Famous people from South Africa
Here is a list of famous people from South Africa. Curious if anybody from South Africa made it our most famous people in the world list? Read the aformentioned article in order to find out.
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela is a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary and politician who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the first black South African to hold the office, and the first elected in a fully representative, multiracial election. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid through tackling institutionalised racism, poverty and inequality, and fostering racial reconciliation. Politically an African nationalist and democratic socialist, he served as the President of the African National Congress from 1991 to 1997. Internationally, Mandela was the Secretary General of the Non-Aligned Movement from 1998 to 1999. A Xhosa born to the Thembu royal family, Mandela attended Fort Hare University and the University of Witwatersrand, where he studied law. Living in Johannesburg, he became involved in anti-colonial politics, joining the ANC and becoming a founding member of its Youth League. After the Afrikaner nationalists of the National Party came to power in 1948 and began implementing the policy of apartheid, he rose to prominence in the ANC's 1952 Defiance Campaign, was elected President of the Transvaal ANC Branch and oversaw the 1955 Congress of the People. Working as a lawyer, he was repeatedly arrested for seditious activities and, with the ANC leadership, was prosecuted in the Treason Trial from 1956 to 1961 but was found not guilty. Although initially committed to non-violent protest, in association with the South African Communist Party he co-founded the militant Umkhonto we Sizwe in 1961, leading a bombing campaign against government targets. In 1962 he was arrested, convicted of sabotage and conspiracy to overthrow the government, and sentenced to life imprisonment in the Rivonia Trial.
J. R. R. Tolkien
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. He served as the Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Pembroke College, Oxford, from 1925 to 1945 and Merton Professor of English Language and Literature at Merton College, Oxford from 1945 to 1959. He was at one time a close friend of C. S. Lewis—they were both members of the informal literary discussion group known as the Inklings. Tolkien was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II on 28 March 1972. After his father's death, Tolkien's son Christopher published a series of works based on his father's extensive notes and unpublished manuscripts, including The Silmarillion. These, together with The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings form a connected body of tales, poems, fictional histories, invented languages, and literary essays about a fantasy world called Arda, and Middle-earth within it. Between 1951 and 1955, Tolkien applied the term legendarium to the larger part of these writings. While many other authors had published works of fantasy before Tolkien, the great success of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings led directly to a popular resurgence of the genre. This has caused Tolkien to be popularly identified as the "father" of modern fantasy literature—or, more precisely, of high fantasy.
Charlize Theron is a South African and American actress and fashion model. She rose to fame in the late 1990s following roles in the films The Devil's Advocate, Mighty Joe Young, and The Cider House Rules. Theron received critical acclaim for her portrayal of serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster, for which she won the Silver Bear, Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, and Academy Award all for Best Actress, among several other accolades, becoming the first South African to win an Academy Award in a major acting category. In recent years, she has moved into the field of producing, both in television and film. She received further Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations for her performance in North Country in 2005, and a Golden Globe Award nomination for her performance in Young Adult in 2011. In 2012, she appeared in Snow White & the Huntsman and Prometheus, both of which were box office successes. Theron became a U.S. citizen in 2007, while retaining her South African citizenship.
Desmond Mpilo Tutu is a South African social rights activist and retired Anglican bishop who rose to worldwide fame during the 1980s as an opponent of apartheid. He was the first black South African Archbishop of Cape Town and primate of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa. Tutu's admirers see him as a man who since the demise of apartheid has been active in the defence of human rights and uses his high profile to campaign for the oppressed, though his consistent opposition to Israel and the United States has made him controversial. He has campaigned to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, poverty, racism, sexism, the imprisonment of Chelsea Manning, homophobia and transphobia. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984; the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism in 1986; the Pacem in Terris Award in 1987; the Sydney Peace Prize in 1999; the Gandhi Peace Prize in 2007; and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009. He has also compiled several books of his speeches and sayings.
Oscar Leonard Carl Pistorius is a South African sprint runner. Although both of Pistorius' legs were amputated below the knee when he was 11 months old, he competes in events for single below-knee amputees and for able-bodied athletes. At the 2011 World Championships in Athletics, Pistorius became the first amputee to win an able-bodied world track medal. At the 2012 Summer Olympics, Pistorius became the first double leg amputee to participate in the Olympics when he entered the men's 400 metres and 4 × 400 metres relay races. At the 2012 Summer Paralympics, Pistorius won gold medals in the men's 400 metre race and in the 4 × 100 metres relay, setting world records in both events. He also took a silver in the 200 metres race, having set a world record in the semifinal. On 14 February 2013, Pistorius was charged with the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, whom he had fatally shot at his home in the early hours of that morning. He was granted bail on 22 February 2013 and at a subsequent hearing on 19 August 2013 dates were set for a trial from 3 to 20 March 2014.
Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, GCB is the President of South Africa, elected by parliament following his party's victory in the 2009 general election. Zuma is the President of the African National Congress, the governing political party, and was Deputy President of South Africa from 1999 to 2005. Zuma is also referred to by his initials JZ and his clan name Msholozi. Zuma became the President of the ANC on 18 December 2007 after defeating incumbent Thabo Mbeki at the ANC conference in Polokwane. He was re-elected as ANC leader at the ANC conference in Manguang on 18 December 2012, defeating challenger Kgalema Motlanthe by a large majority. Zuma was also a member of the South African Communist Party, briefly serving on the party's Politburo until he left the party in 1990. On 20 September 2008, Thabo Mbeki announced his resignation after being recalled by the African National Congress's National Executive Committee. The recall came after South African High Court Judge Christopher Nicholson ruled that Mbeki had improperly interfered with the operations of the National Prosecuting Authority, including the prosecution of Jacob Zuma for corruption.
Alternative rock Artist
David John "Dave" Matthews is a South African singer-songwriter, musician and actor, best known as the lead vocalist, songwriter, and guitarist for the Dave Matthews Band. He performs mainly with acoustic guitar and favors rhythm rather than solos in his playing. During the period from 2000 to 2010, his band, the Dave Matthews Band, sold more tickets and earned more money than any other act in North America.
