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"...

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