- Paperback: 354 pages
- Publisher: Free Press; 1st edition (October 7, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780684848280
- ISBN-13: 978-0684848280
- ASIN: 0684848287
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 253 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,224 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Kaffir Boy: An Autobiography--The True Story of a Black Youth's Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa Paperback – October 7, 1998
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"Like . . . Claude Brown's Manchild in the Promised Land . . . in every way as important and exciting." -- The Washington Post
"This is a rare look inside the festering adobe shanties of Alexandra, one of South Africa's notorious black townships. Rare because it comes . . . from the heart of a passionate young African who grew up there." -- Chicago Tribune
"Powerful, intense, inspiring." -- Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Mark Mathabane is the author of Kaffir Boy in America, Love in Black and White, and African Women: Three Generations.
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This e-version, disappointingly, is *riddled* with spelling errors and typos. Positively screaming for a good editor.
Is it a worthwhile read? Definitely. Because the struggles of 'ordinary' black South Africans during Apartheid, have not been sufficiently documented in our literature. The suffering caused by draconian, official, bureaucratic demands alone, was horrifying. Crippling poverty and hunger, aside.
The author is an excellent raconteur. I see that several other books followed this. I may well be tempted.
My only real complaint is that Mathabane is an exception to the rule, an outstanding athlete and academic he managed to escape and give us this story. Not exactly a flaw in the author. He does have a tendency towards long exposition dumps in the form of conversations that are wildly implausible. It gets the message across. Anyway highly recommended.
He writes as Johannes -the narrator and main character of the story. With the courage he learns from his mother and the education she fought for, he helps to look after and feed his younger siblings. Then with the help of his grandmother he overcomes the unimaginable rules and laws set for the `blacks', to earn a living in the `white' community. Eventually he meets up with a tennis star who helps him work towards a scholarship to an American University. This is where this part of the story basically ends.
We all need to read about the unbelievable situations that some of our fellow humans live in -and who survive to grow and live a `normal' life.
It is a testament to the author's tenacity that he lived to tell this story.
You will not easily forget this book and you will be looking forward to reading the next one.