At least some content in this article is derived from information about Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. As such, spoilers will be present within the article.
Yusuf Kama (born c. 1884) was a French pure-blood wizard of Senegalese ancestry, son of Laurena and Mustafa Kama, and half-brother of Leta Lestrange. He claimed to be the last male in his pure-blood family line.
Early life (1884-1896)
Seeking vengeance (1896-1926)
Yusuf's parents were acquainted with Corvus Lestrange, who desired Laurena. One night in 1896, he used the Imperius Curse to lure Laurena out of her home and abduct her. Yusuf tried to stop her from leaving, but Lestrange cursed him. That was the last time Yusuf saw his mother.
Later he and his father learned that Laurena died giving birth to Lestrange's daughter Leta. Mustafa became insane of grief and with his dying breath, he made Yusuf take an Unbreakable Vow to seek revenge by killing the person, who Lestrange loved most in the world.
Yusuf first thought that his intended victim was Leta, since she was at the time Lestrange's only close relative, but he learned that Lestrange didn't love his daughter. But Yusuf learned that Lestrange married Clarisse Tremblay soon after Laurena's death, and while Lestrange didn't love his wife either, he later, in 1901, had a son with her, named after himself, whom he loved more than anything. So Corvus became Yusuf's target for revenge.
Lestrange learned of Yusuf's vow of revenge and sent both his children with the servant Irma Dugard to America. Because of Irma's weak magic, Yusuf couldn't trace her and Corvus seemed to have escaped him.
Global wizarding war (1927)
Search for Credence Barebone
In 1927, Yusuf Kama was on a mission and tracked Credence Barebone to Paris. Yusuf was determent to track Credence down and kill him because he believed him to be Corvus Lestrange, the son of Corvus Lestrange IV who had Imperiused Yusuf's mother into marriage. He had heard rumours about Credence's identity and managed to locate Credence at the Circus Arcanus, where Nagini, the Maledictus, had a show. During Nagini's performance, Kama carefully observed the behaviour of Skender, the circus owner provoking the woman. When Nagini turned into a snake, she attacked Skender.
A moment later, as a result of Credence releasing animals from the cage, panic broke out in the circus and the crowd began to run away. Credence and Nagini escaped from the circus, which prevented Yusuf from capturing the Obscurial. Hearing the conversation between the Auror, Porpentina Goldstein and Skender, he quickly realised that the topic of the conversation was Barebone. Therefore, when the woman finished talking, he invited her for tea.
Meeting Tina Goldstein
During the meeting with Tina at a café, Yusuf told the woman that he was probably related to Credence. That the witch would believe him, he offered her that he would show reliable evidence that would determine his story. Kama lured Tina into his hideout in the sewers to the chamber full of notes on the wall and a drawn family tree of the Lestrange family. He probably took the woman's wand and locked her there, so she wouldn't interfere with his mission.
Meeting Newt Scamander and Jacob Kowalski
Yusuf returned to the café where he had previously drunk tea with Goldstein. He went into the bathroom, and then instilled an eye in which there was a troublesome parasite. After leaving the interior of the cafe, he was accosted by Newt Scamander and muggle Jacob Kowalski, who asked him about their friend Tina. Initially, Yusuf answered evasively, but after a short while he decided to show men where the witch was. He led them to the sewers, and as soon as they entered, he disarmed Newton and locked him and Jacob in the chamber with Porpentina.
Yusuf promptly leaves, but not before promising to his captives that he will return and set them free once he has concluded his business with Credence; a business wherein either the boy dies, or Yusuf himself does should the latter fail in his endeavour. A moment later, the African-French wizard began to sweat intensively from the parasite and had a seizure leading to him fainting. With the help of the Newt's Bowtruckle, Pickett, who could open the locks, all three got out of the previously closed room. Hearing the prowling on the streets Zouwu, Newt, Tina and Jacob transported Kama and moved to the Alexander III Bridge. Scamander tamed the creature with a toy, while Tina and Jacob were guarding the unconscious Yusuf at that time. When Zouwu got into the suitcase, the card Newt received from Albus Dumbledore in London showed him the direction in which they should go. So they took Yusuf and went in the designated direction.
