Patricia Noah is a South African media personality. She is popular as the mother of Trevor Noah† Her son is a comedian, TV host, actor and political commentator.
Trevor is the host of The Daily Show, an American satirical news program on Comedy Central. He also previously presented the talk show Tonight with Trevor Noah on M-Nt and DStv.
Trevor Noah’s mom Patricia attracted even more media attention after her 38-year-old son published his autobiographical comedy book Born to be a thuge in 2016. The book is about Trevor’s upbringing in native South Africa at a time when having babies of different races was considered a crime.
Well, here are countless unknown facts about Patricia including her troubled childhood, education and work. Also find out how Trevor was born in the apartheid era?
Who is Patricia Noah? Details of her parents and childhood
Patricia Nombuyiselo Noah is a South African media personality and mother of the famous comedian Trevor Noah. She was born in South Africa to Temperance and Nomalizo Frances Noah.
She holds South African nationality and is of ethnic Xhosa or Nguni descent. According to reports, Noah was a middle child sent to live with her father. However, her father later sent her to live with his sister (her aunt) in Transkei.
While Trevor was in Transkei, the famed mother shared the cabin with 14 other cousins from different parents, including her aunt’s children.
Where did Patricia Noah grow up? She struggled as a child to put food in her stomach
Noah grew up in the slums of South Africa, let alone 14 children her own age. Because the government allocated very little land to the public, the residents were forced to live in a very small space.
Without electricity, water, good food and barren soil, it was an extreme sport to stay alive. Because money was scarce, people supported themselves with small-scale farming.
Well, Noah had to earn for himself too. She would help with field work. Even then there was barely enough food for all the children. She had to fight with others to get a handful of food.
Sometimes, when they had no food, Patricia would steal animal foods, scraps, or anything else she could get her hands on to fill her tummy.
Noah’s saving grace was the mission school
As she got older, Patricia decided to learn to read and write, so she attended the still-operating missionary school. And after learning to read and write, she got a job at a nearby factory where she received one meal a day as compensation.
Not to mention, Noah had lived with her aunt and her other cousins for about 12 years. She went back to Soweto after her aunt became ill, but this time her stay was short-lived as she was soon moving to Johannesburg. She moved to Johannesburg to escape the vicious circle of poverty and to avoid the ‘Black Tax’.
In the days when there weren’t many jobs available for black people, fortunately Noah got a typing job. These types of jobs were usually reserved for the whites or other skilled jobs or managerial positions.
At the age of 22, Patricia Noah reportedly landed a job as a secretary for a major pharmaceutical company in the white area of Johannesburg.
How did Patricia Noah manage to live in Johannesburg during the apartheid era?
Although the future comedian’s mother got a respectable job in the area, it was still considered a crime for black people to live there. So Noah started looking for alternative ways to spend the night.
At first, Noah spent the night in public restrooms and here and there. Later she met some Xhosa prostitutes who taught her a smooth way of living in the city. They taught her to disguise herself as a maid and to do her job as undetectable as possible.
Unfortunately, despite her training and attempts at disguise, she was often caught and arrested by the guards. But since she made enough money, she would pay the fine and continue to do the same.
Patricia met Trevor Noah’s father in Hillbrow
While living in Hillbrow, Noah met a man of Swiss-German descent named Robert Lloyd. Robert was twice as old as Noah and saw her as a casual friend. But one night Patricia asked Robert to have a baby with her, even though they weren’t romantically linked.
She also told him that he doesn’t have to pay alimony or be in the child’s life if he doesn’t want to be there. At first Robert turned down the offer because he didn’t want a child, but later he agreed with Noah.
At the time, having an interracial baby was a crime for blacks and whites with a prison sentence of 5 years. Nevertheless, the couple welcomed Trevor Noah on February 20, 1984.
Despite having a baby together, Patricia and Robert never spent time or lived together as a couple. Shortly after having Trevor, she moved to Joubert Park.
