Kaffir Boy

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Written with courage and conviction, Mark Mathbane's reveals the extraordinary memoir of growing up in a world under apartheid. B&W photo insert.

A unique, first-person account of growing up black under apartheid.

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Overview

Written with courage and conviction, Mark Mathbane's reveals the extraordinary memoir of growing up in a world under apartheid. B&W photo insert.

A unique, first-person account of growing up black under apartheid.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787100117
  • Publisher: NewStar Media, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/1/1993
  • Series: Super Sound Ser.
  • Format: Cassette
  • Edition description: Abridged

Read an Excerpt

I am always asked to explain what it felt like to grow up black under South Africa's system of legalized racism known as apartheid, and how I escaped from it and ended up in America. This book is the most thorough answer I have heretofore given.

The last thing I ever dreamed of when I was daily battling for survival and for an identity other than that of inferiority and fourth-class citizen, which apartheid foisted on me, was that someday I would attend an American college, edit its newspaper, graduate with honors, practise journalism and write a book.

How could I have dreamed of all this when I was born of illiterate parents who could not afford to pay my way through school, let alone pay the rent for our shack and put enough food on the table; when black people in Alexandra lived under constant police terror and the threat of deportation to impoverished tribal reserves; when at ten I contemplated suicide because I found the burden of living in a ghetto, poverty-stricken and without hope, too heavy to shoulder; when in 1976 I got deeply involved in the Soweto protests, in which hundreds of black students were killed by the police, and thousands fled the country to escape imprisonment and torture?

In Kaffir Boy I have re-created, as best as I can remember, all these experiences. I have sought to paint a portrait of my childhood and youth in Alexandra, a black ghetto of Johannesburg, where I was born and lived for eighteen years, with the hope that the rest of the world will finally understand why apartheid cannot be reformed: it has to be abolished.

Much has been written and spoken about the politics of apartheid: the forced removals of blackcommunities from their ancestral lands, the Influx Control and Pass laws that mandate where blacks can live, work, raise families, be buried; the migrant labour system that forces black men to live away from their families eleven months out of a year; the breaking up of black families in the ghettos as the authorities seek to create a so-called white South Africa; the brutal suppression of the black majority as it agitates for equal rights. But what does it all mean in human terms?

When I was growing up in Alexandra it meant hate, bitterness, hunger, pain, terror, violence, fear, dashed hopes and dreams. Today it still means the same for millions of black children who are trapped in the ghettos of South Africa, in a lingering nightmare of a racial system that in many respects resembles Nazism. In the ghettos black children fight for survival from the moment they are born. They take to hating and fearing the police, soldiers and authorities as a baby takes to its mother's breast.

In my childhood these enforcers of white prerogatives and whims represented a sinister force capable of crushing me at will; of making my parents flee in the dead of night to escape arrest under the Pass laws; of marching them naked out of bed because they did not have the permit allowing them to live as husband and wife under the same roof. They turned my father — by repeatedly arresting him and denying him the right to earn a living in a way that gave him dignity — into such a bitter man that, as he fiercely but in vain resisted the emasculation, he hurt those he loved the most.

The movies, with their lurid descriptions of white violence, reinforced this image of white terror and power. Often the products of abject poverty and broken homes, many black children, for whom education is inferior and not compulsory, have been derailed by movies into the dead-end life of crime and violence. It is no wonder that black ghettos have one of the highest murder rates in the world, and South African prisons are among the most packed. It was purely by accident that I did not end up a tsotsi (thug, mugger, gangster). It was no coincidence that, until the age of ten, I refused to set foot in the white world.

The turning point came when one day in my eleventh year I accompanied my grandmother to her gardening job and met a white family that did not fit the stereotypes I had grown up with. Most blacks, exposed daily to virulent racism and dehumanized and embittered by it, do not believe that such whites exist. From this family I started receiving "illegal books" like Treasure Island and David Copperfield, which revealed a different reality and marked the beginning of my revolt against Bantu education's attempts to proscribe the limits of my aspirations and determine my place in South African life.