At Nicholas Flamel's house
Yusuf lay unconscious in Flamel House for a short period. During this time he was examined by Tina, who said that the man probably took an Unbreakable Vow. When the witch wanted to question him, believing that he knew where Credence was, the parasite in Kama's eye began to move. Newt pulled it out with tweezers, which caused Yusuf to awake for a moment. He said then that "he must kill" and after a while he lost consciousness again.
Revelation in the Lestrange Family Mausoleum
As soon as the wizard awoke, he jumped to his feet and fled from Flamel's apartment, heading towards the Lestrange Mausoleum on Pere Lachaise cemetery. Soon after, Jacob, Credence and Nagini arrived, with Yusuf holding the Muggle at wandpoint. After a while, Newt, Tina and Leta Lestrange were also found in the tomb. Yusuf announced to the audience that Credence was Leta's half-brother. Kama told about his past: how Corvus Lestrange enchanted his mother Laurena, and then the woman gave birth to his daughter Leta. Yusuf also admitted that he planned to kill Leta, fulfilling the promise made to his father Mustafa, but he changed his goal to Credence when he learned that Corvus begot another child he truly loved.
This child was Credence, who was initially named after his biological father, Corvus. After telling the story, Kama said that he would complete his Unbreakable Vow, and then pulled out his wand, which he aimed at Barebone. Seeing the intentions of the African-French wizard, Leta shouted that Corvus was dead and that she had unintentionally killed him. The witch told the story of the adoption of Corvus, in which she participated: during a boat trip at sea there was a storm that forced passengers to evacuate to lifeboats. Leta swapped the baby, wanting to free herself from her brother. With an unknown child and Irma Dugard, half-elf maid, got on the boat and sailed away, watching other boats get sunk, including the one in which she had changed her brother. The conversation was interrupted by opening of the door to the next chamber, in which Gellert Grindelwald's rally began.
Battle in the Lestrange Family Mausoleum
Yusuf went to a meeting of Gellert Grindelwald's supporters, which took place in the mausoleum. During the rally, Yusuf witnessed the wizard's speech and vision of the World War II that Grindelwald had presented. Shortly after the Aurors squadron under the command of Theseus Scamander has arrived and pure-blood witch has been killed in self-defence by one of them. Grindelwald sent his followers to spread the word and began the fight by conjuring a circle of black fire to divide friend from foe. Credence passed successfully, as did Queenie Goldstein, Tina's younger sister and Jacob's fiancee. Yusuf also was a witness of his half-sister's death, because when Grindelwald attacked both Scamander brothers, Leta interfered and sacrificed herself to allow Yusuf and others time to escape from mausoleum. Kama grabbed Nagini, forcing her to Disapparate outside the mausoleum.
Grindelwald fled the scene, but before he did, he unleashed deadly fire to destroy Paris. Yusuf, the Scamander brothers, Tina, Jacob and Nagini were powerless, but luckily Nicolas Flamel converged upon the cemetery to instruct Kama and the other wizards to use the General Counter-Spell to prevent Grindelwald's flames. Kama listened the alchemist and stuck his wand into the ground and helped to stop the fire. Yusuf, shocked by the events of the evening, was unable to make a word of himself.
Travel to Hogwarts
Yusuf along with other survivors travelled to Hogwarts, where he witnessed Newt Scamander's conversation with Albus Dumbledore. He was probably aware of the purpose of the visit. From a distance of several metres he watched the discussion of Newt, who after a while was invited by Albus for a tea. Nagini was wearing his coat, so he presumably lent it to her for comfort.
Moving against Grindelwald
In 1932, Yusuf joined Dumbledore's first army, which included people like Newt, Theseus, Jacob, Eulalie Hicks and Bunty Broadacre. Kama and others travelled to Berlin by the Great Wizarding Express. Yusuf was assigned to become a spy in Grindelwald's inner circle by Dumbledore, as part of his plan to prevent Grindelwald ascending to Supreme Mugwump. Somehow, he was able to find the location of Nurmengard Castle.
Once there, Yusuf informed Grindelwald that Dumbledore had commissioned him to spy on him and asked Gellert what to tell Albus. Grindelwald ordered Queenie to use Legilimency on Kama. Thanks to this, Grindelwald found out that Yusuf was furious with him for murdering Leta. The Dark Wizard removed Yusuf's memory of his sister's death so that his pain would be forgotten.
