South Africans Famous Abroad & Their Accent Retention

I am obsessed with the SA English accent. In peak form, I think it's the best in the world & there are actual studies that prove it's easiest on the ears. It also is laughably difficult to mimic - Dicaprio did OK. WRT the celebs below, I've included anyone who lived major portions of their early lives (at least 10 years) in SA.
  1. The standard SA English accent is very subtle & possibly easy to lose because of this. It tends to get overpowered by other English accents. However, if a person has lived here until teenagedom & they go overseas for a short while and totally change their accent, I'm like boy/girl, bye 👋 We sound fab & we don't need you.
    Ps I'm allowed to boast about this because we are a 3rd world country. 😊
  2. Embeth Davidtz
    Miss Honey y'all. And she still has the accent. University of Cape Town alum.
  3. Richard E Grant.
    Technically, he's from Swaziland, a small country landlocked by SA. The E is for his actual surname, Esterhuysen, which is very Afrikaner. Accent is British but he lived here all the way up to studying at UCT so I'll have to wikipedia why.
  4. Candice Swanepoel;
    Candice is the prettiest Victoria's Secret angel out there. Her accent is awesome which explains why she still has it. Thick Afrikaner accents are a little German-English sounding (no offence Germans or our treasured local athletes!) so Afrikaners who go to English medium schools or live in more English areas tend not to have one.
  5. Behati Prinsloo
    Fellow angel Behati, better known for putting a ring on Adam Levine, is Namibian, but again, when it comes to Southern Africa, tomato/tomahto. She had a somewhat thick Afrikaner accent so while I detect South Africanisms in her speech, especially when she's with Candice, her accent is more American these days.
  6. Dean Geyer
    I remember him from Glee. He lived in Australia for a part of his life but I hear South African when he speaks.
  7. Chad le Clos
    Michael Phelps's rival in the pool. He's never lived abroad so the accent is solid.
  8. Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu
    Look at these legends. On the opposite end of the spectrum from Afrikaners, we have black South Africans for whom English is also a second language. Nigerians sound different to South Africans who sound different to Cameroonians & so on, in case you were wondering.
  9. Adhir Kalyan
    He's on Rules of Engagement. From my city but sounds British for some unknown reason. I don't like fakers. He's probably a nice person though :/
  10. Princess Charlene of Monaco
    Bless you Princess. You've taken our accent into French-speaking palaces and resisted.
  11. Sharlto Copley
    District 9. Maleficent. The new John Krasinski movie etc. He left SA when he was ancient and he's married to a South African model so that accent is safe.
  12. Oscar Pistorius
    What a pity, what a shame. Showed off our accent on talk shows all over the place before his bloody Valentines'.
  13. Wayde van Niekerk
    Olympic record breaker. Future Usain Bolt. Like Chad le Clos, he's never lived anywhere else so he has a steady, traditional coloured accent. The word coloured is not a derogatory one here. Coloured is an official race group - because of racial separation, mixed people formed relationships with other mixed people over centuries.
  14. Caspar Lee
    This famous YouTuber introduced our accent to pubescent masses all over the globe. Hi5 brother.
  15. Mark Shuttleworth
    Ok. You're not gonna know his face. But he's the guy behind the software platform Ubuntu. He's moved to the UK now, but I YouTubed a speech he gave at Oxford or some such place and that accent is locked in, as it should be after 40 plus years.
  16. Neil Blomkamp and Gavin Hood
    South African directors of hollywood movies. The former moved to Canada when he was 18 and so his accent is quite North American with rolled Rs but I can tell he lived here at some point. It's hard to pick up but it's there. The latter, pictured, is very much SAn.
  17. Ladysmith Black Mambazo
    You've heard of them. Probably in Mean Girls. They're Grammy winners. Authentic local accents.
  18. Elon Musk
    Elon Musk lived here until the end of high school. It's been a while but I can detect an SA accent from a mile away & it's there with Elon Musk, albeit sprinkled with some American inflections.
  19. Robyn Curnow, Nadia Bilchik, Jane Dutton
    Ladies on international news channels rock their SA accents.
  20. Charlize Theron
    Afrikaner. Claims she learned English abroad. Not one iota of South African in this woman's English accent. She is sometimes asked to speak Afrikaans on talk shows.
  21. Dave Matthews
    10 years of his childhood spent in SA but it proves to be too little for this famous musician who sounds like a thoroughbred American. I don't think young South Africans know who he is actually.
  22. Kumi Naidoo
    You don't know him but until recently he was the Head of Greenpeace and he's from my city. Accent's as authentic as they come.
  23. Die Antwoord
    Zef Afrikaans gone mainstream/ international - never thought I'd see the day. If they're not your cup of tea, I apologize. Subliminal dicks in music videos bother me too.
  24. Pearl Thusi
    She's on Quantico now I believe. She is gorgeous and a local celebrity and her accent represents.
  25. Kevin Anderson
    Besides our successful cricket and rugby teams who are known in the countries they play against, we have a couple of famous golfers like Ernie Els and tennis players like Kevin Anderson. Athletes tend to keep their accents. Except Kevin Pietersen. But we don't much like him so that's fine.
  26. Troy Sivan
    Honorary mention because his parents are Saffas & he did a stellar job with the accent in the Spud movies based on the most successful local children's book series ever.
  27. The bands Seether and Civil Twilight
    Differs by band member. Also, because I'm attuned to it, I hear the nuances of our accent where my family & friends might just hear the dominating American one.
  28. Trevor Noah
    And last but not least....The King! Long may he reign. This guy is soooo South African, I'm proud and inspired every time I watch him. Listening to him talk feels like home. Although he has started to say God damn like an American, his accent on the whole is the best of its kind, I assure you.
  29. PS sorry to all the celebs I inadvertently left off this list. I feel like there are a lot of animal documentary people out there who are deserving but i just can't think of at the mo.