Whose Laetie are You? (used): My Sowetan Boyhood
Rrekgetsi Chimeloane's account of his boyhood in seventies Soweto. For all its innocence and light-hearted charm, Chimeloane's story provides many insights into growing up in a South African township at a time when family was still more important than politics. When encountered, whether on the street or at school, the inevitable question was: Whose laetie brother are you? Chimeloane describes growing up in a warm family, and with the love of his best friend Levi. Next to universal boyhood exploits shooting rats with ketis, learning karate, stoning street lamps and running down mine dumps more sinister experiences had to be endured: dodging stones and avoiding enemies when you had to cross territories, running the gauntlet of dogs, bullies and thugs. And inexorably, the 1976 uprising also left its mark. Yet the world Chimeloane sketches so endearingly also contained endless wonders: the Valiant Regal taxi which produced money from its back seat, the magic of seeing bioscope and emulating the starrings, a world where you shared sweets with your chomis and stuck up for each other in the face of threats.
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