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12/12/2017 13:30 SAST | Updated 12/12/2017 13:54 SAST

Meet South Africa's 14 Most Influential People

'New African Magazine' has revealed its 100 most influential Africans of 2017. From Elon Musk to Caster Semenya, we are up there.

New African Magazine

"New African Magazine" has revealed its 100 most influential Africans of 2017 and South Africa is very well represented.

The list, which features the fifth highest number of female Africans in its history, is spread over nine categories: politics and public service; business and finance; civil society and activism; education; science, technology and innovation; media; arts and culture; and sport.

It profiles people living in the continent and the African diaspora, nominated by their peers and industry insiders.

With 21 entries, Nigeria tops the nominations, but it is closely followed by South Africa which scored 14 names. Among the winners there's a deafblind Harvard University law graduate activist, an attitude-changing teen dance troop from a Ugandan slum, and a Mauritanian modern-day slavery abolitionist hero.

"Our criteria for 'influential' this year was a fairly simple one – it is applied to people whose work or activity has had some sort of transformative effect outside their main calling," explained Anver Versi, the magazine's editor. "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. Others yield economic power that impacts world markets."

He added: "African talent in the arts, culture, sports and technology has also has a huge impact on changing the world's perception towards Africa and its people."

Here's South Africa's most influential Africans:

1. Pravin Gordhan

Political stalwart, anti-corruption campaigner and former finance minister.

Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters
Pravin Gordhan.

2. Kumi Naidoo

Human-rights activist and co-founder of the pan-African movement, Africans Rising.

AFP/Getty Images
Kumi Naidoo

3. Nunu Ntshingila

Head of Facebook Africa.

#happiness when you find FB in unexpected spaces #facebook #instagram #sundays

A post shared by Nunu (@nununtshingila) on

4. Dr Tebello Nyokong

Award-winning chemist and professor at Rhodes University. She has been involved in researching photo-dynamic therapy, an alternative cancer treatment method to chemotherapy.

Francois Durand via Getty Images
Professor Tebello Nyokong from Africa gives a speech as she receives the UNESCO and L'Oreal Award for Women and Science on March 5, 2009 in Paris, France.

5. Khanyi Dhlomo

An entrepreneur and businessperson who created Ndalo Media and is founding editor of Destiny magazine.

6. Trevor Noah

The "Daily Show" host and local comedian has hit the big time internationally.

Danny Moloshok / Reuters
Trevor Noah wins Best Host Award at MTV Movie Awards.

7. Koos Bekker

Chairperson and former CEO of Naspers media giant.

Bloomberg via Getty Images
Koos Bekker.

8. Khadija Patel

The Mail & Guardian's editor-in-chief.

9. Laduma Ngxokolo

Fashion designer inspired by his Xhosan heritage.

10. Porky Hefer

A unique designer and activist with ethical conscience, his creations have included a killer-whale shaped hanging chair and an installation of human-sized woven nests.

Baby Bird and Leopard Branch

A post shared by Porky Hefer (@heferporky) on

11. Caster Semenya

A middle-distance runner and Olympic gold medallist, she keeps on getting better and better.

WireImage
Caster Semenya of South Africa celebrates winning gold in the Women's 800 Metres final during day ten of the 16th IAAF World Athletics Championships at the London Stadium on August 13, 2017 in London, United Kingdom.

12. Wayde van Niekerk

This Cape Town athlete is a world record-breaking 400m runner.

Sportsfile via Getty Images
Wayde van Niekerk of South Africa celebrates winning the Men's 400m final with a world record time of 43.03 seconds at the Olympic Stadium during the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

13. Kagiso Rabada

The "world's most feared fast bowler", he took 10 wickets for just 63 runs in the test against Bangladesh this year.

Jason Cairnduff / Reuters
South Africa's Kagiso Rabada celebrates taking the wicket of England's Keaton Jennings.

14. Elon Musk

Entrepreneur, innovator, inventor, activist and founder of PayPal, SpaceX, Tesla and OpenAI.

Brian Snyder / Reuters
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk waves as he leaves the stage after speaking at the National Governors Association Summer Meeting in Providence, Rhode Island, U.S., July 15, 2017.