Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane


I am very glad I read this book. It is Mark' story of growing up in apartheid South Africa in the 60's and 70's. It is so hard to hear about the living conditions and the laws and what life was like for him. I have read about apartheid, but this was still a real eye-opener.

You hear about the living conditions - how the shacks were so bad that at one point they one they were living in fell apart while they were sleeping. You hear about the laws that were put into place - such as needing to have a pass in order to move outside of where they lived - in order to even walk around their city - and to have a job - the problem there was that you couldn't get a job unless you had a pass and if you were stopped by the police and didn't have your pass in order - you were sent to jail.

I thought the views from his mother and father on school was very interesting. I couldn't help but really feel for his mother - a lady who went against her husband (and was beat for it) and made sure her kids received an education, a lady who had to go out and find work so she could afford school for her children, she had to work even though she was sick or pregnant or had sick children at home, etc. The book mentions how there were many times when there wasn't money for food or diapers or clothes - but the mother made sure she was able to get her kids to school.

I found this book to be a fast read - I was very interested in the story and what would happen to Mark. I noticed he has written some other books - I do plan on reading them sometime in the future.

1 comment:

piksea said...

I just read this a couple of weeks ago. I found this to be a very difficult book to read. It was so intense. I can't believe any of these people survived to adulthood under those conditions. To have not only survived, but fought so hard and thrived, was amazing. I don't know where he found the strength.