I fell in love with Trevor Noah and his sexy dimple almost a year back when I bumped into one of his stand-up comedy shows on YouTube. Ever since there has been no looking back and I have possibly watched all his shows that are available online including the famous Netflix show ‘Son of Patricia‘. No wonder that I was curious to read his book ‘Born a Crime‘ which is almost an extension of his show ‘Son of Patricia’.
‘Born a Crime‘ is a book that talks about South Africa and its apartheid but it is not restricted to only that. This book is a tribute to Trevor Noah’s mother and he shows what an indomitable spirit his mother is. She is not a typical feminist but she does things that even so-called feminists would be afraid to do. Her whole life is about taking risks. On many occasions, she fails but then she picks up herself again and starts a new journey. Trevor doesn’t try to hide the flaws of his mother but he is never judgemental. He neither worships nor denigrates her. He shows her exactly the way she is. A strong uninhibited woman who is not afraid to take risks, a true fighter and even a bullet to her head couldn’t stop her.
Trevor acquaints the reader with his complex life. His hardship, his struggle to find his true identity in post-apartheid South Africa, his struggle to earn money and lastly his struggle to stay strong against his abusive step-father. He talks about his troubled life even during his stand-up shows however in this book he doesn’t try to masquerade it with humor and shows the ruthless reality. There is no pretense and he unabashedly talks about how he used to sell pirated DVDs, how he used to never leave any opportunity to earn money without bothering if it was legal or illegal, he also gives us a detailed description of his imprisonment. He introduces us to an opportunistic characteristic of his personality and without mincing words he acknowledges that this nature helped him climb the ladder.
Trevor also talks about his love interests and how he was turned down by girls. He is not scared to show his vulnerabilities. Part II of the book is entirely dedicated to his ‘affairs of the heart’. This book gives us a great picture of South Africa after apartheid was lifted and it is at times a picture of hope and at times despair.
The problem with the narrative is that it doesn’t follow the events chronologically and is thrown haphazardly, which is confusing for the readers at times. However, overall it is a fast-paced narrative and there is hardly any scope for the reader to get bored.