Allan Kirkland Soga
Politician | South African Native National Congress founder | Political Commentator
Born: 20 November 1861 Died: 1938
“All that the black man need to do is to borrow the best that Western civilisation offers. But we must get rid of the educated black serf who will blindly tie his race to the juggernaut of Western civilisation.”
Allan Kirkland Soga?
A philosopher and thought leader, he was one of the founding members of the South African Native Convention (SANC) and of the South African Native National Congress (SANNC).
Journalist, politician, magistrate/lawyer, philosopher, and intellectual.
Best Known For
Being a founding member of the SANC and SANNC, and the Bantu Union.
- Soga was educated in Cape Town and in Scotland, where he studied Law and Humanities at Glasgow University.
- He chose a career in civil service in the Cape Colony at a time when there was no official colour bar against blacks in ‘responsible’ government jobs. However, he soon found out that there was an unofficial colour bar that favoured whites only.
- Soga took a post of acting resident magistrate at St Marks in the southern Transkei, and was poised to become the first black magistrate when he was abruptly replaced by a European in 1895.
- He was then employed as a labour bureau agent and a road inspector in the Transkei.
- Soga was one of the founding members and prominent leaders of the SANC, founded in 1898.
- He was also the co-founder (with Walter Rubusana) and editor of the Cape paper Izwi Labantu from 1899 to 1909. When Izwi Labantu was founded, it was financed by Cecil John Rhodes and his deputy C P Crewe. Soga would have had it otherwise, considering his scepticism of British imperialism.
- After Izwi closed, Soga moved to the Transvaal to become editor of the Native Advocate, launched and published by Alfred Mangena, and based in East London. The paper, which published weekly, did not survive for more than a year.
- Soga then became one of the founding members of the SANNC, as well as a founder and secretary of the Bantu Union, a Cape voters’ association. He was an influential participant at numerous conferences.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS
“All that the black man needs to do is to borrow the best that Western civilisation offers. But we must get rid of the educated black serf who will blindly tie his race to the juggernaut of Western civilisation.”
– Allan Kirkland Soga, In Izwe Labantu