Virtual Conference
Mental Health 2022

Crystal Welman

Central University of Technology, South Africa

Title: The influence of love and friendship on an individual’s wellness: Highlights from the life of Sol Plaatje


Sol Plaatje was a founder member and the first General Secretary of the South African Native National Congress (SANNC), later renamed the African National Congress (ANC), which today, is also South Africa’s ruling party. Plaatje’s life history reflected a significant degree of wellness in the expression and experience of love and friendship, which was uncovered through the systematic analysis of publicly available life-history materials. The Wheel of Wellness (WoW) model by Sweeney and Witmer was applied to interpret the biographical evidence of love and friendship and meaning in his life. Plaatje’s social interest is manifested by his relentless fight against political injustices inherent to oppressive governmental policies and the disenfranchisement of marginalized individuals, fuelled by his sense of connectedness to the South African community. The diverse number of cultures within Plaatje’s environment allowed him to form political alliances and lasting friendships with individuals who shared his moral and ethical beliefs of equality for all. His close relationships with family-like friends, immediate family and especially his wife, Elizabeth, remained meaningful sources of love and emotional (as well as tangible) support throughout Plaatje’s lifespan that most likely contributed to his sense of well-being and resilience


Crystal Welman has completed her PhD in 2020 at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa. She is a registered Counselling Psychologist currently employed as a senior psychologist at the Central University of Technology in Bloemfontein, South Africa. Her research interests reside mainly within the field of psychobiography. She is an emerging researcher with two peer-reviewed international publications