WDolan_January 1st_IRJE “Born A Crime” By Trevor Noah

“Born a Crime,” by Trevor Noah.

‘Born a Crime” is a book about the life and hardships of the famous South African comedian, Trevor Noah. He takes the reader deep into the details of his personal life during his younger days. Most of the story takes place before the rise of Nelson Mandela, in which daily assaults were made upon the people. It appears he has experienced more violence than most children in North America, yet he seems to be comfortable in the environment he was brought up in. He is just like the other kids in the neighborhood. He dreams of getting skateboards, he loves to play, and he likes to make friends. The trouble is, he has a harder time making friends because of his colour. His mother is black and his father is white. In his neighborhood he is considered to be white, but to others he is considered to be mixed. Since his mother was concerned about the treatment he would receive because of his colour, she taught him several different languages spoken in the area he was brought up in. He could then respond to anyone in their native tongue, which would cause them to show respect towards him, and it also prevented him from getting bullied.

In the quote below, Trevor has just discovered that during apartheid (laws made to govern the segregation of whites and blacks), he could have escaped with family to a safer country at any time. He asks his mother why they did not leave, and she replies with an answer that he finds to be shocking.

“Why?  Why didn’t we just leave? Why didn’t we go to Switzerland?”

“Because I am not Swiss,” she said, as stubborn as ever. “This is my country. Why should I leave?” pg.31

I like this quote as it shows how we can still be loyal to our country even if there are several conflicts in our daily lives . All her life, Trevor’s mom devoted her life to helping her family and the community.