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

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

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

First of all, let's look at the difference between indirect and direct characterization. Direct characterization is when an author or, in the case of Kaffir Boy, narrator directly reveals something...

Latest answer posted February 6, 2019, 3:02 pm (UTC)

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

Magdalene, Mark Mathabane's mother, had seven children with her husband, Jackson. Magdalene was a strong, inspiring woman who encouraged her children to pursue an education, though it was very...

Latest answer posted June 30, 2019, 12:17 am (UTC)

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

I'm happy to help you learn more about figurative language by helping you analyze examples of it in a given text! Figurative language involves figures of speech and imagery. Examples include...

Latest answer posted April 3, 2019, 3:44 pm (UTC)

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

The main characters in Kaffir Boy are Mark Mathabane himself, who begins to love tennis and school under the apartheid regime in South Africa and who wins a scholarship to attend college in the...

Latest answer posted March 23, 2017, 11:05 am (UTC)

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

It is important to consider the amount of background knowledge that a student of a given age has. "Night" could be read by fairly young students, but students without knowledge of the Holocaust...

Latest answer posted November 25, 2009, 2:46 pm (UTC)

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

Mathabane makes his primary purpose pertinently obvious in the preface to his book. He states: I have sought to paint a portrait of my childhood and youth in Alexandra, a black ghetto of...

Latest answer posted March 22, 2017, 1:29 pm (UTC)

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

Mathabane and his parents fight over religion. His father is committed to tribal religions and ways, and he consults with a witch doctor when he feels that he and his family are cursed. When...

Latest answer posted March 22, 2019, 12:18 pm (UTC)

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

As a young boy, Johannes (also Mark) Mathabane is both fearful and determined. He bears a great deal of abuse from the police and from his father, so his fear seems justified. His determination is...

Latest answer posted November 15, 2010, 12:28 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

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

In Kaffir Boy, the author Mark Mathabane describes his experiences coming of age in apartheid South Africa. The tone of the book ranges from fearful and angry to hopeful and determined. Through...

Latest answer posted November 15, 2010, 11:16 am (UTC)

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

Mark Mathabane published Kaffir Boy in 1986, when the apartheid system of strict racially based segregation was still South Africa’s official system. His personal belief and one of his express...

Latest answer posted April 19, 2019, 10:24 pm (UTC)

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

The Peri-Urban raids inflicted terror into the lives of the blacks living in Alexandria. In addition, often times Peri-Urban enforcers were black themselves so this puts these people in to the...

Latest answer posted September 10, 2007, 12:17 am (UTC)

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

Clearly, one of the things that this incredible work of literature does is to paint a very realistic vision of the kind of struggles faced by black Africans in South Africa during the time of...

Latest answer posted January 3, 2012, 4:10 pm (UTC)

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

There are two questions here. First, will Kaffir Boy cause controversy if it is taught to younger teenagers? Second, are younger teenagers capable of handling the themes of the book? The teaching...

Latest answer posted November 15, 2010, 7:49 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

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

Education is an important topic in Mark Mathabane’s autobiography because when he was growing up in South Africa, the apartheid system made it very difficult for a black child to get anything close...

Latest answer posted February 14, 2019, 7:14 pm (UTC)

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

This is a tough question to answer because Mathabane is so unspecific about the father's jobs. We learn in the first few chapters that he came from the tribal lands and should be "cattle farming"...

Latest answer posted May 16, 2007, 12:15 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

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

In general, the tone turns ironic towards the end of the book where Mark has succeeded in becoming educated and has also forged links with white tennis clubs in South Africa. He narrates certain...

Latest answer posted September 14, 2007, 5:45 pm (UTC)

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

I provided a link to another e-notes page that describe some strong themes from the story, so take a peek at those. If I were to add to this list, though, I might add overcoming obstacles and...

Latest answer posted May 23, 2010, 10:47 am (UTC)

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

Personally, I would give Kaffir Boy a positive review, and I'd recommend that others read it. Emotionally, it is a difficult book to read, but it teaches us a great deal about life under one of the...

Latest answer posted November 15, 2010, 6:42 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

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

There are classes at my high school that read this book. They make sure to give the appropriate background and historical context of the novel, such as the history of Apartheid and the class and...

Latest answer posted April 23, 2007, 10:40 pm (UTC)

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

As you are surely aware, this book is not set in the present. It was first published in the United States back in 1986. Obviously, the racial situation in South Africa (Nelson Mandela still in...

Latest answer posted February 14, 2010, 9:50 am (UTC)

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

Kaffir was and is a racist, offensive term for Black Africans, I don't think it was ever used for African Americans.

Latest answer posted February 15, 2007, 5:36 am (UTC)

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

Mark Mathabane, the author of Kaffir Boy, believes that a person should behave with strength and determination and stand by his or her own beliefs. His story of life as a black child in apartheid...

Latest answer posted November 17, 2010, 5:26 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

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

Mama Mathabane is the central teacher figure in Mark Mathabane's Kaffir Boy. The main character, Johannes (who later changes his name to Mark), learns both virtue and street smarts from his mother,...

Latest answer posted November 17, 2010, 5:38 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

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

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...

Latest answer posted May 1, 2007, 4:22 am (UTC)

1 educator answer