Home » Columns » Silas T. Molema

Silas T. Molema

Publishing Date : 07 October, 2019


Silas Thelesho Molema (1852-1929) was a Morolong royal who distinguished himself as a pioneer nationalist politician, educator and indigenous publisher. In 1878 he organized the first day school among the Barolong boo Ratshidi.

From 1888 he served as tribal secretary to Kgosi Montshiwa and his successors. He also commanded the Barolong regiments during the siege of Mahikeng. In 1901 he purchased the Bechuanaland Gazette or Koranta ea Becoana, which under his direction existed for a number of years as the first black-owned Setswana newspaper.

In 1909 he represented “Bechuanaland” at the South African Native Convention where he was instrumental in getting the body to support the continued existence of the Bechuanaland Protectorate as well as Lesotho and Swaziland outside the nascent Union of South Africa. During the 1920s he served on the Native (later African) Advisory Council and in 1927 played a behind-the-scenes organizational role in the petition and subsequent mission to the High Commissioner by Dikgosi Tshekedi Khama, Sebele II, and Ntebogang Ratshosa. He was the father of Dr. Silas M. Molema and served as a mentor for such figures as journalist, activist, and author Sol Plaatje and Peter Sidzumo.



Do you think the courts will help put the UDC, BMD impasse within reasonable time ahead of the 2019 General Election?