Born a Crime

by

Trevor Noah

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Along with the Xhosa, one of South Africa’s two dominant ethnic groups, who are predominant in the Inkatha Freedom Party and have historically been the most militant opponents of colonialism. Trevor learns Zulu (which is closely related to Xhosa) from a young age.

Zulu Quotes in Born a Crime

The Born a Crime quotes below are all either spoken by Zulu or refer to Zulu. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Racism, Apartheid, and the Cycle of Poverty Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Random House edition of Born a Crime published in 2016.
Chapter 1 Quotes

The genius of apartheid was convincing people who were the overwhelming majority to turn on each other. Apart hate, is what it was. You separate people into groups and make them hate one another so you can run them all.

Related Characters: Trevor Noah (speaker)
Page Number: 3
Explanation and Analysis:

The triumph of democracy over apartheid is sometimes called the Bloodless Revolution. It is called that because very little white blood was spilled. Black blood ran in the streets.

As the apartheid regime fell, we knew that the black man was now going to rule. The question was, which black man?

Related Characters: Trevor Noah (speaker)
Page Number: 12
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Born a Crime LitChart as a printable PDF.
Born a Crime PDF

Zulu Term Timeline in Born a Crime

The timeline below shows where the term Zulu appears in Born a Crime. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Racism, Apartheid, and the Cycle of Poverty Theme Icon
Identity, Belonging, and Community Theme Icon
...than collectively turning on the white government. The most notable division is that between the Zulu and the Xhosa, “South Africa’s two dominant groups.” The Zulu are traditionally warriors, so they... (full context)
Racism, Apartheid, and the Cycle of Poverty Theme Icon
Resilience Through Religion, Education, and Humor Theme Icon
...out which ethnic group would rule the country. The Inkatha Freedom Party, which is primarily Zulu, “very militant and very nationalistic,” fights with the African National Congress, which is Xhosa-led but... (full context)
Racism, Apartheid, and the Cycle of Poverty Theme Icon
Identity, Belonging, and Community Theme Icon
...up, so does a minibus, which swerves in front; a man jumps out with a Zulu “war club” and threatens the car’s driver. So Noah, his mother, and his baby brother... (full context)
Chapter 4
Racism, Apartheid, and the Cycle of Poverty Theme Icon
Identity, Belonging, and Community Theme Icon
...up” as a black South African. At home, they speak Xhosa. Trevor’s mom teaches him Zulu (which is closely related to Xhosa), German (which she speaks with his father), Afrikaans (which... (full context)
Identity, Belonging, and Community Theme Icon
...is from, Trevor simply responds in the same language and accent. When a group of Zulus chat about their plans to “get this white guy,” he turns around and proposes in... (full context)
Chapter 14
Identity, Belonging, and Community Theme Icon
...English and Afrikaans included by default, as the languages of power and the white minority; Zulu, Xhosa, Tswana, and Ndebele are major native languages; while Swazi, Tsonga, Venda, Sotho, and Pedi... (full context)
Chapter 17
Racism, Apartheid, and the Cycle of Poverty Theme Icon
Resilience Through Religion, Education, and Humor Theme Icon
...terrified.” But the man is speaking Tsonga—the same language Abel speaks—and the guard is speaking Zulu, so Trevor steps in to translate and immediately wins the giant man’s favor. This guy... (full context)
Racism, Apartheid, and the Cycle of Poverty Theme Icon
Identity, Belonging, and Community Theme Icon
...as he walks in, a man shouts, “It’s gonna be a good night tonight!” in Zulu. Another cries to Trevor about how he has been beaten and raped in jail. The... (full context)