Yusuf, together with Grindelwald and his acolytes, went to the Candidates' Dinner in the German Ministry of Magic. As Jacob and Lally caused a confusion, Kama grabbed Queenie and left the building with the rest of the crowd.
Soon after, Yusuf travelled with Grindelwald's followers to Bhutan for the Walk of the Qilin Ceremony. When Grindelwald's henchmen wanted to attack Theseus and Lally, Yusuf attacked Grindelwald's acolytes, thus confirming which side he was on. Kama witnessed Newt exposed Grindelwald's lie. Yusuf was also one of the people who wanted to capture the Dark Wizard before he escaped.
Personality and traits
Yusuf Kama was extremely ambitious, cunning, and resourceful. This was shown in his determination to track down and kill Corvus Lestrange to fulfil the Unbreakable Vow which his father, Mustafa Kama, had forced him to make. Indeed, Yusuf was so desperate to complete this mission, that he tricked and trapped Newt Scamander, Tina Goldstein, and Jacob Kowalski, and later even ruthlessly threatened to kill Jacob if the No-Maj was to get in his way. Moreover, Yusuf was notably cunning enough to trick even the highly skilled Auror Tina.
Despite Yusuf's occasional ruthlessness, however, he had a softer side and was capable of genuine love and had a decent degree of morals and empathy. Yusuf deeply loved his mother Laurena Kama and his father and was devastated by the tragedy that separated them. Although he was determined to kill Corvus, Yusuf seemed to pity the young man who he thought was Corvus V for his fated doom caused by his apparent father's actions. He didn't want to kill anyone else and demanded them to move. Moreover, despite his pride in being a pure-blood wizard, Yusuf was not a Pure-blood supremacist. While willing to trap Newt, Jacob, and Tina after completing his mission, Yusuf wanted to release them after he killed Corvus V. Yusuf also seemed to harbour no ill will towards his half-sister Leta Lestrange, and even seemed to love her in a way, even hesitating before stating that her father Corvus Lestrange (IV) had never loved her (apparently not wishing to hurt Leta's feelings).
After learning that his Vow was void (due to Corvus already being dead), Yusuf started to display a more moral and selfless side — not being tempted by Grindelwald's persuasive speech, risking his life to save Nagini from the black fire, and then helping Nicolas Flamel, as well as his former situational enemies, by conjuring purifying orange flames. Inspired by the selfless sacrifice his half-sister Leta, Yusuf officially joined the Global wizarding war on the side opposing Grindelwald, and journeyed to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to meet with Albus Dumbledore.
Magical abilities and skills
- Magical mastery: Yusuf Kama was shown to be an accomplished and rather powerful wizard, as he was confident in his ability to kill the immensely dangerous Credence Barebone, in order to fulfil the Unbreakable Vow his father had forced him to give. Yusuf also successfully aided Nicolas Flamel, Newt Scamander, Theseus Scamander and Tina Goldstein in saving Paris from the incredibly destructive black fire conjured by Gellert Grindelwald.
- Love: Yusuf deeply loved his parents, being devastated at the loss of his beloved mother Laurena Kama to Corvus Lestrange (IV), and agreeing with his father Mustafa Kama's order to give an Unbreakable Vow to avenge his family's ruin by killing the one Corvus IV most loved. While not getting much time to know his half-sister Leta Lestrange, Yusuf loved her too in a way, sympathising with that fact that she wasn't loved by her own father. He is fair enough to not blame Leta for their mother's death. Indeed, Yusuf seemingly resolved to honour Leta's memory by joining the side opposing Gellert Grindelwald in the Global wizarding war.
- Detective skills: Yusuf had immense skills in tracking and deduction, since he tracked down Credence Barebone to the Circus Arcanus just as quickly as the highly skilled MACUSA Auror Tina Goldstein did. Yusuf was later able to track down Credence and Nagini again, this time to the Lestrange Mausoleum.
- Divination: Yusuf had some knowledge of this very subjective and esoteric branch of magic, given his great familiarity with The Predictions of Tycho Dodonus.
