have expanded our horizons.
The stuff of legends.
1918 - 2013
fighter, boxer, lawyer, political prisoner, president and
'Father of the Nation'. He founded the ANC's armed wing
'Umkhonto we Sizwe' in 1961 and led his country into the
post-Apartheid era in 1994. He won the Nobel Peace Prize
1922 - 2001
who performed the first human heart transplant in the
world, in 1967. He was also the first to do a
"piggyback" transplant in 1971, and the first to
do a heart-lung transplant. He pioneered a system of
post-operative intensive care that markedly decreased
1931 - ?
of the Anglican Church of Cape Town, head of South
Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission and
activist. He boldly engaged in a nationwide defiance
campaign under Apartheid. Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize
1910 - 1963
outstanding fighter pilot of the Second World War, and by
the end of 1941 was the top scorer with 32 kills, plus 2
unconfirmed - a record which he held for three years. He
developed the "Ten Rules for Air Fighting",
which remains still today the classic tenets for
successful air fighting.
1946 - 1977
and black consciousness leader who preached Black
solidarity to “break the chains of oppression”. He
died in police custody after being beaten and interrogated
for 24 days.
and human rights activist was exiled for 30 years from her
home country and is the first South African to win a
Grammy award. She twice addressed the General Assembly of
the United Nations and is a winner of the 1986 Dag
Hammerskjold Peace Prize.
1870 - 1950
Boer general, guerrilla leader, Allied Field Marshall,
statesman and philosopher. He helped found the League of
Nations and wrote the Covenant of the United Nations. He
also originated the concept of 'Holism'
1898 - 1967
teacher who became a leader of the ANC. He believed in
non-violence and defied the Verwoerdian administration
with protest actions such as passbook-burning. He was
awarded the 1960 Nobel Peace Prize.
1975 - ?
and Golden Globe-winning actress, dancer and animal
activist had a major role in a hard-hitting anti-rape
campaign in South Africa and frequently acts as an
unofficial, but highly effective ambassador for her home
circa 1873 - 1905
and teacher who created the song "Nkosi Sikelel'
iAfrika", which became the anthem of three countries
and generations of Africans.
1855 - 1920
first South African novelist of consequence, and one of
the most significant feminist theorists of the twentieth
century. Her most famous works were "Story of an
African Farm" and "Women and Labour".
1923 - ?
essayist, screenwriter, political activist and champion of
the disenfranchised won the Booker Prize in 1974 for 'The
Conservationist' and the Nobel Prize for Literature in
Those who have inspired us.
Those who have defined us.
Those who have shown us our common humanity.
1789 - 1816
'Hottentot Venus', as she was called in Europe, was a
Khoisan girl who was misled and humiliated in her short
and tragic life, only to have further indignity bestowed
on her after death.
1909 - 1955
and controversial master of the short story, once a death
row inmate, who broke new boundaries with his satirical
portrayal of backveld Afrikaners and the more seedy
characters found in metropolitan Johannesburg.
1970 - ?
survivor who was left for dead after suffering a
horrifying attack that shocked a nation. Today she is an
international speaker on rape and a successful author.
1940 - ?
Professor of Literature and author became the first writer
to win two Booker prizes. He won the first in 1983, for
the "Life and Times of Michael K." and the
second in 1999 for "Disgrace". In 2003 he won
the Nobel Prize for Literature.
1908 - 1975
Scholar, lawyer and anti-Apartheid revolutionary who
defended Nelson Mandela at the Rivonia Trial and died
serving a life sentence for treason.
1932 - ?
of the country's premier playwrights whose works, many
which were previously banned, deal with contemporary South
Africa and the psychological and physical barriers
confronted in trying to overcome Apartheid.
1860 - 1926
activist who exposed the horrors of concentration camps
during the Anglo-Boer War. Her ashes are buried at the
foot of the Women's Memorial monument in Bloemfontein.
1895 - 1948
prodigy, Professor, prominent United Party politician and
intermittent Prime Minister, whose liberal sympathies and
opposition to the removal of the African franchise in 1936
made him a target of the Nationalists.
1966 - ?
and extreme sport enthusiast that has set several world
records and firsts, among them the solo, unpowered
circumnavigation of the globe.
1989 - 2001
activist who was the longest surviving child born with the
virus in the country. He became a symbol for
sufferers after an emotional speech he made at the World
1939 - ?
trumpeter and musical innovator who has popularised his
particular brand of African music accross the globe for
over four decades.
1962 - ?
world flyweight boxing champion who was the shortest man
in boxing and retired successfully defending his crown, at
the age of 40.
1936 - ?
Africa has a hero who remains unsung in his country of
birth. Precious Mckenzie had to overcome numerous trials
during his lifetime to become the sportsman who some
herald as one of the all-time greats.
1903 - 1988
principal and famous author of Cry, the Beloved Country
who tirelessly campaigned for a better South Africa
during its dark years.
1876 - 1932
author and activist who wrote Mhudi, the first
novel by a black South African. He was also a founding
member of the ANC and had a major role in establishing Nkosi
Sikilel i'Afrika as the anthem of freedom.
legend and philanthropist who has won 160-plus tournaments
worldwide, including 9 Grand Slam tournaments. He was
inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.
and patriot who was jailed for life in 1963, along with
Nelson Mandela. He became deputy president of the ANC
after his release in 1989 and has been the cornerstone of
the "old guard" in the struggle.
1959 - ?
fighter, Robben Island prisoner, politician and
entrepeneur who became the first premier of Gauteng, only
to retire from politics when his term ended.
1979 - ?
and discus athlete who became the first black South
African to win an Olympic gold medal at the paraplegic
1971 - ?
survivor, marathon runner and the first black South
African to win a gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
circa 1787 - 1828
strategist who assumed the throne of the Zulu Kingdom.
After he reorganized the Zulu into a military clan, he
soon forged them into a force unchallenged in Southern