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

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

Kimbal MuskKimbal Musk
20 September 1972
Venture Capitalist, Restaurateurs
Belle DelphineBelle Delphine
23 October 1999

Tosca MuskTosca Musk
20 July 1974
Filmmaker, Entrepreneur

Oscar PistoriusOscar Pistorius
22 November 1986
Cyril RamaphosaCyril Ramaphosa
17 November 1952
President of South Africa

Dave MatthewsDave Matthews
09 January 1967
Lead vocalist and guitarist for the Dave Matthews
Kevin CarterKevin Carter
13 September 1960

Jacob ZumaJacob Zuma
12 April 1942
Fourth President of South Africa

Desmond TutuDesmond Tutu
07 October 1931
Anti-Apartheid Activist

Sarah BaartmanSarah Baartman
1787 AD
A Freak Show Attraction

1787 AD
Zulu Emperor
Glynis JohnsGlynis Johns
05 October 1923

Watkin Tudor JonesWatkin Tudor Jones
26 September 1974

Alice KrigeAlice Krige
28 June 1954

Demi-Leigh Nel-PetersDemi-Leigh Nel-Peters
28 June 1995
Model, Miss Universe 2017
Candice SwanepoelCandice Swanepoel
20 October 1988

AB de VilliersAB de Villiers
17 February 1984
steve bikoSteve Biko
18 December 1946
Anti-apartheid Activist

Reeva SteenkampReeva Steenkamp
19 August 1983

Winnie Madikizela-MandelaWinnie Madikizela-Mandela
26 September 1936
Politician, Anti-Apartheid Activist
Patrice MotsepePatrice Motsepe
28 January 1962

Miriam MakebaMiriam Makeba
04 March 1932
John KaniJohn Kani
30 August 1942
Actor, Playwright, Director

Lucky DubeLucky Dube
03 August 1964

Gary PlayerGary Player
01 November 1935
South African golfer
Ernie ElsErnie Els
17 October 1969
Professional Golfer

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Hansie CronjeHansie Cronje
25 September 1969
Juliet ProwseJuliet Prowse
25 September 1936

P. W. BothaP. W. Botha
12 January 1916
Former Prime Minister of South Africa

Ahmed DeedatAhmed Deedat
01 July 1918

Christiaan BarnardChristiaan Barnard
08 November 1922
Cardiac Surgeon
Cariba HeineCariba Heine
01 October 1988
J. M. CoetzeeJ. M. Coetzee
09 February 1940
Novelist, Author

Paul KrugerPaul Kruger
10 October 1825
President of South Africa

Hendrik VerwoerdHendrik Verwoerd
08 September 1901

Errol MuskErrol Musk
1946 AD
Elon Musk's Father
Sobhuza IISobhuza II
22 July 1899
Former King of Swaziland

John DiefenbakerJohn Diefenbaker
18 September 1895
Former Prime Minister of Canada

Nadine GordimerNadine Gordimer
20 November 1923
Writer, Political Activist

Caspar LeeCaspar Lee
24 April 1994
YouTuber, Vlogger

Moses SitholeMoses Sithole
17 November 1964
Serial Killer
Kagiso RabadaKagiso Rabada
25 May 1995

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

Alex LangeAlex Lange
03 March 2001
Instagram Model

Lebo MathosaLebo Mathosa
16 July 1977
Max TheilerMax Theiler
30 January 1899

Mzi KhumaloMzi Khumalo
04 November 1955
Allan McLeod Cormack Allan McLeod Cormack
23 February 1924

Nikki WilliamsNikki Williams
09 November 1988
Singer and Songwriter

01 December 1984
Singer, Actress

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

Byron LangleyByron Langley
01 July 1993
Joshua PietersJoshua Pieters
17 September 1993
Social Media Star

Candice PoolCandice Pool
19 October 1977
Jewelry Designer, Entrepreneur

Princess CharlenePrincess Charlene of Monaco
25 January 1978
Princess consort of Monaco

Wilco FronemanWilco Froneman
1986 AD
Rugby Player, Jonathan Van Ness’ Boyfriend
Jackson TheronJackson Theron
2011 AD
Charlize Theron’s Adopted Child

Ivanah CampbellIvanah Campbell
2013 AD
Instagram Dancer
Lara LoganLara Logan
29 March 1971

Prue LeithPrue Leith
18 February 1940

Arnold VoslooArnold Vosloo
16 June 1962
Film actor, Stage actor, Television actor
Kevin PietersenKevin Pietersen
27 June 1980

Sharlto CopleySharlto Copley
27 November 1973
Actor, Film director, Film producer, Screenwriter
Basil RathboneBasil Rathbone
13 June 1892

F. W. de KlerkF. W. de Klerk
18 March 1936

Caster SemenyaCaster Semenya
07 January 1991
Olympic Athlete
Vusamazulu Credo MutwaVusamazulu Credo Mutwa
21 July 1921
Ufologist, Writer

Michael LevittMichael Levitt
09 May 1947
Physicist, Biologist, Bioinformatician, Chemist,
Neill BlomkampNeill Blomkamp
17 September 1979
Film director, Screenwriter

Thabo MbekiThabo Mbeki
18 June 1942
Politician, Economist

Sol KerznerSol Kerzner
23 August 1935

Jacques KallisJacques Kallis
16 October 1975
Johann RupertJohann Rupert
01 June 1950
Entrepreneur, Businessperson
Francois BothaFrancois Botha
28 September 1968
Boxer, Kickboxer

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

Nicky OppenheimerNicky Oppenheimer
08 June 1945
Businessperson, Banker

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

Hashim AmlaHashim Amla
31 March 1983

Dale SteynDale Steyn
27 June 1983

Cyril CusackCyril Cusack
26 November 1910

Corrie SandersCorrie Sanders
07 January 1966
Nkosazana Dlamini-ZumaNkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
27 January 1949

Tanit PhoenixTanit Phoenix
24 September 1984
Actor, Television actor, Model
Steven PienaarSteven Pienaar
17 March 1982
Association football player

Justin GabrielJustin Gabriel
03 March 1981
Professional wrestler
Benni McCarthyBenni McCarthy
12 November 1977
Graeme SmithGraeme Smith
01 February 1981

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.