Glynis BarberGlynis Barber
25 October 1955
Actor, Film actor, Television actor

Hashim AmlaHashim Amla
31 March 1983

Thabo MbekiThabo Mbeki
18 June 1942
Politician, Economist
Dale SteynDale Steyn
27 June 1983

Adhir KalyanAdhir Kalyan
04 August 1983

Evelyn MaseEvelyn Mase
18 May 1922

Jodi BalfourJodi Balfour
29 October 1987

Faf du PlessisFaf du Plessis
13 July 1984
Mangosuthu ButheleziMangosuthu Buthelezi
27 August 1928

Graeme SmithGraeme Smith
01 February 1981
Julius MalemaJulius Malema
03 March 1981

Richard StanleyRichard Stanley
22 November 1966
film director, film producer, screenwriter
Jan SmutsJan Smuts
24 May 1870
Botanist, Officer, Lawyer
Benni McCarthyBenni McCarthy
12 November 1977

Today South Africa boasts off a multiethnic population and a staggering 11 official languages! Compared to several other countries, South Africa is a young country, having become a Republic only in 1961. However, in spite of all the difficulties, South Africans have contributed immensely to the development of the world in the fields of literature, philosophy, science and fine arts. Cardiac surgeon Christiaan Barnard performed the world’s first successful human-to-human heart transplant while the nation’s first black president Nelson Mandela gave hopes of a better future to not just the citizens of his country, but to the whole world. The nation has also given the world modern literary geniuses in the form of Nadine Gordimer and John Maxwell Coetzee. Read on to discover more about famous South Africans.