Kaffir Boy: The True Story of a Black Youth's Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa

by Mark Mathabane
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What were the names of the author's brothers and sisters in Kaffir Boy

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Magdalene, Mark Mathabane's mother, had seven children with her husband, Jackson. Magdalene was a strong, inspiring woman who encouraged her children to pursue an education, though it was very difficult for black South Africans to do so at the time. Mark, who was born with the name Johannes, is the oldest. When the action of Kaffir Boy starts, Mark is five, while his sister Florah is three and his brother George is one. Mark is confused by his mother's growing stomach and thinks she is hoarding food until she gives birth to her next child, a sister named Maria. Magdalene later has three more girls, Miriam, Linah, and Dinah. Mark later wrote a book called Miriam's Song about Miriam's experiences growing up in South Africa and witnessing the end of the apartheid era.

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The book Khaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane is an autobiographical telling of his life in South Africa. In it, he is the oldest of eventually seven children in a low income family that has extremely limited resources.

His younger siblings, Florah and George, are born before the events of the story. Being just five years old, Mark doesn't understand that his mother is pregnant until later on and is confused by her growth until she gives birth to further siblings. Younger children Mariah, Merriam, Dinah, and Linah are eventually born, stretching their resources further still. While the family struggles to provide for each of the children, Mark (born Johannes) grows resentful and stressed because of all the other mouths that his parents have to feed.

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In the book Kaffir Boy, Johannes (also known as Mark) Mathabane is the eldest of seven children. When the story begins, he is five years old, and only two of his siblings, Florah and George, are born yet. The arrival of the fourth child, Maria, is confusing to Johannes, who cannot understand why his mother keeps looking fatter when the family has no food to eat. By the time the youngest three, Merriam, Dinah, and Linah, are born, Johannes knows what is happening. He sometimes resents his new siblings because they are a drain on his family's scant resources.

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