In the book Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathebane there are many obstacles that Mark the protagonist has to overcome. The first of his problems was to get through school in his poor South African ghetto. The second was to achieve his goal and receive a tennis scholarship to an American college. Mark”s father is one of the major antagonist, he was opposed anything to do with Mark getting an education in a school. He was a very traditional man and he didn”t like anything that had to do with the “white man”. He thought it was nonsense to get a whiteman”s education and he wouldn”t provide the money that was necessary to get Mark through school.
Mark was helped through this situation by his Mother who was the person who wanted Mark so desperately to attend school. She decided to go against Mark”s Father and send Mark to school. She then had to get a job which was illegal for her to do so because she didn”t have the required pass from the South African government. With the little money that his mother made and some money that his grandmother gave him he was able to pay for his schooling or at least some of it. He often was without the required materials like a school uniform and books.
This then resulted in Mark being beaten at school. These beatings became so intense and often that Mark thought about dropping out of school. His Mother helped him decide that he should stay in school because she knew that an education was the only way out of their life of poverty. Through the support of Mark”s Mother and grandmother Mark found success in school. He almost always was ranked in the top of his class and received scholarships to continue on in school.
At the end of Mark”s schooling he receives a job offering in South Africa for him to work as a anger of the company, he decides to accept this job for the time being because his family needed the money to send his brothers and sisters to school. Mark end up successfully making it through school and ending up being one of the top in his class. The second major conflict in the book was that Mark wanted to get a scholarship to an American college. Mark first started playing tennis in the ghetto and became the best player in Alexandria. He practiced at a ranch that he found where he made friends with the owner of the tennis ranch.
This was against the law because the owner was a white South African and native Africans could not play with them. Marked learned allot from the owner and gained experience because he was entered in some tournaments by the owner of the tennis ranch. When an international tournament came to South Africa Mark was asked to play in it as a native African player to show to the rest of the world that the apartheid laws separating the native Africans were being changed. This was not true though, the native Africans were being allowed to play in only a few selected tournaments as examples.
Since this was not fair to the native Africans they decided to boycott the event. Mark decided to play in this tournament even though he was considered a traitor to his people and was banned from playing in the native African tournaments for life. This decision changed his life because he met a famous American tennis star which helped his apply to many American colleges. Through Mark”s own inner strength and self determination he achieves his goal and he received a full college scholarship to an American college.
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