Theodore Ernest "Ernie" Els is a South African professional golfer. A former World No. 1, he is known as "The Big Easy" due to his imposing physical stature along with his fluid golf swing. Among his 66 career victories are four major championships: the U.S. Open in 1994 at Oakmont and in 1997 at Congressional, and The Open Championship in 2002 at Muirfield and in 2012 at Royal Lytham & St Annes. He is one of six golfers to twice win both the U.S. Open and The Open Championship. Other highlights in Els' career include topping the 2003 and 2004 European Tour Order of Merit, and winning the World Match Play Championship a record seven times. He was the leading career money winner on the European Tour until overtaken by Lee Westwood in 2011, and was the first member of the tour to earn over 25 million Euros from European Tour events. He has held the number one spot in the Official World Golf Ranking and until 2013 held the record for weeks ranked in the top ten with 788. Els rose to 15th in the world rankings after winning the 2012 Open Championship. He was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2010, on his first time on the ballot, and was inducted in May 2011.
Terence Stamp is an actor.
Gary Player DMS; OIG is a South African professional golfer, widely regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of golf. Over his career, Player accumulated an impressive nine major championships on the regular tour and six Champions Tour major championship victories, as well as three Senior British Open Championships on the European Senior Tour. At the age 29, Player won the 1965 U.S. Open and became the only non-American to win all four majors, known as the career Grand Slam. Player became only the third golfer in history to win the Grand Slam, following Ben Hogan and Gene Sarazen. Since then, only Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods have won the Grand Slam. Player has won 165 tournaments on six continents over six decades and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974. Born in Johannesburg, Player has logged more than 25 million kilometres in travel, which is more than any other athlete. Nicknamed the Black Knight, Mr. Fitness, and the International Ambassador of Golf, Player is also a renowned golf course architect with more than 325 design projects on 5 continents throughout the world. He has also authored or co-written 36 golf books.
Justin Peter Rose is a South African-born English professional golfer who plays most of his golf on the PGA Tour, while keeping his membership on the European Tour. He won his first major championship at the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club, becoming the first English player to win a major since Nick Faldo in 1996 and the first to win the U.S. Open since Tony Jacklin in 1970. He first came to prominence as an amateur at the 1998 Open Championship where he holed a dramatic shot from the rough at the final hole to finish in a tie for fourth place. He won the 2007 Order of Merit on the European Tour and was ranked in the World top-ten for 34 weeks between November 2007 and July 2008. In March 2012, Rose won his first World Golf Championship event at the WGC-Cadillac Championship and as a result he re-entered the world top-10. After finishing second to Tiger Woods in the 2013 Arnold Palmer Invitational, he rose to a career high world ranking of 3rd.
Ashley Cole is an English footballer, who plays for Chelsea and the England national team. Cole is considered by many critics and fellow professional players as one of the best defenders of his generation, and by some to be the best left back in the world. Born in Stepney, London, Cole began his youth career at Arsenal and made his full debut for the club in November 1999, going on to make a further 228 appearances, scoring nine goals. With Arsenal he won two Premier League titles, three FA Cups, and was an integral member of "The Invincibles" team of the 2003–04 season, who went the entire league season undefeated. Cole also made an appearance in Arsenal's first UEFA Champions League final in 2006; the club lost 2–1 to FC Barcelona. In August 2006, after a protracted transfer saga, Cole completed a move to rival club Chelsea, with whom he won further honours, including the Premier League in the 2009–10 season, four FA Cups, one Football League Cup and one UEFA Champions League. With seven winners' medals, Cole has won the FA Cup more times than any other player in history, and is one of two players to have won the Double with two different clubs, along with Nicolas Anelka.
Kevin Peter Pietersen, MBE is a South African-born English cricketer. He is a right-handed batsman and occasional off spin bowler who plays for England, Surrey and the Delhi Daredevils. He normally fields in the gully or in the covers. Pietersen was born in Pietermaritzburg, Natal Province, South Africa. He made his first-class debut for Natal in 1997 before moving to England, after voicing his displeasure at the racial quota system in place in South Africa. His English mother made him eligible to play for England and after serving a qualifying period of four years playing at county level, he was called up almost immediately into the national side. He made his international debut in the One Day International match against Zimbabwe in 2004 and his Test match debut in the 2005 Ashes series against Australia the following year. The England team's subsequent reliance on Pietersen resulted in only a single first-class appearance for Hampshire between 2005 and 2010. On 17 June 2010, Pietersen announced his wish to leave Hampshire and he subsequently joined Surrey on loan for the remainder of the season before joining the club permanently from the 2011 season onwards.
Miriam Makeba, nicknamed Mama Africa, was a Grammy Award-winning South African singer and civil rights activist. In the 1960s, she was the first artist from Africa to popularize African music around the world. She is best known for the song "Pata Pata", first recorded in 1957 and released in the U.S. in 1967. She recorded and toured with many popular artists, such as Harry Belafonte, Paul Simon, and her former husband Hugh Masekela. Makeba campaigned against the South African system of apartheid. The South African government responded by revoking her passport in 1960 and her citizenship and right of return in 1963. As the apartheid system crumbled she returned home for the first time in 1990. Makeba died of a heart attack on 9 November 2008 after performing in a concert in Italy organised to support writer Roberto Saviano in his stand against the Camorra, a mafia-like organisation local to the region of Campania.
Shaka kaSenzangakhona, also known as Shaka Zulu, was the most influential leader of the Zulu Kingdom. He is widely credited with uniting many of the Northern Nguni people, specifically the Mtetwa Paramountcy and the Ndwandwe into the Zulu Kingdom, the beginnings of a nation that held sway over the portion of southern Africa between the Phongolo and Mzimkhulu Rivers, and his statesmanship and vigour marked him as one of the greatest Zulu kings. He has been called a military genius for his reforms and innovations, and condemned for the brutality of his reign. Other historians debate about Shaka's role as a uniter, versus an usurper of traditional Zulu ruling prerogatives, and the notion of the Zulu state as a unique construction, divorced from the localised culture and the previous systems built by his predecessor Dingiswayo. Research continues into the character and methods of the Zulu warrior king, whose reign still greatly influences South African culture.
