Brian Willan

Brian Willan has assembled and edited this fascinating collection from a variety of disparate and often obscure sources, making a comprehensive selection of Plaatje’s writings available to a wider audience for the first time.

Listed in: African Studies · African Literature · History · African History




Sol Plaatje · Selected Writings
By Sol T. Plaatje · Edited by Brian Willan

Sol Plaatje is one of South Africa’s most important political and literary figures. A pioneer in the history of the black press, he was one of the founders of the African National Congress, a leading spokesman for black opinion throughout his life, and the author of three well-known books: Mafeking Diary, Native Life in South Africa, and his historical novel, Mhudi. These books are not Plaatje’s only claim to fame.

“In bringing together, and gently commenting upon, little known published and unpublished work by Sol Plaatje, Willan has produced something which both honours Plaatje's memory and provides readers and researchers with a material basis on which independent judgments can be made about Plaatje both as a politician and a writer. For this he deserves our thanks.”

Willie Henderson, African Affairs




Native Life in South Africa · Before and Since the European War and the Boer Rebellion
By Sol T. Plaatje · Introduction by Brian Willan · Foreword by Bessie Head

First published in 1916 and one of South Africa's great political books, Native Life in South Africa was first and foremost a response to the Native's Land Act of 1913, and was written by one of the most gifted and influential writers and journalists of his generation. Sol T. Plaatje provides an account of the origins of this crucially important piece of legislation and a devastating description of its immediate effects.