9 Amazing Things You Didn’t Know About Trevor Noah

Internationally acclaimed South African comedian and host of the “The Daily Show” Trevor Noah is a talented performer who has defied many odds to become one of the most well-known people in the world.

Here are 9 things you probably did know about the comedian.

1. He Spent Many Years Pretending To Be An Albino Because His Existence Was Illegal In South Africa

Trevor & his mother Patricia when he was younger

Trevor was born to a Swiss father and a Xhosa mother in 1984, during the height of the Apartheid era in South Africa. The Apartheid System advocated for strict racial segregation and illegalised all interracial marriages.

Because his father was a White European while his mother was a Black African, the two-faced arrest. Trevor’s family pretended that he was albino to explain his light skin. According to the comedian, he used the nickname ‘Day Walker’.

His first book is aptly named Born A Crime.

2. He Finished As Runner-Up On Strictly Come Dancing

Image Credit: TV SA

Trevor is well known for his comedy and humour although little is said about his dancing skills. In 2008, he appeared in the 4th Season of South Africa’s Strictly Come Dancing ( called Dancing With The Stars in other countries.)

Noah and his professional dance partner Hayley Hammond finished as runners up. Check out the video below,


3. Trevoh Fled To The US After His Step Father Shot His Mom & Tried To Kill Him

Trevor’s Mom Patricia/Image Credit: Daily Mail

Trevor was physically abused by his stepfather, Abel Shingange, who used to beat on his family. He left home because he could not stand to watch his mother suffering under Shingange’s hand.

Trevor finally confronted his Shingage over the phone after he had shot his mother through the head at her home in Johannesburg. The seemingly homicidal Shingange threatened to hunt down Trevor in order to kill him. Trevor later left the country for the United States following the threats on his life.

Fortunately, Patricia survived the shooting and the stepfather was convicted of attempted murder.

4. His First Book Was #1 On TheNew York Times Bestseller List

It seems like everything that Trevor touches turns to gold. Trevor’s 2016, autobiographical book Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood was favourably received by major book reviewers in the United States of America. It was named as one of the best books of the year by major US publications: The New York Times, Newsday, Esquire, NPR, and Booklist. Born a Crime also reached #1 on the vaunted New York Times Bestseller list.


5. Trevor Noah Is A Polyglot

Trevor is polyglot who can speak at least 8 languages. In his book, Born A Crime, Trevor reveals that he learned to speak many languages in part because the Apartheid System in South Africa forced all black people to stay in townships which were riddled with crime. Speaking different languages allowed him to fit in and to avoid being harassed and robbed in the townships.

Trevor can speak English, Xhosa, Zulu, Sotho, Tswana, Tsonga, Afrikaans, and German.

6. He Runs A Foundation For Orphans & Vulnerable Youth

In 2018, the comedian set up the Trevor Noah Foundation which equips orphans and other vulnerable children with education and life skills to prepare them to pursue opportunities in the future. The foundation is based in Johannesburg, South Africa.


7. He Was Named After Hollywood Actor John Travolta By His Mother

Image Credit: Georges Biard

Trevor’s mother Patricia Nombuyiselo Noah named him after her favourite Hollywood star John Travolta. In an interview with the Daily Mail, Patricia revealed that she got the name Trevor after being inspired by the actor. Said Patricia,

“Trevor was the closest I could get to Travolta,”


8. He Got His First Break On A Soap Opera

Trevor got his first break on South African soapie Isidingo in 2002, when he was 18 years of age. The comedian had a cameo role on the show which is one of the most popular in South Africa. After Isdingo, Trevor hosted his own radio show titled, Noah’s Ark on Gauteng’s leading radio station, YFM.

9. He’s A Serial Impressionist

Image Credit: Trevor Noah Facebook Page

The comedian has a special talent for imitating other people, a skill which comes in handy when he is doing comedy, especially stand-up. He often impersonates politicians, world leaders and celebrities.