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

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

18 July 1918

Charlize TheronCharlize Theron

07 August 1975

Trevor NoahTrevor Noah
(Actor, Comedian,TV host)

20 February 1984

Oscar PistoriusOscar Pistorius
(Runner)

22 November 1986

Kimbal MuskKimbal Musk
(Venture Capitalist, Restaurateurs)

20 September 1972

Desmond TutuDesmond Tutu
(Anti-Apartheid Activist)

07 October 1931

Tosca MuskTosca Musk
(Filmmaker, Entrepreneur)

20 July 1974

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

09 January 1967

Candice SwanepoelCandice Swanepoel
(Supermodel)

20 October 1988

Cyril RamaphosaCyril Ramaphosa
(President of South Africa)

17 November 1952

ShakaShaka
(Zulu Emperor)

1787 AD

AB de VilliersAB de Villiers
(Cricketer)

17 February 1984

steve bikoSteve Biko
(Anti-apartheid Activist)

18 December 1946

Sarah BaartmanSarah Baartman
(A Freak Show Attraction)

1787 AD

Jacob ZumaJacob Zuma
(Fourth President of South Africa)

12 April 1942

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

26 September 1936

John KaniJohn Kani
(Actor, Playwright, Director)

30 August 1942

Reeva SteenkampReeva Steenkamp
(Model)

19 August 1983

Miriam MakebaMiriam Makeba
(Singer)

04 March 1932

Alice KrigeAlice Krige
(Actress)

28 June 1954

Caspar LeeCaspar Lee
(YouTuber, Vlogger)

24 April 1994

Gary PlayerGary Player
(South African golfer)

01 November 1935

Christiaan BarnardChristiaan Barnard
(Cardiac Surgeon)

08 November 1922

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

09 February 1940

Cariba HeineCariba Heine
(Actress)

01 October 1988

Ernie ElsErnie Els
(Professional Golfer)

17 October 1969

Nadine GordimerNadine Gordimer
(Writer, Political Activist)

20 November 1923

Alex LangeAlex Lange
(Instagram Model)

03 March 2001

Errol MuskErrol Musk
(Elon Musk's Father)

1946 AD

YolandiYolandi
(Singer, Actress)

01 December 1984

Bryce CourtenayBryce Courtenay
(Novelist)

14 August 1933

Byron LangleyByron Langley
(Actor)

01 July 1993

Abdullah IbrahimAbdullah Ibrahim
(Pianist, Composer)

09 October 1934

Allan McLeod Cormack Allan McLeod Cormack
(Physicist)

23 February 1924

Joshua PietersJoshua Pieters
(Social Media Star)

17 September 1993

Max TheilerMax Theiler
(Virologist)

30 January 1899

Nikki WilliamsNikki Williams
(Singer and Songwriter)

09 November 1988

Candice PoolCandice Pool
(Jewelry Designer, Entrepreneur)

19 October 1977

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

04 June 1898

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

1986 AD

Princess CharlenePrincess Charlene of Monaco
(Princess consort of Monaco)

25 January 1978

Watkin Tudor JonesWatkin Tudor Jones
(Singer, Actor)

26 September 1974

Kevin CarterKevin Carter
(Photojournalist)

13 September 1960

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

27 November 1973

Caster SemenyaCaster Semenya
(Middle-distance runner)

07 January 1991

Hashim AmlaHashim Amla
(Cricketer)

31 March 1983

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

16 June 1962

Kevin PietersenKevin Pietersen
(Cricketer)

27 June 1980

Julius MalemaJulius Malema
(Politician)

03 March 1981

Jacques KallisJacques Kallis
(Cricketer)

16 October 1975

Thabo MbekiThabo Mbeki
(Politician, Economist)

18 June 1942

Neill BlomkampNeill Blomkamp
(Film director, Screenwriter)

17 September 1979

Lucky DubeLucky Dube
(Singer, Songwriter, Guitarist)

03 August 1964

Jan SmutsJan Smuts
(Botanist, Officer, Lawyer)

24 May 1870

Dale SteynDale Steyn
(Cricketer)

27 June 1983

P. W. BothaP. W. Botha
(Politician)

12 January 1916

Pik BothaPik Botha
(Politician, Diplomat)

27 April 1932

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

25 January 1978

Tanit PhoenixTanit Phoenix
(Actor, Television actor, Model)

24 September 1984

Ivan GazidisIvan Gazidis
(Lawyer, Businessperson)

13 September 1964

Oliver TamboOliver Tambo
(Politician)

27 October 1917

Hendrik VerwoerdHendrik Verwoerd
(Politician, University teacher, Faculty)

08 September 1901

Justin GabrielJustin Gabriel
(Professional wrestler)

03 March 1981

Shaun MorganShaun Morgan
(Singer, Guitarist)

21 December 1978

Paul KrugerPaul Kruger
(Politician)

10 October 1825

Hansie CronjeHansie Cronje
(Cricketer)

25 September 1969

Tammin SursokTammin Sursok
(Actor, Singer, Film actor)

19 August 1983

Benni McCarthyBenni McCarthy
(Association football player)

12 November 1977

Mark ShuttleworthMark Shuttleworth
(Entrepreneur, Astronaut, Engineer, Inventor, Scientist, Blogger, Businessperson, Computer scientist)

18 September 1973

Cyril CusackCyril Cusack
(Actor)

26 November 1910

Patrice MotsepePatrice Motsepe
(Entrepreneur, Businessperson)

28 January 1962

Siphiwe TshabalalaSiphiwe Tshabalala
(Association football player)

25 September 1984

Johann RupertJohann Rupert
(Entrepreneur, Businessperson)

01 June 1950

Mickey ArthurMickey Arthur
(Cricketer)

17 May 1968

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.