Boyhood in 'seventies Soweto, innocence and light-hearted charm, and many insights into growing up in a South African township at a time when family was more important than politics. On being metin the street or at school, the inevitable question was: "Whose laetie - brother - are you?" Chimeloane describes growing up in a loving family, and with the affection and support 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 wonder: 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. Readable and affordable, this book should appeal to a broad market as well as to readers with a more serious social interest.
Its release also coincides with the 25th anniversary of the Soweto Uprising, which is documented in one chapter of the book
Rrekgetsi Chimeloane was born in Diepkloof, Soweto, in 1964. After completing high school, he enrolled at a technikon, but his studies were disrupted by student unrest. He found employment in Sasolburg, where from 1986 to 1991 he stayed in a men's only hostel. This experience inspired The Hostel-Dwellers - a first-hand account, published in 1998. His first novel, To be like Siswe, was published in 1992. He currently lives in Soshanguve outside Pretoria.