- Charms: Yusuf was apparently highly capable in Charms, since he swiftly and effortlessly cast the Disarming Charm to disarm Newt Scamander of his wand. Moreover, Yusuf only failed to track down Corvus Lestrange (V) prior to the shipwreck due to Irma Dugard's barely detectable half-elf magic, showing he was proficient with tracking charms.
- Transfiguration: Yusuf was able to swiftly conjure bars through a doorway, trapping Newt Scamander and Jacob Kowalski, along with Tina Goldstein, in a chamber.
- Healing magic: Yusuf had at least some skill in this field, given his ability to effectively keep the Water dragon parasite in his eye at bay with magical eye-drops. However, Yusuf's treatments did not prevent the parasite from incapacitating him suddenly, while Newt was able to extract it from Yusuf's eye in mere seconds.
- Nonverbal magic: Yusuf was very skilled at nonverbal magic, with him conjuring bars through a doorway without uttering any incantation.
- Bilingualism: Yusuf, due to his Senegalese heritage, fluently spoke both his native French and English, though he had a slight accent in the latter.
- Indomitable willpower: Yusuf possessed immense willpower and bravery, with him resisting Grindelwald's persuasive speech, instead valiantly fighting against the Dark Wizard's black fire, and, inspired by his half-sister Leta's sacrifice, joining the Global wizarding war against Grindelwald.
- Apparition: Yusuf, like most adult wizards, could Apparate at will, though he seemed more skilled than most, as he Apparated away from the black fire left by Grindelwald, while also saving Nagini in the process.
- Defence Against the Dark Arts: Yusuf was highly skilled at fending off Dark Magic, as seen when he was able to quickly follow Nicolas Flamel's instructions on how to cast the General Counter-Spell necessary to contain and extinguish the violent black fire left by Gellert Grindelwald, and thus helped to prevent the destruction
- Elemental magic mastery: Yusuf was able to upturn the ground in a street near a temple somewhere in Bhutan, knocking down several of Grindelwald's followers and saving the lives of Eulalie and Theseus.
- Yusuf is the Arabic equivalent to Joseph, meaning "God increases in piety, power, and influence" in Hebrew.
- It is also the name of a prophet in the Qu'ran, the only one of Jacob's/Yaacob's children gifted with prophecy. He was Jacob's eleventh child, and was considered his favourite.
- Kama is a Sanskrit name meaning "love."
Behind the scenes
- Yusuf Kama is played by William Nadylam in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.
- Isaac Domingos played 12-year-old Yusuf in a flashback to Laurena's abduction.
- It is possible that Yusuf Kama, if Newt Scamander had obtained and maintained the Elder Wand's allegiance by that time, may have temporarily become Master of the Elder Wand in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, as the Elder Wand switches allegiance when its Master is overpowered. Since Yusuf Kama, by disarming and imprisoning Newt, overpowered him beyond resistance, it's possible that the Elder Wand perceived in Kama a superior level of (real) power. If Kama did in fact become the Elder Wand's Master, then, following the events of the saga, Grindelwald would have to directly (or indirectly) gain the Elder Wand's allegiance back, before his final duel with Albus Dumbledore.
- "At the start he [Yusuf] was a character who transformed into an animal. There was a lot more prosthetic work, so it amused me a lot. I already saw myself transforming into a bird, etc. And when I was told that we were removing this part, I was a little sad at first. I said to myself, oh dear, I would have no superpower. But in fact it was to make the character more human, more engaging, and to deepen his humanity. And after that was the gift."
- — William Nadylam[src]
- During the start, before ideas were being cut, Yusuf was going to be an Animagus.
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay (First appearance)
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
- Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore - The Complete Screenplay
- Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore
- Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore: Movie Magic
- Wizarding World
Notes and references
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay, Scene 101 "INT. KAMA MANSION—1896—NIGHT [...] The twelve-year-old KAMA runs after his mother, tugs at her hand, and tries to pull her back upstairs."
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay
- 'Fantastic Beasts' 2 spoilers out on Yusuf Kama's ties to Leta Lestrange & Credence at Snitch Seeker
- The Archive of Magic: The Film Wizardry of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
- Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore
- Entertainment Weekly
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