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
Charlize TheronCharlize Theron
07 August 1975

Nelson MandelaNelson Mandela
18 July 1918
Anti-Apartheid Activist, President of ANC and

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

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

Oscar PistoriusOscar Pistorius
22 November 1986
Desmond TutuDesmond Tutu
07 October 1931
Anti-Apartheid Activist

Dave MatthewsDave Matthews
09 January 1967
Lead vocalist and guitarist for the Dave Matthews

Cyril RamaphosaCyril Ramaphosa
17 November 1952
President of South Africa

Candice SwanepoelCandice Swanepoel
20 October 1988
John KaniJohn Kani
30 August 1942
Actor, Playwright, Director

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

Jacob ZumaJacob Zuma
12 April 1942
Fourth President of South Africa

Kevin CarterKevin Carter
13 September 1960
Alice KrigeAlice Krige
28 June 1954

Watkin Tudor JonesWatkin Tudor Jones
26 September 1974
Kagiso RabadaKagiso Rabada
25 May 1995

AB de VilliersAB de Villiers
17 February 1984

Winnie Madikizela-MandelaWinnie Madikizela-Mandela
26 September 1936
Politician, Anti-Apartheid Activist
Kimbal MuskKimbal Musk
20 September 1972
Venture Capitalist, Restaurateurs

Glynis JohnsGlynis Johns
05 October 1923
Demi-Leigh Nel-PetersDemi-Leigh Nel-Peters
28 June 1995
Model, Miss Universe 2017

steve bikoSteve Biko
18 December 1946
Anti-apartheid Activist

Tosca MuskTosca Musk
20 July 1974
Filmmaker, Entrepreneur

Reeva SteenkampReeva Steenkamp
19 August 1983
Ernie ElsErnie Els
17 October 1969
Professional Golfer
Miriam MakebaMiriam Makeba
04 March 1932

Christiaan BarnardChristiaan Barnard
08 November 1922
Cardiac Surgeon

Cariba HeineCariba Heine
01 October 1988

J. M. CoetzeeJ. M. Coetzee
09 February 1940
Novelist, Author
Gary PlayerGary Player
01 November 1935
South African golfer

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Hansie CronjeHansie Cronje
25 September 1969

Caspar LeeCaspar Lee
24 April 1994
YouTuber, Vlogger

Juliet ProwseJuliet Prowse
25 September 1936

Nadine GordimerNadine Gordimer
20 November 1923
Writer, Political Activist
Errol MuskErrol Musk
1946 AD
Elon Musk's Father

Belle DelphineBelle Delphine
23 October 1999
01 December 1984
Singer, Actress

Alex LangeAlex Lange
03 March 2001
Instagram Model

Abdullah IbrahimAbdullah Ibrahim
09 October 1934
Pianist, Composer
Bryce CourtenayBryce Courtenay
14 August 1933

Max TheilerMax Theiler
30 January 1899
Allan McLeod Cormack Allan McLeod Cormack
23 February 1924

Byron LangleyByron Langley
01 July 1993

Joshua PietersJoshua Pieters
17 September 1993
Social Media Star

Mzi KhumaloMzi Khumalo
04 November 1955

Nikki WilliamsNikki Williams
09 November 1988
Singer and Songwriter
Wilco FronemanWilco Froneman
1986 AD
Rugby Player, Jonathan Van Ness’ Boyfriend

Albert John LuthuliAlbert John Luthuli
04 June 1898
President of African National Congress (ANC)

Candice PoolCandice Pool
19 October 1977
Jewelry Designer, Entrepreneur

Princess CharlenePrincess Charlene of Monaco
25 January 1978
Princess consort of Monaco
Ivanah CampbellIvanah Campbell
2013 AD
Instagram Dancer

Jackson TheronJackson Theron
2011 AD
Charlize Theron’s Adopted Child
Kevin PietersenKevin Pietersen
27 June 1980

Caster SemenyaCaster Semenya
07 January 1991
Middle-distance runner

Prue LeithPrue Leith
18 February 1940
Sharlto CopleySharlto Copley
27 November 1973
Actor, Film director, Film producer, Screenwriter

Hashim AmlaHashim Amla
31 March 1983
Louis OosthuizenLouis Oosthuizen
19 October 1982

Mickey ArthurMickey Arthur
17 May 1968

F. W. de KlerkF. W. de Klerk
18 March 1936
Arnold VoslooArnold Vosloo
16 June 1962
Film actor, Stage actor, Television actor

Sydney BrennerSydney Brenner
13 January 1927
Thabo MbekiThabo Mbeki
18 June 1942
Politician, Economist

Dale SteynDale Steyn
27 June 1983

Neill BlomkampNeill Blomkamp
17 September 1979
Film director, Screenwriter

Lucky DubeLucky Dube
03 August 1964
Singer, Songwriter, Guitarist
Basil RathboneBasil Rathbone
13 June 1892
Julius MalemaJulius Malema
03 March 1981

Oliver TamboOliver Tambo
27 October 1917

Jacques KallisJacques Kallis
16 October 1975

Faf du PlessisFaf du Plessis
13 July 1984
Jonty RhodesJonty Rhodes
27 July 1969

Francois PienaarFrancois Pienaar
02 January 1967
Rugby union player

P. W. BothaP. W. Botha
12 January 1916

Jan SmutsJan Smuts
24 May 1870
Botanist, Officer, Lawyer

Jody ScheckterJody Scheckter
29 January 1950
South African racing driver
Johann RupertJohann Rupert
01 June 1950
Entrepreneur, Businessperson

Charlene, Princess of MonacoCharlene, Princess of Monaco
25 January 1978
Swimmer, Model
Tanit PhoenixTanit Phoenix
24 September 1984
Actor, Television actor, Model

Lara LoganLara Logan
29 March 1971

Joost van der WesthuizenJoost van der Westhuizen
20 February 1971
Rugby union player
Paul KrugerPaul Kruger
10 October 1825

Hendrik VerwoerdHendrik Verwoerd
08 September 1901
Politician, University teacher, Faculty
Patrice MotsepePatrice Motsepe
28 January 1962
Entrepreneur, Businessperson

Benni McCarthyBenni McCarthy
12 November 1977
Association football player

JP DuminyJP Duminy
14 April 1984

Glynis BarberGlynis Barber
25 October 1955
Actor, Film actor, Television actor
ZP TheartZP Theart
22 January 1975

Dean GeyerDean Geyer
20 March 1986
Actor, Singer, Songwriter
Cyril CusackCyril Cusack
26 November 1910

Brenda FassieBrenda Fassie
03 November 1964
Shaun MorganShaun Morgan
21 December 1978
Singer, Guitarist

Mark ShuttleworthMark Shuttleworth
18 September 1973
Entrepreneur, Astronaut, Engineer, Inventor,
Lance KlusenerLance Klusener
04 September 1971

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.