Monday has once again reaped its rather dull, mundane head ( does it not always seem like it is Monday?!) but along with it comes this weeks Man Crush Monday. Though it may be a rather obvious one- the worlds favourite South African export, Mr Trevor Noah, it’s for reasons other than his blooming career. It’s for his brilliantly written and tactfully approached memoir of sorts Born a Crime and Other Stories.
As we have already discussed in articles prior to this, I love South African fiction or non fiction. From Zakes Mda’s The Heart of Redness to Redi Tlhabi’s Endings and Beginnings. There is something in the juxtaposition of my own ‘identification’ and utter ignorance of certain South African issues that these books allow me to explore. It becomes a certain learning experience of my own country through the eyes of others. So it is no wonder Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime did the same. Taking place in my very own city, this book was able to open my eyes ( which I though already were) to the extreme differences in cultures, social normalities, up-bringings, discourses and ideologies this bustling city contains.
Trevor, born in the height of Apartheid to a black mother and a Swiss-white father was LITERALLY born a crime. This book explores his understanding of the world around him by constantly being on the ‘outskirts’ of every culture. Trevor Noah is neither black, white nor coloured. He is mixed race, something that this book taught me, is rather harshly ‘accepted’ in every society he becomes part of. Don’t expect joke after joke, but rather a truthful sometimes heartbreaking look into the upbringing of this superstar. What I loved more than anything, that through all his heartbreak, misfortune and certain setbacks he was always able to see the silver lining in every situation. Including and especially when discussing the township life. Trevor was eager to steer clear of the only too common Poverty-Porn descriptions of Township life. He truly opened up my eyes to the beauty of Alex Township and Soweto and why these areas are a melting pot of everything and anything.
This book has taught me so much more about this beautiful country and its beautiful, yet troubled people that I can proudly declare it as a Must read and I, once again, am proud to declare Trevor Noah as one of us.
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