BOOK REVIEW: BORN A CRIME – Stories From A South African Childhood (2016) by: Trevor Noah

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Undoubtedly one of the best books I’ve read this year, host of the award winning Daily Show – Trevor Noah – recalls what it was like growing up in poverty during the apartheid regime in South Africa and how through self-determination along with the unbelievable faith of a strong mother he was able to overcome insurmountable odds stacked against him to become one of the most recognised faces in America and throughout the world today. 

For those who are familiar with Noah’s funny antics and comedy as demonstrated on The Daily Show which he presents, expect plenty of this and more in the book – a personal memorable highlight being his mother kicking off her high heels in pursuit of him at turbo speed across the township and through the local market to enforce some discipline for a brave but unwise moment of disobedience. Or the time when the car failed to start on a journey to church and the debate between Noah and his mother regarding the will of God in the matter – with Noah suggesting God wanted them to stay home and have church there while his mother suggested it was a plan of the devil to stay home and that they would be going to church even if they had to walk there. 

Then there are the more serious accounts of poverty and growing up during the time of apartheid and the emotional impact of both on Noah’s identity and race. But above all else, Born A Crime is about the love of a mother who’s incredible faith and determination in wanting better for herself and her son led to them both overcoming some insurmountable odds and challenges which perhaps would have broken others. 

There is enough in Noah’s story to keep all readers highly engaged and should it ever be brought to life on the big screen one day then I suspect that Noah will indeed deservedly have the last laugh.

Born A Crime – Stories From A South African Childhood (2016) published by John Murray is available in all bookshops now. 

Β© Copyright 2020 – Darell J Philip

Trevor Noah

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