Some Of My Best Friends Are White

Ndumiso Ngcobo
Humour/ South African non-fiction
August 2007


Some Of My Best Friends Are White is a collection of sharp, satirical essays on contemporary South African issues from the point of view of a successful corporate professional – who just happens to be Zulu. Crossing various controversial, amusing and downright confusing racial divides, the book delivers a healthy dose of black – and white – humour as it explores some of the rainbow nations defining characteristics, its many colourful characters and its myriad mysterious idiosyncrasies.


Ndumiso Ngcobo was born in Mpumalanga Township in KZN. Initially raised on a rural diet of conservative Catholicism and Zulu traditionalism, he now successfully incorporates writing and beer drinking into his daily job description. He is a screenwriter for several TV shows, a Sunday Times columnist and the author of a second book, Is It Coz I'm Black?


"Ngcobo, an 'urban Zulu warrior', takes no prisoners in his debut collection of funny, sharp and insightful essays… [H]e shoots straight from the hip, blowing political correctness out the water as he delights in the crazy mix of cultures and attitudes that make up South Africa. Highly recommended."– AA Traveller

"In 12 hysterically funny essays, Ngcobo says it as he sees it, and political correctness, sensitivity and sacred cows can go whistle as he vents across the colour barrier… [N]o matter what your colour, if you want to laugh a lot, then buy this book." – Club Magazine 

"Ngcobo is PJ O’Rourke with too much melanin and minus the jingoistic tendencies. His humour is effortless as he peppers you machine-gun style with the home truths of a township raconteur..." – Fred Khumalo 

"Some Of My Best Friends Are White was so funny I was sorely tempted to slaughter a cow in celebration." – David Bullard 

"Champion armchair critic Ndumiso Ngcobo paints whomsoever he likes with a broadly offensive, yet humorous brush lodged firmly in his cheek. Our country’s screwed up, we’re trying to reconcile vastly different languages, tribes and contrasting cultures, we have our prejudices and seriously weird ways – so what? Despite claiming ignorance Ngcobo’s indulgence in some prime national lampooning – like explaining Zulu bloodlust as pragmatism or asking why whiteys are obsessed with playing games for team building – betrays some refreshing insight into this strange country we live in. Whether you’re black or white, this should fill in some of the grey areas." – GQ 

"A highly gifted, highly opinionated writer. Part Chris Rock, part Toby Young, Ngcobo is a couple of notches funnier than David Bull and certainly more articulate than Xolela Manggcu. And this young gun is more quarrelsome than I am – that’s for sure. Drink from the jug and be quenched." – Bongani Madondo 

"Lots of fun, and with substance too, parting from the pattern of achieving book-length by repetition. This guy is good value on all fronts, not least his ambivalence to the holy principle of praising dysfunctionality as long as it is indigenous." – Denis Beckett

 "A delicious, light mix of sarcasm and sharp wit… A streetwise author and a sharp commentator." – Drum 

"[H]ard hitting, delightfully insightful and funny. Ndumiso Ngcobo has a very distinct voice. It is bold, streetwise and falls somewhat short of PC… Saying it as it is, Ngcobo stomps across the colour lines with impunity, kicking holy cows out the way" – Annette Bayne, The Citizen 

"A series of essays recounting the author’s forays into the streets, minds and habits of his fellow South Africans, this collection offers us a long, hearty laugh at ourselves. Not that any of us can get too comfortable in our chuckles – Ngcobo has a decidedly pointed pen that prods sharply at those parts of ourselves that we tend to ignore. But the obvious affection that lies behind his observations softens the sting. How refreshing to be left feeling hope that we may all get along someday, after all." – Ann Donald, Reader’s Digest 

"I had a blast reading Ndumiso Ngcobo’s Some Of My Best Friends Are White. I couldn’t stop giggling… [I]t will have you laughing at yourself, your neighbours and the nouveau riche – and many other things besides" – The Sowetan

 "Anyone who has the guts to poke fun at our overly sensitive rainbow nation deserves a gold medal in my books. And Ndumiso is certainly ballsy enough to tackle issues across the racial divide. Point is, whether you're Black, White, Indian, Coloured or the weirdest shade of purple – this subversive Zulu warrior has no qualms about taking a swipe at you… Not one for being politically correct, Ndumiso certainly packs a laugh-a-minute punch throughout the entire book. Anyone not afraid to laugh at themselves will thoroughly enjoy this collection of tickle-your-bones funny essays." - Adele Hamilton, Women 24

Ndumiso Ngcobo’s modern South African classic

Shortlisted for The Neilsen Bookseller’s Choice Award 2008

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