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
Writer

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

Oscar PistoriusOscar Pistorius
22 November 1986
Runner
AB de VilliersAB de Villiers
17 February 1984
Cricketer

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

Cyril RamaphosaCyril Ramaphosa
17 November 1952
President of South Africa

Desmond TutuDesmond Tutu
07 October 1931
Anti-Apartheid Activist
John KaniJohn Kani
30 August 1942
Actor, Playwright, Director

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

ShakaShaka
1787 AD
Zulu Emperor

Sarah BaartmanSarah Baartman
1787 AD
A Freak Show Attraction
Jacob ZumaJacob Zuma
12 April 1942
Fourth President of South Africa

Kevin CarterKevin Carter
13 September 1960
Photographer
Kagiso RabadaKagiso Rabada
25 May 1995
Cricketer

Winnie Madikizela-MandelaWinnie Madikizela-Mandela
26 September 1936
Politician, Anti-Apartheid Activist

Glynis JohnsGlynis Johns
05 October 1923
Actress
Kimbal MuskKimbal Musk
20 September 1972
Venture Capitalist, Restaurateurs

Demi-Leigh Nel-PetersDemi-Leigh Nel-Peters
28 June 1995
Model, Miss Universe 2017
steve bikoSteve Biko
18 December 1946
Anti-apartheid Activist

Ernie ElsErnie Els
17 October 1969
Professional Golfer

Tosca MuskTosca Musk
20 July 1974
Filmmaker, Entrepreneur

Alice KrigeAlice Krige
28 June 1954
Actress
Reeva SteenkampReeva Steenkamp
19 August 1983
Model
Cariba HeineCariba Heine
01 October 1988
Actress

Miriam MakebaMiriam Makeba
04 March 1932
Singer

Christiaan BarnardChristiaan Barnard
08 November 1922
Cardiac Surgeon

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

Continue Reading Below
Caspar LeeCaspar Lee
24 April 1994
YouTuber, Vlogger

Juliet ProwseJuliet Prowse
25 September 1936
Dancer

Errol MuskErrol Musk
1946 AD
Elon Musk's Father

Belle DelphineBelle Delphine
23 October 1999
Cosplayer
Nadine GordimerNadine Gordimer
20 November 1923
Writer, Political Activist

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
Byron LangleyByron Langley
01 July 1993
Actor

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

Joshua PietersJoshua Pieters
17 September 1993
Social Media Star

Mzi KhumaloMzi Khumalo
04 November 1955
Entrepreneur

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

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

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

Caster SemenyaCaster Semenya
07 January 1991
Middle-distance runner
Kevin PietersenKevin Pietersen
27 June 1980
Cricketer

Hashim AmlaHashim Amla
31 March 1983
Cricketer

Imran TahirImran Tahir
27 March 1979
Cricketer
Faf du PlessisFaf du Plessis
13 July 1984
Cricketer

Sharlto CopleySharlto Copley
27 November 1973
Actor, Film director, Film producer, Screenwriter
Louis OosthuizenLouis Oosthuizen
19 October 1982
Golfer

Dale SteynDale Steyn
27 June 1983
Cricketer

Mickey ArthurMickey Arthur
17 May 1968
Cricketer
Arnold VoslooArnold Vosloo
16 June 1962
Film actor, Stage actor, Television actor

Jacques KallisJacques Kallis
16 October 1975
Cricketer
Hansie CronjeHansie Cronje
25 September 1969
Cricketer

Sydney BrennerSydney Brenner
13 January 1927
Biologist

Thabo MbekiThabo Mbeki
18 June 1942
Politician, Economist

Neill BlomkampNeill Blomkamp
17 September 1979
Film director, Screenwriter
Basil RathboneBasil Rathbone
13 June 1892
Actor
Gary KirstenGary Kirsten
23 November 1967
Cricketer

Charlene, Princess of MonacoCharlene, Princess of Monaco
25 January 1978
Swimmer, Model

Jonty RhodesJonty Rhodes
27 July 1969
Cricketer

Lucky DubeLucky Dube
03 August 1964
Singer, Songwriter, Guitarist
Jody ScheckterJody Scheckter
29 January 1950
South African racing driver

Patrice MotsepePatrice Motsepe
28 January 1962
Entrepreneur, Businessperson

Lance KlusenerLance Klusener
04 September 1971
Cricketer

Jan SmutsJan Smuts
24 May 1870
Botanist, Officer, Lawyer

Julius MalemaJulius Malema
03 March 1981
Politician
Graeme SmithGraeme Smith
01 February 1981
Cricketer

Lara LoganLara Logan
29 March 1971
Journalist
JP DuminyJP Duminy
14 April 1984
Cricketer

Tanit PhoenixTanit Phoenix
24 September 1984
Actor, Television actor, Model

Paul KrugerPaul Kruger
10 October 1825
Politician
Solomon LindaSolomon Linda
1909 AD
singer, songwriter, composer

Shaun PollockShaun Pollock
16 July 1973
Cricketer
Tammin SursokTammin Sursok
19 August 1983
Actor, Singer, Film actor

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

Hendrik VerwoerdHendrik Verwoerd
08 September 1901
Politician, University teacher, Faculty

Cyril CusackCyril Cusack
26 November 1910
Actor
Benni McCarthyBenni McCarthy
12 November 1977
Association football player

Shaun MorganShaun Morgan
21 December 1978
Singer, Guitarist
Mark ShuttleworthMark Shuttleworth
18 September 1973
Entrepreneur, Astronaut, Engineer, Inventor,

Herschelle GibbsHerschelle Gibbs
23 February 1974
Rugby union player, Cricketer, Association
Elize du ToitElize du Toit
21 February 1980
Actor, film actor

ZP TheartZP Theart
22 January 1975
singer
Roger MichellRoger Michell
05 June 1956
Film director, Television director, Theatre

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.