In the unfolding of the Beverley Naidoo classic, Journey to Joburg, the main character, Naledi and her little brother Tiro stumble upon an orange farm on their difficult journey to find their mother.
When she tries to take some of the oranges, a young black Tswana-speaking boy, who works on the farm, calls her a thief. Although he later became their ally, Naledi snaps back, “We’re not thieves, we’ve been walking whole day and we are hungry.”
Is it acceptable to steal if you are hungry? Is it even necessary to ask the question? Who worries about right or wrong when you are hungry? Under which circumstances is it legitimate to steal?
These are tough questions that the serious reader must wrestle with. Or are they not serious questions at all?