A panel comprising Prof Mcebisi Ndletyana, Associate Professor of Politics at UJ, and Prof Liz Gunner, a researcher at UJ, will discuss the book with Dr Willan, followed by an open discussion.
DATE: 21 August 2018.
TIME: 17h00 for 17h30.
VENUE: Chinua Achebe Auditorium, UJ Library, Auckland Park Kingsway (APK) Campus, UJ, Auckland Park.
INVITATION: for a printable invitation, click here.
RSVP by Monday 20 August 2018 to Theodorah Modise on email@example.com / 011 559 2264
The book tells the story of Plaatje’s remarkable life, placing it in the context of the changes that overtook South Africa during his lifetime, and the huge obstacles he had to overcome. It draws upon extensive new research in archives in southern Africa, Europe and the United States, as well as an expanding scholarship on Plaatje and his writings.
Today, Sol Plaatje is celebrated as one of South Africa’s most accomplished political and literary figures. He was a pioneer in the history of the black press, the editor of several newspapers, and one of the founders, in 1912, of the African National Congress. He led the ANC’s campaign against the notorious Natives Land Act of 1913, and twice travelled overseas to represent the interests of his people.
Plaatje wrote several books, including – in English – Native Life in South Africa (1916), a powerful denunciation of the Land Act and the policies that led to it, and a pioneering novel, Mhudi (1930). Years after his death, his diary of the Siege of Mafeking was retrieved and published, providing a unique view of one of the best known episodes in the South African War of 1899–1902.
About the author
Brian Willan holds a doctorate from the School of Oriental and African Studies at London University, and is currently an Honorary Research Associate of the Institute for the Study of English in Africa at Rhodes University. He has written extensively on Sol Plaatje and other aspects of nineteenth and twentieth century South African history. Sol Plaatje’s Native Life in South Africa: Past and Present, a multi-author volume edited by Willan, Janet Remmington and Bheki Peterson, was published by Wits University Press in 2016.