Dikeledi Mokopi is the protagonist of this text; her story shows the reader the immense challenges faced by women in the society, as well as their remarkable determination and resilience. Her murder of Garasego is meant to represent women claiming their autonomy and resisting the ludicrous demands of a patriarchal society.
Dikeledi's fellow inmate Kebonye represents the power of female friendship in this text. Upon Dikeledi's arrival, Kebonye listens to her story, shares her own, and then explains how to get by at the prison. After Dikeledi thanks her, Kebonye says something that could serve as the thesis for the entire piece: "We must help each other."
Kenalepe Thebolo's role in this text is to serve as a friend and ally to Dikeledi, as well as to symbolize what Dikeledi's life might have been like if she had married a different type of man. "You are a lucky someone," Dikeledi tells her.
Garasego Mokopi serves as the manifestation of the first time of man in Dikeledi's dichotomy. He represents alpha males who will stop at nothing to assert their dominance and claim their pleasure.
Paul Thebolo completes the dichotomy by representing the second type of man, a man who cares for his family and comports himself like "a poem of tenderness." In this text, he serves as a foil and a contrast to Garasego. After Garasego's murder, Paul volunteers to pay Banabothe's tuition, representing the ultimate triumph of male compassion over male greed.