Notable South Africans

  • Nelson Mandela, former President, Nobel Peace Prize Winner 1993
  • Desmond Tutu, General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches, Nobel Peace Prize Winner 1984
  • Walter Sisulu
  • Steve Biko, anti-apartheid activist
  • Hector Pieterson, came to represent the anger and tragedy of a day that changed the course of South African history, sparking months of clashes between police, schoolchildren and protesters
  • Nadine Gordimer, recipient of the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature
  • FW de Klerk – Nobel Peace Prize Winner with Nelson Mandela, 1993
  • Navanethem Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Judge Richard Goldstone, former Chief Prosecutor of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda
  • Dr. Liam Pedersen, former NASA robotics researcher who was instrumental in creating the Mars rover as part of his work on future planetary exploration
  • Elon Musk, CEO and product architect of Tesla Motors and the CEO/CTO of Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX)
  • Dr. Mankekolo Mahlangu-Ngcobo, Consultant for The Johns Hopkins Health Systems-Community Outreach. She was a consultant with the US Public Health Service, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, and conducted an evaluation of a Healthy Start Program in Boston. Dr. Mahlangu-Ngcobo is an ordained minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AMEC) and an author of nine books.
  • Penelope Andrews – lawyer
  • Miriam Makeba, a singer known as Mama Africa and the Empress of African song
  • Lucky Dube, alongside Bob Marley, was one of the great reggae artists, singing about social problems
  • Hugh Masekela, South African trumpeter, flugelhornist, cornetist, composer, and singer
  • Charlize Theron, The Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project (CTAOP) invests in African youth to keep themselves safe from HIV/AIDS. CTAOP was created in 2007 by the Academy Award-winning actress and UN Messenger of Peace, with the hope of making a difference in fighting HIV in South Africa. Although the geographic scope of CTAOP is Sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa has remained the primary area of focus.
  • Arnold Vosloo, Actor
  • Stelio Savante, Actor
  • Siyabulela Xuza, Scientist
  • David Tlale, Fashion Designer
  • Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Grammy Award-Winning Choir
  • Soweto Gospel Choir
  • Lebo M – South African singer and songwriter
  • Tsidii Le Loka – Vocalist, Actor, Composer, Speaker
  • Mpho Gift Ngoepe, Major League Baseball infielder
  • Bruce Fordyce, Marathoner– Originally published in UltraRunning Magazine, May/June 2012, and reproduced with permission.
  • Alf Kumalo, one of South Africa’s leading documentary photographers
  • João Silva, one of the documentary photographers who covered the violent birth pangs of democratic South Africa
  • Greg Marinovich, Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer doing conflict, documentary and news photography around the globe.
  • Agnes Matlebjane – Author, Footsteps- My Life As An Au Pair, (also available at XLibris), Exchange Student at Kean University
  • Warren Adams, Ballet dancer, and choreographer
  • Born in the RSA – and big in the USA
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