The Second Verse


Between being bullied at school, his alcoholic father and the general difficulty of being a young Black teen in South Africa, Bokang is depressed. After he attempts to kill himself, he just wants to rap, sketch and be left alone. The Second Verse takes a serious look at mental health, but it’s also about love, about growing up, finding yourself and overcoming trauma. It’s written in a very accessible, stylish way, funny at times, always engaging and it’s a novel that will have the reader rooting for Bokang.

~ Mervyn

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SKU: 9781485904724 Categories: , , ,

The Second Verse

The second verse of any song has to be more killer than the first. Always. The rhythm has to slap. The lyrics must be on point. The feeling intense. And the impact mad-definitive. It’s just the way it is. In the same way, if you do well once in life, then you always have to be better from that point onwards. No doubt.

East London, aka Slummies, circa 1998. Bokang Damane is a dreamer and an outsider with mad problems. Things only get worse when everyone thinks he wants to off himself just because he wrote an essay on suicide. Really? Talk about d.r.a.m.a.

Life at the moment is just a sorry son-of-a-checklist of insolvable problems. Problem #1: Not black enough for the black kids and too black for the white kids. Yep, that’s what happens when you attend a mad-pompous all boys’ college and live in the burbs. Problem #2: Family finances are a joke – they can’t even afford Bokang’s initiation. Now he can’t get props like any decent Xhosa man. Problem #3: An alcoholic, gambling attorney for a father who expects the world to bend to his will.

What’s a man gotta do? Apart from freaking the hell out?

Bokang just wants to rap, sketch and be left alone. Everyone keeps yacking on about Bokang reaching his true potential but everyone keeps getting in the way.

So what happens?

Boy meets girl. It wouldn’t be much of a story otherwise.

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