Born A Crime

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This was an awesome, inspirational book. I actually finished it within three days–minus time for other real-life stuff. I haven’t been reading actively regarding books and whatnot in the past few years–mostly due to lack of motivation–but this one kept me interested throughout. Trevor is a talented writer, which showed through and through, considering how he was an active reader and was always thirsty for new knowledge throughout his childhood life and growing up. There were many hardships, but he bravely got past them to tell the tale. This was a wonderfully written memoir and a tearjerker at one point or another. It was also frightening yet so real based on Trevor’s vivid recount of events. Although I had actually purchased and read it during the time that it was released yet I hesitated with doing the review until now. Mostly because of some of the topics covered in the book. I didn’t want to go there and be accused of bringing forth some kind of an agenda, considering how controversial some of the topics were. However, I think that I should push forward anyway since I did book reviews in the past and some of the things I said about other books weren’t all shining either. I will just treat this like any other book review. So, moving on, lol.

What fascinated me from the beginning to the end was Trevor’s storytelling style. He started out with a suspense sequence sort of way to draw in readers. Then reality sort of kicked in when we–as the readers–realized how serious and dangerous it was, and how different real events actually occurred versus what was often witnessed in movies or TV shows. It was also what Trevor mentioned at one point or another. What got me thinking even more was what Trevor learned growing up, either through experiencing all those hardships or it was through his mother’s perspective of things. It made me realized and became more clear on some subject matters. (I’ll clarify in a  bit.)

Trevor’s recounts weren’t just about his childhood or bragging about how he got there (like many autobiographies often do). Instead, he explained and described so vividly how apartheid worked and how it had affected his hometown and the surrounding areas. There were a lot of things that he and the others did that he wasn’t proud of, but he told the story anyway, stressing that it was how they had to survive. It was indeed easy to look in from the outside and criticize, but there were many things they had to do to survive. Also, Trevor’s explanation and recounts allowed me to think even more about the apartheid system that was implemented elsewhere, even if no one said that out loud. It had always existed.

I think I can say that I like the majority of the stories mentioned in here, from his brave mother to the different trials he had been through. Yet I could say these are my favorite parts–because it got me thinking a lot:

  • When Trevor found out they could have left the country like many others had tried through different channels and connections. So he went home to confront his mother and her answer was brief yet meant so much, “This is my country. Why should I leave?” So short, but it got me thinking even more. Oftentimes, people fled their home country, finding hope elsewhere and steering away from all the chaos. That seemed like the norm, but what Trevor’s mom chose seemed obvious but often overlooked. What I meant was how just because their homeland was invaded didn’t mean they would back down and run away too. It was her firm belief in staying that made her different. Sure, it was really dangerous at that time, but she chose to stay. Not saying those who chose to leave did anything wrong since it was their way of protecting their families, but this was another perspective often overlooked. Possibly the whole flight or fight thing, but mostly this case, it was just staying and living like usual–even though the environment surrounding them was really chaotic.
  • Just because you fight among yourselves doesn’t give others the right to jump in. NOT exactly like this but I forgot to bookmark the passages so I’m relying on memory. But the point was how different groups within the country were already fighting. However, that didn’t mean it gives others the right to come in and conquer them and make things worse. Or like take their lands and throw them into different categories as see fit (to their agenda).
  • It’s easy to judge when you’re on the outside. Again, not an exact quote but something along that line. At one point, Trevor explained how he was trying to make money and try to survive with a few of his friends (or business partners). He also mentioned how bad he felt when he met some of the musicians later in his life (for what he did). Yet he didn’t hide the exact details either. He described all the events going on. But made a great point that it was too easy to look from the outside in and judge their actions. It was a way to survive for them. There wasn’t time to stand around and have this “high and mighty” righteous debate. They were looking for any way to survive. I mentioned this above, I know, and it sounds repetitive but I just want to place it here too.

After reading this book, it actually made me like Trevor even more and understand where he was coming from each time he talked about a certain topic on his show–whether one would agree with him or not. I think he had the right to say it (even if people kept pushing the whole idea of him just being a propaganda machine or whatever), considering how he was there during one of the worst moments in history–whether people remember it or not.

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