It focuses on the brutality of the apartheid system and how he escaped from it, and from the township Alexandra , to become a well-known tennis player. He also depicted how the young black children dealt with racism and stereotypes. By embracing education, he is able to rise out of despair and destitution. At his mother's insistence, Mathabane starts school and learns to love it, rising to the top of his class in spite of frequent punishments due to his family's late payments for school fees and inability to afford school supplies. He graduates from primary school with a scholarship that will pay for his secondary education.
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Despite the South African government's creation of a virtually impenetrable border between black and white lives, this searing autobiography breaches that boundary, drawing readers into the turmoil, terror and sad stratagems for survival in a black township. Now a college graduate living in the United States, the author looks back to his childhood-at midnight police raids that sent his mother fleeing through back-alley outhouses and his father crawling to bribe the police; at the squalor and hunger of domestic life lived at the shifting margins of legality; at the absolute insecurity of a world where changing rules serve to heighten the harassment integral to control.
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 Mathabane, armed only with the courage of his family and a hard-won education, raised himself up from the squalor and humiliation to win a scholarship to an American university.
Kaffir Boy: The True Story of a Black Youth's Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa