Trevor Noah on growing up during apartheid being like quarantine: "I had restrictions on my movements"

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Trevor Noah attends the WSJ Mag 2019 Innovator Awards at The Museum of Modern Art.
Trevor Noah attends the WSJ Mag 2019 Innovator Awards at The Museum of Modern Art.
Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images

Quarantine and lock down may feel very strange and unusual for many people around the world but for The Daily Show host, Trevor Noah, it is eerily familiar to how he grew up in apartheid, South Africa.

In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, the comedian shared that the ‘pandemic [and lock down in the United States] has brought strange feelings of déjà vu’ of his childhood as a mixed-race boy in apartheid South Africa.

“As a child, I lived in quarantine in a lighter form,” he said.

“I couldn’t play outside with other kids. I had restrictions on my movements, and I wasn’t necessarily told why. They just said, ‘You can’t go outside’. That’s just how I lived. And I accepted it”.

“So, I always tell people during this pandemic, ‘Hey, man, I’m lucky that I have food. I have my health.’ You’ll never find me complaining about the pandemic,” he added.

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Noah has always spoken about his segregated childhood and life in Apartheid South Africa on several of his platforms, especially in his skits and comedy shows which brought him to global fame. His childhood is also the subject of his No.1 New York Times bestselling book, Born a Crime.

The comedian continues to make strides in his career, having recently made it on to the Fortune 40 Under 40 list of the most influential people in the world.

The prestigious list highlights some of the world's most powerful emerging leaders in the categories of finance, technology, health care, government and politics, and media and entertainment.

Noah featured alongside other media and entertainment stars such as Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Issa Rae and Michaela Coel.

Reflecting on his career since 2015, the publication praised him as being “one of the most visible comedians in the U.S. and beyond as the host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central, succeeding the wildly popular Jon Stewart”.

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