Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane

June 1, 2010
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“Kaffir Boy,” by Mark Mathabane, is a very interesting read on Apartheid South Africa. Having just finished Alan Paton’s “Cry, the Beloved Country” in Honors English 10, I had a general knowledge of the separation of blacks and whites during Apartheid period. However, “Kaffir Boy” succeeds in giving a very dark, yet brutally honest, story of a black child forced to live through this dark period in world history. We are introduced to Johannes Mathabane as a very young boy as he slowly reaches manhood, learning various life lessons along the way. Perhaps the most intriguing part of this novel is that it cannot be called “tame”; it gives an unrestrained view of his life, which is all in all very intriguing and alien to what most of us have lived through. I would definitely recommend this autobiography to those researching some effects of Apartheid South Africa; for anybody else interested, it’s a bit of a downer at times, but overall a very good read.

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