At thirteen I stumbled across tennis, a sport so "white" most blacks thought I was mad for thinking I could excel in it; others mistook me for an Uncle Tom. Through tennis I learned the important lesson that South Africa's 4.5 million whites are not all racists. As I grew older, and got to understand them more — their fears, longings, hopes, ignorance and mistaken beliefs, and they mine — this lesson became the conviction that whites are in some ways victims of apartheid, too, and that it is the system, not they, that has to be destroyed; just as it was Hitler's regime that had to extirpated, not the German people. Such an attitude helped me survive the nightmare into which my life was plunged by the Soweto protests of 1976. A tennis scholarship to an American college, arranged by the professional tennis player Stan Smith, in 1978, became my passport to freedom.

Kaffir Boy is also about how, in order to escape from the clutches of apartheid, I had to reject the tribal traditions of my ancestors. It was a hard thing to do, for there were many good things in my African heritage, which, had it been left to me to choose freely, I would have preserved and venerated. I, too, had the burning need like human beings everywhere to know where I came from, in order to better understand who I was and where I was going in this world. But apartheid had long adulterated my heritage and traditions, twisted them into tools of oppression and indoctrination. I saw at a young age that apartheid was using tribalism to deny me equal rights, to separate me from my black brothers and sisters, to justify segregation and perpetuate white power and privilege, to render me subservient, docile and, therefore, exploitable. I instinctively understood that in order to forge my own identity, to achieve according to my aspirations and dreams, to see myself the equal of any man, black or white, I had to reject this brand of tribalism, and that in the rejection I ran the risk of losing my heritage. I took the plunge.

Being in America has afforded me the rare opportunity of gaining a proper perspective on my African heritage, of looking at South Africa critically, of understanding what it means to be regarded as a human being, of learning about the nitty-gritty of a democracy and, most important, of using the pen to fight against injustice and racism in my native land.

My family is still in Alexandra, undergoing the same hardships I describe in this book. The youths of my generation have become more militant, the tools of repression have become more numerous and sophisticated and black schools and ghettos have become centers of social protest and bloody conflict with the police and soldiers. South Africa has entered its darkest hour, and all its sons and daughters have a responsibility, a duty, to see to it that truth and justice triumph. I hope to do my part.

I would like to thank Edward T. Chase and Dominick Anfuso, my editors at Macmillan, and Fifi Oscard and Kevin McShane, my agents, for their support and encouragement throughout the writing of this book. I would also like to thank Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe and Hajima Ota, whose photographs have been invaluable.

New York, 1986

Copyright © 1986 by Mark Mathabane

Read More Show Less

Preface

Preface

I am always asked to explain what it felt like to grow up black under South Africa's system of legalized racism known as apartheid, and how I escaped from it and ended up in America. This book is the most thorough answer I have heretofore given.

The last thing I ever dreamed of when I was daily battling for survival and for an identity other than that of inferiority and fourth-class citizen, which apartheid foisted on me, was that someday I would attend an American college, edit its newspaper, graduate with honors, practise journalism and write a book.

How could I have dreamed of all this when I was born of illiterate parents who could not afford to pay my way through school, let alone pay the rent for our shack and put enough food on the table; when black people in Alexandra lived under constant police terror and the threat of deportation to impoverished tribal reserves; when at ten I contemplated suicide because I found the burden of living in a ghetto, poverty-stricken and without hope, too heavy to shoulder; when in 1976 I got deeply involved in the Soweto protests, in which hundreds of black students were killed by the police, and thousands fled the country to escape imprisonment and torture?

In Kaffir Boy I have re-created, as best as I can remember, all these experiences. I have sought to paint a portrait of my childhood and youth in Alexandra, a black ghetto of Johannesburg, where I was born and lived for eighteen years, with the hope that the rest of the world will finally understand why apartheid cannot be reformed: it has to be abolished.

Much has been written and spoken about the politics of apartheid: the forced removals of black communities from their ancestral lands, the Influx Control and Pass laws that mandate where blacks can live, work, raise families, be buried; the migrant labour system that forces black men to live away from their families eleven months out of a year; the breaking up of black families in the ghettos as the authorities seek to create a so-called white South Africa; the brutal suppression of the black majority as it agitates for equal rights. But what does it all mean in human terms?

