You may have been living under a rock, but despite your relative isolation, these are the names of the folk that will make their way into your consciousness this year. From politics to entertainment, here are South Africans most influential individuals.
1. Thuli Madonsela - our favourite Public Prosecutor, she seems to be a moral pillar in our country's quest for equality and justice. She comes from humble beginnings and has accomplished much in her career. Prior to spearheading an investigation into President Jacob Zuma’s 200 million rand private homestead in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal, which was reportedly built using taxpayer funds, her most well-known work was as a member of the team who compiled the last draft of our Constitution. It is no wonder then that she is so fond of protecting this world-class document.
2. Redi Tlabi - Wife, mother and successful talk-show personality of Radio702 and 56.7 Cape Talk, Redi won best talk show of 2014. She has simplified her career giving up TV appearances to focus on her young family, but shows no sign of slowing down. On your radio she will be a voice of reason and facilitator of much-needed-healthy debate. A democracy needs discourse to succeed and she is providing just this from 9am-12pm each morning.
3. Branko Brkic - Everyone thought that the media industry was flooded until Branko created the Daily Maverick. This online newspaper was first edited and published in 2009 and has gone on to become a respected editorial attracting serious journalists and an even more serious following. It is seen as a source of 'unbiased' news as it is funded purely by advertising rather than any political organisation. It is also easily accessed as you can get your daily fix delivered to your inbox free of charge.
4. Beatenburg - Haven't heard of this pop band? It turns out they are the most successful South African band ever. Based in Cape Town, Matthew Field, Ross Dorkin and Robin Brink have music degrees behind them and even more "serious" pop music in their sights. If you enjoy relaxed beats with thoughtful lyrics you'll be pleased that they are here to stay.
5. Patrice Motsepe - the first ever 'black billionaire', Patrice has set a generous standard for those who follow in his footsteps becoming the first African to sign Bill Gates' and Warren Buffett's Giving Pledge, promising to give more than half his fortune to charity. Patrice started his career as a lawyer, but in 1994, when South Africans elected their first democratic government, he took the opportunity to use the new BEE laws to secure government mining licenses and quickly turned his newly acquired mines into profitable businesses under the trading name African Rainbow Minerals. He owns the most expensive home in Bishops Court (valued at 68 million) and the soccer club Mamelodi Sundowners.