‘Kaffir Boy’ Author Makes TAMIU Appearance Oct. 11
Posted: 9/26/13

‘Kaffir Boy’ Author Mathabane Makes
‘Reading the Globe’ Presentation at TAMIU Oct. 11

Mark Mathabane, the author of this year’s Texas A&M International University Freshman Read, “Kaffir Boy:  The True Story of a Black Youth’s Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa,” will visit TAMIU for its “Reading the Globe” Lecture on Friday, Oct. 11 in the Center for the Fine and Performing Arts’ Recital Hall at 12:30 p.m.

Mark Mathabane

Mark Mathabane

“Reading the Globe” is the University’s campus-wide reading initiative which sees the campus conduct a dedicated reading and exploration of the text, followed by a visit by the author to the campus and, an opportunity for students to compete for a study-travel opportunity, often to the country in which the reading is set.  It is now in its sixth year of offer at TAMIU.

 Dr. Conchita Hickey, dean of the sponsoring University College, said students, faculty and the University community have conducted readings and included the book in classroom lectures and discussions throughout the semester leading up to the author’s visit.

“Mr. Mathabane’s culminating lecture and question and answer session thereafter provides a rare opportunity to further explore his experience and creative process of bringing it to written form.  It’s an exciting time for all of us,” Dr. Hickey said.

“Kaffir Boy” is an extraordinary memoir which traces the author’s life under apartheid in South Africa and his struggle to wrench himself from the devastating poverty of one of that country’s most hardened ghettos and win a scholarship to study in the U.S.

The book is also the selection of the Laredo Public Library’s “One City, One Book” program, which also invites Laredoans to share a common experience in reading a powerful, thought-provoking book by a modern-day author. The joint program is funded in part by Humanities Texas, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities

Laredo Public Library director María G. Soliz said there are two goals for each “One City, One Book” program selection.

 “One is, of course, to promote literacy, and the other is that we hope that this will build a sense of community by reading the same book. This initiative will open dialogue among families, friends, co-workers, classmates or even strangers.  What better way than to talk about a book?,” Soliz said.

Hickey concurred that participation in the “One City, One Book” program underscores the University’s and the City’s commitment to the importance and power of reading.

“We are excited to once again be sharing our book title and focus this year with ‘One City, One Book.’  From campus to community at large, this represents a marvelous opportunity for us all to share in the magic and transformative power of reading,” Hickey said.

After his TAMIU appearance, Mathabane will present a public lecture Saturday, Oct. 12 at 10:30 a.m. at the Laredo Public Library’s Multi-Purpose Room, 1120 East Calton Road. The lecture is free and open to all.  “Kaffir Boy” will be available for check out at the Library and is also for sale at the Books-A-Million Bookstore in Mall del Norte. 

For additional information about TAMIU’s “Reading the Globe” program, contact Dr. Hickey 326.2801, email chickey@tamiu.edu or visit offices in the Senator Judith Zaffirini Student Success Center, Suite 223.  An online gallery with past “Reading the Globe” study-travel programs is available at http://www.tamiu.edu/spotlight/index.shtml

For more on the “One City, One Book” program and related activities, call Hilary Frazier at the Laredo Public Library at 795-2400, ext. 2252, or visit the Laredo Public Library website at www.laredolibrary.org.


Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu

5201 University Boulevard, Laredo, TX 78041-1900 Work956.326.2100