"The Other Side of Truth", a Genuinely Enlightening Story by Beverley Naidoo
The story of Femi and Sade
Beverley Naidoo has in their book The Other Side of Truth , first published in 2000, described the situation of refugee children. Sade, a girl aged 12 and her younger brother Femi lost their mother in Nigeria, she was a victim of political oppression and the children had to go in exile to London. Because the danger of making out as refugees, they had to leave the country without their father. A mistake with the travels organisation was reason for their standing allone in London, without money, without shelter and without rescue. The sorrows about their fathers travel to London let the children not tell the truth to social workers. They want to rescue their father. Their situation in a strange country, experiences with police, social workers and foster parents give the reader an insight in the childrens feelings and sorrows. Describing a African culture and a warm family setting and the change in refugee surroundings used Naidoo to explain the childrens way from beloved and carefully treated son and daughter to strangers and refugees in another country. Sade and Femi were experiencing rassism :
"Excuse me, please-`But before she could even ask her question, the lady pulled away. Her gloved hand shot up as if to ward Sade off. ´No.No, thank you!`The words shot out. The lady did not even look at Sade as she scuttled by. Sade edged back, astonished.It was like having a door slammed in her face." ( Naidoo, 2000, p.50 )
More bad experiences had Sade and Femi in the new schools, Sade was a victim of bullying and rassism in her class, Femi was saying nothing about his school events. He was suffering quiet.
The Other Side of Truth, Beverley Naidoo
Refugee Childrens situation
Naidoo creates a critical and identical picture of refugee childrens situation using her own insights because her South African origins to give the readers a sense of human rights and shows the prejudice, which Africans experience also as children in Europe.
Living on the margin of society is dangerous for children and let decrease their worth. In The Other Side of Truth is the current view on refugee children a topic and tells us about their fight against rassism and political oppression. Books have an big influence on their readers meaning building and education, their popularity shows the current political views and social problems which matters in society.
Naidoo, B. ( 2000 ) The Other Side of Truth , Penguin Group, London, p.50