I have been quite reticent about audible books as my first experience was less than perfect. Happily, my second plunge into the audible world was highly successful, fun, and made me eager to do it again. The book I plunged with was
What a truly enjoyable experience it was listening to Trevor Noah speak about his childhood and the mother he so loves. It was a trip down a lane that held not only some wonderfully loving moments but also encompassed times of pain and a bits of sorrow. What struck me so about listening to this beautifully done memoir was the spirit of Mr Noah. He was oftentimes so very humorous and always seemed to meet events in his life with the attitude of I can do and acceptance of what can and can’t be changed. He added humor to the telling of situations that many of us would not find humorous at all.
Growing up in South Africa as a young person of color or colored as he was classed being a child born of a lack mother and a white father, was not a peaches and cream environment as the prejudices and life dictated by apartheid was restrictive, mean, and odious. There were so many times, my heart would split in two for him and his family, and yet this man was able to look back and reflect and find the humor mixed in with the sadness.
I have to say what came shining through for me was his love for his mother. She was, at times, a bit crazy, like the time she threw him out of a car. (it was an act of preservation), and her deeply religious side which required three visits to various churches on Sundays, and a abiding faith that carried she and her boys through lots of bad times, but she was amazing. She had that deep faith in Jesus and knew that whatever obstacles were placed in front of her, Jesus would get her through.
It’s hard to come away from this story not liking Trevor. He had such a wonderful outlook and personality that came through his story that self same attitude that his mother by her words and deeds fostered in Trevor. Trevor knew of hardship. He knew of segregation, he knew of abuse, and yet he came through a wonderful product of a mother’s deep abiding love.
I do so recommend this book and yes, in audible form, for its wonderful telling, its joy in living, and its ability to make both you the reader and Trevor laugh through the tears.
and here’s the author:
Trevor Noah is a South African comedian, television and radio host and actor. He currently hosts The Daily Show, a late-night television talk show on Comedy Central.
As a bit of an aside… When I graduated from college, many moons ago, I meet on a tour a South African black doctor and his family. He related his experiences with me and of course my response was why don’t you leave? The thing that stuck with me was that he said he loved his country, was hoping for change, and that the fortune he had started to build for the welfare of his family would have to left in South Africa. Never forgot thinking that this man was a doctor. Could you imagine the money and life he would have in America?
I also knew a former Afrikaner man, father to one of the girls my daughter skated with. He was a successful stockbroker but what I remember most was how he “ruled” his family. The children HAD to be perfect, watching his interaction with them was awkward. There was no outward sign of affection. I so remember the time he found his wife having a wine with the rest of the skating moms, calling her out and berating her for having a “drink.” He came from wealth and although he was educated and obviously was highly successful, I thought at the time how awful to be married to this man. He and his family left the country when they saw the writing on the wall that the black population was finally going to be free. They got out rather than live in a country which was trying to make racial equality a goal. In America, they were able to live in a tony neighborhood that of course had no black families within its town.