50 Flippen Brilliant South Africans
Book by Alexander Parker, journalist and author, and Tim Richman. Parker also authored 50 People Who Stuffed Up South Africa
Cartoons from the archives of Zapiro
My Favorite South Africans include:
1. Christiaan Barnard - 8 November 1922 – 2 September 2001 Pioneering heart surgeon; celebrity doctor; author, South African playboy, internationally renouwned philanderer.
2. Steve Bibko - 18 Dec. 1946 – 12 September 1977 Icon of the Black Consciousness Movement; political martyr; leader of men; scoialiser, drinker; taker; friend, inspirational human being.
3. Margaret Calver, - b. 12 May 1936 - Graphic designer; co-creator of “Transport” and modern road signage; guiding hand of the modern driver…
4. Winston Churchill - 30 November 1864 – 24 January 1965 Politician; orator; soldier; journalist; author, painter, drinker, smoker, hero of the 20th century and of the South African War.
5. Allan Cormack 23 - February 1924 – 7 My 1988 - Nuclear physicist; winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine (1979); quietly brilliant inventor of Computed Axial Tomography (CAT Scan.)
6. Mahatma Gandhi - 2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948. Lawyer; political activist; railer against British imperialism on two continents; developer of nonviolent protest; influencer of freedom fighters in South Africa and across the world.
7. John Herschel – 7 March 1792 – 11 May 1871 Astronomer, biologist, chemist, mathematician, inventor, philosopher, photographer and all-round wonder-brain; plotter of the southern skies; temporary resident of Cape Town.
8. Ntshingwayo Khoza – 1810 – 21 July 1883 – Quick witted Zulu general who inflicted upon Britian its most embarrassing colonial defeat.
9. Khambula c. 1800 – Solider; loyal land brave leader of men; provider of evidence, annoying to some, that it wasn’t only the Brits who wanted to smash the Zulus. Lleader of men; provider of evidence, annoying to some, that it wasn’t only the Brits.
10. Sailor Malan – 24 March 1910 – 17 September 1963 –Group Captain I the Royal Air Fore; World War 11 hero; Battle of Britain ace; natural-born fighter; pilot; tremendous shot; leader of men, legend.
1. Nelson Mandela – b. 18 July 1918 – Saint, hero, icon, savior and unquestionably moral titan to some perpetually misunderstood political hero, reconciler and complex human being.
12. Eric Merrifield & Aubrey Kruger – Eric 1914 – 1982; Aubrey b. c. 1935. Harbour engineers; inventors; ocean tamers.
13. Moshoeshoe 1; c. 1786 – 11 March 1870 – King of the Sotho (1822-1870) ; warrior; diplomat, humanitarian; the reason why there is a small landlocked country in the middle of South Africa.
14. Elon Musk – b. 28 June 1971 – Entrepreneur; risk taker; world shaker; the man behind Tesla, PayPal, Space X and Solar City. Esquire calls “the most 21st century entrepreneur on the planet.”
15. Sixto Rodriguez – b. 10 July 1942 – Folk-singer-cum-labourer; unwilling apartheid busting superstar; resurrected mystery man of music; subject of Academy award-winning movie “Searching for Sugarman.”
16. Ampie Roux – 18 October 1914 – 22 April 1985 – Apartheid-era nuclear physicist and rocket scientist: father of the South African atom bomb.
17. Shaka – c. 1787 – 22 September 1828 – King of the Zulus; military genius; national-builder; conqueror of people; subject of legacy tug-of-war.
18. Jan Smuts – 24 May 1870 – 11 September 1950 – Genius soldier statesman. Prime Minister of South Africa - twice. Field Marshall of the British Army; member of Imperial War Cabinet during both Wars; revered Boer commando leader and East African campaigner; founder of the League of Nations and the United Nations; scientist; botanist; inventor of holism; subject of pathetic racially misdirected historical revisionism.
19. Mark Shuttleworth – b. 18 September 1973 – South Africa’s youngest self-made billionaire; first African in space; possible Steve Jobs of the future. Creator of Ubantu software.
20. Max Theiler – 30 January 1899 – 11 August 1972 – Doctor who developed the yellow-fever vaccine; winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine; man responsible for the saving of millions of lives.
21. Charlize Theron - 7 August 1975 - Oscar-winning superstar; superb actress; stunner; overcomer of tragic circumstances; cool chick. Her first language Afrikaans, though she learned English as she grew up in the U.S.
22. Desmond Tutu – b. 7 October 1931 – Man of the cloth; persistent thorn in the side of apartheid goons; Nobel Prize winner; chair of the TRC, South Africa’s moral conscience.
Quote about South Africa by Satirist Pieter-Dirk Uys:
"It is the most beautiful country in the world and we who live in it are without doubt the craziest, most absurd, most generous and most perplexing people ever plonked together on a rainbow foefie slide to the future." (page 269)