LIFE OF A BORN FREE IN SOUTH AFRICA
Continuous struggle for identity and against structural injustices
About LIFE OF A BORN FREE IN SOUTH AFRICA
The novel tells the story of Jacob Tlokana, a young South African teenager who grows up in a Black township at the west of Johannesburg. His personal experiences mirror the struggles encountered by many Black teenagers in post-apartheid South Africa. Jacob explores questions of Rainbow nation, language and South African disappointment.
Jacob as a teenager, finds himself having to choose between dropping out of high school after failing his tenth grade or continuing with his studies. After changing schools to attend at a nearby Coloured community, his journey does not get eased. During those years he finds his future hanging on the brink as he is supposed to constantly fight against the invisible societal quarantines.
Jacob later completes his matric. After receiving his matric results and actually realizing that he had passed his matric, he knew that he now had to get his life in order and take charge of his own life. He finds himself stuck between two worlds, having to quit the consumption of drugs and embarking on a spiritual journey and becoming one with his spiritual self in order to achieve success.
After completing high school, he gets to university and he finds himself having to battle with the question of language. This later lured him into student activism fighting for the recognition of indigenous languages.
Being part of a generation that is told and taught they can be anything they want to be whilst they experience a lot of exclusion makes them question the notion of “the Rainbow nation”. As a result, every year in institutions of higher learning education, Black students fight physically with universities to permit them to register so that they complete their qualifications. In the process, their young leaders find themselves arrested and barred from completing their studies.