When I was growing up in Alexandra it meant hate, bitterness, hunger, pain, terror, violence, fear, dashed hopes and dreams. Today it still means the same for millions of black children who are trapped in the ghettos of South Africa, in a lingering nightmare of a racial system that in many respects resembles Nazism. In the ghettos black children fight for survival from the moment they are born. They take to hating and fearing the police, soldiers and authorities as a baby takes to its mother's breast.

In my childhood these enforcers of white prerogatives and whims represented a sinister force capable of crushing me at will; of making my parents flee in the dead of night to escape arrest under the Pass laws; of marching them naked out of bed because they did not have the permit allowing them to live as husband and wife under the same roof. They turned my father -- by repeatedly arresting him and denying him the right to earn a living in a way that gave him dignity -- into such a bitter man that, as he fiercely but in vain resisted the emasculation, he hurt those he loved the most.

The movies, with their lurid descriptions of white violence, reinforced this image of white terror and power. Often the products of abject poverty and broken homes, many black children, for whom education is inferior and not compulsory, have been derailed by movies into the dead-end life of crime and violence. It is no wonder that black ghettos have one of the highest murder rates in the world, and South African prisons are among the most packed. It was purely by accident that I did not end up a tsotsi thug, mugger, gangster. It was no coincidence that, until the age of ten, I refused to set foot in the white world.

The turning point came when one day in my eleventh year I accompanied my grandmother to her gardening job and met a white family that did not fit the stereotypes I had grown up with. Most blacks, exposed daily to virulent racism and dehumanized and embittered by it, do not believe that such whites exist. From this family I started receiving "illegal books" like Treasure Island and David Copperfield, which revealed a different reality and marked the beginning of my revolt against Bantu education's attempts to proscribe the limits of my aspirations and determine my place in South African life.

At thirteen I stumbled across tennis, a sport so "white" most blacks thought I was mad for thinking I could excel in it; others mistook me for an Uncle Tom. Through tennis I learned the important lesson that South Africa's 4.5 million whites are not all racists. As I grew older, and got to understand them more -- their fears, longings, hopes, ignorance and mistaken beliefs, and they mine -- this lesson became the conviction that whites are in some ways victims of apartheid, too, and that it is the system, not they, that has to be destroyed; just as it was Hitler's regime that had to extirpated, not the German people. Such an attitude helped me survive the nightmare into which my life was plunged by the Soweto protests of 1976. A tennis scholarship to an American college, arranged by the professional tennis player Stan Smith, in 1978, became my passport to freedom.

Kaffir Boy is also about how, in order to escape from the clutches of apartheid, I had to reject the tribal traditions of my ancestors. It was a hard thing to do, for there were many good things in my African heritage, which, had it been left to me to choose freely, I would have preserved and venerated. I, too, had the burning need like human beings everywhere to know where I came from, in order to better understand who I was and where I was going in this world. But apartheid had long adulterated my heritage and traditions, twisted them into tools of oppression and indoctrination. I saw at a young age that apartheid was using tribalism to deny me equal rights, to separate me from my black brothers and sisters, to justify segregation and perpetuate white power and privilege, to render me subservient, docile and, therefore, exploitable. I instinctively understood that in order to forge my own identity, to achieve according to my aspirations and dreams, to see myself the equal of any man, black or white, I had to reject this brand of tribalism, and that in the rejection I ran the risk of losing my heritage. I took the plunge.

Being in America has afforded me the rare opportunity of gaining a proper perspective on my African heritage, of looking at South Africa critically, of understanding what it means to be regarded as a human being, of learning about the nitty-gritty of a democracy and, most important, of using the pen to fight against injustice and racism in my native land.

My family is still in Alexandra, undergoing the same hardships I describe in this book. The youths of my generation have become more militant, the tools of repression have become more numerous and sophisticated and black schools and ghettos have become centers of social protest and bloody conflict with the police and soldiers. South Africa has entered its darkest hour, and all its sons and daughters have a responsibility, a duty, to see to it that truth and justice triumph. I hope to do my part.

