Antiquarian Auctions

SA Auction #84 ends in

US Auction #3 begins on 13 Aug 2020

Plaatje, Sol T.

MHUDI: (Signed by the author)

an epic of South African native life a hundred years ago

Published: Lovedale, Lovedale Press, [1930]

Edition: First edition

Current Bid: $0

Reserve: $1,500


Estimate: $2500

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225 pages. Cloth, lightly worn on edges. Slight browning to free endpapers.

Signed & dated inscription from Plaatje on half title page. 

Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje (9.10.1876 - 1.6.1932) was born in Boshof in the Free State and grew up on a Lutheran Mission Station. Largely self-educated, he could speak eight languages, and was widely travelled. He became a political journalist and was a founder member of the African Native National Congress, becoming the organization’s first Secretary-General in 1912.

MHUDI was the first novel written in English by a black African. The story concerns Mzilikazi's routing of the Baralong, during the 1830s. Mhudi and her husband, Ra-Thaga, are present when the Baralong form an alliance with the Boer frontiersmen of the Great Trek, resulting in the Battle of Vegkop (which took place under the tail of Hailey's Comet). Among his other works was NATIVE LIFE IN SOUTH AFRICA (a plea against the Land Act of 1913, which he anticipated would cause great damage to race relations). He also translated Shakespearean works into SeTswana. Strongly opposed to tribalism, he exemplified the spirit of national unity amongst African intellectuals.

The book is inscribed to G.A.W. Clarke. George Arnold Wedderburn Clarke (16.12.1889 – 27.4.1981) was born in Grahamstown and educated at Kingswood College. He became a lawyer in Beaconsfield (near Kimberley) in 1911. His firm, Clarke & Mair, was active in the city for decades and it is possible he got to know Plaatje when the latter was acting as a translator in local courts.

The Kimberley municipal district has been renamed the Sol Plaatje Municipality. A university, a UNISA library, several schools, a dam and a power station have been named after him, stamps have been issued with his image thereupon; and his house in Kimberley is now a museum and heritage site. Awards named after him include The Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award and The Sol Plaatje Prize for Translation issued by the English Academy of South Africa. Plaatje's literary and political legacy will only grow in years to come and as it does, so will the value and recognition placed upon this important work.

  • Binding Condition: Very good
  • Overall Condition: Very good
  • Size: 19 x 12 cm
  • Name: Select Books
  • Contact Person: David McLennan
  • Country: South Africa
  • Email:
  • Telephone: 021-4246955
  • Preferred Payment Methods: Credit card; EFT
  • Trade Associations: SABDA

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