Famous South Africans You Didn’t Know Were Born In Zimbabwe

Famous South Africans You Didn’t Know Were Born In Zimbabwe

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How many former Zimbabweans live in South Africa? It depends who you ask. Estimates range from 1 million to 3 million, according to AfricaCheck, a nonprofit organisation that promotes accuracy in public debate and the media.

But there just is no definitive data.

A South African border official said 700 Zimbabweans were crossing into South Africa daily after the disputed 2013 presidential and parliamentary elections.

South Africa’s 2011 Census reported that about 1.7-million of the country’s then-51.7-million population were “non-South African” citizens. The World Bank and U.N. put the migrant population at about 1.86-million people, according to a November, 2013 AfricaCheck report.

“While Zimbabweans are the largest single group of foreigners in South Africa, they are by no means the only one,” said Prof. Loren Landau, director of the African Centre for Migration and Society at Wits University. “There are significant numbers of Mozambicans and Basotho, to say nothing of other groups.”

Here’s a few famous South Africans you didn’t know were born in Zimbabwe.

Sources: Who’sWhoSouthernAfrica, AfricaCheck,


Sifiso Dabengwa, CEO, MTN Group

Born in Zimbabwe, Sifiso Dabengwa is president and CEO of South Africa-based MTN Group. He held various jobs before he became the leader of the company. In 2013, MyBroadband reported that Dabengwa was South Africa’s highest paid CEO in telecoms and technology, earning 23.5 million rand in the 2012-2013 financial year.

Dabengwa earned a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Zimbabwe and an MBA from Wits Business School in South Africa. His only aspiration when he was young was to be an engineer. He worked for Zimbabwe Railways before joining a consulting engineering firm based in Pretoria, where he worked on projects in Botswana and Swaziland.

Sources: Whoswho, MyBroadband.

Paul Harris espncricinfo.com
Paul Harris

Paul Harris, South African Cricketer

Born in Zimbabwe, Paul Harris is a South African Cricketer currently playing for Highveld Lions. He has played domestic cricket for Northerns, Titans, Western Province and Warwickshire. Harris was named in the Wisden Cricketers (is a cricket reference book published annually in the United Kingdom. He was named South African Newcomer of the Year in the 2007 Mutual & Federal SA Cricket Awards.

Source: Whoswho

Mthuli Ncube born in zimbabwe 2
Mthuli Ncube afrimind.org

Mthuli Ncube, chief economist and vice president, African Development Bank

Born in 1964 in Zimbabwe, Prof. Mthuli Ncube was dean of the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, South Africa before becoming chief economist and vice president of the African Development Bank. His leadership is credited with landing Wits Business School the No. 45 ranking globally in 2007 by the U.K. Financial Times. He earned a Ph.D. in mathematical finance from Cambridge University, U.K., and has experience as an investment banker.

Before becoming a South African citizen, Ncube worked in Zimbabwe for decades, according to Afrimind.org. He was chairman of the National Investment Trust and founded an investment company, Barbican Holdings, established in Zimbabwe in 2002.

Soon after Barbican began operations, it was forced to merge with Trust and Royal banks to form the Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group. Ncube moved to South Africa in 2004 at the height of the Zimbabwean liquidity crunch.

Source: WhoswhoAfrimind.org

Pearl Kupe born in zimbabwe 2
Pearl “Motsi” Kupe plus.google.com

Pearl “Motsi” Kupe, TV Host, Lawyer, International Consultant

Born in Harare Zimbabwe, Pearl Kupe was general manager of communications at Transnet, South Africa’s largest transport & freight logistics company. until 2011. An attorney, her career includes working as public prosecutor for the Botswana attorney general. In 2001 she was recruited as a social dialogue specialist by the International Labour Organisation, a U.N. agency. She worked in the area of social dialogue and labor law reform in Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Kupe has also been director of Africa Women leadership Programme, AFRICA BOARD and AFRICA LEAD programs that promote the development of African women.
She works as an international consultant and speaker for governments and international organisations.

Source: Whoswho


Charlene Wittstock, South African Olympic Swimmer

Born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, Charlene Wittstock was a South African swimmer. She is the daughter of Michael Kenneth Wittstock, a sales manager, and Lynette Wittstock, a former competitive diver and swimming coach.

Wittstock represented South Africa at the 2000 Olympic games in Sydney, where she competed in the women’s medley. In July 2011, she married Monaco’s Prince Albert II and became Princess consort of Monaco, with the title of Her Serene Highness The Princess of Monaco. On Dec. 10, 2014, she gave birth to twins, Princess Gabriella and Hereditary Prince Jacques.

It was the first time a member of the royal family gave birth to twins since Monaco was founded in the 13th century, USAToday reported.


Her swimming awards included gold medals in the 50-meter and 100-meter crawl at the Swimming World Cup in 2002.

Source: Whoswho, USAToday