Wilfred is a white liberal from Germany who owns a “tennis ranch.” Wilfred befriends Mathabane and helps train him, gifting him with athletic equipment that Mathabane can’t afford otherwise. Wilfred hates apartheid and compares white South Africans’ racial superiority to Nazism. Wilfred thus plays an important role in Mathabane’s life, not only as a tennis mentor but as evidence to Mathabane that many white people see the evils of white supremacy and are not racists themselves. Wilfred learns from Mathabane as well, since Mathabane speaks frankly about the government’s awful treatment of black people—especially during the Soweto Uprising—which the government normally tries to hide from white people.
Wilfred Character Timeline in Kaffir Boy
The timeline below shows where the character Wilfred appears in Kaffir Boy. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...white-owned tennis club that sometimes sponsors him, which is owned by a German man named Wilfred, a white liberal who treats black people well because he thinks apartheid is comparable to... (full context)
...English radio station constantly, which exposes him to classical music. Through the radio station and Wilfred’s encouragement, Mathabane develops a love for classical music, though this earns him his father’s ire... (full context)
After South African schools reopen, travel restrictions are eased enough that Mathabane can return to Wilfred’s tennis ranch after months away. Wilfred is relieved to see him—he’d thought Mathabane was dead... (full context)
...students over their involvement in the rebellion, so Mathabane stops going to school again. Through Wilfred, he meets another German man named Helmut who asks if Mathabane will play tennis with... (full context)
...life from black tennis.” He receives threatening anonymous letters telling him to quit. Scaramouche and Wilfred advise Mathabane to play the tournament, while Mathabane’s mother advises him to quit. One week... (full context)
...won’t improve his game without good competition from elite white players. With Scaramouche, Andre, and Wilfred’s support, Mathabane decides to apply for membership at the Wanderer’s Club. When he arrives, he... (full context)
...which offers to underwrite all fees and tuition. He asks for letters of recommendation from Wilfred and Owen Williams and writes a letter to thank Stan. However, aside from his family,... (full context)
...in two months, allowing a quicker escape. Mathabane is overjoyed, as are his family and Wilfred. Owen Williams arranges to help him get his passport in time and notifies Stan that... (full context)