Fun Facts About South Africa

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Perhaps the most famous South African movie is “Tsotsi” by Gavin Hood.”Tsotsi” is a story about a gang leader.On March 5, 2006, “Tsotsi” won the Academy Award for Foreign Language Film in Los Angeles.

In his speech, Gavin Hood said, “God bless Africa. Wow. I have a speech, it´s in my pocket, but that thing says 38 seconds. But mine´s way too long. Go to tsotsi.com and there is a huge long list of people. Because I´m accepting this not for myself. This is for best foreign language film. It is sitting right there to start with.Please stand up Presley Chweneyagae and Terry Pheto. My two fantastic young leads. Put the cameras on them, please. Viva Africa. Viva. I´ve got ten seconds.Ten seconds I just want to thank my fellow nominees who I´ve become deep friends with. We may have foreign language films, but our stories are the same as your stories. They´re about the human heart and emotion. It says please wrap.Thank you so much. Thank you to the Academy. Thank you”.

Winner: “Tsotsi” (South Africa)

Finalists:

-“Sophie Scholl” (Germany)

-“Joyeux Noel” (France)

-“The Beast of the Heart” (Italy)

-“Paradise Now” (Palestine)

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For the first time since 1960, South Africa sent a delegation to compete in the Olympic Games. Certainly, South Africa sent 94 athletes to the 1992 Olympic Games, which were held in Barcelona, Spain.The African delegation had athletes competing in seventeen areas: archery, badminton, boxing, kayak, cycling, equestrian, fencing, modern pentathlon, rowing, sailing, shooting, swimming, table tennis, tennis, track and field, weighlifting and wrestling. They returned to South Africa with two silver medals.

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Nelson Mandela was one of the most important leaders in the 20th century.He played a fundamental role in the recuperation of the nation´s democracy. Under his leadership, South Africa adopted one of the best constitutions in the world.Mandela once said, “And so it has come to pass that South Africa today undergoes her rebirth, cleansed of a horrible past, matured from a tentative beginning, and reaching out to the future with confidence. Our pledge is : never and never again shall the laws of our land rend our people apart or legalize their oppression and repression”.

Since 1993, in South Africa you can feel the freedom. Different from Cuba, Iran, and Zimbabwe, South Africa is a democracy where the civil society has immense influence and power.

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South Africa has loads of national parks and reserves that are the home of some amazing wildlife. The Kruger National Park is one of the most popular tourist spots in the African continent. It is one of the world´s most beautiful national parks. The Kruger National Park provides an ideal habitat for animals such as elephants, giraffes, rhinoceroses, monkeys, zebras, cheetahs, hyenas, hippopotamus, gazelles, elands, lions, and African wild dogs.

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South Africa has three capitals: Cape Town (legislative), Pretoria (administrative), and Bloemfontein (judicial).However, Johannesburg is the most important economic, industrial and cultural center in South Africa.It is one of the most industrialized cities in the Third World along with Taipei (Taiwan), Mexico City (Mexico), and Seoul (South Korea).In 2006 Johannesburg had a population of 2.6 million

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For the first time, Africa will host 2010 FIFA World Cup.The Football World Championship to be held in South Africa.In 2000,Joseph Blatter, FIFA president, wanted the FIFA to vote for South Africa.However, New Zealand´s Charlie Dempsey ducked out of the final vote and Germany nicked it.For this reason, Germany hosted the World Cup in 2006.

In 2007,Thabo Mbeki, South African president, said: “I have no doubt that our local organising committee, government at all levels, and everybody concerned will do the necessary work to guarantee that we host a better tournament in 2010 than the excellent 2006 German World Cup”.

It also noted that millions of dollars have been spent in the past years on reforming South Africa´s sporting system.

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About half of the world´s gold is produced in South Africa.

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South Africa has many famous people: Christian Barnard (surgeon), Miriam Makeba (singer and anti-AIDS activist), Caron Bernstein (model,actress and singer), Nelson Mandela (former president and anti-AIDS activist), Nadine Gordimer (writer), Athol Fugard (writer),Mathosa (singer), Zola Budd (sportswoman), Charlize Theron (actress), Ilene Hamann (actress and model), Harry Oppenheimer (anti-apartheid industrialist), Richard Goldstone (international judge), Musetta Vander (actress and model), Danny Koppel (singer), Zakes Mokae (actor), Juliet prowse (dancer and actress), and Joe Mafela (actor).

