The Other Side of Truth

by Beverly Naidoo

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How is the term "apartheid" relevant in the book "The Other Side of Truth"?

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Naidoo's novel does not deal with the apartheid that is such a sad part of South African history.  In using "apartheid" with reference to The Other Side of Truth, one would be using it as a descriptor of what Sade and her brother endure and not necessarily in its historical context.  For example, a sentence could be, "When the children find themselves alone in London, they experience a situation similar to apartheid in terms of how they are outsiders in society."  This is a sentence in which "apartheid" is used to depict the situation of the children when they arrive in London.  For the most part, they experience life as "outsiders," separate from what most Londoners are able to experience.  When Sade is bullied by Marcia and the other girls who "don't like Africans," it is a telling condition of an apartheid- like existence that she endures.  

Another sentence in which apartheid's meaning can be used to depict what happens in the novel would be to describe life in Nigeria.  The political forces that occupy power ensure that their power is enforced through intimidation and silencing voices of opposition.  This is why Sade and her brother have to leave Nigeria in the first place.  "Life in Nigeria is shown to be a reality of apartheid for those who wish to speak out against corruption and unfair governmental practices."  The reality is that for those who wish to speak out against perceived injustices, like Sade's father, the separate condition and marginalization of voice intrinsic to apartheid is their condition in life.

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