Candice Swanepoel is a South African model best known for her work with Victoria's Secret. In 2012, she came in 10th on the Forbes top-earning models list.
Kevin Anderson is a male South African tennis player. He became the top-ranked South African player on 10 March 2008 after making the final at the 2008 Tennis Channel Open in Las Vegas. He achieved a career-high ranking of World No. 19 in August 2013. On 6 February 2011, he defeated Somdev Devvarman, 4–6, 6–3, 6–2, in his hometown of Johannesburg to capture the South African Open title for his first ATP-level event title. Anderson has represented South Africa in both Davis Cup play and in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
Stephen Bantu Biko was an anti-apartheid activist in South Africa in the 1960s and 1970s. A student leader, he later founded the Black Consciousness Movement which would empower and mobilize much of the urban black population. Since his death in police custody, he has been called a martyr of the anti-apartheid movement. While living, his writings and activism attempted to empower black people, and he was famous for his slogan "black is beautiful", which he described as meaning: "man, you are okay as you are, begin to look upon yourself as a human being". Even though Biko was never a member of ANC, ANC has included him in the pantheon of struggle heroes, going as far as using his image for campaign posters in South Africa's first non-racial elections in 1994.
Philip St. John Basil Rathbone, MC was a South African-born British actor. He rose to prominence in the UK as a Shakespearean stage actor and went on to appear in over 70 films, primarily costume dramas, swashbucklers and, occasionally, horror films. He frequently portrayed suave villains or morally ambiguous characters, such as Murdstone in David Copperfield and Sir Guy of Gisbourne in The Adventures of Robin Hood. His most famous role, however, was heroic — that of Sherlock Holmes in fourteen Hollywood films made between 1939 and 1946 and in a radio series. His later career included roles on Broadway, as well as self-ironic film and television work. He received a Tony Award in 1948 as Best Actor in a Play.
Frederik Willem de Klerk
Frederik Willem de Klerk, known as F. W. De Klerk, was the seventh and last State President of apartheid-era South Africa, serving from September 1989 to May 1994. De Klerk was also leader of the National Party from February 1989 to September 1997. De Klerk is best known for brokering the end of apartheid, South Africa's racial segregation policy, and supporting the transformation of South Africa into a multi-racial democracy by entering into the negotiations that resulted in all citizens, including the country's black majority, having equal voting and other rights. He won the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize in 1991, the Prince of Asturias Award in 1992 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 along with Nelson Mandela for his role in the ending of apartheid. He was one of the deputy presidents of South Africa during the presidency of Nelson Mandela until 1996, the last white person to hold the position to date. In 1997 he retired from active politics. As of 2011 he remains active as a lecturer, including within the United States.
J. M. Coetzee
John Maxwell "J. M." Coetzee is a South African novelist, essayist, linguist, translator and recipient of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature. He has lived in Australia since 2002. He became an Australian citizen in 2006. He lives in Adelaide, South Australia. In 2013, Richard Poplak of the Daily Maverick described Coetzee as "inarguably the most celebrated and decorated living English-language author". Before receiving the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature, Coetzee was awarded the CNA Prize, the Prix Femina Étranger, The Irish Times International Fiction Prize and the Booker Prize, among other accolades.
Howard Carpendale is a South African-German singer.
Andrew John Strauss, OBE is a retired English cricketer who played county cricket for Middlesex County Cricket Club and is a former captain of England's Test cricket team. A fluent left-handed opening batsman, Strauss favoured scoring off the back foot, mostly playing cut and pull shots. Strauss was also known for his fielding strength at slip or in the covers. Strauss made his first-class debut in 1998, and his One Day International debut in Sri Lanka in 2003. He quickly rose to fame on his Test match debut replacing the injured Michael Vaughan at Lord's against New Zealand in 2004. With scores of 112 and 83 in an England victory, and the man of the match award, he became only the fourth batsman to score a century at Lord's on his debut and was close to becoming the first Englishman to score centuries in both innings of his debut. Strauss again nearly scored two centuries and was named man of the match in his first overseas Test match, in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, in December 2004. Strauss suffered a drop in form during 2007, and as a result he was left out of the Test squad for England's tour of Sri Lanka, and announced that he was taking a break from cricket. After a poor tour for England, Strauss was recalled into the squad for the 2008 tour of New Zealand and subsequently re-established himself in the side with a career-best 177 in the third and final Test of that series, and a further three centuries in 2008.
Tennis Tournament Champion
Liezel Huber is a professional tennis player from the United States, having been a naturalized American citizen since July 2007. Huber has won four Grand Slam titles in women's doubles with partner Cara Black, one with Lisa Raymond, and two mixed doubles titles with Bob Bryan. On 12 November 2007, she became the co-world no. 1 in doubles with Cara Black. On 19 April 2010, Huber became the sole no. 1 for the first time in her career.
Amanda Coetzer is a former professional tennis player from South Africa. Coetzer turned professional in 1988 and retired in 2004. She won her first top-level singles title in 1993 in Melbourne, and her second later that year in Tokyo. Coetzer entered the top-20 on the women's world rankings in 1992 and remained there for most of the next 10 years. She developed a reputation for regularly beating players who were higher ranked than her as she climbed to her career high ranking of World No. 3 in 1997. As a result of her many upset wins and her small size, she earned the nickname "The Little Assassin."
Benedict Saul "Benni" McCarthy is a South African former footballer who was last contracted to Orlando Pirates in South Africa. McCarthy holds the record of international goals for a South African. He is the Bafana Bafana's all-time top-scorer with 31 goals.
Nadine Gordimer is a South African writer, political activist and recipient of the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature. She was recognized as a woman "who through her magnificent epic writing has – in the words of Alfred Nobel – been of very great benefit to humanity". Gordimer's writing has long dealt with moral and racial issues, particularly apartheid in South Africa. Under that regime, works such as July's People were banned. She was active in the anti-apartheid movement, joining the African National Congress during the days when the organization was banned. She has recently been active in HIV/AIDS causes.
