Third World Child by GG Alcock

Third World Child is about living in South Africa in the time of apartheid and also living here today – about being truly African even as a white person.  It is about the adventures, the cultural challenges and the future possibilities of South Africa.

The author, GG Alcock, believes that we have moved on from hand wringing apartheid stories and Third World Child avoids the groupie style or historical style of the books written about apartheid.  And yet, at the same time, this book is about the legacy of apartheid for a white person living in a black world.
The story is about the huge diversity of this country from savage Zulu warriors to sophisticated urban black empowerment recipients and a fair bit in between.  It is about a unique life thrust upon GG as the child of extraordinary parents, Creina and Neil Alcock, who were unique in their time.  Both his mother, a writer and academic, and his father, a well-known anti-apartheid activist, gave up their lives of wealth to live in a mud hut in the middle of Zululand.

‘Creina Alcock was a strange and bewitching creature who spoke mainly in riddles.’ Rian Malan, My Traitor’s Heart

The Africa GG wants to share is about modern Zulu warriors making a life in a strange new world.  It’s his journey with these people – his mentors, friends and foes – a voyage of a tribal society learning to become modern.

We live not in a black or white world but a world of contrast and diversity, one which GG wants South Africans, and a world audience to see, for what it is – without descending into racial and historical clichés.  Through this story people will see the humour and nobility of the third world society he has lived with.

Says GG: ‘I grew up in a unique, very poor Zulu community. I have travelled my life’s journey with this community – into the migrant worker hostels and townships of Gauteng, during and after apartheid, and later becoming a successful businessman, still working in this environment, creating crazy projects like the Soweto Beach Party.’

A fast paced African adventure with ample death and violence but also humour, heart-ache and sadness.


print edition