South Africa

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Allan, Jani

Allan was adopted aged one month by a wealthy British-South African couple, John and Janet Fry. John Fry died when she was 10. She has been a model and married a wealthy South African, G... [more]

Graham, Eddie

Graham was adopted by his aunt and uncle when he was five, after his birth parents died. His sister was adopted by their grandmother. The family were well-to-do dairy farmers near Johannesb... [more]

Head, Bessie

Head was the child of a wealthy white South African woman and a Black servant when interracial relationships were illegal in South Africa. Her mother was sent to a mental hospital as punish... [more]

Johnson, Nkosi

Johnson was born Xolani Nkosi to South African parents infected with HIV, and he was born infected. When he was two he was taken from his mother who by now was too ill to care for him, and ... [more]

Jones, David Ivon

Jones was orphaned as a young child and brought up by his grandparents, but his grandmother also died when he was a boy. He contracted tuberculosis as a child and as a teenager he emigrated... [more]

Mandela, Nelson Rolihlahla

Mandela was born into the Thembu sub-tribe nobility of the Xhosa people in Mveso, South Africa, initially raised by his parents there and in Qunu. He was early marked for great things, and ... [more]

Mbeki, Thabo Mvuyelwa

Mbeki was the son of Xhosa ANC activists and teachers: his father, Govan Mbeki spent 24 years imprisoned with Nelson Mandela on Robben Island. Knowing that they were likely to be arrested, ... [more]

Tolkien, J.R.R.

Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa, to a English immigrant bank clerk and his wife. In 1895 Tolkien, his mother and younger brother moved back to England, with the intention tha... [more]

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