jeudi 21 novembre 2013

South Africa:Solomon Plaatje Sekisho, an intellectual and a visionary nationalist in battle*.

 

Intellectual, journalist, linguist, politician, translator and writer.

         Born on October 9, 1876 in the farm Doornfontein near Boshof (Orange Free State). He completed his primary and secondary education at the Lutheran missionary school Pniel on the banks of the Vaal River (1884-1890). From 1891 to 1893, he taught at the school Pniel. In 1894, he worked as a postman in Kimberley. During his spare time, he learned foreign languages ​​(Dutch, French, German, Sotho, Zulu and Xhosa). In 1898, he moved to Mafeking, works as an interpreter at the Court of Mafeking and is used as a staff interpreter at the service of the British government during the war anglo-boer, siege of Mafeking (16 October 1899-17 May 1900). From 1901 to 1908, he founded and directed two newspapers "Koranta ea Becoana (The Bechuana Gazette)" and "Tsala ea Becoana (Friends of the People)", published in English and Setswana. On 8 January 1912, he was elected the first Secretary General of the South African Native National Congress (S.A.N.N.C.) which became in 1923, the African National Congress-A.N.C., whose general president is the Reverend John Langabalele Dube and General Treasurer, Pixley ka Isaka Seme. The S.A.N.N.C. publishes the newspaper "The Friend of the People ". In 1914, Sol Plaatje is part of the black delegation which protests in London against the Land Act of 1913, which remains of their native land in South Africans. In 1919, he attended the Conference of Versailles (France), which puts an end to the First World War. 

The first to proudly sing "Nkosi Sikelel'iAfrika", the South African anthem.

         He took the opportunity to attend the first Pan-African Congress held in Paris by W.E.B. Du Bois, with the help of M.P. Franco-Senegalese Blaise Diagne*. From Paris, he flew to Canada and to the United States. On October 16, 1923, he was the first South African to sing and save the future African national anthem "Nkosi Sikelel'iAfrika" accompanied on the piano by Sylvia Colenso. Back in South Africa in 1929, he received a house at 32 rue des Anges in the residential area of Malay Camp, offered by the black community of Kimberley for services rendered. The house was declared a national monument in 1992. In 1930, he began serving the people of Kimberley and protested once more against the law on the "Pass". He died in Johannesburg on June 19, 1932. 

 Posthumous honors for an outstanding writer...

         He received a grand funeral with unanimous tribute of more than 1,000 inhabitants from all races in Kimberley. His tomb in West End Cimetery, Kimberley was declared a national monument and became a place of pilgrimage since 1997. In 1998, an honorary doctorate was posthumously conferred to him by the University of the North-West with several of his descendants present. In 2000, the African National Congress initiated the Sol Plaatje Award, one of a number of annual achievement awards. January 9, 2010, a statue in his effigy was inaugurated in Kimberley by President Jacob Zuma. The Sol Plaatje Municipality, which includes the city of Kimberley is named after him, as is the Sol Plaatje University in that city, due to open its doors in 2014. Brian William devoted a biography entitled: Sol Plaatje South African Nationalist 1876-1932, London, Heinemann, 1984
His bibliography includes:
-The Boer war diary of Sol T. Plaatje: an African at Mafeking, Macmillan, London, 1901.-The Essential Interpreter (essay), 1909.
-Native life in South Africa
: Before and Since the European War and the Boer Rebellion, P.S. King & Son, London, 1916.
-Sechuana proverbs with Literal Translations and Their Equivalents Europeans,
Kegan Paul, Trench, London, 1916.
-Sechuana Phonetic Reader
, University of London, London, 1916.
-The Mote and the Beam,
Young's Book Exchange, New York, 1920.
-Mhudi: An Epic of South African Native Life a Hundred Years Ago,
Lovedale Press, Lovedale, 1930.
-The Siege of Mafeking,
1984.
-Mafeking Diary, a Black Man's View of a White Man's War,
J. Comaroff, South Books Publishers, Johannesburg, 1989.
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*Jean I.N. KANYARWUNGA: Dictionnaire biographique des Africains (Biographical dictionnary of Africans), Nouvelles Editions Nunériques Africaines (N.E.N.A.), 2013. French Edition. 

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