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THIRD WORLD CHILD - GG Alcock

Quick Overview

‘This is the story of my world or, more accurately, the worlds in which I live.’

GG Alcock’s parents, Creina and Neil, were humanitarians who gave up comfortable lives to move to rural Zululand. In a place called Msinga, a dry rock-strewn wilderness and one of the most violent places in Africa, they lived and worked among the Mchunu and Mthembu tribes, fighting for the rights of people displaced by the apartheid government’s policy of ‘forced removals’. They also fought against the corruption of police and government officials, as well as local farmers, which did not sit well with their white fellow citizens.

When GG was fourteen his father was assassinated by rival tribesmen.

GG’s early life in rural Zululand in the 1970s and 80s can only be described as unique. He and his brother Khonya, both initially home-schooled by their mother, grew up as Zulu kids, herding goats and playing with the children of their neighbours, learning to speak fluent Zulu, learning to become Zulu men under the guidance of Zulu elders, and learning the customs and history of their adopted tribes. Armed with their father’s only legacy – the skills to survive in Africa – both young men were ultimately forced to move into the ‘white’ world which was largely unknown to them.

In many ways GG’s story mirrors that of many of his people, the journey of a tribal society learning to embrace the first world. He does not shy away from the violence and death that coloured his childhood years surrounded by savage faction fighting, nor how they affected his adult life. His story is one of heartbreak and tragedy and, paradoxically, of vibrant hope and compassion. A restless energy and sardonic humour permeate his writing, which is compelling in its honesty and spontaneity.

‘Astonishing. Alcock has written the first report from the next South Africa. You might think you know South Africa, but this book will show you otherwise.’ – RIAN MALAN, author of My Traitor’s Heart

ZAR160.00

Availability: In stock

GG Alcock was born in Msinga, then one of the most poverty-stricken and violent parts of KwaZulu-Natal. GG’s activist parents, Neil and Creina Alcock, raised their two sons in a mud hut with no running water, electricity or modern conveniences and they grew up like young Zulu boys, herding goats and hunting small animals. Zulu reared and bred, the boys learnt the essence of how to survive in a harsh world – valuable skills that have undoubtedly contributed to GG’s success as an entrepreneur.

GG has been at times a shebeen owner, political activist, community worker and African adventurer. Fluent in Zulu and conversant in most South African ethnic languages, GG was the founder of Minanawe Marketing, a leading activations business in the kasi sector.

GG’s first book Third World Child: Born White, Zulu Bred tells his story and that of many of his people – a literary journey of a third world tribal society learning to embrace the first world of the twentieth century.

GG’s second book KasiNomics: African Informal Economies and the People Who Inhabit Them casts a light on the invisible matrix at the heart of South Africa’s informal economies and the people who live in them. KasiNomics takes you down those rural pathways - weave between claustrophobic mazes of shacks, browse a muti market, attend a spirit returning ceremony and save money with gogo in a stokvel, among many more people and places.

And GG’s third book, KasiNomic Revolution has just been released.

GG is a regular speaker on a range of topics – from business to motivational to trend talks on subjects including entrepreneurship, the informal market, diversity and culture, marketing communications to the mass market and the route to market strategies for the informal sector.

GG’s freelance service offering includes unique consumer insights, marketing strategies, creative concepts and experiential activations campaigns in the mass informal and kasi markets of Southern Africa.

ISBN: 978-0-620-65659-7
Format: B Format Paperback
Size: 198mm h x 130mm w
Page Extent: 378 pages