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BirdLife South Africa honours pioneering black scientist, Saul Sithole

June 4, 2021

By Wallace Mawire

Lorato Trok’s The Forgotten Scientist: The Story of Saul Sithole is the story of a pioneering black scientist whose great contribution to the fields of anthropology and ornithology in South Africa has been ignored and largely forgotten. Trok’s book has gone some way in rectifying this by telling Sithole’s story of dedication to his craft and the advancement of our knowledge of birds and fossils through his 62-year career at the Ditsong (previously Transvaal) Natural History Museum.

BirdLife South Africa, with whom the book was launched, has, in honour of Saul Sithole, named their library, probably the most comprehensive collection of ornithological texts in South Africa, the Saul Sithole Memorial Library.

Saul’s grandson, Themba Zitha, attended the announcement at the organisation’s AGM in May 2021 and Trok read a citation that will hang in the library, encapsulating why the work of Saul and others like him is worthy of memorial.
The Forgotten Scientist: The Story of Saul Sithole is available in English, Afrikaans, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Sesotho and Sepedi.   Lorato Trok has written a number of stories in English and Setswana. She also has qualifications in Languages and Literature and Advanced Editing. She has presented papers locally and internationally on children’s literature and is a creative writing facilitator. This is her second biography for young people and forms part of the series about unsung South African heroes and heroines.
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