Design Your Life

VIDEO: Let Trevor Noah’s Grandmother School You On What Apartheid Was Really Like

By Rachel George

Share

While in town for the Global Citizen Festival this past weekend, host Trevor Noah stopped in Soweto to visit his 91-year-old grandmother to talk about his childhood, the police in South Africa, and the impact of Nelson Mandela to their country.

Noah gave us an inside look into his grandmother’s home where he grew up MTV Cribs style, “Oppression” edition, as he calls it.

His grandmother Koko described him as “energetic and really naughty” child, revealing she would hit him with her slipper when he was naughty. Growing up, he gave her a “tough time, “ so much so that she feared he’d be picked up by the “Flying Squad,” or police.

RELATED: Did Crime Steal The Show From Beyoncé And Jay-Z’s Global Citizen Performance?

According to her, black men were only allowed occupations such as nursing, teaching, or being a police man. Nelson Mandela was the wonder they had hoped for. “Madiba!” she exclaimed at Noah’s first mention of Mandela. “He was just like our God on Earth, really,” she said.

Koko unveiled that kids thought Noah was white when they first saw him in the neighborhood and praised his mother for his lively personality. She also said his mother went on to reach new heights in her career, managing white people, which was uncommon during her younger years.

They also discussed the remnants of apartheid in South Africa potentially being present today, to which his grandmother completely disagreed. “No, no thank you, “ she said.

The National Party instituted a system of racial segregation in 1948 known as apartheid. Races were evicted from their homes and communities and forced to live elsewhere. “Do you know what its like to dig for potatoes with your hands in the farm and receive no pay?” she recalls the menial labor of apartheid. She also mentioned having to bury and plant over one of the workers if they died in the field.

Watch the rest of the video here and learn more about Trevor Noah’s upbringing.

Share
Travel Noire

Rachel George

Want more?

Get exclusive, unpublished tips from Travel Noire's CEO to help you get off the beaten path, into the hearts of locals and onto a better, more cultured life.

A Black Expat Opens Up About What It’s Like In South Korea During The Coronavirus Outbreak

A Black Expat Opens Up About What It’s Like In South Korea During The Coronavirus Outbreak

Hamid Mahdi decided to pack up his life and move to South Korea to become a guest English teacher through the Gyeonggi English Program in Korea (GEPIK). While life in South Korea has been pretty good so far, he recently found himself in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak. In mid to late January, Hamid […]

DeAnna Taylor

Black Expats Open Up About Living In Asia During The Coronavirus Outbreak

Black Expats Open Up About Living In Asia During The Coronavirus Outbreak

Right now we are in the middle of a global pandemic. It is said that COVID-19 began in China and has slowly made its way around the world, most recently to the United States. It’s all we see and hear about on the news and on social media. Travel Noire had the chance to speak […]

DeAnna Taylor

Update Story: From Meeting In A Bar In Bali To Falling In Love Around The World

Update Story: From Meeting In A Bar In Bali To Falling In Love Around The World

It’s been about a year and a half since we first shared Jazz and Marc’s story. If you aren’t familiar with them, they randomly met in a bar in Bali and within 10 days realized that they wanted to travel the world together while growing their love for each other. Jazz is Jamaican-American and Marc […]

DeAnna Taylor