Sol Plaatje: a man of vision
With his ‘bioscope’, Sol Plaatje traversed the length and breadth of SA, fighting to bring education and hope to the country’s poor
On October 9, SA celebrates the anniversary of the birth of one of its most remarkable sons, Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje.
Born in 1876, Plaatje is often remembered as the first secretary-general of the SA Native National Congress, an organisation that would later become the ANC. But he was far more than this. Fluent in at least six languages — including German, Dutch, Xhosa and English — Plaatje embodied a vast array of skills and commitments. He was a politician, a postman, a court translator, a newspaper editor, a novelist, a linguist, a translator of Shakespeare, a lay preacher, an educator, an advocate of the temperance movement and the creator of what became known as the "Plaatje bioscope"...