I would like to thank Edward T. Chase and Dominick Anfuso, my editors at Macmillan, and Fifi Oscard and Kevin McShane, my agents, for their support and encouragement throughout the writing of this book. I would also like to thank Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe and Hajima Ota, whose photographs have been invaluable.

New York, 1986

Copyright © 1986 by Mark Mathabane

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 56 )
Rating Distribution

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(43)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 56 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2013

    I am a high school sophomore and I had to do a research project

    I am a high school sophomore and I had to do a research project on the apartheid in South Africa. This book didn’t really help me in terms of my research, but it was a very interesting story. I really like the fact that it was a written by someone who experienced the apartheid first hand. It really went in depth on how the black Africans were treated by the white Africans. Mark Mathabane, the author of the book, shared every emotion he had and described the situations he went through very vividly. Mark tells us how he overcame the apartheid at such a young age with his siblings, and how this experienced changed him. He also talks about his education and he mentions how he was the best in his class. He wanted to become the first doctor in his family. He talks about very important events in his life and how close he was to his family. I really enjoyed this book because I got to know how it really was during the apartheid and how it felt. I recommend this book to everyone.

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2007

    A True Eye-opener

    Mark Mthabane, author of 'Kaffir Boy', gives his story of how he struggled and overcame the `white mans¿ prejudice and oppression in his first eighteen years during apartheid South Africa. Mthabane experiences first hand the harsh conditions and prejudicial laws of apartheid, as he grows up with his family in the poverty stricken township of Alexandria. Mthabane describes how as a boy he strived to distance himself from the cruel streets of Africa¿s most dangerous ghetto. His initiation into a young black man¿s society was surviving nightly police raids and destructive gang wars. Mthabane suffered through starvation, fought to live in a world were death and murder was an accepted way of life and unknowingly fought against a future of child prostitution. As a youth man he challenged the white man¿s dominancy over the black population, his rightful opposition against the way black people were treated was often the cause of much of his abuse and suffering. As a way of overcoming his underprivileged lifestyle Mthabane turned his hunger for food into hunger for knowledge, and hope that he could one day work in the white man¿s world as an equal. His mother was his inspiration she pushed herself to the edge of death, as any true mother would, to give her son the opportunity and education to fulfill his dream. He writes about how life gave him an opportunity to grow in the form of tennis. Tennis became his salvation as he made white friends who saw apartheid for what it really was. He experienced the kindness in white people as they helped him achieve his dream, paid for his schooling and showed him how to succeed in a world that saw black people as slaves and underclassmen. He later on was inspired by Arthur Ashe, a famous black tennis player, who strengthened his hopes and led him into excelling at every aspect of his life. He over passed the idea that a black man must one day work for the white man and strove to make himself seen as an equal in the white man¿s world. He would not be discriminated against, he would not become a slave of apartheid, he wanted freedom and his increasing skill in tennis was his path to equality. The message of this book is that anyone with the determination to survive and thrive can, for among the oppressed of Africans poverty Mark Mthabane rose above his likely future to live a fulfilling life and help bring inspiration to other hopeless people. The book was very powerful and inspiring, written by an author who has been through hardships most can not even imagine. This book really opened my eyes to the hate of the African people and the true extent of their discrimination. Writing from his heart, Mthabane opens the eyes of the world to the treatment of his people. I recommend this book to those who need inspiration or feel that something in their life is missing. Mthabane proved that anyone can rise through grief and poverty keeping their dignity and strength as they build their path to freedom.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2012

    AP World History Review - you must check it out if you're interested in rights.

    I highly recommend Kaffir Boy: The Story of a Black Youth's Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa by Mark Mathabane. Never before have I read a book and so fully felt immersed in the authors situation. The descriptions were so vivid, that by the end of the book I pretty much felt every emotion and felt every action the author went through. And it was a shocking picture, giving me a glimpse at something I've never really known or cared enough to know about, apartheid in South Africa. The book begins when the author is a little child, and experiencing the terrors and humiliations of the frequent raids on his shanty town looking for people without the proper "papers" to live there. The total fear and the degrading nature of these appearances were vividly clear, and the only thing you as a reader could do was turn the next page as his father was beaten and stripped in front of his children, then taken to prison to come back months or years later. As he grows older, the author tries to find work and earn something for his family, and even gets involved with the local gang that is notorious for killing people. But thankfully his mom had a plan, and she and the author go through a humiliating and derogatory process to get the papers in order for the author to attend school, the first in his family to do so. Things go up from there. The author excels in school, finds a love for a sport in tennis, and as he's noticed moves up and makes friends untill he finally gets a tennis scholarship to attend a university in America, which is something very few of his people have ever done, and it might even be a first. Overall, Kaffir Boy: The Story of a Black Youth's Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa is a powerful, moving tale about one persons childhood and early life, and what he went through and overcame to get where he is today.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Very Insightful

