Growing up in South Africa during the Apartheid

Note: These are not MY experiences

This week I listened to two podcasts that happen to talk about growing up in South Africa during the Apartheid. It is one thing to read about it online, and quite another to hear experiences from someone who was part of it growing up.


The first story is that of Susan David, the Author of the book Emotional Agility She recently appeared on the James Altucher Show (Episode 203) which is where I heard this story.

Susan was a white female, growing up in South Africa during the Apartheid. She had a nanny - a black woman - who was very kind to her. She was Susan's friend, confidant, and "second mother". Susan grew up in an area designated only for "white" people, the nanny could not stay with her family. That means she was separated from her own children.

Once a year, she would travel to meet her family, children for 48-72 hours. She would carry gifts for them, but what was heart wrenching was that the shoes, or cloths won't fit, since the last time she has seen her children they were (say) 5 years old, and now they had grown (and were 6 years old) and thus shoes/cloths won't fit.


The other story is about Trevor Noah, the new host of the Daily show. He was recently interviewed on the Freakonomics Radio podcast.

Trevor was born and raised in South Africa to a black mother, and white European father. So he was a mixed race kid. As per the Apartheid laws of that time he was "born a crime" (Thus the name of his book). That means, neither of his parents could openly "own" him.

His mother would pretend to be his "baby sitter" if they were seen together, and his father would "run away", if he called him "daddy" in public place.

He says, he was "lucky" to go to a school that was considered a "white" school.


To listen to the complete stories, with the full context, listen to the podcasts. Links given above.

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