Kaffir Boy

Kaffir Boy


Mark Mathabane

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Kaffir Boy: Chapter 46 Summary & Analysis

Scaramouche introduces Mathabane to Andre Zietsman, a white tennis player from South African who has just returned from a tennis scholarship in America. Mathabane and Andre form a fast friendship and begin playing together, secretly, at a white park, running a considerable risk for both of them. As they grow more comfortable, Andre describes what America is like, including what a shock it was for him to suddenly live in a society where black people are equal with white people, rather than subordinate. It conflicted with Andre’s early education in South Africa, where he was taught to “lord over blacks.” The thought of black people existing equally alongside white people in one society stuns Mathabane. He thinks of it as “the Promised Land.”
Andre’s experience living and studying with black people as equals challenged his own learned racism, again suggesting that personal relationships with diverse people is critical to counteracting one’s personal prejudice. For Mathabane, Andre represents the hope that people, even white Afrikaners, can change their racist ways.
Apartheid’s Structural Oppression Theme Icon
Personal Prejudice Theme Icon