Really great story. Mark Mathabane paints a vivid picture of what growing up in apartheid South Africa was like. He makes the reader feel the almost endless pain, desperation and hope that he clings to by a stretched thread.
This was a fantastic book about a young boy in South Africa rising above everyone, with the assistance of his own intelligence and tennis star Stan Smith's. He goes to America on a tennis scholarship and escaped the rat-infested alleys of Alexandra. It's an amazing story and very well written.
This is a rare look inside the festering adobe shanties of Alexandra, one of South Africa's notorious black townships, rare because it comes from the heart of a passionate young African who grew up there. And he also di what no "kaffir" was suppose to do-he escaped to tell about it....
"This extraordinary memoir of life under apartheid is itself a triumph of the human spirit over hatred and unspeakable degradation. For Mark Mathabane did what no physically and psychologically battered 'Kaffir' from the rat-infested alleys of Alexandra was supposed to do--he escaped to tell about it."
Mathabane's true account of life growing up in apartheid society is grim and sometimes pretty hard to read, but it is very well-written and really makes you think about and have compassion for people who have not had the privilege of basic freedom. I've read it twice and each time it has really made an impact on me!
A wonderful book that truly describes for the reader what it was like for a black African boy to grow up in apartheid South Africa. His writing style is easy to read. Once I started the book, I couldn't stop thinking about it!
This is one of the best books I have read in the last few years. If anyone thinks they have a bad life, read this and your perception will change. I can't even imagine going through what the author did and surviving. An amazing true story.
I read this book in the mid 1980s while aparthied was in full force. At the time, the book was a banned book in SA. It is an amazing story told in the first person. A Must read for anyone planning a trip to South Africa, or if you want to truly understand what the day-to-day existence was like under full-blown apartheid.
The Nazi bureaucracies in action. Sounds a lot like the US post 9/11. Very good book for anyone who really wants to know what is happening. Or for anyone who like to stay hidden and live in a fantasy land. Well written.
It was a eye opener to Apartheid. What a shame those people went thru, what a hard working Mother & Grandmother to help him get the education. Thanks for the good people who backed him also. Good read but sometimes hard to read.
"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 humilation to win a scholarshipto an American university. This extraordinary memoir of life under apartheid is a triumph of the human spirit over hatred and unspeakable degradation. For Mark Mathabane did what no physically and psychologically battered "Kaffir" from the rat-infested alleys of Alexandra was supposed to do-he escaped to tell about it.