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I was born and brought up a 'Jo'burg girl' in the days when South Africa was one of the world's most openly racist countries. It was like being brought up to be a horse with blinkers. When my first novel Journey to Jo'burg was banned in South Africa, I was spurred on to write more!
Luckily when I left school, I met people who challenged me... I became very angry about the terrible things that I could now see. Thousands of children were reading the book around the world but the apartheid government refused to let South African children read it until 1991, the year after Nelson Mandela was released from jail. It’s a universal story where two children, faced with great injustice, do something very brave as they try to save their little sister. I throw huge challenges across the paths of my characters.
Being a novelist is a bit like being a long distance runner.
On arrival in Britain, they were plunged into a world of "public indifference and increasingly overt hostility to their plight, fuelled by the irresponsibility of politicians and media prepared to appeal to the lowest common denominator", she said.She came to England in 1965 after eight weeks' detention in solitary confinement in South Africa.Her first children's novel, Journey to Jo'burg, won awards in the UK and the US but was banned in South Africa until 1991.Beverley Naidoo grew up in South Africa under apartheid.She says, "As a white child I didn't question the terrible injustices until I was a student.