Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood - Trevor Noah

What a disappointment. Mr. Noah is at times really tone deaf to the point where he is quite the asshole troll you find on social media. No reflections, no really growth as a person can be found in these memoirs; Noah is emotionally stunted 19 year old. 

 

I did find his writing on apartheid interesting (in a completely horrifying way) and these parts of the book added to my (very limited) knowledge of South Africa. Growing up in the 1980s, the only things I knew about apartheid were that performers were outspoken against it and would not perform in SA and that Nelson Mandela was in jail because he worked to end apartheid. Seeing apartheid affect daily life through the stories Noah writes about gives me a deeper sense of how fucking evil white supremacy can be. 

 

Anything after apartheid ended and SA adapted to life with more freedoms, Noah loses me. By that time, he is a preteen/ young teenager and he is just a destructive asshole. WHY, O WHY, DID I HAVE TO READ ABOUT NOAH'S PHILOSPHY ABOUT DEFECTION? Seriously, the shitting went on for pages. Then when he wasn't shitting, he was setting things on fire, including setting a shed and house on fire - all without one ounce of remorse (because it was a white person's house and white people have insurance, so NBD). He and a friend stole from a candy store for weeks; when they were finally caught on camera, his friend got in trouble, but Noah didn't due to his skin color coming up too light (white) for him to be recognized.

 

Peak of Noah's "apartheid bad, unless I can use it to my advantage/use as an excuse" was the chapter on his DJing career and his dance posse. His friend, and best dancer in the crew, was named Hitler....Noah explained why names of evil assholes from Western (white) history are popular among South Africans, but when he took a job DJing at a Jewish school, there was not connection of his friend's name with the Holocaust. So a chant of his friend's name ended the show early and Noah getting into a heated exchange with the school's teachers. No looking back and seeing how this was a possibly upsetting, no sense of remorse for his actions or words, nothing. Just a pissed teenage Noah yelling at "some white lady". 

 

Honestly, I will look for other books on apartheid for more information. I don't think I got a lot out of the book re: apartheid to make up for all the other crap coming from Noah.