Sol. T. Plaatje standing alongside family

Material Information

Sol. T. Plaatje standing alongside family
Series Title:
Papers of Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje
Alternate Title:
10 photographs of Plaatje and others; including one scene of a crowd in Africa, and African dancers on stage in London : Photograph 7
A. D. Hellier & Co. ( Photographer )
Hellier, Archibald Douglas ( contributor )
Place of Publication:
Bexhill-on-Sea, England
Heatherfield, England
A. D. Hellier & Co.
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Plaatje, Sol. T. (Solomon Tshekisho), 1876-1932 ( LCNAF )
Spatial Coverage:
Europe -- United Kingdom -- England -- Greater London -- London -- Westminster
51.494722 x -0.135278


General Note:
Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje was born on 9 October 1876, in the district of Boshof, Orange Free State, South Africa. His parents were Barolongs, coming originally from Thaba Ncho, and trekking eventually to Mafeking. He was educated at Pneil Mission Station (Berlin Missionary Society), near Barkly West, until he passed the fourth standard. He then worked as a student teacher, continuing his study through private lessons from the Rev. G.E. Westphal. In March 1894 he joined the Cape Government Service as a letter- carrier in the Kimberley Post Office. In his own time he studied languages and passed the Cape Civil Service examination in typewriting, Dutch and native languages. In 1898 he was transferred to Mafeking as interpreter, and during the Siege of Mafeking at the outbreak of the Boer War in 1899, he was appointed Dutch interpreter to the Court of Summary Jurisdiction. Plaatje decided to become a journalist in order to give a voice to the Bantu people. He edited a number of Bantu language newspapers including Koranta ea Becoana ( The Bechuana Gazette ) 1902- 1905, a weekly paper in English and Sechuana, which was financed by Chief Silas Molema. He then became Editor of Tsala ea Batho ( The People's Friend ) 1910-c1912. He was elected First Secretary-General of the South African Native National Congress (forerunner of the African National Congress), 1912-1917. In 1914 and 1919 he was a member of the Congress delegation to London against the Natives' Land Act of 1913. As a result of financial difficulties he became stranded in London for some time, but used this time to address meetings and to write Sechuana Proverbs. He returned to South Africa in 1917. Plaatje was also a delegate to the first Government Conference held under the Native Affairs Act. He travelled throughout Europe, Canada and the United States to draw attention to the plight of black South Africans. He was the author of numerous books including Native Life in South Africa (1915), Sechuana Proverbs and their European Equivalents (1916), and A Sechuana Reader. In 1919 he wrote Mhudi (published in 1930), which was the first published novel written in English by a Black South African. He died on 19 June 1932. Further reading: Willan, B., Sol Plaatje: South African Nationalist 1876-1932 , (Heineman, 1984)
General Note:
The South African Native National Congress delegation to Britain was dispatched in 1909
General Note:
The family is possibly that of William Philip Schreiner, a Prime Minister of the Cape Colony, South Africa, who served as the head of the South African Native National Congress delegation to Britain. Schreiner is known to have had at least one son, Oliver, and at least two daughters, Ursula and Edna.
General Note:
Image used to front a postcard
General Note:
British made, numbered D245
General Note:
Photo by A. D. Hellier & Co. Bexhill-on-Sea & Heatherfield

Record Information

Source Institution:
SOAS University of London
Holding Location:
Special Collections
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
MS 375495, Plaatje, Box 1 ( SOAS Order with reference )
MS 375495/04/01/07 ( CALM reference number )


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