Recently in English class, we have been working on a project about Racism and Apartheid, and we read a historical fiction story called Journey to Jo’burg written by Beverley Naidoo. This story is about a 2 children which goes on to a journey to where their mother works for a old lady in Jo’burg.
The part that made a clear image in this novel is when Dineo was sick, Mma and Naledi went to the hospital to make him cured. Next to them their was a young women with her baby wrapped to her back. Then she went to the doctors room and in little time she came back clutching a plastic bag. Her whole body was shaking and a a man close to the door caught her just as her legs gave way. “My baby, my baby… he’s dead, he’s dead!” Her sobs filled the waiting room. Before Mma could go to comfort her, the nurse reappeared calling for Dineo. This part of the novel made a clear image for me because, the author used sentences like “Her whole body was shaking and a man close to the door caught her just as her legs gave way.”. This sentence makes it easy to imagine because, she used words like “whole body was shaking” which means she was really shocked and sad at the same moment. (You can find this quote in chapter 13 “Life and Death” in page 72)
I think the part when Grace talks about when she was in the protest to finish apartheid and racism, their was a girl about 8 years old who was shot dead near Grace. I thought this connects to the world because, I remember that in 2012, Malala Yousafzai was shot three shots in the head by a Taliban gunman. Malala Yousafzai is a activist and she protests about human rights and the educations womens. I thought the 8 year old girl that was killed and Malala connects because, they were both protesting for something and they were both shot. But Malala was sent to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham and she has recovered and in 2014, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and now is the most youngest winner.
This connects to me because, in english class we watched a movie called Invictus. This movie is about Nelson Mandela leading the South Africa’s national rugby team “Springboks” to winning the world cup. I thought that this connects because, it is both about protesting. Nelson Mandela was protesting for apartheid and Malala was protesting for human rights.
- Connections to Other Texts
I couldn’t really think of a book that connects to Journey to Jo’burg. So I will skip this Question.
I thought the text wasn’t clear on page 60 when people were protesting and a girl standing near Grace. In the book is says “A little girl standing near Grace, about eight years old, raised her fist, and next thing she was lying dead. I didn’t understand this part because, it looks like she was killed because, she raised her fist? One more thing I didn’t get was because, in the text it says “about eight years old” so I thought why would she be in a really dangerous place where theirs police shooting guns and helicopters firing from above.
I think the main idea of this book is that how much Apartheid was unfair to the black people compared to the white people who didn’t have to walk around with a passbook. Naledi and Tiro face lots of problems while traveling to Mma’s place. But I think the author was trying to send a message from the book to the readers how much apartheid was unfair and how much the black people suffered to be maids for the rich white people,and how much they feared that they might be fired any time and they can’t raise their children if they don’t get any money, like Mma was working as a maid for the old Madam.
I thought this book is good to learn history of apartheid because with the exciting story, the author puts some challenges for the main character(s) which is based on facts which happened to the real world. This helps us understand easily then just putting facts which are not really fun to read. So I thought the author did a good job at getting the readers attention by a catchy story then putting in some facts in so you can learn from the story. For example, when Naledi and Tiro went on the bus which was only for the whites and someone in the bus shouted at them “What’s wrong with you? Are you stupid?”. Another example is when Grace, Naledi and Tiro went on the Train and the police came to check the pass books for the non-whites. I thought these facts helped me understand what really happened in the past in South Africa.