Kiguunda (kee-gew-EWN-dah), a farm laborer and smallholder of one and one-half acres in postcolonial Kenya. Although his efforts as a Mau Mau guerrilla on behalf of independence have been followed by a life of labor and hardship, he is a proud man. When his employer, Kioi, and others visit him in his one-room, mud-walled home to convert him to Christianity and insist that he “marry” his wife of many years, he takes his sword from the wall and drives them out. Later, believing that their motive was to legitimize a marriage between his daughter Gathoni and their son, he repents, offers to undertake the ceremony, and puts up his small-holding to secure a bank loan that will cover the large expenses of a Christian wedding. After Gathoni is made pregnant and discarded by Kioi’s son, Kiguunda again threatens Kioi. Subsequently, he loses his job and his smallholding. He becomes an abusive drunk until his friend and neighbor recalls him to a fervent belief in overthrowing the tyranny of the rich.
Gicaamba (gee-kah-AHM-bah), a factory worker and neighbor and friend of Kiguunda. Gicaamba’s proletarian distrust of the native rich, their foreign investors, and the oppressive use both make of Christianity helps at first to keep Kiguunda’s own skepticism alive. After Kiguunda is ruined, Gicaamba’s militant call to class action revives the broken man’s spirit.
Ahab Kioi wa Kanoru
(The entire section is 627 words.)