A 'country bumpkin's' search for identity in transitional, urban SA

19 April 2021 - 13:37
'Native Boy' is an illuminating memoir of a young black man's search for identity.
'Native Boy' is an illuminating memoir of a young black man's search for identity.
Image: Supplied

‘When we moved from the farm, my mother was especially concerned about my survival. How would her youngest child survive township life; how would he transform from a maplazini to an urban township boy?’

Thabo Abram Molefe was just six years old when he and his family left their tenancy on a Boschfontein farm. Their destination: a vacant stand in the vibrant, multi-ethnic, rambling Ratanda township just south of Heidelberg, Transvaal - the birthplace of Eugene Terre'Blanche's AWB.

To his new neighbours, Molefe is - and always will be - a “maplazini” Sesotho for “dumb country bumpkin”. It is a nickname he works to overcome as he journeys towards adulthood and further education, far beyond the apartheid regime's agenda to forever limit the black man to a life of hardship.

Funny, moving, heartbreaking and heartwarming: Native Boy is an illuminating memoir of a young black man's search for identity, set against the backdrop of a country in the throes of political transition.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Molefe is an independent consultant and business improvement professional with a deep affinity for South African art and culture. His work spans more than a decade in the local government, oil and gas, logistics, mining and financial services sectors of SA. He holds qualifications in business and technology from Unisa, Wits and Pretoria universities. Molefe is also founder and principal consultant at Vintage Artifact, a consulting services and natural stone processing, design and manufacturing company. This is his first book.


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