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My thoughts on: Born a crime

Hello beautiful people, today I’ll be talking about one of my favorite reads this year: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah.
Disclaimer: I’m going to be somewhat partial in my review of the book due to my love for Trevor Noah. Thank you *bows*
The cover test: I like the cover, not your average cover.
1. Childhood mischief: Trevor was a proper rascal. I don’t what I’d do if I have a child like that😩 (I can’t btw, cos I’m gentle and all😊). He got up to some crazy stuff including burning a house down!!!! He carried his mischief into his adolescence which led him to a police cell on one occasion(smh). I’m sure he still has vestiges of that mischief tbh.

She would send me out to buy groceries, and I wouldn’t come right home because I’d be using the change from the milk and bread to play arcade games at the supermarket. I loved videogames. I was a master at Street Fighter. I could go forever on a single play. I’d drop a coin in, time would fly, and the next thing I knew there’d be a woman behind me with a belt

2. Apartheid: He took us through his experience of the apartheid in South Africa. During apartheid, his mother couldn’t be seen with him in public and his relationship with his father had to be hidden. He was discriminated against by the whites as been too black, and was treated with unnecessary deference by blacks. He also didn’t quite fit with the coloureds. All in all, it was an unpleasant experience for a young boy.

3. Systematic racism: The system was designed to promote distrust and hatred among races. For example, The Chinese were regarded as black while the Japanese were regarded as white. Can you imagine the stupidity???? Some groups were made to feel like lesser citizens to the point where they accepted it.

“My grandmother always told me that she loved my prayers. She believed my prayers were more powerful, because I prayed in English. Everyone knows that Jesus, who’s white, speaks English. The Bible is in English. Yes, the Bible was not written in English, but the Bible came to South Africa in English so to us it’s in English. Which made my prayers the best prayers because English prayers get answered first.”

4. Tribalism: Seriously, with all the discrimination between white/black/coloured, the black people still found a way to discriminate against each other. Foolishness!!!

5. Religion: The African approach to religion is hilarious by the way. Christianity and traditional religion exists side by side for them. One doesn’t disturb the other. Then Trevor’s super religious mother, who had them attend 3 different churches every Sunday. Lol.

6. Abuse: It’s unfortunate how abuse is a reality for so many women (and men) worldwide. Trevor’s mother ended up marrying a violent alcoholic who abused her and Trevor. Her complaints to the police were never taken seriously and never filed. Leading to a tragic incident where he ended up shooting her in the head. Still, no reasonable consequences.

Trevor’s mother, Patricia Noah is the star of the book, she’s an amazing woman. She’s funny, defiant, strict, independent, strong willed and intelligent. It was delightful to read her witty exchanges with Trevor.


1. Defiance: Trevor’s mother was stubborn and defiant. Her relationship with Trevor’s father is an example of her stubbornness, it was ilegal for blacks and whites to have relations but she did. Refusing to remain in the circumstances she was born in, she improved herself and did her best to raise her son the same way. Sometimes to get the best results, one must be ready to be a non-conformist.

2. Self-improvement: Trevor’s mother took active steps to improve her and Trevor’s life. She learnt English, moved to the city, bought him books, registered him in a private school etc. All to make sure their lives improve. I must be ready to take active steps to improve my life and that of those around me.

3. On not letting the past hold me back: Trevor’s mother went through a lot, in her childhood and as an adult but she refused to allow that hold her back. She didn’t use her past as an excuse for complacency.

“Learn from your past and be better because of your past,” she would say, “but don’t cry about your past. Life is full of pain. Let the pain sharpen you, but don’t hold on to it. Don’t be bitter.” And she never was. The deprivations of her youth, the betrayals of her parents, she never complained about any of it.”

4. Selflessness: That’s the definition of parenting to me. You had this child so you have the responsibility of doing and giving it your best, really.

“My mom’s attitude was “I chose you, kid. I brought you into this world, and I’m going to give you everything I never had.” She poured herself into me.

Trevor Noah dropped gems in this book!!! Such an intelligent man! Let me share some:

“The way my mother always explained it, the traditional man wants a woman to be subservient, but he never falls in love with subservient women. He’s attracted to independent women. “He’s like an exotic bird collector,” she said. “He only wants a woman who is free because his dream is to put her in a cage.”

Ladies and gentlemen, truer words have not been spoken.

“We tell people to follow their dreams, but you can only dream of what you can imagine, and, depending on where you come from, your imagination can be quite limited”

Exposure makes a very huge difference in people’s lives. You cannot aspire to what you’ve not been exposed to.

“Trevor, remember a man is not determined by how much he earns. You can still be the man of the house and earn less than your woman. Being a man is not what you have, it’s who you are. Being more of a man doesn’t mean your woman has to be less than you.”

It’s unfortunate that more women didn’t tell their sons this when they were younger. Maybe it would have prevented so many inferiority complexes🙄

“The first thing I learned about having money was that it gives you choices. People don’t want to be rich. They want to be able to choose. The richer you are, the more choices you have. That is the freedom of money.”

Preach!! Pastor T!!!

“Hustling is to work what surfing the Internet is to reading. If you add up how much you read in a year on the Internet—tweets, Facebook posts, lists—you’ve read the equivalent of a shit ton of books, but in fact you’ve read no books in a year. When I look back on it, that’s what hustling was. It’s maximal effort put into minimal gain. It’s a hamster wheel.”

Seriously, hustling is like being on a treadmill. You’re busy but you’re actually not going anywhere. I’ve decided to focus on being productive, on growth and improvement.

If I continue, we won’t leave here today.


I love his style of writing. Very easy to follow.

His sense of humour and intelligence shone through and made it easy to read.

He addressed several social issues in this book in a unique way.


The book didn’t follow a chronological order. Wasn’t an issue for me, but might be for some.

Rating: 5 stars. Yes, you read that right. FIVE STARS!!!

This book is the best celebrity memoir I’ve read and one of my favorite reads this year.

Will I read it again? Yes, I totally will.

Have you read this book? How do you feel about it? Do you have any books you’d like to recommend? Please share in the comments.

Thank you for reading💋


6 thoughts on “My thoughts on: Born a crime

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