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Third World Child: Born White, Zulu Bred Kindle Edition
- ASIN : B00MSYTEGW
- Publisher : Tracey McDonald Publishers (August 15, 2014)
- Publication date : August 15, 2014
- Language : English
- File size : 4902 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 382 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,045,398 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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To up the ante let’s have Roy be raised by two ultra-committed Christian missionaries who are determined to live the sparse, humble life of their poverty-stricken black neighbours. Little Roy will grow up without sandals, wash in the local river alongside overfed muddy cows, get beaten up local Zulu bullies, flush out his bowels in the local field and learn to navigate the often dangerous byways of rural Southern African life on Mother Africa’s terms. Many exciting questions will surely arise from this grand experiment. Will Roy lose his white identity and sire dozens of unacknowledged, bi-racially confused children? When Roy eventually goes to the big, awe-inspiring metropolis that is modern Johannesburg, will he find himself exposed as an ill educated white-savage in cheap, ill-fitting clothing and run back to the comfort and safety of his small hut by the Masinga river?
The answer, and I suspect you didn’t see this coming, is that Roy didn’t grow up to be a blighted, psychologically tortured Frankenstein monster or a spiritually enlightened Dances With Wolves social revolutionary. Instead, by drawing on his unique background, he rose to the top of the highly competitive SA marketing tree and eventually lorded it over a host of city bred white and black South Africans who remain desperate to communicate with the rural multitudes Roy grew up with.
You might not be impressed by Roy’s journey from underfed barefoot waif to a world class marketing consultant, after all the Nexus 6 model is built to survive in harsh conditions and solve complex issues at quicker rate than we mere mortals. However GG Alcock, the living, breathing Roy we encounter within Third World Child, emerges from a series of highly original anecdotes as an all-too-fallible, all-too-human character, whose success and triumphs are therefore even more impressive.
Like all good blockbusters Alcock’s fast-paced, in-your-face tale is ably served by an outstanding cast of characters: racist ANC hating army officers, vindictive local police, opportunistic, murderous thieves, flawed childhood friends, larger-than-life township gangsters, and madcap visionary explorer-marketing gurus who could not be found anywhere but within South Africa. Despite the sharp, bad-boy glamour of this action-packed cast it’s Alcock’s parents, Neil and Creina, carefully sketched out by a loyal but never starry-eyed son, who sparkle with genuine charisma and an authentically dangerous balls-to-the-walls eccentricity who easily outshine the unpredictable antics of their fellow cast members.
The deep pain and long-lasting trauma felt by Alcock at his father’s early demise, unconsciously permeates the entire book, yet it’s impossible to find a single sentence within this book where Alcock indulges in a moment of self-pity or self-serving outrage. This calm acceptance of his father’s cruel execution possibly reflects Alcock’s inbred Zulu pragmatism more than any element of the book. His ability to rise above difficult circumstances that might have blighted the character and integrity of a lesser man proves Creina Alcock kept her promise to her son when she foreswore earthly materialism but promised him, “I will prepare you for life in Africa”. With the original Only In Africa social experiment having reached its course, any honest evaluation of Alcock’s trailblazing career has to conclude that Creina’s simply stated ambition for her son turned out to be an immeasurably prescient gift.
I think it would be easy for any reader of this book to fall into the trap of perceiving the early material deprivation of Alcock’s childhood through a cosy, rose tinted “Out Of Africa” glow. A casual assessment of the many victims of violence calmly recounted within the book includes many significant human beings in Alcock’s life who failed to make it out of the Masinga death trap or who were tripped up by their bad choices when they also reached the big city; this book also serves as subtle, heartfelt testimonial to these fallen friends.
Third World Child is clearly a labour of love. It is also an unanswerable attempt by a man whose life has been often discussed in print and media to tell his story in his own words. Fortunately, Alcock’s concise, thoughtful prose has a natural unforced poetic cadence that enriches even the darkest tale. Even if he doesn’t write another book Alcock has emerged as a new leading man for a post-Liberation South African audience still keen to find a raft of new role models who can help the country form an inclusive, sustainable national identity.
This is certainly one of the most entertaining biographies you’ll read for years to come. It also raises South Africa’s oldest, most divisive question: Can any white man truly call himself an African? If GG Alcock can’t call himself an African, what white person can
Anyone interested in getting a deep insight about the turbulent times leading up to the end of Apartheid in South Africa and the early heady days of its new democracy - seen through the eyes of a unique individual who tasted a multitude of flavours of this diverse and complex country - should read this immediately.
Top reviews from other countries
It shows the strength of the human spirit but also the utter cruelty. If only there were more men and women in this world like GG then surely it would be a better place. This book is a real warts and all read.
As they say in Africa............"Go for it"