    Mark Mathbane's novel reveals a truly harrowing depiction of what life was like in apartheid era South Africa. His childhood memories of growing up in the township of Alexandra are very insightful. The novel provides a detailed account of a world that would otherwise have been lost over the course of time. I also enjoyed Mark Poynter's novel Middleburg, which examines apartheid from the perspective a white minority. While both books examine a similar theme, Middleburg is more entertaining and far more enjoyable to read.

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    Enlightening Read!

    While I've read about Apartheid, it was amazing and sobering to hear it from someone who lived it. I have a new appreciation for everything I have. The author has a way of writing in a way that celebrates the resilience of children, inspires hope for the future but without being sappy or manipulative.
    A great read, I highly recommend. I look forward to the sequel.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Not What I Expected

    At first, I thought this was going to be a boring autobiography about how horrible it is in apartheid South Africa. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that not only was it an eye-opening account of his life with apartheid, but it was also an inspiration. It seems like a cliche, but Mark Mathabane's story shows that you can reach any goal as long as you have the dedication and persistance to do it. You will never regret having read this book and will be thinking about it for a long time after you have read the last word.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2009

    AP World History Review: A description of my opinion of the book

    Kaffir Boy was an excellent book. Mark Mathabane is a very gifted writer and it is great that he was able to come to America and spread awareness about apartheid South America. Kaffir Boy is moving beyond belief. I could feel his fear when the police bardged into the shack where Mark lived in Alexandra. I could almost feel his pain from hunger and I sympathized with him when his father was taken away for not having his pass in order. Another impressive feature of this Kaffir Boy is the vivid details that Mark uses to explain the tragic events in his life. He describes his run-down shack where his family lived. He recalls the horrors of the random police raids. I was very much impressed with Kaffir Boy's portrayal of Mark's successes and failures.
    Mark Mathabane comepletely fulfills his purpose. He expresses at the end of the book how he feels compelled to record the everyday tragedies in apartheid South America to raise awareness for the black people still living under extreme racial discrimination. He could not have done a better job. Mark leaves the reader feeling obligated to help the people under racial discrimination. Anyone who reads this book will understand the struggles of people living in apartheid South America and will have broadened their knowledge of the world. I reccomend this book not only as a tool for learning about the history of South America, but also as an inspiring story of a child's struggle to survive and thrive in a world where he is viewed by many as comepletely worthless.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2008

    Outstanding Is An Understatement!

    This book moves beyond outstanding. It will open your eyes to issues that are real and still going on to this day. I only wish someone 'HINT, HINT STEVEN SPIELBURG, JAMES CAMERON, GEORGE LUCAS, MEL GIBSON or OPRAH' would turn this book into a movie to educate people about what really goes on in Africa.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2007

    Reading through the eyes of a survivor

    When I went into the book store and picked up Kaffir Boy, I could not put this book down. The book allows you to step into the mind of a little boy growing up in South Africa during the apartheid.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2007

    Kaffir Boy

    This book is awesome. I would have to admit its a adult literature and not that interesting to a kid like me but when i started reading I loved it! This book inspired me to never be prejudice ever!!! Also I have learned that racism is wrong and can hurt many people emotionally and phsically.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2006

    An absolute must read!

