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Young Blood - Crime Never Pays

April 18, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 313

Title: Young Blood

Publisher: Kwela Books

Year: 2010

Young Blood is a crime fiction novel. It is about a young man named Sipho. He is caught up in the world of easy money, booze, dagga, and greed. He lives in the sprawling township of Umlazi, south of Durban in the province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. In the geography of crime in KwaZulu-Natal (Durban), Umlazi criminals specialise in car hijackings and in Kwa-Mashu is murder.

The story of Young Blood begins with Sipho dropping out of school. He dropped out of school thirteen days before he turned seventeen years old. He started helping his mechanic Dad doing odd jobs underneath the bonnets of wrecked cars. But, that did not provide the lifestyle his long-time school friend Musa had - BMW's, designer clothes, and beautiful girls always hanging on his arms. In no particular order and for no other reason except for Sipho's love for fast cars; he soon found himself engrossed in stealing cars, hijackings, drugs, booze, girls and dagga.

Sipho started by fixing or should it read dismantling stolen cars for parts, and graduated to driving gateway cars, buying stolen cars, murder, hijackings, selling mandrax, and bribing cops to avoid jail time. During his crime excursion, members of his gang were found dead after a robbery gone wrong. Sipho's child hood friend also died in the hail of bullets from the rival gang, the Cold Hearts. Sipho's mandrax supplier and buyer of stolen cars left town after he survived the violent clash with the Cold Hearts. These events had a profound impact on Sipho's outlook of life. He reconnected with his family, registered in a technical college and turned his life around.

Author Sifiso Mzobe offers a detailed account of thug life in South Africa. Young Blood is a universal story of out of school, and out of work youth lifestyle in South Africa. Mzobe tells a story vividly and honestly as if he was the main protagonist. It reads like memoirs of a well heeled thug. However, beneath beautiful prose lies the real South African story - social problems occasioned by urban decay, dysfunctional education system, unemployment, absent and inadequate parents amongst others. Because Mzobe is not JM Coetzee, he believes in humanity's capacity for redemption, he allowed our protagonist Sipho to mend his evil ways. This is the most comforting part of the book.

It is no wonder; Young Blood won the 2011 Sunday Times Alan Paton award for best fiction writing.

Bhekisisa Mncube is a specialist web-content writer, media relations specialist and managing director of B74 Media Lab. He is also a columnist at the Witness Newspaper as well as a Media/Political Commentator at the Gagasi99.5 FM. He is a member of the Book Review Panel at the New Agenda academic journal in South Africa. Mncube has been a writer for 12 years. He is a widely published in newspapers, magazines, websites and academic journals. You can network with Bhekisisa through LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook or write to

Source: EzineArticles
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