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Kaffir Boy

Kaffir Boy


by Mark Mathabane

Challenges & Opportunities

Available to teachers only as part of the Kaffir Boy Teacher Pass

Kaffir Boy Teacher Pass includes:

  • Assignments & Activities
  • Reading Quizzes
  • Current Events & Pop Culture articles
  • Discussion & Essay Questions
  • Challenges & Opportunities
  • Related Readings in Literature & History

Sample of Challenges & Opportunities

Let's just put it out there: that scene describing young boys prostituting themselves? It's really difficult to read, much less teach. It's graphic, it's sexual—you might even think it borders on pornography. To top it off, that's not the only part of the book that's tough to get through. Kaffir Boy is full of scenes that leave nothing to the imagination. So how do we deal with the book in the classroom?

To Ban or Not to Ban?

Since the Matanyula scene has already caused the book to be banned in some places, perhaps the easiest way to introduce that scene is to just flat out ask: does Kaffir Boy really need this scene?

Censorship and book-banning usually occur because a book offends people on some visceral level. But defenders of a banned book tend to argue that the offensive nature of a book is often necessary—that without the offensive scene, language, themes, the book would lose much of its meaning and social value.