Book news: Trevor Noah wins SA Youth Literary Award for ‘Born A Crime’

It seems as though the literary awards just keep on coming in for famous South African comedian and author Trevor Noah. 

On 7 November 2020, which happened to be International Writer’s Day, the young readers’ edition of his autobiography, Born A Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, was awarded the highly sought-after Youth Literature Award for 2020 at the SA Literary Awards (SALA) online webinar. 

Trevor Noah the author

Earlier this year, the internationally loved The Daily Show host was also awarded both the Book of the Year Prize, as well as the Children’s Prize at the 2020 South African Book Awards. 

‘Born A Crime’ an instant bestseller, movie in the works

Upon its original release in 2016, Born A Crime, instantly became a bestseller and was even named one of the best books of 2016 by The New York Times


Since its original release, the memoir has been adapted into an edition for young readers and is currently being adapted by Paramount Pictures into a feature film, starring Kenyan-Mexican actress Lupita Nyong’o, who will be portraying Noah’s mother. 

Trevor Noah Lupita Nyongo
Trevor Noah and actress Lupita Nyongo. Image via Twitter @ Lupita_Nyongo

In Born A Crime, Trevor Noah opens up about his childhood and his experience growing up in South Africa during the apartheid era. 

He describes the book as “my blood, sweat and tears […] It was my family’s story and my country’s story”.

Through beautifully written, heart-warming and heart-wrenching stories, interspersed with witty, Noah-esque humour, comes a story of triumph and one man’s coming-of-age in volatile, apartheid South Africa.

SALA prize money goes to Trevor Noah Foundation

Noah has since donated his SALA prize money to the Trevor Noah Foundation, which focuses on supporting the disadvantaged youth and providing educational opportunities and funding for them to become strong South African leaders of the future.