Tatamkhulu Afrika was born Mohamed Fu'ad Nasif in 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 featuring prominently in his writing.After World War 2 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 1964 he converted to Islam and his name was again legally changed to Ismail Joubert. He lived in Cape Town's District 6, a mixed race inner-city community. District 6 was declared a "whites only" area in the 1960s and the community was destroyed. With an Arab father and a Turkish mother, Afrika could have been classified as a "white", but refused as a matter of principle.He founded Al-Jihaad to oppose the destruction of District Six and apartheid in general, and when this affiliated with the African National Congress' armed wing. Umkhonto We Sizwe, he was given a praise name of Tatamkhulu Afrika, which he adopted until he died.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 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 He left a number of unpublished works, including his autobiography, two novels, four short novels, two plays and poetry.