Somebody suggested that South Africa needs to be named the ‘Country of the Year’ and honestly, who could argue?

From an arts and entertainment perspective especially, our celebrities have done everything they could, and then some, in order to put our flag on the map and their efforts have not gone unnoticed.

From the globetrotters, to the trendsetters, to the champions of the world, here are the South Africans who have helped us win big in 2019.

Bonang Matheba

Bonang looks set to move to the USA in 2020, so the presenter and entertainment queen made sure that she left her mark on the country, and my, oh my did she do just that!

She made history by becoming the first black woman to launch an MCC, she won dozens of awards, she starred in and produced a documentary and capped it all off with an interview with Charlamagne on The Breakfast Club.

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Trevor Noah

Even by his lofty standards, 2019 was a big year for Trevor Noah.

The Daily Show host found himself celebrating a Grammy nomination, purchasing an expensive mansion, and he has recently been nominated for a Critic’s Choice Award.

The Springboks

Most of the world had written off the Springboks after the first game of the 2019 Rugby World Cup but Siya Kolisi’s men had other ideas.

A positive run turned into a tournament winning streak and the Boks made the country proud by winning our third world cup, our first in 12 years.

Siya Kolisi

Not only is Siya the first black captain of the Springboks, but he led the team to victory in this year’s World Cup. Siya also did us proud when he joined Roc Nation Sports – a company owned by billionaire businessman Jay Z – as well as being nominated for the BBC World Sports Star of the Year award.

Zozibini Tunzi… x2

Zozi would have made it to this list because of her historic win at Miss South Africa anyway.

But she was not content with simply conquering the country; the whole world had to know that she was here to stay and she ensured they did this when she won Miss Universe.