Authors birthdays: December

Ismail Joubert (7 December 1920 – 23 December 2002), commonly known as Tatamkhulu Afrika, which is Xhosa for Grandfather Africa, was a South African poet and writer. His first novel, Broken Earth was published when he was seventeen (under his “Methodist name”), but it was over fifty years until his next publication, a collection of verse entitled Nine Lives. He won numerous literary awards including the gold Molteno Award for lifetime services to South African literature, and in 1996 his works were translated into French. His autobiography, Mr Chameleon, was published posthumously in 2005.

Tatamkhulu Afrika was born Mogamed Fu’ad Nasifin Egypt to an Egyptian father and a Turkish mother, and came to South Africa as a very young child. Both his parents died of flu, and he was fostered by family friends under the name John Charlton.

He fought in World War II in the North African Campaign and was captured at Tobruk. His experiences as a prisoner of war featured prominently in his writing. After World War II he left his foster family and went to Namibia (then South-West Africa), where he was fostered by an Afrikaans family, taking his third legal name of Jozua Joubert.

In 1987 he was arrested for terrorism and banned from speaking or writing in public for five years, although he continued writing under the name of Tatamkhulu Afrika. He was imprisoned for 11 years in the same prison as Nelson Mandela, and was released in 1992.

Tatamkulu Afrika died on 23 December 2002, shortly after his 82nd birthday, from injuries received when he was run over by a car two weeks before, just after the publication of his final novel, Bitter Eden. He left a number of unpublished works, including his autobiography, two novels, four short novels, two plays and poetry.

 

  • Samuel Edward Krune Mqhayi – 1 December 1875 – died 29 July 1945
  • Charles Lovemore Mungoshi – 2 December 1947
  • Mamman Jiya Vatsa – 3 December 1940 – died 5 March 1986
  • Lewis Nkosi – 5 December 1936 –  died 5 September 2010
  • Phillis Wheatley – 1753 – died 5 December 1784
  • John Alfred Williams – 5 December 1925 –died 3 July 2015
  • José Carlos Schwarz – 6 December 1949 –died 27 May 1977
  • Tatamkhulu Afrika –  7 December 1920 – died 23 December 2002
  • Pearl Cleage – 7 December 1948
  • Valentin-Yves Mudimbe- 8 December 1941
  • Maria da Conceição de Deus Lima – 8 December 1961
  • Riana Scheepers – 9 December 1957
  • Naguib Mahfouz -11 December 1911 – died 30 August 2006
  • Birago Diop – 11 December 1906 – died 25 November 1989
  • Leslie Esdaile Banks -11 December 1959 – died 2 August 2011
  • Venance Konan – 12 December 1958
  • Sokhna Benga – 12 December 1967
  • Lady Anne Barnard – 12 December 1750– died 6 May 1825
  • Brenda Marie Osbey – 12 December 1957
  • Margaret Bakkes – 14 December 1931
  • Stanley Crouch – 14 December 1945
  • Corey James Hodges- 14 December 1970
  • Carolyn Marie Rodgers – 14 December 1940 –died 2 April 2010
  • Jean-Baptiste Tati Loutard – 15 December 1938 – died 4 July 2009
  • Donald Goines – 15 December 1936 – died 21 October 1974
  • Albert Memmi – 15 December 1920
  • Andy Razaf – 16 December 1895 –died 3 February 1973
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