Mark Richard Shuttleworth is a South African entrepreneur, and space tourist who became the first citizen of an independent African country to travel to space. Shuttleworth founded Canonical Ltd. and as of 2013, provides leadership for the Ubuntu operating system. He currently lives on the Isle of Man and holds dual citizenship of South Africa and the United Kingdom.
Wayne Richard Ferreira is a former professional tennis player from South Africa.
Progressive rock Artist
Trevor Charles Rabin is a South African born musician, best known as a guitarist, vocalist and songwriter for the British progressive rock band Yes 1982–1994, then as a film composer.
Steven Berkoff is an English actor, author, playwright and theatre director. As an actor, he is best known for his performances in villainous roles, such as Lt. Col Podovsky in Rambo: First Blood Part II, General Orlov in the James Bond film Octopussy, Victor Maitland in Beverly Hills Cop and Adolf Hitler in the TV mini-series War and Remembrance. His greatest commercial success has been The Tourist, which grossed US$278 million worldwide.
Paul Lloyd, Jr. is a South African professional wrestler. He works for WWE under the ring name Justin Gabriel. A second-generation wrestler, Lloyd was initially trained by his father. Debuting in 1997 aged 16, he competed in the United Kingdom and South Africa, and was the the inaugural WWP World Cruiserweight Championship in World Wrestling Professionals. In 2008, Lloyd signed a three-year developmental contract with World Wrestling Entertainment, and was assigned to Florida Championship Wrestling, WWE's developmental territory, where he won the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship, with Kris Logan, and the FCW Florida Heavyweight Championship. In February 2010, he competed in the first season of NXT, finishing third, before being called to the main roster in June 2010 joining The Nexus. Teaming regularly with Heath Slater, the duo won the WWE Tag Team Championship three times in 2010 and 2011.
Jan Christiaan Smuts, OM, CH, ED, KC, FRS, PC was a prominent South African and British Commonwealth statesman, military leader and philosopher. In addition to holding various cabinet posts, he served as Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa from 1919 until 1924 and from 1939 until 1948. He served in the First World War and as a British field marshal in the Second World War. He led commandos in the Second Boer War for the Transvaal. During the First World War, he led the armies of South Africa against Germany, capturing German South-West Africa and commanding the British Army in East Africa. From 1917 to 1919, he was also one of five members of the British War Cabinet. He became a field marshal in the British Army in 1941, and served in the Imperial War Cabinet under Winston Churchill. He was the only person to sign each of the peace treaties ending the First and Second World Wars.
Arnold Vosloo is a South African actor, best known for playing Imhotep in The Mummy and its 2001 sequel The Mummy Returns, as well as the role of the superhero Darkman in the sequel Darkman II: The Return of Durant and its 1996 sequel, Darkman III: Die Darkman Die. and more recently, a South African Mercenary named Colonel Coetzee in the film Blood Diamond, a Middle Eastern terrorist named Habib Marwan in the television series 24, and Zartan in the film G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, and its 2013 sequel, G.I. Joe: Retaliation.
Dale Willem Steyn is a South African cricketer who plays in Test and One Day International cricket for South Africa. He is currently the number one ranked Test bowler in the world and has been for the past 4 years, achieving the 900+ points benchmark on 13 November 2011 following his important early work with pace bowling expert, Ian Pont. Steyn plays domestic cricket in South Africa for Cape Cobras. He is a right-arm fast bowler, and bowls at speeds of around 145–150 km/h. His fastest ball in international cricket was clocked at 155.7 km/h against New Zealand. Steyn holds the record for the fastest South African to reach 100 wickets in Test Match cricket, a feat he achieved on 2 March 2008. Steyn currently has the best bowling strike rate of all time in Test match cricket. Dale Steyn achieved a tally of 78 wickets at an average of 16.24 in Season 2007/08 and was subsequently rewarded with the prestigious ICC 2008 Test Cricketer of the Year Award. He was named one of the Wisden cricketers of the year in 2013.
Tennis Tournament Champion
Kevin Melvyn Curren is a former professional tennis player. He played in two Grand Slam singles finals and won four Grand Slam doubles titles, reaching a career-high singles ranking of World No. 5.
Sasha Pieterse is a South African born American actress and singer. She is known for her role as Alison DiLaurentis on ABC Family's TV series Pretty Little Liars.
Jacques Henry Kallis is a South African cricketer. As a right-handed batsman and right-arm fast-medium swing bowler, Kallis is regarded as one of the most successful all-rounders in recent years. As of 2013 he was the only cricketer in the history of the game to score more than 11,000 runs and 250 wickets in both one-day and Test match cricket. Kallis has played over 150 Test matches and has a batting average of over 55 runs per innings.. From October to December 2007 he scored five centuries in four Test Matches; with his century in the second innings of the third test against India in January 2011, his 40th in all, he moved past Ricky Ponting to become the second-highest scorer of Test centuries, behind only Sachin Tendulkar with 51. Kallis was named Leading Cricketer in the World in the 2008 Wisden for his performances in 2007 in addition to being the "ICC Test Player of the Year" and ICC Player of the Year in 2005. He has been described by Kevin Pietersen and Daryll Cullinan as the greatest cricketer to play the game, and along with Walter Hammond and Sir Garry Sobers is one of the few Test all-rounders whose Test batting average is over 50 and exceeds his Test bowling average by 20 or more.
Neill Blomkamp is a South African-Canadian film and advertisement director, writer, producer and animator. Blomkamp employs a documentary-style, hand-held, cinéma vérité technique, blending naturalistic and photo-realistic computer-generated effects. He is best known as the co-writer and director of critically acclaimed District 9 and the science fiction film Elysium. He is based out of Vancouver, British Columbia. Time named Blomkamp as one of the 100 Most Influential People of 2009. Forbes magazine named him as the 21st most powerful celebrity from Africa.
Saartjie "Sarah" Baartman was the most famous of at least two Khoikhoi women who were exhibited as freak show attractions in 19th-century Europe under the name Hottentot Venus—"Hottentot" as the then-current name for the Khoi people, now considered an offensive term, and "Venus" in reference to the Roman goddess of love.
Hugh Ramopolo Masekela is a South African trumpeter, flugelhornist, cornetist, composer, and singer. He is the father of American television host Sal Masekela.
