While in South Africa for the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100, “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah made a stop at his grandmother’s house in Soweto. Noah gave viewers a tour of the neighborhood he grew up in and spoke to his grandma about Nelson Mandela and the struggles they faced during apartheid.
“What’s amazing about this place is that nothing’s changed, in a good way,” said Noah as he visited his hometown in Johannesburg, South Africa. “The moment I got off the plane, I felt something. A voice inside reminding me of what I’d forgotten.”
While visiting his grandmother, they discussed what it was like for her having to raise him during apartheid.
“Flying squads. Each and every street had a flying squad,” she explained, referring to the police presence in the townships.
“When you were with me here. Oh, Trevor you gave me a tough time. Because you wanted to play in the street and I knew the flying squad was going to take you.”
As reported by THR, Noah’s grandmother said that Mandela was like their “God on Earth” and recalled being woken up at 3 a.m. by the police and told to leave her house.
“For young people, it’s very hard for them to understand how scary it was to be a black person in living in South Africa during the time. But everybody was scared of the police,” he said.
When Noah asked if he had personally fought against apartheid, the 91-year-old replied: “You were a kid. You were born a crime. How could you fight apartheid?”
She then revealed how kids often ran away from Noah when he was younger because he’s half white.
“For them, this was white?” he asked as he pointed out his skin tone. “Wow. I feel so special now, Gogo. To know there was a time that I was white.”
The two also discussed Noah’s mother’s job as a “manager of white people.”
“And now I’m also a manager of white people,” he said. “The white people work for me.”