Book Review : It’s Trevor Noah : Born a Crime

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This book was a gift from me to my son last year when I had travelled alone for a training. I had purchased this from an airport shop in Cochin, India. My son is an avid reader and he always asks us to buy him books. He’s usually into fantasy and Young adult fiction, so I was not sure if he would like this book, but he liked it too much and started following Trevor Noah and his daily show on Youtube.

Well, the book makes you cry, makes you laugh and then makes you wonder about the hypocrisy in the world we live in. There were instances where I laughed out loud. Trevor is raised by a strong mother, who shows him from very early on, that there’s a world outside his window, and he just has to look out to be a part of it. The mother son relationship forms the basis of most of the stories, and by the end of it you have no doubt on the secret behind Trevor Noah – his mother who not only brought him into the world but made him the man he is today.

She exposes him to the world of books very early on. She makes him read Bible and takes him to all kinds if churches. She gives him the best of education whatever her circumstances might be. Born a mixed race, he navigates most of his life alone, but that does not dampen his zest for life. He learns that language can break all barriers and learns 5 languages. He is naughty, he is hyperactive, yet he learns from his mistakes and makes his way in the world damaged by apartheid only through his brilliant sense of humour and due to his mother’s unconditional support.

His story is inspirational and a great lesson in parenting too. You don’t need to be rich to give your children the best in the world. You just need to have your heart in the right place.

I was the champion of Maryvale sports day every single year, and my mother won the moms’ trophy every single year. Why? Because she was always chasing me to give me a good hiding, and I was always running not to get the hiding. Nobody ran like me and my mom.

There are many other humorous anecdotes from his life. Once Trevor wants a toffee apple and is constantly nagging his mom. She finally gives in, and allows him to take, only to feign that he is not her son.

Once Trevor gets a little bigger, its like two lawyers. So the mom gets smarter and starts corresponding by letters.

As Trevor shifts schools, he realises that being mixed- race in a world of blacks and whites has left him alone, yet he learns to be a chameleon and paves his way forward. He has a good sense of business and learns to sell pirated CDs. He only realises this later that this is crime and gives it up.

Trevor’s story is a must read for every child and every parent. Never give up on yourself and never give up on your child.

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