Touch My Blood: The Early Years by Fred Khumalo
As a teenager, Fred Khumalo greeted his friends with a handshake and the words "touch my blood". It implied friendship and trust. The saying became his name. More than that, it became the way he viewed the world. Everything touched Fred Khumalo. Twice he was bewitched. Twice his father - the "country bumpkin" - took him to inyangas to have the "demons" banished. Twice his mother - the "city girl" - took him to a doctor to have the "fevers" cured. He smoked dagga with conmen and criminals, he pickpocketed "corpses" on the Friday night trains and worked as a gardener in the larney suburbs. He studied journalism and shacked up with whiteys in a commune, for a while the only darkie in a crazy swirl of booze, drugs and sex. And then the bloody fighting that tore apart KwaZulu/Natal in the 1980s touched his life and sucked him into a place of horror and violence that threatened to destroy him. When a friend died in his arms with the worlds "They really got me, Touch my blood. They really got me", Khumalo realised that if he was to outlive the madness, he had to run. From the journalist and Sunday Times columnist comes a startlingly honest, humorous and poignant autobiography about growing up in a time of laughter and heartache.
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