New York Times Best-Seller "Kaffir Boy"
South African writer Mark Mathabane, author of the best-selling autobiography “Kaffir Boy,” In “Kaffir Boy,” published in 1986, Mathabane told the true story of his coming of age under apartheid in South Africa. The book made the New York Times and Washington Post best-seller lists and was translated into several languages. Today, the book is…
South African writer Mark Mathabane, author of the best-selling autobiography “Kaffir Boy,” In “Kaffir Boy,” published in 1986, Mathabane told the true story of his coming of age under apartheid in South Africa. The book made the New York Times and Washington Post best-seller lists and was translated into several languages.
Today, the book is used in classrooms across the U.S. Mathabane, a frequent speaker on issues of race, also is the author of several other works of fiction and nonfiction and has served as a White House Fellow.
Born of destitute parents whose $10-a-week wage could not pay the rent for their shack or put food on the table, Mathabane wrote that he spent the first 18 years of his life as the eldest of seven children in a one-square-mile ghetto that was home to more than 200,000 blacks. A childhood of devastating poverty, terrifying and brutal police raids and relentless humiliation drove him to the brink of suicide at the age of 10, he wrote.
A love of learning and books and his dreams of tennis stardom carried him from despair, hate and anger to possibility and hope, Mathabane wrote. He said that his illiterate mother, who has become a source of inspiration for many American women, believed that education was the only way out of the ghetto, the only way to keep her son from a dead-end life of street gangs and crime. Her courage and sacrifice turned Mathabane’s life around, he said.
According to Mathabane, he did what no physically and psychologically battered “Kaffir” from the mean streets of Alexandra was supposed to do — he escaped to tell about it. Tennis was Mathabane’s passport to freedom. In 1978, with the help of 1972 Wimbledon champion Stan Smith, Mathabane left South Africa to attend an American university on a scholarship.
He has appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “Today,” CNN’s “Sonya Live,” “Nightwatch,” “Larry King Live” and many other TV and radio programs across the country. His provocative articles have appeared in the New York Times, Newsday and U.S. News and World Report. He has been featured in Time, Newsweek and People magazines. A sought-after lecturer, he was nominated for 1993 Speaker of the Year by the National Association for Campus Activities.
“Love in Black and White,” which he co-authored with his wife, Gail, a writer and communications manager, describes their personal odyssey as an interracial couple in America. Together they have appeared on talk shows, led workshops and delivered lectures on ways to heal the racial divide in America.
Mathabane’s fourth book, “African Women: Three Generations,” describes the struggles, relationships and triumphs of three South African women who were heroines in “Kaffir Boy” — his grandmother, mother and sister Florah.
In September 1997, Mathabane completed a one-year assignment as a White House Fellow at the Department of Education in Washington, D.C., where he helped implement several education initiatives. He and the other 17 White House fellows traveled on fact-finding missions to Panama and South Africa.
His latest work of nonfiction, which was published in June 2000 by Simon & Schuster, is called “Miriam’s Song” and tells the true story of a young South African girl growing up amid the turmoil and violence that preceded the end of apartheid and Nelson Mandela’s election. He recently published his first work of fiction, “Ubuntu,” a novel set against the politically and racially tense backdrop of post-apartheid South Africa.
Ernie was perfect for our Elders Conference at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. We will definitely be using PDA again!
LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS
Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!
Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – KANSAS CITY
I hope that this message finds you well. We had a phenomenal time with Atsuko this past Thursday. We wanted to just let you know how amazing she was. All those that were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed her and had nothing but amazing things to say about her. Thank you for working with us to make sure this happened!
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust were very special and we were moved that she was willing to share them with everyone. Thank you again, PDA for all your hard work and dedication to make this program such a success!
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Dear PDA Group, Thank you so much for your hard work in scheduling our speaker! From the moment we reached out to you the first time, you worked with us on all details and logistics and kept us up-to-date on the progress. Thank you for all your hard work on making our event such a success! We couldn't have done it without you and your team!
Thank you again, Dr. Kimbrough, for a great presentation, our attendees are still talking about it!
Dr. Henry Lee's presentation was entertaining, insightful and wise. I, and everyone at Pfizer, especially appreciate the remarks you directed about following your passion and preparing yourself to excel. Thank you, everyone, at PDA for helping to make this happen!
The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg's speech was."
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL BREAKFAST, BOSTON, MLK SPEAKER
Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!
CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on our campus! Thank you PDA Group for your help from the first phone to the last you were with us every step of the way.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and definitely will bring him back!
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we thank you PDA and Dan for a successful event!! Dan was magnificent! Students really enjoyed the presentation. I know I did. Can't wait to bring in more programs with PDA Group.
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Thank you, Peter, for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one of the best speakers we've ever had!
A Conversation With Mark Mathabane
Will discuss his novels, “The Proud Liberal,” and “Kaffir Boy”
Mark Mathabane Speaks At Ferris State University
1 HOUR OR LESS