Kaffir Boy: The True Story of a Black Youth's Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa

Mark Mathabane, Author
Mark Mathabane, Author MacMillan Publishing Company $19.95 (354p) ISBN 978-0-02-581800-2
Reviewed on: 03/04/1986
Release date: 03/01/1986
In this powerful account of growing up black in South Africa, a young writer makes us feel intensely the horrors of apartheid. Living illegally in a shanty outside Johannesburg, Johannes (renamed Mark) Mathabane and his illiterate family endured the heartbreak and hopelessness of poverty and the violence of sadistic police and marauding gangs. He describes his drunken father's attempts to inculcate his tribal beliefs and to prevent his son from getting an educationthe one means by which he might escape from the ghetto. Encouraged by his determined mother and grandmother, Mathabane taught himself to read English and play tennis, and, through the assistance of U.S. tennis star Stan Smith and his own efforts and intelligence, obtained a tennis scholarship from a South Carolina college in 1978. Now he is a freelance writer in New York. In the course of relating his inspiring story, he explains the anger and hate that his country's blacks feel toward white people and the inevitability of their rebellion against the Afrikaner government. Photos not seen by PW. (April 10)
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!
MORE BOOKS YOU'D LIKE
X