Ugwu is the conscientious adolescent who leaves his rural village to be Odenigbo's houseboy. He is thrust into a world of education, informed opinions and abundance. Adichie allows the marginal voice of Ugwu to emerge against the dominant ones like master and mistress. Adichie handles his character with sensitivity, without ever demeaning or criticizing his cultural beliefs. he is a cultural buffer between the modern lifestyle of the urbanites like Odenigbo and the superstitions of his home village, providing the reader with an incredible window into what makes the hearts of the Igbo people beat.
His forced conscription into the Biafran army and his participation in gang rape reveals the brutalising effects of war on the young. His point of view is quite crucial to the book The novel begins with his experience and he is given the book's last words. Ugwu takes over Richard's book the world was silent when we died and through this Adichie makes an emphatic point that Africans should write their own stories