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
(Entrepreneur, Engineer, Inventor)

28 June 1971

Charlize TheronCharlize Theron

07 August 1975

Nelson MandelaNelson Mandela
(Anti-Apartheid Activist, President of ANC and Former President of South Africa)

18 July 1918

Trevor NoahTrevor Noah
(Actor, Comedian,TV host)

20 February 1984

AB de VilliersAB de Villiers

17 February 1984

Oscar PistoriusOscar Pistorius

22 November 1986

Sarah BaartmanSarah Baartman
(A Freak Show Attraction)

1787 AD

Watkin Tudor JonesWatkin Tudor Jones

26 September 1974

Candice SwanepoelCandice Swanepoel

20 October 1988

Desmond TutuDesmond Tutu
(Anti-Apartheid Activist)

07 October 1931

Cyril RamaphosaCyril Ramaphosa
(President of South Africa)

17 November 1952

(Zulu Emperor)

1787 AD

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Demi-Leigh Nel-PetersDemi-Leigh Nel-Peters
(Model, Miss Universe 2017)

28 June 1995

Gary PlayerGary Player
(South African golfer)

01 November 1935

Kimbal MuskKimbal Musk
(Venture Capitalist, Restaurateurs)

20 September 1972

Dave MatthewsDave Matthews
(Lead vocalist and guitarist for the Dave Matthews Band.)

09 January 1967

Jacob ZumaJacob Zuma
(Fourth President of South Africa)

12 April 1942

John KaniJohn Kani
(Actor, Playwright, Director)

30 August 1942

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Tosca MuskTosca Musk
(Filmmaker, Entrepreneur)

20 July 1974

Kevin CarterKevin Carter

13 September 1960

Alice KrigeAlice Krige

28 June 1954

steve bikoSteve Biko
(Anti-apartheid Activist)

18 December 1946

Kagiso RabadaKagiso Rabada

25 May 1995

Miriam MakebaMiriam Makeba

04 March 1932

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Winnie Madikizela-MandelaWinnie Madikizela-Mandela
(Politician, Anti-Apartheid Activist)

26 September 1936

Reeva SteenkampReeva Steenkamp

19 August 1983

Ernie ElsErnie Els
(Professional Golfer)

17 October 1969

Christiaan BarnardChristiaan Barnard
(Cardiac Surgeon)

08 November 1922

J. M. CoetzeeJ. M. Coetzee
(Novelist, Author)

09 February 1940

Cariba HeineCariba Heine

01 October 1988

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Caspar LeeCaspar Lee
(YouTuber, Vlogger)

24 April 1994

Juliet ProwseJuliet Prowse

25 September 1936

Errol MuskErrol Musk
(Elon Musk's Father)

1946 AD

Nadine GordimerNadine Gordimer
(Writer, Political Activist)

20 November 1923

(Singer, Actress)

01 December 1984

Alex LangeAlex Lange
(Instagram Model)

03 March 2001

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Bryce CourtenayBryce Courtenay

14 August 1933

Abdullah IbrahimAbdullah Ibrahim
(Pianist, Composer)

09 October 1934

Byron LangleyByron Langley

01 July 1993

Allan McLeod Cormack Allan McLeod Cormack

23 February 1924

Max TheilerMax Theiler

30 January 1899

Joshua PietersJoshua Pieters
(Social Media Star)

17 September 1993

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Nikki WilliamsNikki Williams
(Singer and Songwriter)

09 November 1988

Wilco FronemanWilco Froneman
(Rugby Player, Jonathan Van Ness’ Boyfriend)

1986 AD

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

04 June 1898

Candice PoolCandice Pool
(Jewelry Designer, Entrepreneur)

19 October 1977

Princess CharlenePrincess Charlene of Monaco
(Princess consort of Monaco)

25 January 1978

Belle DelphineBelle Delphine

23 October 1999

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Caster SemenyaCaster Semenya
(Middle-distance runner)

07 January 1991

Hugh MasekelaHugh Masekela
(Trumpeter, Composer, Jazz musician)

04 April 1939

Imran TahirImran Tahir

27 March 1979

Dale SteynDale Steyn

27 June 1983

Arnold VoslooArnold Vosloo
(Film actor, Stage actor, Television actor)

16 June 1962

Sharlto CopleySharlto Copley
(Actor, Film director, Film producer, Screenwriter)

27 November 1973

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Sydney BrennerSydney Brenner

13 January 1927

Neill BlomkampNeill Blomkamp
(Film director, Screenwriter)

17 September 1979

Kevin PietersenKevin Pietersen

27 June 1980

Hashim AmlaHashim Amla

31 March 1983

Louis OosthuizenLouis Oosthuizen

19 October 1982

Julius MalemaJulius Malema

03 March 1981

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Charlene, Princess of MonacoCharlene, Princess of Monaco
(Swimmer, Model)

25 January 1978

Faf du PlessisFaf du Plessis

13 July 1984

Thabo MbekiThabo Mbeki
(Politician, Economist)

18 June 1942

Jan SmutsJan Smuts
(Botanist, Officer, Lawyer)

24 May 1870

Jacques KallisJacques Kallis

16 October 1975

Lucky DubeLucky Dube
(Singer, Songwriter, Guitarist)

03 August 1964

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Justin GabrielJustin Gabriel
(Professional wrestler)

03 March 1981

Tanit PhoenixTanit Phoenix
(Actor, Television actor, Model)

24 September 1984

Patrice MotsepePatrice Motsepe
(Entrepreneur, Businessperson)

28 January 1962

Cyril CusackCyril Cusack

26 November 1910

P. W. BothaP. W. Botha

12 January 1916

Gary KirstenGary Kirsten

23 November 1967

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Jonty RhodesJonty Rhodes

27 July 1969

Paul KrugerPaul Kruger

10 October 1825

Shaun MorganShaun Morgan
(Singer, Guitarist)

21 December 1978

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.