Retief Goosen is a South African professional golfer who has been in the top ten in the Official World Golf Ranking for over 250 weeks between 2001 and 2007. His main achievements have been two U.S. Open wins and heading the European Tour Order of Merit in 2001 and 2002.
Bryan Gary Habana is a South African rugby union player who plays as a wing for Toulon in the French Top 14 competition, as well as 2007 Rugby World Cup champions Springboks. Habana was one of the stars of the World Cup, his eight tries equalling the record set by Jonah Lomu in 1999, and was named the 2007 IRB Player of the Year. Named after former Manchester United footballers Bryan Robson and Gary Bailey, he played outside centre and scrumhalf in provincial and age group rugby, but once he was moved to the wing a vast improvement was seen. Prior to his first year of Super Rugby he was selected for the Springboks, scoring a try with his first touch of the ball in test rugby in the end-of-season match against England at Twickenham in 2004.
Sid James was a South African born English-based actor and comedian. Appearing in British films from 1947, he was cast in numerous small and supporting roles into the 1960s. His profile was raised as Tony Hancock's co-star in Hancock's Half Hour, which ran on television from 1956 until 1960, and then he became known as a regular performer in the Carry On films. Meanwhile, his starring roles in television sitcoms continued for the rest of his life. Remembered for a lascivious persona, he became known for his amiability in his later television work. Bruce Forsyth described him as "a natural at being natural."
Jody David Scheckter is a South African former auto racing driver, the 1979 Formula One World Drivers' Champion.
Chad le Clos
Chad Guy Bertrand le Clos, OIS is a South African swimmer who is an Olympic and Commonwealth Games champion as well as the Commonwealth record holder in the 50 and 100 meter butterfly. He won gold in the 200 meter butterfly and silver in the 100 meter butterfly in the 2012 Olympics in London. He also won five medals at the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics in Singapore.
Hashim Mahomed Amla is a South African cricketer. A right-handed top order batsman and occasional medium-pace bowler, Amla bats at number 3 for South Africa in Test matches and has opened in limited overs contests. He is currently ranked by the International Cricket Council as the world's top batsman in Test and One Day Internationals. Amla became the first South African to score a Test match triple century when he scored 311 not out against England in 2012. In the 57th innings of his one-day international career, Amla became the fastest batsman to score 3,000 ODI runs, requiring 12 innings fewer than Sir Vivian Richards, Hashim Amla in 2013 became the first batsman since Ricky Ponting to head both Test and ODI rankings at the same time in the latest ICC charts. He was named as one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 2013.
Devdas Gandhi was the fourth and youngest son of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. He was born in South Africa on the 2.October and returned to India with his parents as a young man. He became active in his father's movement, spending many terms in jail. He spent a lot of time with his father. He also became a prominent journalist, serving as editor of Hindustan Times. Devdas fell in love with Lakshmi, the daughter of Rajaji, Devdas's father's associate in the Indian independence struggle. Due to Lakshmi's age at that time – she was only fifteen, whereas Devdas was twenty eight years – both Devdas's father and Rajaji asked the couple to wait for five years without seeing each other. After five years had passed, they were married with their fathers' permissions in 1933. Devdas and Lakshmi had four children, Rajmohan Gandhi, Gopalkrishna Gandhi, Ramchandra Gandhi and Tara.
Rebecca Malope is a South African gospel singer born in 1968. She hosts the TV show "It's Gospel Time." Rebecca’s story starts in 1986. Driven by a burning desire to become South Africa’s most celebrated and admired songstress, Rebecca, barely 18 years old, and her sister Cynthia, left their home township of Lekazi near Nelspruit and hiked 400 km to Evaton from where they finally reached Johannesburg. This brave step launched a personal journey of achievement that was destined to touch the hearts and minds of millions. Rebecca has released 32 albums in a music career spanning over 27 years to date. In 2009 she released her 30th album titled My Hero containing double CDs. In April 2010 she released her 31st album. In her almost three decades career, she has proved that relevance and resounding with your fans is a great recipe for success.On Monday 14th March,Rebecca Malope released her 32nd album titled "Ukuthula",which translates to English as Peace.Rebecca was quoted in a local newspaper saying “In Ukuthula people must expect rejuvenating sounds and I love the whole album. I decided on that name after thinking about the state the world is in today “People have no peace. There is war everywhere, even in churches.I want people to come together and more importantly have peace in their lives, so that we can have peace in the world,” said Rebecca.
Scherri-Lee Biggs is a South African-born Australian model, beauty queen and pageant titleholder from Watermans Bay, Perth, Australia. She won the title of Miss Universe Australia, on 7 July 2011.
AB de Villiers
Abraham Benjamin de Villiers is a South African cricketer, who captains the South African One Day International team, having succeeded Graeme Smith after the 2011 Cricket World Cup. He is also part of Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League. Since 2013 he is ranked 1st in the Test batting rankings and 1st in the ODI batting rankings. The son of Dr Abraham P de Villiers, he attended Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool, a public school located in Pretoria. De Villiers is a right-handed batsman, who, in a very short space of time, has accumulated many runs in Tests including 16 centuries and 32 fifties. He still holds the record for most Test innings without registering a duck, before being dismissed for nought against Bangladesh in November 2008. He also holds the second-highest individual score by a South African batsman in an innings, with 278*. Until 2012, he was an occasional wicket-keeper for South Africa, although since the retirement of regular Test keeper Mark Boucher and under his own ODI captaincy he has started to regularly keep wicket for the national side in Tests, ODIs and T20s. He is also commonly regarded as one of the best fielders currently in international cricket and is considered to be the best South African fielder since Jonty Rhodes.
Troye Sivan Mellet, better known as Troye Sivan, is a South African-born Australian actor, YouTuber and singer. He played Young James Howlett in the X-Men film X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and most recently starred in the film Spud and its sequel, Spud 2. He also makes videos that he posts to video-sharing website YouTube, on which he currently has over 1,000,000 subscribers and over 30,000,000 views.
Bruce David Grobbelaar is a former football goalkeeper and manager. He played for a number of clubs in a career which spanned for more than 20 years at professional level, most notably Liverpool during their dominant period in the 1980s and early 1990s.
