With Comedy Central’s recent announcement that Trevor Noah, my fellow South African, will be replacing the iconic Jon Stewart as the next host of The Daily Show, it feels like South Africans have received increased publicity in the global media. Some across the world may know famous South African natives like Charlize Theron, Dave Matthews and Neil Blomkamp but there are many more in the public eye. In business, the arts and beyond South Africans are in the news for many exciting things. Here are just a few that are worth mentioning:
Before SpaceX, PayPal, Tesla and Zip2, Musk was a young man growing up in Pretoria and other parts of his native land. A computer fanatic since he was a young boy, Musk taught himself computer programming at a young age.
As a teenager, he moved to North America to pursue his big dreams in technology. Leaving his homeland was difficult, but those risks–like the others he has taken in recent years–paid off. Be it self-driving cars or space exploration, the world is hearing quite a bit about Elon Musk and his investments.
Candice Swanepoel is one of the world’s most recognizable–and profitable–models in the world for the last few years. Modeling since 2003, the Mooi River native began to climb the fashion industry’s hierarchy when she began working with Victoria’s Secret in 2010. Since then, Swanepoel’s momentum hasn’t slowed at all.
Not only can you find her emulating the iconic Marilyn Monroe in a new Max Factor campaign, you can also see her actively supporting mothers and an HIV-free generation through the mothers2mothers organisation.
He may be more known for portraying Indian or Pakistani characters on shows like Rules of Engagement and Nip/Tuck, but Adhir Kalyan is a Durban native at heart. In fact, his mother is a Parliament member in the National Assembly.
Before going abroad to perform in England and the U.S., Kalyan began to hone his craft in local productions in the Durban area. With Rules of Engagement wrapping in 2013, it remains to be seen if Kayan will continue in television or follow up his Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 role with more film roles.
Hood’s directing career began with short’s for the Johannesburg Department of Health, but everything changed after his film Tsotsi took home the Best Foreign Language Film award at the 2005 Academy Awards. The film earned Hood heaps of critical praise as his star status grew immensely in Hollywood circles. Since then, Hood has worked on high-profile films like X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) and Ender’s Game (2013). While those films didn’t live up to Tsotsi’s critical response, they both fared well at the box office. He is currently wrapping production on Eye in the Sky featuring Aaron Paul, Helen Mirren and Alan Rickman.
Charlene Lynette Wittstock (aka Charlene, Princess of Monaco)
We once knew her as Charlene Wittstock, the three-time gold medal winning swimmer at the 1999 All-Africa games. Now, most of the world knows her as Charlene, Princess of Monaco.
The former Olympian made the title and name change official when she married Albert II, Prince of Monaco in 2011. Now mother to royal twins Gabriella and Jacques, the Princess is making the rounds in the news more than ever. While royalty rumors aren’t the best kind of press, the Princess appears above the fray on almost every occasion.