Who is Patricia Noah, Mother of Trevor Noah?

Patricia Noah is the mother of The Daily Show host, Trevor Noah.

Noah was born in South Africa to Temperance and Nomalizo Frances Noah. She was born as the middle child among three children.

Lived at Her Aunt’s House

Patricia Noah lived with her mother and two siblings. When she was 9, she asked her mother if she could go live with her dad. Her mother agreed and sent her to her father.


However, her dad sent her to her aunt (his sister) in Transkei of the Xhosa Region. There, she lived in a small hut with her 14 cousins without electricity and barely enough food to eat.

Patricia even had to steal animal foods to ease her hunger. When she was old enough, she started working in a factory that paid with one meal every day.

Noah went back to her parents in Soweto after her aunt became ill. She stayed with her aunt for 12 years.

Educational Qualifications

While living with her aunt, Patricia Noah joined the Missionary School and learned to read and write.

After getting back to Soweto to live with her mother, she joined the Secretarial School. She was 21 at the time. Unfortunately, she couldn’t complete her studies there since she relocated to Johannesburg to escape poverty induced by the ‘Black Tax.’

Patricia’s Life in Johannesburg

After relocating to Johannesburg, Patricia Noah found a typing job. Somewhile later, when she was 22, she started working as a secretary for a large pharmaceutical company.

During the time, South Africa was under the Apartheid system of legislation that endorsed segregation policies against non-white citizens. Hence, she couldn’t move out and about the city as she pleased. Black women were only allowed to roam the city if they were maids and had a document validating their maid labor status.

During her time there, she met several prostitutes who taught her how to live in the city. They helped her disguise as a maid so, she could do her job undetected. Although she was arrested many times for not having the required documents, she paid the fine and continued living the same way.

They even took her to some white men who offered apartments for rent. The men wanted physical remuneration rather than monetary rent. Fortunately, Noah earned enough to pay her rent in monetary value. Prior to living in the apartment, she used to sleep in public restrooms.

Marriage to Robert Lloyd

Patricia Noah met Robert Lloyd, a white Swiss-German expatriate after she moved to Hillbrow. He was almost twice her age.

During that time, a black and white relationship was considered a crime, and those involved in such a relationship would have been jailed for 5 years. Even though it was a crime, Robert and Patricia were in love.

Patricia didn’t want to marry him but she wanted a child. She even told him she would raise her child alone and that he could be a part of the child’s life only if he wanted. However, Robert didn’t want a child at the time.

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Robert later gave in to Patricia’s desires and they welcomed their only child nine months later.

Birth of Trevor Noah

Patrica Noah gave birth to her first child, son, Trevor Noah, on February 20, 1984. She named her son Trevor in honor of her favorite movie star, John Travolta.

When I gave him the name Trevor, I looked forward to him being a TV star. I called him Trevor because I looked forward to John Travolta being on stage, to his dancing and his films and Trevor was the closest I could get to Travolta.

When Patricia was due, she told the doctors the father of her child was from a different country and left the father’s occupation box empty.

Trevor Noah, Son of Patricia Noah.
Trevor is the son of Patricia.
Source: Instagram

Following his birth, Patricia relocated to Joubert park and rented a flat after his birth. After moving to Joubert, Trevor was separated from his dad. But, they did meet several times before Robert moved to Cape town when the comedian was 13.

During Trevor’s early years, his mother used to hide him and lock him in the room most of the time. When he grew up, she started acting as his maid, a white lady helped pretend to be his mother.

Noah’s Rise to Fame

Trevor Noah has now become a household name in the comedy genre and it’s all thanks to his mother, at least that’s what he says! He claims that his mother taught him to use humor as a means to cope with injustice and that she was the first person to crack a joke even after being shot (more on this later).

Don’t cry, look on the bright side, you are now officially the best-looking person in the family.

In his book, Born a Crime, Trevor portrayed his mother as the heroine. He’s explained all about her sacrifices and how she ensured that he and his brothers had food to eat and good books to read while growing up.

Trevor Noah Born a Crime!
Born A Crime: Stories From A South African Childhood.
Source: Amazon

Trevor, who is worth more than $100 million, now has 30 producing and 24 writing credits under his belt. Not only that but he has made appearances in well over 154 TV and podcast series.

In January 2021, the 38-year-old purchased a mansion in Bel Air, LA, worth $27.5 million. He later listed the property for sale in October 2021 for $30 million.

Marriage and Separation from Abel Ngisaveni

In 1992, Patricia Noah met Ngisaveni Abel Shingange, a mechanic at Mighty Mechanics Garage. She met him after her Volkswagen Beetle broke down a number of times.

The pair married in 1992 when Trevor was around 8. Trevor was against his mother’s decision to get married to Abel.

A year later, in 1993, Patricia welcomed her second child, Andrew. A few years later, she gave birth to her third son, Isaac.

Her husband became an alcoholic later on. He would return home and be violent to his family. Noah later moved out to live with her mother but her alcoholic husband came back begging. She went back just to get beaten again. Trevor was also beaten after their family business, Might Mechanics collapsed.

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Patricia divorced Abel without him knowing in 1996 but lived together with him. When the physical abuse started getting unbearable, she moved out to their backyard shed in 2003.

Following her separation, Patricia married Sfiso Khoza in July 2009.   

Shot in the Head

In 2009, When Patrica Noah, her current husband, Sfiso Khoza, and her two sons, were coming back from the church, they were stopped by her ex-husband, Abel Ngisaveni. He pointed a gun at her arguing that she ruined his life.

Her son, Isaac, tried to stop him but he didn’t stop and shot Patricia in the leg. Abel tried to shoot again but his gun jammed. She pushed him away and yelled at her children to run.

Daddy, please do not shoot mommy.

Noah ran for the car and as she started it, he shot her in the back of her head through the rear window. The bullet went through the back of her head and came out through her left nose missing all the vital spots. Her son drove the car and took her to the hospital.

Patricia was treated under a different name in fear of her ex-husband returning to kill her at the hospital.

I was shot in the face and back. The bullets went through the nose and passed my jugular and one narrowly missed my spine. 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.

After shooting Patricia, Abel was out looking for her eldest son, Trevor, but he couldn’t find him anywhere. He had fled to LA on tour because his stepfather had threatened to kill him.

Trevor paid for all the expenses and moved his mother to the private room.

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.

Patricia revealed that she didn’t ever want to use or eat from her children, but using her son’s money to pay for the hospital bills was opposed to her principles. So, she was determined to be out of the hospital quickly.

Noah regained her health and got out of the hospital quickly enough. She later revealed that she took the shooting as a life lesson.

I am a very positive person, a strong person, I can rise above. As long as I can regain my stability and regain my joy, I am a victor. This is why I am happy with Trevor in his success because he suffered, to see his mother being abused by another man is terrible.

Abel was later caught and prosecuted. The Jeppe Magistrates Court fined him with three years of correctional supervision after he pleaded guilty to attempted murder. During the trial, Abel claimed that his wife tricked him into divorce and that he became aware of it only in October 2009.

Now, Patrica has already moved on from the incidence. She now lives in Johannesburg and runs a property firm there.

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