    I was assigned to read this book for a history class, and fell in love with it! Eventhough I finished my assignment before I actually finished reading the book, I was so into the book that I absolutely had to finish reading it, instead of putting it down the moment my assignment was done. This is a truly inspirational story about making lemonade even when life doesn't hand you a single lemon. I reccommend it 100% for anyone, young or old.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2006

    Best book I ever read

    My english teacher had us read an excerpt from Kaffir Boy and analyze it. Right off I was captivated by Mr. Mathabane's descriptive style of writing. I went to the library the next day to check out Kaffir Boy and enjoyed it immensely. Mathabane described his life so well I felt like I stood right beside him as his life unfolded. He revealed what life was like in South Africa under apartheid very well. Although the language was somewhat harsh here and there, I reccommend this book to anyone. This is a masterpiece that belongs on my bookshelf. Well done, Mr. Mathabane.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2005

    Very Awful

    Being MADE to read this book was probably the most awful thing the school system had its students do. Do not read this book if you are weak at heart and have no desire to know the interworkings of black nation of Aparthied South Africa. The sentence structure Mathebane uses is childish and elementary. It seems as though he took a thesaurus and used every word that meant the same thing in one sentence. His timeline is confusing as well. In one scene a sister will be born and in the next scene (some 2 years after), the same sister is somehow born again? No. This book was wretched and I am appalled that a high school would have its students be made to read a book that has cuss words every five words that we are not alowed to use but can apparently read. Dose that makes sense? No. The sexual and historical content of this book needs not to be overlooked, but the way he delivers the information is less than disirable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2005

    This book should be on every school libray shelf

    This book was undoubtfully one of the most eye-opening books i ever read. I never new of the real facts of aparteid and this book gave me a very graphic incite. This makes you really feel grateful for what you have. I wish I could say more but this book just had me feelin so many diffrent emotions that I can't evend bring my fingers to type it. This book is an excellant book for people 13-and older. It is especially good for the African American crowd. To those African American, like myself, who grew up in middle class families wishing and hoping for those new nikes......imagine wishing and hoping for food or for medical attention. All those kids who fake sick to stay home from school im sure one of Marks buddies would be delighted to take your place. Be thankful for what you have because there are so many without. Sincerly, Maya 14

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2005

    Gripping

    What a great book. I have read quite a bit about South Africa during apartheid, but I had not yet read a story about someone living in such poverty in one of the townships outside Johannesburg. What an inspiring story it was. You wonder what incredible strength these people must posess just to get up again every day and struggle to make it to the next morning. I highly recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2005

    Absolutly Wonderous

    This book was required reading when i was in 10th grade. For my classmates and I it was habit to complain about the unjustness of not being able to choose our own books to read...but after reading Kaffir Boy i was forced to change my tune. It is undoubtedly one of the best books I have ever read. As i read it, I found myself in awe that this incredible story was true, and then in tears that anyone had to suffer as Mark suffered. Before I read Kaffir Boy, I didn't even know what apartheid was, and I certainly did not know the extreme conditions and problems that were being dealt with in South Africa. I reccomend this book to anyone (probably 13 or older) who enjoys reading about and learning from the struggles of others. It's not a book I will soon forget.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2005

    Inspiring

    Amazing. Mr. Mathabane tells the story so powerfully that you become one with his pain, his fear, his emotions. Read this book to gain some understanding of what a person may feel and experience through racial oppression. It is also inspiring to imagine succeeding in such an environment. I read it as a child and still pick it up years later and feel inspired.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2004

    Kaffir Boy

    I really enjoyed reading Kaffir Boy. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to find out what it was like living in South Africa under the laws of apartheid. Mark Mathabane describes his childhood experiences living under the laws and how he managed to get through it. He talks about all of the harsh times he had to deal with by the police, his parents, and at school. He talks about his achievements and goals that he sets. This book really made me think about myself and how hard I have to work to reach my goals. As I read the book I felt like I was there with him experiencing everything. This book was great.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2004

    Like I was there to witness...

    I read this book maybe ten years ago, and it still haunts me. I could smell, see, hear, taste and feel the horrible life this young man lived under apartheid, as if I was there to witness it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2004

    Excellent ! Excellent ! Excellent!

    This book was wonderful. As I read through the pages, I felt the pain of the main character; I rejoiced with all of his victories; I slept on the floor with him; and I fought the same fight of equality as the students. The story was so well written that you willingly dedicate your mind and heart to the people of South Africa. Wonderful !!!

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