Mokgadi Caster Semenya is a South African middle-distance runner and world champion. Semenya won gold in the women's 800 metres at the 2009 World Championships with a time of 1:55.45 in the final. Semenya also won silver medals at the 2011 World Championships and the 2012 Summer Olympics, both in the 800 metres. Following her victory at the 2009 World Championships, it was announced that she had been subjected to gender testing. She was withdrawn from international competition until 6 July 2010 when the IAAF cleared her to return to competition. In 2010, the British magazine New Statesman included Semenya in a list of "50 People That Matter 2010".
Traditional pop Artist
Alma Cogan was an English singer of traditional pop music in the 1950s and early 1960s. Dubbed "The Girl With the Laugh/Giggle/Chuckle In Her Voice", she was the highest paid British female entertainer of her era. Throughout the mid-1950s, she was the most consistently successful female singer in the UK.
Sharlto Copley is a South African producer, actor, and director who has produced and co-directed short films which have appeared at the Cannes Film Festival, as well as commercials and music videos. He is perhaps best known for playing the roles of Wikus van der Merwe in the Oscar-nominated science fiction film District 9, Howling Mad Murdock in the 2010 adaptation of The A-Team, and Agent M. Kruger in the science fiction film Elysium.
Lodewicus Theodorus "Louis" Oosthuizen is a South African professional golfer who won the 2010 Open Championship and was runner-up in the 2012 Masters Tournament. His highest placing on the Official World Golf Ranking is fourth which he achieved in January 2013.
Anthony William "Tony" Greig was an England Test cricket captain turned commentator. Born in South Africa, Greig qualified to play for the English national team by virtue of his Scottish parentage. He was a tall batting all-rounder who bowled both medium pace and off spin. Greig was captain of England from 1975 to 1977, and also captained Sussex. His younger brother, Ian, also played Test cricket, while several other members of his extended family played at first-class level. A leading player in English county cricket, Greig is thought by some former players and pundits to have been one of England's leading international all-rounders. He helped Kerry Packer start World Series Cricket by signing up many of his English colleagues as well as West Indian and Pakistani cricketers, a move which cost him the England captaincy. He is also noted for a controversial run-out of Alvin Kallicharran in a Test Match against the West Indies in 1974, and often clashed with Australian fast bowler Dennis Lillee on the 1974–75 Ashes Tour in Australia. His infamous "grovel" statement in the lead-up to the 1976 tour of England by the West Indies was met with severe criticism.
Steven Pienaar is a South African footballer who currently plays for English club Everton and was captain of the South African national team until October 2012. He primarily plays as a winger. He can play on either the right or left wing and as an attacking midfielder. Pienaar has previously played for Ajax Cape Town, Ajax, Borussia Dortmund and Tottenham Hotspur.
Tennis Tournament Champion
Frew Donald McMillan is a former professional male tennis player from South Africa. He won five major doubles championships including three Wimbledons with Bob Hewitt. Altogether, he won 63 doubles titles, surpassed only by John McEnroe and Tom Okker. The most notable aspect of his game was that he had both a two-handed backhand and forehand, which simultaneously increased his power while restricting his mobility. In the 1967 Wimbledon, the pair did not lose a set, and McMillan did not once lose a service game. McMillan was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island in 1992. He works as a tennis commentator for Eurosport and on BBC Radio 5 during Wimbledon.
P. W. Botha
Pieter Willem Botha, DMS, commonly known as "P. W." and Die Groot Krokodil, was the prime minister of South Africa from 1978 to 1984 and the first executive state president from 1984 to 1989. First elected to Parliament in 1948, Botha was for eleven years head of the Afrikaner National Party and the South African government. Although an outspoken opponent of black majority rule and international communism, his administration did make concessions towards political reform, whereas internal unrest saw widespread human rights abuses at the hands of the government as well as the militant opposition. Botha resigned the party leadership in February 1989 after suffering a stroke and six months later was coerced to leave the presidency as well. In F. W. de Klerk's 1992 referendum Botha campaigned for a No vote and denounced De Klerk's administration as irresponsible. In early 1998, when Botha refused to testify at the Mandela government's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, he was supported by the right-wing Conservative Party, which had earlier contested his rule, in his refusal and was fined and given a suspended jail sentence later that year. Shortly before his death in late 2006, he renewed his opposition towards egalitarian democracy in favour of a confederate system based upon the principles of apartheid.
Ian Jonathan Leonard Trott is a South African-born English Test cricketer. Domestically, he plays for Warwickshire, and he has also played in South Africa and New Zealand. He was ICC and ECB Cricketer of the Year in 2011. A right-handed top-order batsman and occasional medium-pace bowler, he played two Twenty20 Internationals for England in 2007. Good performances for his county in 2008 and 2009, as well as a productive tour in 2008–09 with the England Lions, led to a call-up to the senior England Test squad in August 2009 for the fifth Ashes Test. He scored a century in that Test, becoming the 18th England player to do so on his Test debut. 18 months later, he scored another century at the MCG to set up the victory which saw England retain the Ashes. His highest England score in a Test match is 226, made against Bangladesh at Lord's on 28 May 2010, and he took his first Test wicket in the same match. He often fields at slip, particularly to the spinners.
Reeva Rebecca Steenkamp (19 August 1983 – 14 February 2013) was a South African model. On 14 February 2013, she was found shot dead at the home of Paralympic and Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius whom she had been dating since November 2012.
Charl Adriaan Schwartzel is a South African professional golfer who plays on the PGA Tour, European Tour, and the Sunshine Tour. He has won one major title, the Masters in 2011. Schwartzel's highest world ranking has been number six, after finishing in a tie for fourth at the WGC-Cadillac Championship in 2012.
Glynis Johns is a Welsh stage and film actress, dancer, pianist and singer.
Matthew Ebden is a professional Australian tennis player who as of 4 March 2013 is ranked World No. 113 in singles and World No. 88 in doubles by the Association of Tennis Professionals. Highlights of Ebden's career thus far include winning the bronze medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, a quarterfinal appearance at the 2011 Shanghai Rolex Masters and winning the 2013 Australian Open mixed doubles title with Jarmila Gajdošová. Ebden is yet to win an ATP singles title but has won three ATP doubles titles.