In addition, Robert went out of his way to see his son every now and then. He later moved to Cape Town and lost contact with Trevor for several years.
How did Patricia manage to escape prison despite having a colored baby?
As mentioned before, coloring babies was an illegal act at the time. To protect Trevor’s identity, Patricia told the doctors that her child’s father was from another country.
The doctors believed her story and entered “another country” in her son’s birth certificate with the father’s nationality. Likewise, the father’s profession remained vacant.
After this, Patricia hid her son’s identity as much as she could by wrapping him in cloth to cover him. As Trevor grew old, she acted as a maid for Trevor’s alleged parents.
Trevor’s alleged parent was a white lady who lived in the same building and willingly agreed to help Patricia. While dating her son and the lady, she called her queen and pretended to be her maid to the police officers.
She practically raised Trevor in confinement and isolation from the world to escape prison.
In 1992, Noah crossed paths with Abel Ngisaveni when her Volkswagen car had to be repaired several times. As time went on, she and Abel fell in love and decided to take their relationship to the next level.
Abel and Patricia became husband and wife after signing the marriage papers. At the time of their marriage, Trevor was only 8 years old. He didn’t like Abel much either and had a bad feeling about him.
Trevor’s half brother Andrew was born a year later in 1993. While all was going well, Patricia Noah’s then-husband Ngisaveni started drinking alcohol and became violent towards his family, especially Patricia.
After a while of torment, Noah moved to live with her mother. During this time, Abel begged for forgiveness and asked Patricia to move in with him. Unfortunately, things started to go downhill again when their family business Mighty Mechanics collapsed and Noah left for good.
While the former couple tried to mend their relationship, they welcomed their second son Isaac at the time. Unfortunately, Abel was unable to change his bad habits and Patricia eventually completed her divorce from him in 1996.
Patricia Noah’s ex-husband Abel Nigsaveni shot her in the face for revenge
After the divorce from her abusive husband Abel, Noah found love for the second time. She was married to her second husband Sfiso Khoza and lived a blissful life until 2009.
Sadly, Abel later shot Patricia in the face in hopes of killing her at their Johannesburg home. According to Patricia herself, Abel tracked her down and shot her in the face and back, crushing her jaw and piercing her skull, nose and ear.
Abel even shot her second husband Khoza a few times. Following this, Nigsaveni was arrested and pleaded guilty to attempted murder.
During the trial, when Patricia called Abel, he threatened to hunt down and kill the then 25-year-old Trevor. Fortunately, Trevor had fled to Los Angeles. Nigsaveni was sentenced to three years of correctional supervision by the Jeppe Magistrates Court.
During an interview with Daily mailsaid the mother of three,
“I’m lucky to still be alive. When God writes, he has to write for people and he is giving you the message that God is greater than death.”
She also revealed that she was being treated under someone else’s name because she was afraid that her ex-husband would come to finish the work at the hospital.
How did Patricia Noah influence her son’s success in the comedy world?
Growing up, Patricia went through many hardships and one of the things she learned from life was to use humor to deal with the pain. Even during her treatment after an attempted murder, Patricia joked with Trevor, saying:
“Look on the bright side: Now you’re officially the best-looking person in the family.”
She passed on her humor and forgiveness to her son, who is now one of the most renowned comedians in the world.
What is Patricia Noah these days?
Noah currently lives with her family in Johannesburg, South Africa. Likewise, she runs a real estate company in the same area.
Speaking of her son’s success, Patricia says she doesn’t want to capitalize on her son’s success. She said,
“He runs his business and I take care of my business, I have my own money and business,”
In 2016 Trevor published his autobiographical book titled Born as a crime where he talks about his life and that of his family. A film adaptation is being produced by Paramount Players starring Lupita Nyong’o as Patricia Noah.
Patricia Noah is a South African business owner and mother of comedian Trevor Noah. Who is the father of her son? She also has two other sons – Andrew and Isaac from her abusive husband who even shot her in the face.