bitter MEMOIRs

Not Black, Not White is a treasure of experiences of an ambitious young coloured man driven to improve himself and his community while living under the thraldom of the apartheid era.

Not Black, Not White is a treasure of experiences of an ambitious young coloured man driven to improve himself and his community while living under the thraldom of the apartheid era.

The author is a South African by birth, who held the position of secretary of the provincial and national teachers' associations and represented coloured people on the unique Johannesburg city council's management committee.

He was also the principal of the largest coloured high school in Transvaal, Coronationville High. He holds a BA (Honours) and an MA degree in English.

In his memoirs Farrah relives the apartheid age and the effect it had on the coloured community, recounting, in particular, events as they played out in his own neighbourhood during this time.

The book is a window to Farrah's soul. What is contained in these pages arise out of the author's need to express his opposition to bitterness, anger and disgust at and sometimes his resignation to the laws of apartheid.

He explores the discriminatory legislation, gives the reader an honest look at the realities of the day and speaks out about the individual subjugation that coloured people inflicted on themselves as a direct consequence of the repressive regime of the South African government of the day.

The book oscillates effortlessly between the author's memoirs and the laws controlling separateness, marriage, social security and welfare, and ultimately speaks about his decision to be defiant against all odds in order to advance himself and his family or to succumb to the nefariousness of the South African administration.

For nearly 30 years Farrah has carried the burden of acrimony on his shoulders for the country of his birth.

In the final chapter of the book, aptly entitled Exodus, he gives us unequivocal insight into the irreversible harm caused by the apartheid era to one individual.

Farrah's ultimate verdict: "Our decision to leave meant a complete severance of ties, where the thought of returning would be unthinkable. Our hatred of white South Africa was too deep."

Like a tattoo, indelibly etched in his heart.

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