Kevin Carter was an award-winning South African photojournalist and member of the Bang-Bang Club. He was the recipient of a Pulitzer Prize for his photograph depicting the 1993 famine in Sudan. He committed suicide at the age of 33. His story is depicted in the 2010 feature film, The Bang-Bang-Club in which he was played by Taylor Kitsch.
Abdullah Ibrahim, formerly known as Dollar Brand, is a South African pianist and composer. His music reflects many of the musical influences of his childhood in the multicultural port areas of Cape Town, ranging from traditional African songs to the gospel of the AME Church and ragas, to more modern jazz and other Western styles. Ibrahim is considered the leading figure in the sub-genre Cape jazz. Within jazz, his music particularly reflects the influence of Thelonious Monk and Duke Ellington. With his wife, the jazz singer Sathima Bea Benjamin, he is father to the New York underground rapper Jean Grae, as well as to a son, Tsakwe.
Elizabeth "Beth" Kimberly Tweddle MBE is a British former artistic gymnast. She is a three-time Olympian, competing in the 2004 Athens, 2008 Beijing, and 2012 London Olympic Games, where she took home a bronze medal on the uneven bars. Tweddle is a triple world champion, having won on uneven bars in 2006, floor in 2009, and uneven bars in 2010. She was the first gymnast from the United Kingdom to win a medal at the European Championships or World Championships, and the first female gymnast from the United Kingdom to win a medal at the Olympic Games. She is considered to be the most successful British gymnast of all time. On 10 March 2013 Tweddle won the eighth series of Dancing on Ice along with partner Daniel Whiston who won the show for the third time. Tweddle retired in August 2013.
Film score Artist
Trevor Alfred Charles Jones is a South African orchestral film score composer. Although not especially well known outside the film world, he has composed for numerous films and his music has been critically acclaimed for both its depth and emotion.
Nicholas Raymond Leige Price is a Zimbabwean professional golfer who has won three major championships in his career: the PGA Championship twice and The Open Championship in 1994. In the mid-1990s, Price reached number one in the Official World Golf Ranking. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2003.
Alice Maud Krige is a South African actress and producer. Her first feature film role was as the Gilbert and Sullivan singer Sybil Gordon in the 1981 Academy Award-winning film Chariots of Fire. Since then, she has played a variety of roles in a number of genres. Krige first played the role of the Borg Queen in the motion picture Star Trek: First Contact and reprised the role for the final episode of the television series Star Trek: Voyager. A year after the series ended, she reprised the role in "Borg Invasion 4-D" at Star Trek: The Experience.
Glynis Barber is a South African-born British actress of Afrikaner descent. When she was five years old, her parents divorced, and she and her mother moved to Johannesburg. She is best known for her portrayals of Soolin in Blake's 7, Sgt. Harriet Makepeace in the British police drama Dempsey and Makepeace, Fiona Brake in Night and Day, DCI Grace Barraclough in Emmerdale and Glenda Mitchell in EastEnders.
African popular Artist
Brenda Fassie was an anti-apartheid South African Afropop singer. Her bold stage antics earned a reputation for "outrageousness". Affectionately called Mabrr by her fans, she was sometimes described as the "Queen of African Pop".
Philip "Phil" Ramone was an South African-born American recording engineer, record producer, violinist and composer, who in 1958 co-founded A & R Recording, Inc., a recording studio with business partner Jack Arnold at 112 West 48th Street, New York, above was what then Manny's Music. The success of that studio caused it to grow into several studios and a record producing company. He was described by Billboard as "legendary", and the BBC as a "CD pioneer".
Chanelle Scheepers is a South African professional tennis player. Her career high WTA singles ranking is No. 37, which she reached on 10 October 2011. Her career high doubles ranking is 82, set on 10 June 2013. She is sponsored by Babolat racquets and K-Swiss for clothing. She is coached by Roger Anderson.
Hip hop Artist
Jean Grae, formerly known as What? What?, is an American hip-hop artist. She rose to prominence in the underground hip-hop scene in New York City and has since built an international fanbase.
Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger, better known as Paul Kruger, and affectionately known as Uncle Paul, was State President of the South African Republic. He gained international renown as the face of Boer resistance against the British during the South African or Second Boer War.
Cariba Heine is a South African born Australian actress and dancer. She is best known for her roles as Rikki Chadwick in the Network Ten show H2O: Just Add Water, Bridget Sanchez in Blue Water High, and as Caroline Byrne in A Model Daughter: The Killing of Caroline Byrne. Heine has attended The UK Nickelodeon Choice Awards 2007 and The DOLLY Teen Choice Awards 2008.
Lara Logan is a South African television and radio journalist, and war correspondent. She is the chief foreign affairs correspondent for CBS News, and a correspondent for CBS's 60 Minutes.
Francois Botha, also known as Frans Botha, is a South African boxer, nicknamed "The White Buffalo". Botha is a four-time world title challenger. Since his days as a contender came to an end in 2002, an aged Botha has competed in numerous kickboxing and mixed martial arts events. As an amateur, he was knocked out by Corrie Sanders three times out of their four fights.
Tennis Tournament Champion
Johan Kriek is a South African-American professional male tennis player and founder of the Global Water Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to delivering clean water to the world's neediest communities. Kriek won two Australian Opens and reached the semifinals at the French Open and US Open, as well as the quarterfinals of Wimbledon. He won 14 professional singles and 8 doubles titles, reaching a career-high singles ranking of World No. 7. Kriek's most memorable wins include victories over Andre Agassi, Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Guillermo Vilas, Stefan Edberg, Michael Chang, Vitas Gerulaitis and Björn Borg. Currently Kriek and his wife Daga Mrozek Kriek run the The Johan Kriek Tennis Academy in Charlotte, North Carolina, where they reside with their daughter Karolina and their son Kristian. He attended Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool, a popular and renowned public school located in Pretoria. Kriek became a naturalized American citizen in August 1982.
