Ja No Man will make you laugh at senseless past

Book: Ja No Man

Book: Ja No Man

Author: Richard Poplak

Publisher: Penguin

Reviewer: Kamogelo Seekoei

When I was growing up, adults around me always bought Chappies chewing gum with the change they received from buying bread or other such items.

It was a norm and I remember doing it as well.

But I have never found the idea as ridiculous as I did after reading that during apartheid, black people did not have a choice in the matter.

They were given the gum - whether they wanted to chew it or not. These are some of the realities that Richard Poplak, the author of the funniest book yet, portrays in his book. He depicts the realities of his life and those of the people around him with such wit and entertainment that the pages just flip themselves over.

He has the ability to show the circumstances that he never lived under and often did not know about, demonstrating that he was raised to be ignorant of his environment and that of others.

InJa No Man, Poplak tells his life story - the way he experienced it. His portrayal of his family and friends will get you laughing, no matter where you are - even in a taxi.

That is how funny the book is.

His anecdotes are really funny as he relates the lessons of how white children grew up during apartheid.

Poplak was born in Johannesburg in 1973 and had a younger sister. Though his life was not perfect, he lived it to the full.

His family moved to Canada in 1989, just before Nelson Mandela was released from prison.

He came back last year to research the book.

Other than a few spelling mistakes when translating childhood phrases into Setswana, the book is a keeper and a comedy of note.

It is the way for South Africans to look at the past and laugh out loud.