My Favourite books from childhood: “Go Well. Stay Well.” by Toeckey Jones


go well stay well cover

I read this book in 2005 when I was 14 or 15 years old. “Go well Stay Well” is translated from Zulu “Hamba kahle. Sala kahle” and is meant as a greeting.

Back cover:

Candy felt guilty – guilty for being white. But what could she do? Suddenly it just didn’t seem possible that she and Becky would be able to continue relating as equals when everything between them was so unequal.

Becky lives in Soweto and Candy in Johannesburg – just a few miles apart. Yet their homes are in different worlds. In another country they would have an easy friendship, but one girl is black and one is white – and this is South Africa.


I liked this book, because it gives the reader the chance to see what life was like during the Apartheid-era for children. Children aren’t bothered by colour of their skin – until their society make it an issue. I also liked the play on words: when Becky jokingly refers to her home town in the book to “So-where-to?”

Slang: (some of these words are also known in South African English and Afrikaans).

thugs = tsotsis

goggas = insects

Sala Kahle (means “stay well” in Zulu.)

kaffirsussie = someone considered to be too friendly towards Africans

madala = old

shongololo = millipede

maningi = many

Amakgathas = Arseholes

lobolo = bride prize

Sakubona = Hallo

muthi = medicine

Hamba Kahle = Go well.

Yebo = Yes.

About the Author:

Toeckey Jones was born in Johannesburg in 1945. After school she worked for two years as a records clerk in a mining before studying in University of Witwatersrand. She then went on to become a reporter and sub-editor on a radio news station. She moved to London in 1971. She has worked in a variety of places, including the Institute of Race Relations and for the Welfare of Evacuees from Uganda, whilst trying to pursue a career in writing. This is her first novel. First published in 1979.


About dada4nonsense

I am a 23 year old (at heart) who loves anything nonsensical

Posted on February 7, 2015, in Book Reviews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on My Favourite books from childhood: “Go Well. Stay Well.” by Toeckey Jones.

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