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
 

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

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

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

Demi-Leigh Nel-PetersDemi-Leigh Nel-Peters
28 June 1995
Model, Miss Universe 2017
Oscar PistoriusOscar Pistorius
22 November 1986
Runner

Belle DelphineBelle Delphine
23 October 1999
Cosplayer

Kimbal MuskKimbal Musk
20 September 1972
Venture Capitalist, Restaurateurs
AB de VilliersAB de Villiers
17 February 1984
Cricketer

Tosca MuskTosca Musk
20 July 1974
Filmmaker, Entrepreneur
Alice KrigeAlice Krige
28 June 1954
Actress

John KaniJohn Kani
30 August 1942
Actor, Playwright, Director

Cyril RamaphosaCyril Ramaphosa
17 November 1952
President of South Africa

Desmond TutuDesmond Tutu
07 October 1931
Anti-Apartheid Activist

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

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

Kevin CarterKevin Carter
13 September 1960
Photographer

Jacob ZumaJacob Zuma
12 April 1942
Fourth President of South Africa
Glynis JohnsGlynis Johns
05 October 1923
Actress

Candice SwanepoelCandice Swanepoel
20 October 1988
Supermodel
Watkin Tudor JonesWatkin Tudor Jones
26 September 1974
Rapper

steve bikoSteve Biko
18 December 1946
Anti-apartheid Activist

Reeva SteenkampReeva Steenkamp
19 August 1983
Model
Winnie Madikizela-MandelaWinnie Madikizela-Mandela
26 September 1936
Politician, Anti-Apartheid Activist

Hansie CronjeHansie Cronje
25 September 1969
Cricketer
Miriam MakebaMiriam Makeba
04 March 1932
Singer

Patrice MotsepePatrice Motsepe
28 January 1962
Businessperson

Ernie ElsErnie Els
17 October 1969
Professional Golfer
Paul KrugerPaul Kruger
10 October 1825
President of South Africa

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J. M. CoetzeeJ. M. Coetzee
09 February 1940
Novelist, Author
P. W. BothaP. W. Botha
12 January 1916
Former Prime Minister of South Africa

Christiaan BarnardChristiaan Barnard
08 November 1922
Cardiac Surgeon

Ahmed DeedatAhmed Deedat
01 July 1918
Writer

Kagiso RabadaKagiso Rabada
25 May 1995
Cricketer
Hendrik VerwoerdHendrik Verwoerd
08 September 1901
Politician
Juliet ProwseJuliet Prowse
25 September 1936
Dancer

Gary PlayerGary Player
01 November 1935
South African golfer

Caspar LeeCaspar Lee
24 April 1994
YouTuber, Vlogger

John DiefenbakerJohn Diefenbaker
18 September 1895
Former Prime Minister of Canada
Cariba HeineCariba Heine
01 October 1988
Actress

Moses SitholeMoses Sithole
17 November 1964
Serial Killer

Nadine GordimerNadine Gordimer
20 November 1923
Writer, Political Activist

Errol MuskErrol Musk
1946 AD
Elon Musk's Father

YolandiYolandi
01 December 1984
Singer, Actress
Alex LangeAlex Lange
03 March 2001
Instagram Model

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

Allan McLeod Cormack Allan McLeod Cormack
23 February 1924
Physicist

Max TheilerMax Theiler
30 January 1899
Virologist
Mzi KhumaloMzi Khumalo
04 November 1955
Entrepreneur

Joshua PietersJoshua Pieters
17 September 1993
Social Media Star
Nikki WilliamsNikki Williams
09 November 1988
Singer and Songwriter

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

Byron LangleyByron Langley
01 July 1993
Actor

Candice PoolCandice Pool
19 October 1977
Jewelry Designer, Entrepreneur

Jackson TheronJackson Theron
2011 AD
Charlize Theron’s Adopted Child
Princess CharlenePrincess Charlene of Monaco
25 January 1978
Princess consort of Monaco

Wilco FronemanWilco Froneman
1986 AD
Rugby Player, Jonathan Van Ness’ Boyfriend

Ivanah CampbellIvanah Campbell
2013 AD
Instagram Dancer

Lara LoganLara Logan
29 March 1971
Journalist
Nkosi JohnsonNkosi Johnson
04 February 1989
Activist

F. W. de KlerkF. W. de Klerk
18 March 1936
Politician
Sharlto CopleySharlto Copley
27 November 1973
Actor, Film director, Film producer, Screenwriter

Prue LeithPrue Leith
18 February 1940
Restaurateur

Arnold VoslooArnold Vosloo
16 June 1962
Film actor, Stage actor, Television actor
Caster SemenyaCaster Semenya
07 January 1991
Olympic Athlete

Dale SteynDale Steyn
27 June 1983
Cricketer
Sydney BrennerSydney Brenner
13 January 1927
Biologist

Basil RathboneBasil Rathbone
13 June 1892
Actor

Faf du PlessisFaf du Plessis
13 July 1984
Cricketer
Kevin PietersenKevin Pietersen
27 June 1980
Cricketer

Thabo MbekiThabo Mbeki
18 June 1942
Politician, Economist
Neill BlomkampNeill Blomkamp
17 September 1979
Film director, Screenwriter

Vernon PhilanderVernon Philander
24 June 1985
Cricketer

Hashim AmlaHashim Amla
31 March 1983
Cricketer

Jacques KallisJacques Kallis
16 October 1975
Cricketer
Lucky DubeLucky Dube
03 August 1964
Singer, Songwriter, Guitarist
Charlene, Princess of MonacoCharlene, Princess of Monaco
25 January 1978
Swimmer, Model

Mark BoucherMark Boucher
03 December 1976
Cricketer

Jody ScheckterJody Scheckter
29 January 1950
South African racing driver

Jan SmutsJan Smuts
24 May 1870
Botanist, Officer, Lawyer
Julius MalemaJulius Malema
03 March 1981
Politician

Johann RupertJohann Rupert
01 June 1950
Entrepreneur, Businessperson

Cyril CusackCyril Cusack
26 November 1910
Actor

Jodi BalfourJodi Balfour
29 October 1987
Actress

Graeme SmithGraeme Smith
01 February 1981
Cricketer
Tanit PhoenixTanit Phoenix
24 September 1984
Actor, Television actor, Model

Corrie SandersCorrie Sanders
07 January 1966
Boxer
Trevor RabinTrevor Rabin
13 January 1954
Musician

Justin GabrielJustin Gabriel
03 March 1981
Professional wrestler
Benni McCarthyBenni McCarthy
12 November 1977
Footballer
Brenda FassieBrenda Fassie
03 November 1964
Singer

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.