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Kaffir Boy

Kaffir Boy


by Mark Mathabane

Mama Timeline and Summary

  • Mama hides from the Peri-Urban police when they raid the house. Though Papa is arrested, she manages to escape. She spends the next couple of months begging and borrowing to keep the family from getting evicted or from starving to death.
  • Determined to get Mark into school, Mama goes from the clinic to the superintendent's office and back again, trying to get Mark's papers in order so he can be admitted. When Mark says he doesn't want to go to school, she explains that his life will be better if he's educated. She makes him promise to try to stay in school.
  • When Mark wants to commit suicide, Mama talks him out of it by pointing out how much his sisters need him. Then she admits how much she would miss him if he died.
  • Mama becomes a Christian, thinking it will help their financial situation. Later, she becomes a Christian for real, and begins to care for people that are even worse off than they are.
  • Mama supports Mark throughout his primary and secondary school years, working whatever job she can to keep him in school, and encouraging him to remain in tennis.