Why does Dubula discourage Kumalo and Msimangu from taking the bus to Alexandra in Cry, the Beloved Country?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Dubula is a political organizer who fights for the rights of the black people in South Africa.  He discourages Kumalo and Msimangu from taking the bus to Alexandra because there is a boycott of the buses going on.  Dubula explains that the boycott is urgent; the powers that be want the people to pay sixpence to ride, equaling one shilling a day, or six shillings a week.  Many workers only receive thirty-five or forty shillings a week, so the cost to ride the bus is prohibitive for them.  The purpose of the boycott is to convince the authorities to lower the rate back to fourpence.  Dubula speaks politely to Kumalo and Msimangu, but his passion for the cause is evident, and he delivers a very persuasive argument to the men as to why they should not ride the bus.  Although it is eleven miles to their destination, "far to walk...a long way", Kumalo and Msimangu will do so, joining the ranks of "men as old as (they) are...women, and some that are sick, and some crippled, and children", who make the sacrifice every day in the interest of securing reasonable conditions for their people.

As one of the organizers of the political movement for black rights, Dubula is famous, and much respected.  The Goverment is "afraid of (him), because he himself is not afraid".  Dubula is totally devoted to the cause; he is said to have "heart"...he seeks nothing for himself...they say he has given up his own work to do this picketing of the buses, and his wife pickets the other bus rank at Alexandra" (Chapter 8). 

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Cry, the Beloved Country

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