+91 22 49741646/+91 91364 89014/+91 88284 34046

15 Popular South African Indians

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, aged 23, arrived in South Africa in April 1893 and over the course of the next 21 years, his experiences shaped the history and destiny of many a nation. But, the tryst of Indians with South Africa had began long before Mahatma Gandhi stepped foot on the shores of the Rainbow Nation. The trade routes existed since 17th century, but the South African Indians of today are the descendants of the Indian community brought in as indentured laborers during the 1860s. Since then, the Indian community has wholeheartedly participated and contributed in all spheres of South African evolution, growth and success.



Now, Mahatma Gandhi’s time in South Africa is well known, with several books written on the subject.


But, there are over 1,500,000 Indians residing in South Africa today, making up for 2.5% of its population. Many of these South African Indians have and are contributing to the progress of South Africa and making it into a economic and cultural powerhouse.


Adhir Kalyan (Actor)



Born in Durban, South Africa, to a South African Indian family, Adhir is an actor whose filmography includes the movies “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” and “No Strings Attached”, and the hit TV series “Rules of Engagement”.


Ahmed Kathrada (Politician/Activist)


Belonging to the Gujarati Bohra community, Ahmed was a South African politician, apartheid era activist and parliamentarian.


Alan Khan (Media and Radio personality)




Born in Durban, South Africa, Alan has filled many roles in his career and won many awards including the "Best News and Actuality Talk Show PBS" for his talk show “Walk the Talk with Alan Khan”. In 2015, he was inducted into the MTN South African Radio Hall of Fame.


Amina Cachalia (Women’s Rights activist and Politician)




An anti-apartheid activist, Amina first got involved with politics when she took part in women’s passive resistance campaign and later joined the Transvaal Indian Youth Congress. For her contributions towards gender and race equality she was awarded with the prestigious Order of Luthuli in Bronze.


Anand Naidoo (Journalist)





Anand is a successful journalist and the recipient of several prestigious awards in journalism for his uncompromising news coverage and work ethics. Having previously worked for CNN International and Al Jazeera, he is currently a correspondent for Washington-based CGTN America.


Anant Singh (Film producer)





At the age of 18, Anant left his studies and purchased a movie rental store and has since become a pre-eminent film producer of South Africa. He was the producer of the film “Yesterday”, which was nominated in the Best Foreign Language Picture category of the Academy Awards.


Arun Manilal Gandhi (Socio-political activist)





The direct descendant of Mahatma Gandhi, Arun is an activist, speaker and author. Like his grandfather, he too is a firm believer of non-violent activism.


Billy Nair (Politician)





Born to South Indian parents in Durban, Billy was an anti-apartheid activist, who was imprisoned on Robben Island along with Nelson Mandela. After his release, he served two terms in the South African Parliament.


Ebrahim Patel (Politician)





The current Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, this South African cabinet minister has been politically active since his college days. He has also served in several renowned public institutes of South Africa.


Ela Gandhi (Peace activist)



Ela, the granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi is a peace activist and a former Member of Parliament. In 2014, the Indian government bestowed her with the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman.


Frene Ginwala, (Journalist & Politician)





Hailing from the Parsi Indian community, Frene was the first female chancellor of the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the Speaker of South African National Assembly.


Gopala Davies (Actor / Director)





Gopala is an award winning actor and director known for his play “Barbe Bleue: A story about madness”.


Hashim Amla (Cricketer)





Born to a Gujarati Muslim family in Durban, Hashim is a successful international cricketer who represented South Africa in all formats of the game. He was also the team captain from June 2014 to January 2016.


Jailoshini Naidoo (Actress/Radio Hostess/TV Presenter)





Jailoshini is a multitalented personality and fills many roles including actress, voice over artist, businesswomen, TV presenter, Radio hostess, and teacher.


Luther Singh (Footballer)





Luther is a professional footballer. He plays in the forward position for Braga, a Portuguese club, and for the South African national team.


*Image Credit: Google

Need help?
0 of 1024 max characters


Latest Posts

▶ 15 Popular South African Indians

▶ Is A Dual Country MBA Good Or Bad?

▶ Why Study in South Africa?

▶ Effective MBA Specializations Students Should Consider

▶ 25 Reasons To Do An International Leadership MBA From Regenesys