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

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

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

What is the author's purpose in writing Kaffir Boy?

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

2 educator answers

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

What are 2 examples of indirect characterization and direct characterization of Kaffir Boy?

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

2 educator answers

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

Who are the main characters and minor characters of the book Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane?

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

2 educator answers

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

What are 5 examples of fiqurative lanquage in Kaffir Boy (along with the page numbers)? What emotions do these...

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

2 educator answers

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

What does the conflict between Mathabane and his parents reveal?

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

2 educator answers

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

What adjectives would you use to describe the author as a young boy? What proof do you have that he will master English?

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

What were the names of the author's brothers and sisters in Kaffir Boy? 

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

3 educator answers

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

What are examples of the theme of "more than education" in Kaffir Boy? 

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

2 educator answers

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

What is the author's tone in Kaffir Boy, and how does he use language to achieve a specific tone? I need two examples.

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

1 educator answer

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

In Kaffir Boy, what is the author's philosophy? Is it credible? Give a brief analysis.  What support is given in the...

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

At what age is it appropriate for most to be reading/studying the book "Kaffir Boy"?

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

What was life like under apartheid for African men, women, children as depicted in Kaffir Boy?

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

1 educator answer

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

How did the Peri-Urban raids show discrimination in Kaffir Boy?

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

1 educator answer

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

In Kaffir Boy, what do you think are the author's beliefs? Are they credible? What part in the book supports this?

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

2 educator answers

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

Who was seen as a teacher in Kaffir Boy?

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

What were the jobs that Marks dad had during this story? Our group in my Global Literature class is trying to list...

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

What are some themes from Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane??

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

1 educator answer

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

What kind of review would you give Kaffir Boy if you were a literary critic? Would you recommend that others read it?...

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

Can Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane be taught to kids younger than sixteen without a parent uproar? The topics of the...

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

In what part of the book Kaffir does the tone become ironic?

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

1 educator answer

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

What is an appropriate age to read this story?

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

2 educator answers

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

Use of "Kaffir" in Kaffir Boy "Kaffir is a derogatory name whites use for blacks in South Africa." Was this written...

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

1 educator answer

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

Do you believe that African Americans today as a race have stepped away from the term and idea of being a "Kaffir"?

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

1 educator answer

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

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

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