Famous Celebrities From South Africa

Proudly Mzansi

By  | Mar 29, 2022, 10:16 AM  | Top of The

Miriam Makeba, famous celebrities from South Africa
South Africa is a home where talent and greatness are born. A fair share of the most famous celebrities in the world are from South Africa- from actors, musicians, models, inventors, and even comedians.

Here are some famous celebrities from South Africa, both alive and dead. Although they were born in South Africa, their names are well-known beyond the borders of Africa.

Lucky Dube

The late Lucky Dube, credit: Facebook

Lucky Dube was and still is the king of reggae in Africa despite being dead for over ten years. He is also among the all-time most famous celebrities from South Africa.

The Prisoner hitmaker was born and raised in Ermelo and lived in Johannesburg up until his untimely death in 2007.

His music was loved and celebrated all over the world for his incredible voice and themes of social justice and revolution.

Miriam Makeba

The late Miriam Makeba, credit: Facebook

Famously known as Mama Africa, Miriam Makeba is one of the most famous celebrities from South Africa who is still widely known and celebrated even after her death.

Makeba was born and raised in Johannesburg in 1932 but lived and performed in the U.S., Belgium, and Guinea after being exiled by the South African government.

She was the first African to ever win the Grammys in 1965 and was one of the most vocal human rights activists and an anti-apartheid champion.

Dave Matthews

Dave Mathews performing at a concert, credit: Instagram

The founder and lead singer of the Grammy-winning band, The Dave Matthews Band, is a big name in Hollywood and Europe, but he is originally from South Africa.

Dave Matthews was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1967 and graduated from Damelin College high school in1985 before permanently relocating to the U.S.A.

The famous rockstar who was raised in the Quaker faith, which is firmly against war and violence, moved to the U.S.A. to avoid being drafted into the military.

In 2013, the Dave Matthews Band held their first concert in Cape Town, South Africa.

John Kani

Black Panther actor, John Kanyi, credit: Facebook

John Kani is a veteran actor and one of the famous celebrities from South Africa who has enjoyed a successful career both in South Africa and abroad.

Kani, who was born in Eastern Cape, South Africa, began his acting career in 1965 and has appeared in several films, including Captain America: Civil War, the critically acclaimed Black Panther, and the 2019 remake of the Lion King.

His son, Atandwa Kani, is also following in John Kani’s footsteps in Hollywood. 

J.R.R Tolkien

Even though he passed on in the early 1970s, J.R.R Tolkien’s work of fiction continues to live on, and he is still considered one of the best fantasy writers to date.

The famous writer of The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa, in 1892 to English parents who had moved to South Africa for work. 

When he was three years old, J.R.R. and his mother traveled to England to visit family; his father died in South Africa during their visit, and J.R.R. continued to live in England.  

Cariba Heine

Cariba Heine, credit: Instagram

Cariba Heine is another famous celebrity from South Africa. She is a dancer and actress based in Australia. She played the main character role in the popular Australian T.V. show Just Add Water and has made appearances in other hit films and series.

Cariba Heine was born in Johannesburg in 1988 to South African parents, but they relocated to Australia when she was around three years old.

Dan Smith

Dan Smith at the BAFTAs, credit: Instagram

Dan Smith is a musician who is the founder, lead singer, and songwriter of the British band Bastille which gained popularity in 2013 with the release of their hit song Pompeii.

Although he is not exactly from South Africa, this famous musician was born and raised in the U.K. to parents from South Africa.

Which of these famous celebrities were you surprised to learn that they are from South Africa? Leave us a comment.

Read more