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The South African Penny Heyns, won the 100-and 200-meter breaststroke events at the 1996 Summer Olympics.She is considered among South Africa´s national heroines. Like Anthony Nesty (Suriname), Felipe Muñoz (Mexico), Claudia Poll (Costa Rica), and Kirsty Coventry (Zimbabwe), Penny Heyns is a Third World swimming icon.

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South Africa has many World Heritage Sites by UNESCO: Greater Saint Lucia Wetland Park (1999), Robben Island (1999), Drakensberg Park (2000), Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape (2003), Vredefort Dome (2005), and Cape Floral Region Protected Areas (2004).

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On March 26, 1998, American U.S. president Bill Clinton visited South Africa.

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South Africa has more Nobel Prizes than Mexico(3) India (2) Brazil (0)Argentina (3) Cuba (0), and the People´s Republic of China (1).

South Africa has six Nobel Prize winners:

1960: Albert J. Luthuli (Nobel Prize for Peace)

1982: Aaron Klug (Nobel Prize for Chemistry)

1984:Bishop Desmond Tutu (Nobel Prize for Peace)

1991: Nadine Gordimer (Nobel Prize for Literature)

1993: Nelson Mandela and Frederik W. de Klerk (Nobel Prize for Peace)

2003: John Maxwell Coetzee (Nobel Prize for Literature)

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The people of South Africa are proud that their country is a society of people with many different backgrounds. Many people are mixture of several nationalities and races. About 2 million Asians live in South Africa. The ancestors of the most of them came from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Maldives, and Sri Lanka.

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South Africa superstar Charlize Theron is an icon in Africa. She is a woman one can not fail to admire.

Academy Award winning actress, Halle Berry worked as a fashion model in the 1980s.Berry is not the only Hollywood star who made a living from special jobs before becoming famous. For many actresses, this early experience came in useful in their acting career. The South African actress Charlize Theron -who has appeared in over twenty films in a movie career lasting over ten years- was a supermodel in the 1990s.

Hollywood actress Charlize Theron was born on August7, 1975, in Benoni, Gauteng, South Africa.She has German and French ancestry. Charlize grew up to be a beautiful young woman and attracted the attentions of many people.She speaks English, Afrikaans and Xhosa.

Charlize had been an international model since the age of 16. She began her career in Milan, Italy. In late 1996 she became an actress.On February 29, 2004, Charlize won an Academy Award for Best actress for her role as Aileen Wuournos in the film “Monster”. She became the first African actress to win an Oscar for Best Actress in the history.

Charlize Theron is one of the most beautiful women in the world.The elegant clothes she wears complement her perfect body.

Filmography:”Celebrity” (1998), “Reindeer Games” (2000), “The Yards” ( 2000), “Men of Honor” (2000), “The Italian Job” (2003),

“Monster” (2003), “The Life and Death of Peters Sellers” (2004),”North Country” (2005), and “The Brazilian Job (2006).

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The Nobel Prize Nadine Gordimer is a human rights activist. Her proudest moment was when she testified at a 1986 treason trial on behalf of 22 South African anti-apartheid activists.

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South Africa has had famous athletes in the past century: Reggie Walker (olympic 100m gold medallist in 1908), Esther Brand (olympic high jump gold medallist in 1952), Joan Harrison (swimmer,won 1 olympic gold medal in 1952), and Sam Atkinson (olympic 110m hurdles gold medallist in 1928).

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Mathosa was one of the best singers in South Africa. She was called “South Africa´s Madonna of the townships”. In the 1990s, Mathosa was considered among the most talented artists in Africa.

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The 2003 Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded to South African author John Maxwell Coetzee. He was the fourth African Nobel laurate for literature after Wolle Soyinka of Nigeria (1986), Naguib Mahfouz of Egypt (1988), and Coetzee´s countrywoman Nadine Gordimer (1991). J.M Coetzee was born on February 9, 1940, in Cape Town, South Africa. He was cited by the Swedish Academy as an author “who in innumerables guises portrays the surprising involvement of the outsider”.Certainly, Coetzee is one of the most famous South African authors in the 21st century.

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South Africa hosted the 1999 Pan African Games.

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The golf is a popular sport in South Africa. South Africa has had famous golfers throughout its sports history.In the 1960s and 1970s, Gary Player was one of the best golfers in the world. He won many tournaments such as the Masters Golf Tournament ( 1961,1974, and 1978), the United States Open (1965), the PGA Championship (1962 and 1972), and the British Open ( 1959, 1968, and 1974).His countryman Bobby Locke won the British Open (1949, 1950, 1952, and 1957). Furthermore, South Africa won two times the World Cup Golf: 1965 (Gary Player and Harold Henning) and 1974 (Bobby Cole and Dale Hayes).

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