'Born in Chains' by Clinton Chauke (Jonathan Ball)

Clinton Chauke was born among the poorest of the poor, raised with two sisters in a remote village bordering the Kruger National Park and an informal settlement outside Pretoria. 

Awareness dawns early in his age of how impoverished his family really is: there’s no theft in the village because there’s absolutely nothing to steal. But a fire destroys all they have - the family hut - and they decide to move back to the city. There he's forced to confront the grittiness of urban life as a village boy. He's Venda; and most of his classmates speak Zulu or Tswana. He faces their ridicule while trying to pick up two or more languages as fast as possible. 


Clinton negotiates the pitfalls and lifelines of a young life: crime and drugs, football, religion, friendship, school, circumcision and, ultimately, becoming a man. Throughout it all, he displays determination as well as a charming self-deprecating humour that will keeps one riveted.

Against the odds of extreme poverty, he proves that there is hope for those who refuse  to give up and, ultimately, succeed.