English / South Africa

This book betrays my brother

Molope, Kagiso Lesego (text)
Cape Town: Oxford University Press Southern
Africa, 2012. – 189 p.
(Series: Oxford literature for southern Africa)
ISBN 978-0-19-905922-5

Siblings | Loyalty | Rape | Guilty conscience | Coming-of-age novel

≫My mother and aunts tell me that my loyalty should only be to family.≪ No problem for thirteenyear-old Naledi, who adores her older brother Basimane. Popular and well respected, Basi fights for justice and plans to become a lawyer. She would have vouched for him any time. Yet, one day, she secretly witnesses as he rapes his girlfriend, and in these few minutes, Naledi’s whole world collapses. All of her family and his friends insist she be loyal to him, but isn’t it her duty as a girl to support the poor victim?

Rape, loyalty, guilt, and betrayal – these are some of the topics that Kagiso Molope’s third young adult novel addresses. Subtly and with great sensitivity, she describes her main protagonist’s emotions and fears and the severe impact this ≫small event≪ has on her life. In addition, this book also gives insights into a black girl’s everyday life in South Africa in the 1990s, as do both of Molope’s earlier novels. (Age: 13+)