Title: Born a crime
Author: Trevor Noah
There is a popular notion that, birds of a feather flock together. “ It appears logical until you read Born a crime.
Trevor Noah ushers us into different facets to this “truth” as he walks us through the story of his life
Played out in the heart of South Africa, Born a crime re echoes a tale we are all too familiar with, just this time giving the perspective of a mixed-child born in the heat of Apartheid and raised in post Apartheid South Africa.
Born to a black Xhosa mother and a white German-Swiss father, Noah is the clear line between white and black. As we delve into the pages we learn that illicit carnal intercourse between Europeans and natives at the time was prohibited which justifies why his mum always kept him indoors.
Little Noah recalls having his books as his only friends and how he couldn’t be seen with his father in public.
Going to school presented before him the burden of choosing sides because, you were either inclined to white or black with white being the indisputable better. But Noah introduces the idea that ” Maybe I didn’t look like you, but if I spoke like you, I was you.” He thus recalls hanging out with the black children because he spoke their languages.
With school also came self awareness, love, and the hustles of life. It was this self discovery that knocked him down many paths; disc jockey, “American” rapper and finally comedian.
This is not a book you read overnight. It will cause you to stop and ponder because from every experience is drawn a formidable lesson.
A case in point is when he writes;
“We spend so much time being afraid of failure, afraid of rejection. But regret is the thing we should fear most. Failure is an answer. Rejection is an answer. Regret is an eternal question you will never have the answer to. ”
Despite the social standards his family and many of those in the townships had to survive through he writes that ;
“As modestly as we lived at home, I never felt poor because our lives were so rich with experience.”
This book will arouse emotion in you, sometimes you will laugh and yet feel pain, other times it will provoke a tear.
His narration is a blend of humour, mischief and timeless lessons as he clears stereotypes held by different racial groups.
A rib cracking encounter is the time he turned the kitchen into a toilet and got all neighbours casting out “the evil spirit ” then also his escapade at senior prom, getting thrown off the bus (you need to read the book to copy).
Trevor Noah climaxes his book with these words;
“For my mother. My first fan. Thank you for making me a man.”
She is a character you find yourself attached to. Maybe because of her strong willed nature that would do anything to protect those she loves,maybe because of her undeniable love for God, or may be you just feel drawn in by her.
Born a crime is the kind of book that doesn’t need you to be a bibliophile to read. The language is simple, the experiences are relatable, in fact it’s like watching the daily show with an extreme personal touch.
Because this is my first time reviewing a book let me in on what you think. I need a lot of honest critics.
Thank you for reading
© Tales of a curious mind