Book review: Coconut Kelz’s Guide to Surviving This Shithole

I bought this book in Johannesburg at the airport because of the cute cover and also because of the title. Who curses on their title unless it is a fucking awsome person 😀

It is also the first book I read from a South-African author. and boy, this is THE BEST FUCKING SURPRISE OF THE YEAR!


When she was last spotted on the crossroads of Swart and Gevaar Roads, Coconut Kelz was drinking Woolies water and spreading her ‘truth bombs’ about the state of the nation, why corruption is okay when white people do it and why black people don’t win in life . . .

Coconut Kelz (‘Kelello, but call me Kelz!’) is a young Caucasian woman trapped in a black woman’s body. Kelz lives in – and tries never to leave – Sandton and is a staunch member of the DA. She often takes issue with her reverse racist dad, while her mother has to remind her that Braai Day is actually called Heritage Day.

With handy tips on how to achieve the white right standard of beauty, how to catch yourself a white guy (‘elongate your vowels, get yourself into white spaces’), the best suburbs to live in and how to host the perfect Caucasian shindig, Kelz offers a complete guide for a full Caucasian conversion. She also shares her thoughts on the differences between race groups, the top three political parties, public transport, how to avoid contact with sgebengas and why one should never stray beyond the Line of Caucus.

Coconut Kelz’s adoration of all things white has riled up many unsuspecting viewers. Of course the real butt of the joke is the white South Africans whose prejudice and dishonesties are laid bare by this character.

My opinion:

I fucking LOVE this book 😀

I read it and man do I relate to many fucked up situations described or happening. This book is a truthful satire aiming to highlight how white people are « enjoying » living in South Africa after the apartheid. If you lived in South Africa or are familiar with the country and society, you will like how it is described and how the subject is approached in this context. The author basically writes about the conversion to caucasity.

Coconut Kelz, the book character, is presented as a white person living in a black person body, who questions every situation and subject from an « entitled » point of view. I sometimes found myself saying « Is she fucking serious? » , « Is she for real? ». Coconut lays down a guideline on how to be white in order to survive this shithole, it being Johannesburg and South-Africa. Some situations expose how ridiculous some racist prejudice are.

Coconut Kelz On Achieving The Right (White) Standard Of Beauty ...

Throughout the chapters, the author tackles white privilege and whiteness in a very clear, satiric and funny way. The many situations described, conversations and mindset of Coconut, her character, makes this book ride awsome and so fucking hilarious! I love how the author made sure to convey the deep roots and impact of white privilege within the society. She highlighted in a very just manner, the centuries of inequality and oppression faced by black people.

I also love how EVERY subject was tackled: Food, parties, studies, work… the author was going all-in and we love her for it! She has handy tips on how to achieve the right white standard of beauty, how to catch yourself a white guy and find the best suburbs to live in. She also shares her thoughts on the differences between race groups, the top three political parties, south-african public transportation, how to avoid contact with black people…

Her writing style is disarming and challenging at the same time. Its a risky way to tackle such strong and sensitive issues and subjects, but the author won it all with this book.

Lesego Tlhabi, the author, is a funny lady and a wine lover. I talked to her on Instagram and Twitter, turns out that it was her thesis subject. You should follow her on social media, she is funny and she even has an account for her character « Coconut Kelz ». I even asked her for a second book because its worth it!

« Coconut Kelz’s guide to surviving this Shithole » is A MUST READ for all African women or minorities 😀 Also for White people to understand that, no, we can’t « just move on ».