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

Extended Audio Sample Kaffir Boy: The True Story of a Black Youth’s Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa Audiobook, by Mark Mathabane Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (5,786 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mark Mathabane Narrator: Mark Mathabane Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2012 ISBN: 9781470806859
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The classic story of life in apartheid South Africa

Mark Mathabane was weaned on devastating poverty and schooled in the cruel streets of South Africa’s most desperate ghetto, where bloody gang wars and midnight police raids were his rites of passage. Like every other child born in the hopelessness of apartheid, he learned to measure his life in days, not years. Yet Mark Mathabane, armed only with the courage of his family and a hard-won education, raised himself up from the squalor and humiliation to win a scholarship to an American university.

This extraordinary memoir of life under apartheid is a triumph of the human spirit over hatred and unspeakable degradation, for Mark Mathabane did what no physically and psychologically battered “Kaffir” from the rat-infested alleys of Alexandra was supposed to do—he escaped to tell about it.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Like…Claude Brown’s Manchild in the Promised Land…In every way as important and exciting.”

    Washington Post

  • “This is a rare look inside the festering adobe shanties of Alexandra, one of South Africa’s notorious black townships. Rare because it comes…from the heart of a passionate young African who grew up there.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “In this powerful account of growing up black in South Africa, a young writer makes us feel intensely the horrors of apartheid.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Those needing graphic confirmation of the harrowing experience of growing up poor and black in apartheid South Africa will find it in Mathabane’s autobiography…Mathabane writes with compelling energy, and the details of his struggle will grip readers with immediate intensity. His story, while only one side, is a microcosm of the black African’s fight for independence.”

    School Library Journal

  • “The autobiography of a young South African urban black growing up under apartheid depicts a struggle for survival under conditions of overwhelming brutality and deprivation…The searing indictment of the apartheid system stems from personal experience and social observation. An essential purchase.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • Kaffir Boy does for apartheid-era South Africa what Richard Wright’s Black Boy did for the segregated American South…Mathabane reveals [that] troubled world on these pages in a way that only someone who has lived this life can.”

    Amazon.com editorial review

  • New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark Williams | 2/9/2014

    " This book is for those of you who enjoy learning history from the perspective of someone who lived in that time.Kaffir Boy is about a family living in aparthide South Africa. This book amplifies the struggles thhey had all the way from having too many babies to witches casting spells over their family.Because of the historical backgroung and depiction of triumph in dificult times, I give this FOUR STARS. The only thing that held it back to me was the pain-staking reality the book brought forth. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Charles | 2/7/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book. Puts you square into another life, a life very different than that which most Americans live or are familiar with. Told in clear language without self-pity. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Becki Foutz | 2/4/2014

    " This was a harrowing account of life in apartheid South Africa in a poor black family, and the protagonist's struggle to improve his situation. Through hard work (and his mother's prayers!) he is able to attend school, excel in tennis and earn a scholarship to America, where he lives now. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shiloh | 1/24/2014

    " An extradinary story of growing up in South Africa during the aparteid. Completely eye opening and explains so much struggle we saw within the nation post aparteid. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sinead | 1/21/2014

    " Incredible... breathe taking... could not put it down!!! I do have to say that it is an incredibly heavy read it took me a month to get through the first 90 pages because the content is so serious and sad.... please if you just keep reading it is worth every ounce of your time!!!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kara | 1/18/2014

    " and a half-- learned a lot "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary Kay | 1/7/2014

    " I couldn't put this book down. Great look into life for a boy under South Africa Apartheid "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jodielayton | 1/5/2014

    " I love this book. After going to Africa I think everyone who is American needs to read this book to really understand the wealth and freedom we live with. Good insight into what apartheid really was. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Valory | 12/28/2013

    " We read this in our Book Club some years ago, and then, because Susan H. suggested the idea of us sending money to him for his grandmother, we ended up getting to have dinner with the author and his sister when they were on a book tour in Berkeley, promoting his new book, "African Women." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tycho Toothaker | 12/24/2013

    " Very enlightening on apartheid South Africa. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heidi Lawson | 12/22/2013

    " This is an amazing look into Apartheid South Africa through the autobiography of a black boy growing up there. He learned to play tennis as his way out. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erin Good | 12/21/2013

    " A horrifying memoir about his life during apartheid in South Africa. I think I read this one back in school also. It touched me deeply and was well worth a re-read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tiffany | 12/12/2013

    " Beautifully written. True story about the apartheid in Africa. Sad but hopeful. Just as a warning, this book is not for the faint at heart and does contain some disturbing scenes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liz | 11/18/2013

    " Really an excellent true story. The author is not a professional writer so don't be critical. He transcends this by sharing deeply reflective insights. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erin Gilbride | 11/3/2013

    " So intense. I can't believe that level of racism went on for so long. Strongly recommend this true story. I was so interested in this man I went on to read his other books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rebekah | 10/11/2013

    " An amazing story. This book has stuck with me since high school. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jill | 9/18/2013

    " An excellent book that exposes apartheid so clearly. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rebecca Fjelland Davis | 8/3/2013

    " Powerful. If you want to understand Apartheid, this is a book that gets the point across. An important book for the world to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sylvia | 6/11/2013

    " Inspiring! Was on Oprah's Book Club. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 5/20/2013

    " I've done a lot of reading about South Africa. This book was written from the perspective of an Apartheid survivor. It is an incredibly powerful read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Renae | 4/19/2013

    " this book might have deserved more stars, but the beginning was too violent for me and i decided to put it down... hardly ever happens! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shanonnorman | 3/27/2013

    " This is a disturbing read. His sufferings are emotionally packed and hard to take at times. Fascinating story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wendy | 2/17/2013

    " Must read. There are a couple of parts you might want to skip over. "

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About the Author

Mark Mathabane was born and raised in the ghetto of Alexandra in South Africa. He is the author of Kaffir Boy, Kaffir Boy in America, Love in Black and White, African Women: Three Generations, Miriam’s Song, and The Proud Liberal. He lectures at schools and colleges nationwide on race relations, education, and our common humanity. He lives with his family in Portland, Oregon.