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While South Africa is known for its political influence on the African continent, our people have also made their mark on the world.

New African Magazine recently announced its list of the 100 Most Influential Africans of 2017 -- and 14 of these spots went to South Africans.

This puts South Africa as the country with the second highest number of winners, after Nigeria. The list looks at a range of spheres, from politics to art.

According to the magazine's editor, "influential" is defined as a person whose work or activity causes transformation outside of their main calling.

"This effect results in a change of perception or provides inspiration to others. Many in our selection have shattered the proverbial glass-ceilings or disability stigma and do so with great bravery, determination and personal sacrifice."

Anver Versi, New African Magazine Editor

Notable inclusions in the list include Elon Musk, the South African-born tech entrepreneur who is revolutionising multiple industries; as well as Trevor Noah, the local comedian who cemented his international status when he became the host of The Daily Show.

According to the MD of IC Publications, the company behind New African Magazine, the 2017 list includes some of the most diversity seen since its launch.

"What our readers will find pleasing, is the almost bewildering diversity of this list – in terms of race, ethnic and national diversity. This list, if nothing else, displays the beauty and power of the diversity that makes the Africa we all love."

Omar Ben Yedder, Group Publisher and Managing Director of IC Publications

Here's a look at the South Africans who made the list:


Pravin Gordhan – Political stalwart, former Finance Minister



Elon Musk – Founder: PayPal, SpaceX, Tesla, and OpenAI



Kumi Naidoo – Co-founder, Africans Rising



Nunu Ntshingila – Head, Facebook Africa

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Dr Tebello Nyokong – Award-winning Chemist

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Posted by African Women In Technology on Monday, 30 June 2014



Khanyi Dhlomo – Media mogulette, Founder of Ndalo Media

[FEATURED] Have you seen our CEO and founder Khanyi Dhlomo on this month’s cover? Watch the behind-the-scenes video...

Posted by DestinyConnect on Tuesday, 1 November 2016


Trevor Noah – Satirist and Host of The Daily Show


Khadija Patel – Editor-in-Chief, Mail & Guardian



Laduma Ngxokolo – Fashion Designer inspired by his Xhosa heritage

We celebrate the creative genius behind MaXhosa by Laduma, as he is inducted into the 21 Icons portrait collection among...

Posted by MaXhosa by Laduma on Sunday, 11 October 2015


Porky Hefer – a unique designer with an ethical conscience

Get ready for a throwback, Jozi. Porky Hefer’s new nostalgic solo exhibition is now open at Southern Guild: http://bit.ly/2vFdhXC

Posted by VISI magazine on Thursday, 7 September 2017



Caster Semenya – Athletics 800 meters golden girl


Wayde van Niekerk – The world-record-breaking boy wonder


Kagiso Rabada - World’s most feared cricket bowler

This article first appeared on LeadSA : 14 South Africans make 2017 list of Africa's most influential people

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