Study Guide

Kaffir Boy Chapter 26

By Mark Mathabane

Chapter 26

  • Mark is so sick of being beaten for not having schoolbooks that he starts playing hooky.
  • He knows that if he stays away for a month, the teachers will expel him. So for three weeks, he starts hanging out with a group of boys, stealing beer and whisky bottles, which they would sell to shebeen owners. Then they would go to the movies.
  • Mama asks him why he keeps arriving home so late and he lies, saying he has to stay for choir practice.
  • But Mama was checking up on him and discovered that he wasn't doing new work.
  • She went to the school and talked with the Principal, then followed Mark to see where he was going. She told the Principal where he was going.
  • Two days later, while he's hanging out at the junkyard with his gang, he sees a group of schoolboys heading his way. He hears Mandleve, the truant officer, says he's come to take him back to school.
  • Mark even threatens Mandleve with a crowbar, trying not to go back, but there are too many of them. He says he'll go back to school tomorrow if they leave him alone, but he's lying.
  • Mandleve finally grabs him. He and the boys bind Mark with rope, and then carry him back to school.
  • The Principal and male teachers are waiting for him. Mama is also there and she tells them to "whip him good" (26.31).
  • The beating is "savage" (26.31) and Mark faints. He spends a week in bed, recovering.
  • He almost never cuts school again. Even when he's sick, he goes to school, and the teachers have to send him home.

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