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

Candice SwanepoelCandice Swanepoel
(Supermodel)

20 October 1988

Oscar PistoriusOscar Pistorius
(Runner)

22 November 1986

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

28 June 1995

Kimbal MuskKimbal Musk
(Venture Capitalist, Restaurateurs)

20 September 1972

John KaniJohn Kani
(Actor, Playwright, Director)

30 August 1942

Desmond TutuDesmond Tutu
(Anti-Apartheid Activist)

07 October 1931

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

09 January 1967

AB de VilliersAB de Villiers
(Cricketer)

17 February 1984

Sarah BaartmanSarah Baartman
(A Freak Show Attraction)

1787 AD

ShakaShaka
(Zulu Emperor)

1787 AD

Cyril RamaphosaCyril Ramaphosa
(President of South Africa)

17 November 1952

Watkin Tudor JonesWatkin Tudor Jones
(Rapper)

26 September 1974

Tosca MuskTosca Musk
(Filmmaker, Entrepreneur)

20 July 1974

Jacob ZumaJacob Zuma
(Fourth President of South Africa)

12 April 1942

Alice KrigeAlice Krige
(Actress)

28 June 1954

steve bikoSteve Biko
(Anti-apartheid Activist)

18 December 1946

Caspar LeeCaspar Lee
(YouTuber, Vlogger)

24 April 1994

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

26 September 1936

Miriam MakebaMiriam Makeba
(Singer)

04 March 1932

Reeva SteenkampReeva Steenkamp
(Model)

19 August 1983

Christiaan BarnardChristiaan Barnard
(Cardiac Surgeon)

08 November 1922

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

09 February 1940

Gary PlayerGary Player
(South African golfer)

01 November 1935

Nadine GordimerNadine Gordimer
(Writer, Political Activist)

20 November 1923

Ernie ElsErnie Els
(Professional Golfer)

17 October 1969

Cariba HeineCariba Heine
(Actress)

01 October 1988

Errol MuskErrol Musk
(Elon Musk's Father)

1946 AD

Alex LangeAlex Lange
(Instagram Model)

03 March 2001

YolandiYolandi
(Singer, Actress)

01 December 1984

Bryce CourtenayBryce Courtenay
(Novelist)

14 August 1933

Abdullah IbrahimAbdullah Ibrahim
(Pianist, Composer)

09 October 1934

Byron LangleyByron Langley
(Actor)

01 July 1993

Joshua PietersJoshua Pieters
(Social Media Star)

17 September 1993

Allan McLeod Cormack Allan McLeod Cormack
(Physicist)

23 February 1924

Max TheilerMax Theiler
(Virologist)

30 January 1899

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

1986 AD

Nikki WilliamsNikki Williams
(Singer and Songwriter)

09 November 1988

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

Kevin CarterKevin Carter
(Photojournalist)

13 September 1960

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

27 November 1973

Hashim AmlaHashim Amla
(Cricketer)

31 March 1983

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

16 June 1962

Neill BlomkampNeill Blomkamp
(Film director, Screenwriter)

17 September 1979

Dale SteynDale Steyn
(Cricketer)

27 June 1983

Caster SemenyaCaster Semenya
(Middle-distance runner)

07 January 1991

Lucky DubeLucky Dube
(Singer, Songwriter, Guitarist)

03 August 1964

Johann RupertJohann Rupert
(Entrepreneur, Businessperson)

01 June 1950

Jacques KallisJacques Kallis
(Cricketer)

16 October 1975

Thabo MbekiThabo Mbeki
(Politician, Economist)

18 June 1942

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

25 January 1978

Patrice MotsepePatrice Motsepe
(Entrepreneur, Businessperson)

28 January 1962

Julius MalemaJulius Malema
(Politician)

03 March 1981

Jan SmutsJan Smuts
(Botanist, Officer, Lawyer)

24 May 1870

Keorapetse KgositsileKeorapetse Kgositsile
(Poet, Journalist, Writer)

19 September 1938

Pik BothaPik Botha
(Politician, Diplomat)

27 April 1932

Kevin PietersenKevin Pietersen
(Cricketer)

27 June 1980

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

12 January 1916

Tanit PhoenixTanit Phoenix
(Actor, Television actor, Model)

24 September 1984

Paul KrugerPaul Kruger
(Politician)

10 October 1825

Tammin SursokTammin Sursok
(Actor, Singer, Film actor)

19 August 1983

Benni McCarthyBenni McCarthy
(Association football player)

12 November 1977

Hansie CronjeHansie Cronje
(Cricketer)

25 September 1969

Nicky OppenheimerNicky Oppenheimer
(Businessperson, Banker)

08 June 1945

Hugh MasekelaHugh Masekela
(Trumpeter, Composer, Jazz musician)

04 April 1939

Shaun MorganShaun Morgan
(Singer, Guitarist)

21 December 1978

Justin GabrielJustin Gabriel
(Professional wrestler)

03 March 1981

Cyril CusackCyril Cusack
(Actor)

26 November 1910

Corrie SandersCorrie Sanders
(Boxer)

07 January 1966

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

18 September 1973

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.