Born a Crime


Trevor Noah

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An ethnic and language group living predominantly in northeastern South Africa and southern Mozambique. Abel is Tsonga and teaches Trevor the language; when he visits the Tsonga homeland, Trevor notes that the culture is deeply patriarchal.
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Tsonga Term Timeline in Born a Crime

The timeline below shows where the term Tsonga appears in Born a Crime. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 14
Identity, Belonging, and Community Theme Icon
...and the white minority; Zulu, Xhosa, Tswana, and Ndebele are major native languages; while Swazi, Tsonga, Venda, Sotho, and Pedi are less widespread. There are “dozens more” local African languages too... (full context)
Chapter 17
Racism, Apartheid, and the Cycle of Poverty Theme Icon
Resilience Through Religion, Education, and Humor Theme Icon
...seen” gets thrown into his cell and “everyone was terrified.” But the man is speaking Tsonga—the same language Abel speaks—and the guard is speaking Zulu, so Trevor steps in to translate... (full context)
Chapter 18
Racism, Apartheid, and the Cycle of Poverty Theme Icon
Identity, Belonging, and Community Theme Icon
Love and Personal Growth Theme Icon
...his dual personality: his English name is “the good son” from the Bible, but his Tsonga name, Ngisaveni, means “be afraid.” They get married anyway, and soon Patricia has another son,... (full context)