When Rain Clouds Gather

Topics: White people, Africa, South Africa Pages: 7 (1825 words) Published: February 7, 2011

• botswanna is a poverty stricken rural village

• golema mimidi is a fictional village

• GM is a self sufficient village

• 1960’s

• Golema mmidi acquired its name from the occupation that the villagers followed which was crop growing. Golema mmidi is a utopia for refugees where they come together as an equal and contribute towards the same goal of satisfying agricultural needs. Golema mmidi is a place of salvation for those looking for comfort and freedom.


1. Rigid customs

2. Corrupt local chief – Matenge

3. Unrelenting climate


1. apartheid: laws and policy of south Africa

- makhayas frame of mind and source of some of his inner struggles

- black people had no rights to vote. People were poorly educated and often imprisoned and beaten

- bessie head explains that not all white man in south Africa are evil a good example of her conveying it is when dinorego states “I take gilbert as my own son which fact surprises me since he is a white man and we Botswana do not know any white people”

-“to gilbert, it was the first real hand clap he had experienced and the loneliness in which he found himself in tribal Africa” this shows that as a white man living in Botswana surrounded by tribal people who do not often come across a white man, they do not easily accept gilbert due to his skin color.

- Gilbert as a white man also face difficulties in accomplishing his goal to uplift the poor because black man has been treated by dogs by the white man, therefore when gilbert tries to help they find difficulties to accept his help because he is white.

2. violence and oppression – race

- “in this world there are both evil and good men. Both have to do justice to do their cause. In this country there is a great tolerance of evil. All meet death in the end, and because of death we make allowance of evil though we do not like it” – dinorego explains that evil and good are a part of life and in Botswana, people are aware of the violence and oppression against one another however, they choose to overlook it because in the end, every one dies. And this belief is what keeps the people going even though they do not like what they are to face.

-agricultural authorities only welcomed gilbert because he was a white man

4. women in Africa:

traditional and contemporary African societies

- comment on employment, family structure, status

- Makhayas point of view on women respecting men as their superior ‘’ why should men be brought up with a false sense of superiority over women? People can respect me if they wish, but only if I earn it.’’

5. Education:

lack of education ( ex of girl as a prostitute), contradiction of modernism and tribalism

. When he fences the land there are many advantages and these are shocking to the tribe ppl as they were uneducated and never would want to try anything different.(thick headed, unadaptable to change) Theme education also brought out as we learn how fast it was for makhaya to learn.

-the old man that makhaya meets when he is escaping across the border says, “its only the education that turns a man away from his tribe’’ – means that education is the key to the outside world and to being wise

- when makhaya comes across the ten year old girl who turns out to be a prostitute – shows the lack of concern for a woman’s career or future and doing whatever they can to earn money even if it means selling the body of an innocent

- it is a way to change the policies of tribalism. If the people of GM were more educated in politics and agriculture, they would be able to look at the issues of the village differently and they wouldn’t let Matenge to oppress them and maybe harvest crops better.

6. Tribalism vs. modernism:
The theme tribalism is shown as well. The mentality of tribal people are...
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