South African Literature and Media

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South African Literature and Media


  1. “Born a Crime” by Trevor Noah: A memoir by the comedian and “The Daily Show” host, Trevor Noah, which humorously recounts his experiences growing up as a mixed-race child in apartheid-era South Africa.
  2. “Long Walk to Freedom” by Nelson Mandela: This autobiography of Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president, offers a deeply personal account of his life, the struggle against apartheid, and the path to reconciliation.
  3. “Cry, the Beloved Country” by Alan Paton: A classic novel that explores the racial and social tensions in South Africa through the story of two fathers—one black, one white—linked by a tragedy.
  4. “Disgrace” by J.M. Coetzee: This novel by Nobel laureate J.M. Coetzee delves into the complexities of post-apartheid South Africa, examining themes of identity, power, and redemption.
  5. “The Power of One” by Bryce Courtenay: A coming-of-age story set in South Africa, this novel follows the journey of a young English boy who confronts the racial and cultural divisions of the country.


  1. “Invictus” (2009): Directed by Clint Eastwood, this film portrays Nelson Mandela’s efforts to unite the country by rallying behind the South African rugby team during the 1995 Rugby World Cup.
  2. “Tsotsi” (2005): A gripping drama directed by Gavin Hood, “Tsotsi” delves into the life of a young Johannesburg street thug, revealing the gritty urban landscape and struggles faced by the disadvantaged.
  3. “Sarafina!” (1992): A musical drama that captures the spirit of the youth uprising against apartheid in the late 1970s. The film explores the role of students and the impact of the Soweto Uprising.
  4. “District 9” (2009): This science fiction film, directed by Neill Blomkamp, uses an extraterrestrial metaphor to explore themes of segregation and discrimination in South Africa, drawing parallels with apartheid.
  5. “Yesterday” (2004): Directed by Darrell Roodt, “Yesterday” is a powerful drama that tells the story of a young mother in a rural South African village who is diagnosed with HIV. The film sheds light on the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the country.


  1. “Amandla! A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony” (2002): This documentary explores the role of music in the anti-apartheid struggle, highlighting the power of songs and protest music in shaping South Africa’s history.
  2. “Nelson Mandela: The Myth and Me” (2013): A personal exploration of Nelson Mandela’s legacy and his impact on South Africa, narrated by filmmaker Khalo Matabane.
  3. “Searching for Sugar Man” (2012): This documentary follows the journey to uncover the mysterious life of American musician Rodriguez and his unexpected popularity in South Africa, revealing the cultural impact of his music during apartheid.
  4. “Red Dust” (2004): A documentary that revisits South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, where victims and perpetrators of apartheid-era crimes confront their painful past.
  5. “The Whale Caller” (2007): A documentary film based on the book by Zakes Mda, offering insights into the unique culture and community of Hermanus, known for whale watching and the story of a man who calls to the whales.