Kaffir Boy: The True Story of a Black Youth's Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa by Mark Mathabane

Start Your Free Trial

I have read this book but I notice they talk about the whites in South Africa. But my question is how many different whites were there?

Expert Answers info

merehughes eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2005

write175 answers

starTop subjects are Literature and History

Essentially there were two major groups of whites in South Africa, the Boers who were settlers from the 17th and 18th Centuries and were of Dutch descent and the English who began to settle in the early 19th Century. These two groups fought in the late 19th Century and into the 20th in what is knows as the Boer Wars. So to add to an already complicated situation between whites and blacks in South African, there was also at the time Kaffir Boy was written, also much strife between the English South Africans and the Afrikaans, who were the descendants of the Boer settlers. Typically the English were known to be less racist (although how much less is debatalbe) than the Afrikaans. This is somewhat reflected in the experiences of Mark in Kaffir Boy. However, there were also many other 'white' Europeans who had immigrated to South Africa for various reasons. Among those reasons were economic or persecution, for example many Jews were able to immigrate to South Africa before the 1930s and there was also a migration of Germans in the early 20th Century for most probably economic reasons.

Further Reading:
check Approved by eNotes Editorial

butwizer | Student


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Unlock This Answer Now

Ask a Question