The Kaffir Kid and the Teacher Who Changed my Life

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The Kaffir Kid and the Teacher Who Changed my Life


The kaffir kid and the teacher who changed my life are stories that talk about the lives of two boys who had to go through various difficulties in order to succeed in life. They are generally a reflection of the challenges that people go through in their efforts to succeed. The spirit of determination has been reflected in them with the encouragement of the people that surrounded them (Gardner 80). At times it may not matter what an individual has to go through because all what is required of them is to know where they are destined. There are the goals that they had set for their lives that motivated them to fight against odds.

Important facts of the story the Kaffir Kid

The kaffir kid is a story in the kaffir boy that talks about a young boy who was brought up in Alexandria in South Africa. It was during the time of the apartheid where the blacks were being manipulated by the whites. He grew up in a superstitious family, encountered many challenges as a young boy but  was still determined to live up to his identity and probably change the outlook of things. He developed a negative attitude towards Christianity, which he viewed as a tactic that the missionaries used to exploit the black people (Mathabane 75). He describes how they would manipulate the blacks and said that were sent by God.

He also accused the black churches who told people to give them money yet they lived a poor life. He was faced with the challenge of either moving out of South Africa to pursue his studies or become a guerrilla fighter (Mathabane 68). This was during the season of the Soweto riots when he had the passion to succeed in life so that he brings change to his people yet he was not willing to move out of South Africa. Even though he finally moved out of South Africa, he maintained his identity and finally succeeded in life.

Details in the story the Teacher Who Changed my Life

The teacher who changed my life is a story of a young boy who was motivated to succeed through the challenges that he faced as he grew up (Littell 81). He was mostly inspired by his mother who was murdered. He also talks about a teacher Miss Hurd’s who helped him to adjust to the new environment. Even though he needed support from those that were around him, he could not get it. He therefore relied on his intelligence and the painful death of his mother to ensure that he achieved his goals.  His past experienced made him to love and appreciate his father for the determination he had in bringing him up.

The boy by the name Gage describes how he was generally referred to as a genius when he was young (Littell 84). Deep within him, he understood that he was indeed born to succeed. In his efforts to reach up to his expectations, he encountered various challenges but had a solid foundation that had been laid by his father whom he held with high esteem. His parents were working and he therefore had the responsibility of taking care of his brothers. He spent part of his life in Virginia and then moved to California.

Comparison of the two stories

Comparing the two stories of the karrif kid and the teacher who changed my life, we can picture the lives of two boys that grew up in hardships. They were faced by environmental conflicts yet they had the spirit to succeed. What motivated them is the determination that their parents had in bringing them up (Mathabane 69). They had parents that were willing to do anything in their capacity to ensure that their dreams are fulfilled. The boys are described as geniuses who had the passion for books. They believed education would enable them to be delivered from the chains of poverty.

They were therefore forced to move from one environmental setting to another against their will. They also had to make choices that led to their ultimate success (Gardner 87). Despite the challenges that they also faced as they settled in their new environments, they were motivated. Their past life enabled them to appreciate their situations and gave them a reason to work hard and succeed. After achieving their goals and dreams in life, they remembered their people and purposed to bring the change that had really been desired.


The above stories are a true reflection of many challenges that people go through as they grow up. Various hurdles have to be crossed in order to achieve success. What determines how far a person will go is the spirit of hard work; it may also be motivated by the desire to see themselves out of their current situation (Mathabane 70). The foundation that has been laid by the guardians of the children and their willingness to see them prosper will also go along way in motivating them towards success. Education is also the founding basis of ones success, is the knowledge acquired that sets people free from negative perceptions.








Works Cited

Gardner P. S. New directions: reading, writing, and critical thinking. United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press 2005

Littell M. the Language of Literature. New York: McDougal Littell 2001

Mathabane M. Kaffir boy in America: an encounter with apartheid. United Kingdom: Scribner's 1989

Mathabane M. Kaffir boy: the true story of a Black youth's coming of age in Apartheid South Africa. New York: Macmillan 1986



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