Seetsele Modiri Molema’s Sol T Plaatje: Morata Wabo is the first biography of Solomon Plaatje written in his mother-tongue, Setswana and the only book-length biography written by someone who actually knew him. The manuscript had long been housed in the Wits Historical Papers and was accessible only to scholars. D. S. Matjila and Karen Haire have mined the archive to produce the first English translation of Molema’s biography, Lover of His People: A biography of Sol Plaatje.

In this account, Molema balances Plaatje’s public and political persona – as a pioneer black politician and man of letters – with an intimate account of Plaatje, the human being: his physical features, habits, temperament, talents, personality, character, fears, struggles, dreams and aspirations. In short, Molema illuminates the spirit of Plaatje painting a personal portrait of this leading South African figure and his impact not only on South Africa’s political and cultural landscape but on the young Molema as well.

The book will be displayed at ASA Conference in Philadelphia, USA, on 29 November, 2012.

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