"Born a Crime" by Trevor Noah

Each blank space corresponds to a single word.
When I was born, my hadn’t seen her family in three years, she wanted me to know them wanted them to know me, so prodigal returned. We lived in , but I would spend weeks at time with my grandmother in Soweto, during the holidays. I have so memories from the place that in mind it’s like we lived there, . Soweto was to be bombed—that’s forward-thinking the architects of were. township was a city unto itself, a population of nearly one million. were only two roads in and . That was so the military could us in, quell any rebellion. And the monkeys ever went crazy and to break out of their , the air force could fly over and the shit out of everyone. Growing , I never knew that my grandmother in the center of a bull’s-eye. the city, as difficult as it to get around, we managed. Enough were out and about, black, white, colored, going to and from work, we could get lost in the . But only black were permitted Soweto. It was much harder to someone who looked like me, and government was watching much more closely. the white areas you rarely saw police, and if you did it Officer Friendly in his collared shirt pressed pants. In Soweto the police an occupying army. They didn’t wear collared . They wore riot gear. They militarized. They operated in teams known flying squads, because they would swoop out of nowhere, riding in armored carriers —hippos, we called them—tanks with tires and slotted holes in the of the vehicle to fire their out of. You didn’t mess with hippo. You saw one, you ran. was a fact of life. The was in a constant state of ; someone was always marching or protesting and had to be suppressed. Playing my grandmother’s house, I’d hear gunshots, , tear gas being fired into crowds. memories of the hippos and the squads come from when I was or six, when apartheid was finally apart. I never saw the police that, because we could never risk police seeing me. Whenever we went Soweto, my grandmother refused to let outside. If she was watching me was, “No, no, no. He doesn’t the house.” Behind the wall, in yard, I could play, but not the street. And that’s where the of the boys and girls were , in the street. My cousins, the kids, they’d open the gate and out and roam free and come at dusk. I’d beg my grandmother go outside. “Please. , can I play with my cousins?” “No! They’re to take you!” For the longest I thought she meant that the kids were going to steal me, she was talking about the police. could be taken. Children were taken. wrong color kid in the wrong area, and the government come , strip your of custody, haul off to an orphanage. To police townships, the government relied on its of impipis, the anonymous snitches who’d on suspicious activity. There were also blackjacks, black people who worked for police. My grandmother’s neighbor was a . She had to make sure he watching when she smuggled me in out of the house. My gran tells the story of when I three years old and, fed up being a prisoner, I dug a under the gate in the driveway, wriggled , and ran . Everyone panicked. search party went out and tracked down. I had no idea how danger I was putting everyone in. family could have deported, my could have been arrested, my mom have gone to prison, and I would have packed off to home for colored kids. So I kept inside. Other than those few of walking in the park, the of memory I have from when was young are almost all indoors, with my mom in her tiny , me by myself at my gran’s. didn’t have any friends. I didn’t any kids besides my cousins. I a lonely kid—I was good at alone. I’d read books, play with toy that I had, make up worlds. I lived inside my . I still live my head. To day you can leave me alone hours and I’m happy entertaining . I have to remember to be people.