While I was sick, I consumed a lot of culture, movies on Netflix, shows on HBOgo and I listened, via audible.com, to Trevor Noah’s memoir Born a Crime. To be honest, I had rejected it as a possible choice when I first judged this book by its cover, which I dismissed without more careful scrutiny.

Then, Born a Crime landed on Michiko Kakutani’s, the esteemed New York Times literary critic, Best Books of 2016 list – – and I reconsidered.

Noah reads his book on the audible recording which is crucial because he uses multiple accents, languages and expressions that reading it on my own would have been lost.

What a man! The deprivation, cruelty and exposure this guy went through before becoming the host of The Daily Show (he doesn’t get that far in the book) is shocking. Thank goodness I knew where he landed, because no one should have to endure what Trevor Noah has endured.

What struck me, in addition to his wisdom, his humility and fortitude, was his entrepreneurial mindset. The segment in which he describes the hustle, his daily struggle to make a buck (er, rand) was brilliant: taking into consideration what his customers wanted, the competition, and everything else that surrounds a sale. Without defining it such, he had a complete internal business plan and market awareness.

This man’s story broke my heart, then patched it back up and enlarged it at the end of the book. I won’t spoil it for you and deprive you of the absolute shock and joy of it all. Trevor Noah is my new hero. I’m watching all of his performances now with newfound awe and respect. This man is a seer and a truth teller. Please, pay attention.

Re the cover – now that I’ve read/listened to Born a Crime, I’m less put off by it. I hadn’t fully taken in that it was actual mural art on an African wall. I had mistaken it for a cartoonish likeness. Considering the content of his memoir, it’s actually perfect.

 

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