How does Waiyaki percieve the white man in regards to their coming to the ridges? Are his thoughts justified, why or why not?

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lisa6063 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

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Waiyaki seems torn- a child of two worlds. Whereas Joshua is "completely sold out” and converted to Christianity, and without any regrets, Waiyaki is not so sure of his attitude or position. He admires the teachings of his school Siriana, even agrees with certain Bible truths like the idea of loving others. However, his father Chege had told him that his mission, as prophesied by the seer Mugo wa Kibiru, was to protect the tribe from the negative influence of the white man. The seer had prophesied the coming of the white man, and also a savior from his family line. Chege believes that Waiyaki is this foretold messiah. So following the prophecy that the white man can not be fought against with spears or other weapons, but by learning, Chege sends his son to school, the white man’s school Siriana.  Waiyaki himself is not so sure about this prophecy, but he does enjoy learning in school and feels dejected when he learns that he has to leave school prematurely when the authorities in Siriana decide to send away all children whose families still follow traditional practices, especially circumcision. Upon leaving Siriana, he starts his own school, Marioshoni and several others all over the ridges, where children acquire the white man’s education-reading, writing, language, math, etc.  Clearly, Waiyaki admires the white man’s learning.

But when it comes to the creation of government posts, paying of taxes to the white man’s government or issues regarding land alienation, his stand is not so clear. In fact whenever his colleagues Kamau and Kinuthia hold hot discussions or arguments claiming that the white man must go back to Europe, Waiyaki But when it comes to his view regarding the establishment of government posts, political administration does not contribute. His role seems to be reconciling the two men. This brings out clearly the idea that Waiyaki is more of an educationist and a peacemaker, and would rather broker peace between the whites and the blacks and between the two ridges Kameno and Makuyu that are always at loggerheads over very many issues, even for nothing.  He is passionate about reconciling the two ridges, but none of them accept him.

As for the “Kiama”, the council created to preserve the traditional culture, Waiyaki does not have time for their meetings and does not even agree with their policy. Furthermore, the founder of this “Kiama” Kabonyi is Waiyaki’s mortal enemy. Kabonyi, who was once a Christian, strongly believes that the tribe should have nothing to do with the whites. He therefore accuses Waiyaki of associating with Christians, visiting Siriana, and even planning to marry an impure woman (meaning an uncircumcised woman). He even charges him before the “Kiama” for visiting Joshua’s church. This, he claims is an act of spying for the white man.

In between we have Waiyaki, Muthoni and, later on Nyambura. They all want a taste of the two sides. They believe that each of the two worlds has certain good qualities, but also some bad characteristics.

 

 

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