Wessel Johannes "Hansie" Cronje was a South African cricketer and captain of the South African national cricket team in the 1990s. He was voted the 11th greatest South African in 2004 despite having been banned for life from professional cricket for his role in a match-fixing scandal.
Athol Fugard is an actor, screenwriter and film director.
Wayne Odesnik is a professional left-handed American tennis player, with a two-handed backhand. Among his biggest upsets were a 2007 win over Ivan Ljubičić, and a 2009 win against Igor Kunitsyn. Odesnik won his first Futures title in 2003, and has won a combined 14 singles titles in Challenger and Future ITF Men's Circuit events. He resides in Weston, Florida, in the United States. In March 2010, Odesnik pleaded guilty to importing human growth hormone into Australia and was banned for two years by the International Tennis Federation. The ban was later reduced to one year on account of his "substantial assistance" with the Federation's anti-doping programme. In January 2013, it was revealed that Odesnik's name appears in the handwritten records of Biogenesis of America, the former Miami sports clinic linked to a performance-enhancing drug scandal in Major League Baseball. In the records for 2009, 2010 and 2011, and under the heading of 'Tennis' in five client lists, Odesnik's name appears numerous times; the records indicate that he was billed $500 per month by the clinic. Odesnik has denied any connection to the clinic.
Sibusiso Wiseman Zuma is a South African professional football player playing for Supersport United in the Premier Soccer League.
Itumeleng Khune is a South African footballer. He currently plays as a goalkeeper for Kaizer Chiefs in the Premier Soccer League, as well as the South African national team, both of which he is captain. Khune is known for his quick reflexes and his distribution which has been hailed as "the best you will see anywhere" by former Liverpool FC goalkeeper Sander Westerveld.
Graeme Craig Smith is a South African cricketer and captain of the South African cricket team Test side, having succeeded Shaun Pollock after the 2003 Cricket World Cup. He was succeeded as captain of the ODI side by AB de Villiers after the 2011 Cricket World Cup. He is also currently the overseas player and captain of English side Surrey. He appeared in his 100th Test against England on 19 July 2012. He captained his 100th career Test match on 1 February 2013, against Pakistan, on his 32nd Birthday. A tall, left-handed opening batsman, on the 2003 South African tour of England he made double centuries in consecutive Test matches: 277 at Edgbaston, and 259 at Lord's. The 259 is the highest score made at Lord's by a foreign player. On October 24,2013,Graeme Smith became the second South African and 12th overall to complete 9000 runs in test cricket in his 112th test match. Known for the success of his opening partnership with Herschelle Gibbs, South Africa's most prolific ever opening partnership, Smith has the distinction of having been part of all four of South Africa's opening partnerships of over 300 runs: in three of them he was partnered by Gibbs, and in 2008 Smith added 415 for the first wicket with Neil McKenzie against Bangladesh, a world record opening partnership.Graeme Smith is currently the most successful Test captain, having overtaken Ricky Ponting's 48 Test victories.Graeme Smith has five double hundreds to his name.
Morné Steyn is a South African rugby union player who plays at the Flyhalf position. He plays at number 10 for the Springboks internationally, as well as for Stade Français in the French Top 14 competition. He previously played Super Rugby for the Bulls and was a member of the team that won the 2007, 2009 and 2010 Super Rugby competitions, ending both the 2009 and 2010 seasons as the leading point scorer and setting a record of 4 drop goals in one single match, in the 2009 semi-final against the Crusaders. In May 2013 it was announced that he would join the French Top 14 club, Stade Français. He made his début on Friday 30 August 2013 in a 38 - 3 victory against Biarritz Olympique. Coming on in the 60th minute, he scored 4 points by converting two tries. Steyn has won an U-21 World Cup, 2 Currie Cups, 3 Super rugby titles and 1 Tri-Nations.
Lawrence Siphiwe Tshabalala is a South African professional football midfielder who currently plays for Kaizer Chiefs in the Premier Soccer League.
Matthew James Prior is an English cricketer who plays for England in Test cricket and domestic cricket for Sussex. He is a wicket-keeper, and his aggressive right-handed batting enables him to open the innings in ODI matches. With an international Test debut score of 126, Prior became the first English wicket-keeper to hit a century in his debut match in early 2007. His glovework, however, was criticised. Despite a successful tour of Sri Lanka with the bat, Prior's keeping was less successful, and he was dropped from the team for the 2008 tour of New Zealand. He returned for the 2008 series against South Africa, and was retained into 2009, where he became the second fastest England keeper to reach 1,000 Test runs, behind Les Ames.
Mark Dennis González Hoffmann, commonly known as Mark González, is a Chilean footballer whose preferred position is as a left winger. González currently plays for CSKA Moscow. He made his international debut in 2003, and was selected in Chile's squads for two Copa America tournaments and the 2010 World Cup.
Nicholas Richard Denis Compton is a South African-born English cricketer. The grandson of Denis Compton, he plays first-class cricket for Somerset County Cricket Club, and has represented England in 9 Test matches. A right-handed top order batsman and occasional right-arm off spin bowler, he made his List-A debut for Middlesex in 2001 and made his first-class debut three years later. A move to Somerset in 2010 saw Compton establish himself as a consistent scorer in a strong top order and following a prolific domestic season he made his England Test debut against India in November 2012. In April 2013, the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack named Compton as one of their five Wisden Cricketers of the Year.
William Kentridge is a South African artist best known for his prints, drawings, and animated films. These are constructed by filming a drawing, making erasures and changes, and filming it again. He continues this process meticulously, giving each change to the drawing a quarter of a second to two seconds' screen time. A single drawing will be altered and filmed this way until the end of a scene. These palimpsest-like drawings are later displayed along with the films as finished pieces of art.
Rory Mario Trevor Sabbatini is a South African professional golfer. He currently resides in Fort Worth, Texas, United States.
George Lowther Steer was a South African-born British journalist, author and war correspondent who reported on wars preceding World War II, especially the Second Italo-Abyssinian War and the Spanish Civil War. During those wars he was employed by The Times, and his eye-witness reports did much to alert western nations of war crimes committed by the Italians in Ethiopia and by the Germans in Spain, although little was done to prevent them by the League of Nations.
Vusi Kunene is an actor.