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The Grateful Immigrant is the touching and breezily written memoir of Pitso Mafata, South African stage actor who found a better life in the United States. Leaving South Africa was the saddest and most conflicting time of my life, says Mr. Mafata. In his book, Mafata tells how he left his hometown of Port Elizabeth to study dramatic arts in Johannesburg and wound up acting in a play by Alan Paton, the South African author and political activist. Along the way, we get a feel for what it must have been like for an acting troupe while on tour in South Africa in the 1960s. The author also relates the unpleasantries of living under the restrictions of the apartheid system and the gang rule of the street. When the best thing to do, whenever you saw a policeman, was run, but for God s sake, do not run if trouble came in the form of a thug sizing you up. When he is offered the chance to join his theater company on Broadway, the opportunity opens up a whole new world the world of Manhattan. Readers are sure to find Mafata s experiences both encouraging and inspiring.
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