The True Story Of A Black Youths The True Story of a Black Youth's Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa Mark Mathabane I. Main Characters A. Johannes (Mark) Mathabane--Kaffir Boy revolves around Johannes for the simple reason that he is the author of this book. Growing up in Johannesburg, South Africa was especially hard for Johannes. Johannes is very smart and graduated at the top of his class during his 13 years of schooling in apartheid South Africa. Johannes has had a lot of courage and perseverance throughout his life.