The River Between Questions and Answers
by Ngugi wa Thiong'o

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What is Chege's role in The River Between?

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Chege's role in this narrative is to give his son, Waiyaki, the charge of fulfilling the prophecy that he received as the seer of his people. An ancient prophecy was received that said a descendent of Mugo, an ancestor of Chege, would save his people. Chege recognises that because of his age, he is not going to be the one to save the Kikuyu. He therefore gives his son the role of becoming that saviour, and learning everything he can from the whites in order to understand their ways. Note how he describes the importance of this task:

Mugo often said...

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judepal | Student

Chege's role is to entrust Waiyaki with the responsibility of safeguarding his tribe's peace and ancient rites. Chege realizes that old age is catching up with him. As a result, he wants to hand over the responsibility of fulfilling an ancient prophecy by Mugo wa Kibiro, a seer, to Waiyaki.
According to the prophecy : " Salvation shall come from the hills."
Chege, a descendent of Mugo wa Kibiro, had tried to fulfill that prophecy by warning the people against the white man but they did not listen.
Waiyaki is Chege's last hope.
He asks Waiyaki to go to Siriana Mission to learn the ways of the white man. The prophecy said that was the only way to fight the white man. Chege, however, warns Waiyaki against following the white man's ways.
He tells Waiyaki to remember the prophecy because: "A man must rise and save the people in their hour of need."
Chege believes that that man is Waiyaki.