Thami ka Plaatje was born in Evaton in 1967. He attained a BA Hon and a University Education Diploma from Vista University. In 1995 he completed a Masters degree at what is now UJ. He lectured in history with a focus on South African history at Vista University between 1992 and 1995. In 2003 he became senior manager in policy and strategy at the National Development Agency and worked as a researcher and contributor for the Road to Democracy. In 2010 he became researcher for the ANC Free State centenary. Thami was a founder member of the Azanian National Youth Unity and was detained during the Vaal 1984 rent uprisings. He was elected to the first executive of the PAC in 1989, also holding the position of National Secretary General of the PAC of Azania. He also headed the ANC research department and served as an advisor to Minister Lindiwe Sisulu.