"Born a crime-Stories from a South African childhood" Trevor Noah
Updated: Oct 25, 2020
If my mother had one goal, it was to free my mind.
This book is a masterpiece- Pure and simple. It is a memoir of a man, born a "coloured" child and being raised in South Africa by his strong-minded and independent black mother during a time when there was a LAW against carnal intercourse between whites and blacks according to the Immorality act, 1927 during the apartheid [ Apartheid (“apartness” in the language of Afrikaans) was a system of legislation that upheld segregationist policies against non-white citizens of South Africa.-< Apartheid In South Africa: Laws, End & Facts - HISTORY>].
Just in case you thought it was an accidental pregnancy, then I'm sorry to burst your bubble.
It was a deliberate decision Patricia Noah, Trevor Noah's mom, made. She wanted a mixed child, and she got one, to hell with that stupid law ( My kind of role model).
She then proceeds to teach this child, to instil values that helped this child not to limit his dreams.
My mother used to tell me, "I chose to have you because I wanted something that would love me unconditionally in return".
This book is a journey of a boy and his mother, finding loopholes rules set up to limit black people, especially during apartheid. It was sometimes dangerous, interesting, uplifting and sad.
Trevor Noah takes us with him through his life.
His childhood was filled with naughty antics (he even burnt down a house.....lol) and in school, choosing whether he was part of the white crowd or the black crowd since segregation was very much active at the time (what helped in such situation was his command over several South African languages). He changed schools a couple of times, and all those times he had to choose who he had to be, what role he had to play.
His teenage years were filled with him trying to navigate a dangerous situation at home (as he had acquired a step-father who was a mean drunk, beating up Trevor's mother and Trevor from time to time) and chasing after (sometimes literally) his goals of entrepreneurship.
By 19-20 years he had earned a local reputation as a disc jockey. He moved out of his mother's house to get away from his stepdad's radar and also to continue hustling for money to get into university. In one of his story, he sent Hitler into a Jewish school, and they didn't find it funny (the crazy thing was he actually didn't know what he had done and thought the people were racist).
He later became a comedian. On one Sunday morning, his younger brother called him to tell him their mother had been shot in the head (by the step-father).
What really fascinated me were not the stories themselves ( there were excellent stories) but his unique view on those series of events and also his relationship with his mother (. With this book, I highly recommend the audiobook because Trevor Noah himself read it and I got the feeling of being there in the story while all was unfolding (there are also the different African language phrases which I couldn't have read...and the songs....LOOL). You can get that for free with an audible free trial subscription, just click on the link below.
Feel free to leave comments on how you felt reading this book and the lessons you leant( I would love to know your thoughts).
Till my next post. Bye:)