Embattled Daily Show successor Trevor Noah‘s stepfather once attempted to hunt him down and kill him after shooting his mother in the face.
The Daily Mail reports Trevor’s South African mechanic stepdad, Abel Shingange, shot the comedian’s mother Patricia at their home in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2009 and, believing she was dead, attempted to find a then-25-year-old Noah while armed with a handgun.
The Daily Show heir’s grandmother tells the Mail Noah escaped with his life only because he was hard to find. In an exclusive interview with the British site, 88-year-old Nomalizo Noah said:
After shooting the mother Abel went around with a gun trying to find Trevor, but Trevor was always here, there and everywhere, performing on stage, you never knew where he was.
So when Patricia’s husband began to hunt him he couldn’t find him…
They are very lucky to be alive, thank you to God, Abel was a horrible, horrible man, I hated him.
Trevor’s former stepdad was reportedly often violent and sometimes beat his mother with old bicycle frames and slapped her in public. In 2009, his actions were near fatal after he became jealous that Patricia was engaged to her current husband, a man named Sfiso Khoza, the site reports.
“I was shot in the face and back. The bullets went through the nose and passed my jugular and one narrowly missed my spine,” she told the Mail. “I am lucky to be alive. When God writes he has to write for humans and he gives you a message that God is bigger than death.”
She was rushed to the hospital and credits Noah with footing the bill for her private health care.
“I was very grateful. The minute Trevor paid for me in that hospital, to go private, my prayer was that after three days I’m out of this hospital,” she said.
Noah grew up in poverty in the Soweto township in South Africa and was named in honor of his mother’s favorite Hollywood star: John Travolta.
“Trevor was the closest I could get to Travolta,” she told the site.
The son of a white Swiss father and a black South African mother, Noah reportedly struggled growing up in the divided country. Children in the slums allegedly screamed whenever they saw him, because they had “never seen anything like him.”
Jon Stewart handpicked Noah this week as his Daily Show successor. He became a regular contributor only four months ago.
The 31-year-old South African came under fire from critics on both the left and the right of American politics Tuesday when old posts surfaced from his Twitter account, which many determined to be racist, sexist, and anti-Semitic.
Watch Trevor Noah’s first appearance on the Daily Show: