From South Africa to Comedy Central

Trevor Noah’s memoir ‘Born a Crime’ is out on paperback.


Mahalia Barnes, Staff Writer

My all-time favorite book is “Born a Crime” by Trevor Noah. This book is about a South African boy who is of mixed race. His mom is an African woman and his dad is a Swiss man. During the book’s time period, interracial relationships were illegal in South Africa because of the apartheid. Apartheid was a 42-year policy or system of segregation or discrimination on grounds of race. Because of this, Trevor lived a life that challenged the norms. For example, something as simple as holding his mother’s hands while walking in public or seeing his father was forbidden.

Author Trevor Noah is a Comedian and a TV host today on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, where he fuses comedy with the news. His book reveals how much of an impact his mom made in his life. She was very religious yet rebellious. Ark Angel Productions bought the rights to his story and is making a movie with Lupita Nyong’o scheduled for release in the nearest future.

Being from a third world country, some of the imagery in the book is so vivid, I felt as if Noah pulled it out of my own memories and pasted them onto the pages. Being from a 3rd-world country where most people live in poverty is not a beautiful sight or feeling, however, in an interview Noah said “growing up poor was not so bad, because everyone around me was poor I didn’t notice a difference” This quote brought me back in time, when my family wasn’t so fortunate, we didn’t have much, but because everyone around us was like this I felt it was the norm. Until moving to America then I realize I was living in poverty for half my life.  This book earned a place on my shelf because I relate deeply to the boy’s frustration and the struggles he faced.

This quote is from the book “Born a Crime”, I chose this quote specifically because of the important message it gives to the reader. It portrays to never give up on your dreams. The moment a persons give up is the moment they fail. The second quote interests me because of how truthful it is. He uses language to get out of altercations with another group/tribe/gang members.

“I don’t regret anything I’ve ever done in life, any choice that I’ve made. But I’m consumed with regret for the things I didn’t do, the choices I didn’t make, the things I didn’t say. We spend so much time being afraid of failure, afraid of rejection. But regret is the thing we should fear most. Failure is an answer. Rejection is an answer. Regret is an eternal question you will never have the answer to. “What if…” “If only…” “I wonder what would have…” You will never, never know, and it will haunt you for the rest of your days.” – Trevor Noah

“Language, even more than color, defines who you are to people.” – Trevor Noah

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Published 2016

Paperback $14.35 on


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