Today, Trevor Noah stands as one of the youngest and most renowned South African comedian, political commentator and television host for popular television channels. Trevor Noah – is also the boy who defied every law, every fundamental in a deep-rooted, ruthlessly authoritarian, and nonsensical regime of institutionalized racial discrimination. Born in the 1980s in South Africa, a country that took pride in Apartheid – his real-life story and existence are nothing short of a miracle, defying odds at best.
Son of Patricia Nombuyiselo Noah, a Xhosa woman, Trevor was born to a black mother and a white Swiss father – thereby making Patricia a ‘criminal’ in accordance with laws in South Africa. Patricia was fierce and defiant, with unwavering faith in her religion.
From stories of Trevor as a child, being thrown out of a moving bus, to incidents of his mother pretending to be his maid and walking two steps behind him in order to not get caught, or an instance wherein Trevor’s grandma and the entire neighborhood tried to undo bewitchment and chase the demon away, or even Trevor obliviously cheering “Go HITLER” in the middle of a Jewish school function – this is a remarkable yet hilarious memoir that will make you both – laugh and cry. Born a Crime is a deeply unconventional account of the life of a colored young boy, on an adventure to find himself and make his way, in a world that was unfair to him since his conception.
One reads the book and seethes with both – anger and sadness for Patricia and Trevor; and thousands of people like them, who had to go through life like they were a punishment; but it also shows how the dream of this one mother to introduce her child to the idea of a better life, can change an entire generation for the better. By the end of this book, more than my admiration for Trevor, I sit in love and in awe of his mother, Patricia, who refused to be bound by ridiculous ideas of what black people couldn’t or shouldn’t do. She raised her son as if there were no limitations to what he could do or the wonderful places he could go. Trevor’s mom always told him – “My job is to feed your body, feed your spirit, and feed your mind.” She said, “I chose you, kid. I brought you into this world, and I’m going to give you everything I never had.”"By the end of this book, more than my admiration for @TrevorNoah, I sit in love and in awe of his mother, Patricia, who refused to be bound by ridiculous ideas of what black people couldn't or shouldn't do." Click To Tweet
Witty, honest, full of laugh-out-loud humor – it’s amazing how Trevor makes it sound so light and funny while all along I’ve got my heart in my throat. Describing his black neighborhood as the ‘hood,’ he believes the reason society does horrible things to people, is because they don’t see the person it affects, the face behind it – the ramifications of what they do to those that they do onto! This explains why the Hood (a neighborhood separated from white people) was built in the first place – to keep victims of apartheid out of sight and out of mind. In his words – “Because if white people ever saw black people as human, they would see that Slavery is unconscionable.” While Trevor was lucky to be blessed with intelligence, wit, and charm, he was more truly blessed to be born to a fearless and defiant mother – one who was way ahead of her time and gave her son the power of knowledge and opportunity beyond her means.
Filled with warmth and funny snippets from his life, ‘Born a Crime’ is one-of-a-kind. This book is like no other I’ve read… and I cannot recommend it enough. The Wall Street journal reaffirms that it is ‘A BOOK TO READ NOW.’ So, I hope you pick this one up at the next chance you get – ’cause this is a sensation you wouldn’t want to miss.