• YouGov’s annual study has revealed the most admired people in the world for 2019.
  • This year's list includes public figures from 41 countries including South Africa.
  • Business Insider sub-Saharan Africa has compiled a list of the most admired people from Africa.

YouGov has released its annual world’s most admired people survey. 

To find out who these figures are, the company started gathering open-ended nominations from panellists across 41 countries (the most ever) including South Africa in December.

The question was simple: “Thinking about people alive in the world today, which [man or woman] do you most admire?” 

Fieldwork was also conducted from March to June with two questions: “who do you truly admire?” and “who do you MOST admire?” in addition to the nominations.

The findings, which differs by country, show that Trevor Noah is the most admired man while Oprah Winfrey is the most admired woman in South Africa.

Here is a full list of the world’s most admired people from Africa for 2019:


  • Trevor Noah (South African comedian)
  • Cyril Ramaphosa (South African president)
  • Patrice Motsepe (South African businessman)
South Africa's most admired figures in 2019 (YouGov)
South Africa's most admired figures in 2019 (YouGov)

ALSO READ: These 2 Nigerians are among the world's highest-paid celebrities in 2019


  • Thuli Madonsela (South African advocate)
  • Bonang Matheba (South African television presenter)
  • Helen Zille (a retired South African politician)

Overall, Bill Gates remains the world’s most admired man while Michelle Obama has replaced Angelina Jolie as the world’s most admired woman in 2019.