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The fact that Sibeko felt he could not approach Stephen Kumalo directly highlights the theme of segregation within the novel. Even though Sibeko was a native as well, he did not belong to Stephen Kumalo's church and felt that he didn't have the right to request his assistance. This is a more minor illustration of a much larger problem. Apartheid in South Africa segregated the natives and the white man, and even though the natives were larger in number, they were oppressed by the minority.
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