Kaffir Boy: An Autobiography
The Classic Story of Life in Apartheid South Africa
Mark Mathabane was weaned on devastating poverty and schooled in the cruel streets of South Africa's most desperate ghetto, where bloody gang wars and midnight police raids were his rites of passage. Like every other child born in the hopelessness of apartheid, he learned to measure his life in days, not years. Yet Mark...more
Matabane’s teenage dream to get out of the ghetto faced almost impossible odds. In addition to the conditions under apartheid, he also had to contend with his father’s violent personality, his triba ...more
New York: Simon & Schuster, 2007
354 pp. $15.00
“Let us not rest until we are free to live in dignity in the land of our birth.”(Mark Mathabane) Mark Mathabane dedicates this quote in his autobiography (Kaffir Boy) to the people in South Africa for the struggle and fight for freedom. The autobiography shows the cruel punishment black South Africans suffer from white South Africans in the 1950’s, getting in great de ...more
Even with his ju ...more
I can't even begin to understand the challenges for people living in Apartheid South Africa. However, this autobiography really set the stage for helping the reader start the grasp the significance and solemnity of this period of time.
Mark Mathabane is a truly powerful figure. It was really inspiring how big he dreamed and pushe ...more
Mathabane describes his early years in minute detail, and also recounts conversations as if they were recorded, and these affectations cause me ...more
I really wish this was a book that was covered in my high school, as it would have given me a greater understanding of the context that I grew up in.
I thought hearing the unpleasant truths, no matter how it was written, would leave me with more insight and understanding.
And to some extent that was true, but mostly this book just felt disingenuous and frustrating.
I’m sure, like Mathabanes other accomplishments, this book was important and ground breaking in its time. But, I found it reads like the poorly writt ...more
Kaffir Boy is the story of how Mark Mathabane grew up in the absolutely hellish slum of Alexandra in apartheid South Africa. The first two parts of the book which describe his childhood and school years are quite enjoyable. The third p ...more
Mark was the oldest of 7 children born to an overworked mother who wanted her children to have an education - and a father who still believed in the tribal ways of raising children, being a husband and existing und ...more
Dr. Mathabane touched the hearts of millions with his sensational autobiography "Kaffir Boy." Telling the true story of his coming of age under apartheid in South Africa, the book won a prestigious Christopher Award, rose to No. 3 on The New York Times best-sellers list and to No. 1 on the Washingt ...more