When Rainclouds Gather

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(When Rain Clouds Gather by Bessie Head) Fiction and Drama

Character sketch- Chief Matenje
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • He was an “evil, greedy man”. He despised the people of “his” village- Golema Mmidi He lost a lot of his power and authority “because of Gilberts ideas”. The Villagers had “less fear” for him, because they worked together. He always caused inconvenience He’s brother was getting tired of him He wanted to “get rid..” of Makhaya and Gilbert and wanted them to go back where they came from. He hated Gilbert for having Makhaya on his farm. He is irrational. He thinks that Gilbert brought Makhaya to Botswana to muder him. Chief Matenje is Gilberts “dangerous enemy”. He wants to “bring guns into the country”. George Appelby- Smith wants to lock him up in prison. He likes it when people find him apprehensive. Makaya saw him as a man “without love and without hope.” He has a very bad “temper” and Dinorego believes that this wil one day cause his death. He accuses Makhaya of being cowardly and “running after his master, the white man.” He is bigot. He had a heart attack when he heard that Makhaya got his residence permit. He is a mercenary. He disliked it when the villagers showed independence; selling meat, growing crops and drying tobacco to make money. The villagers did not want to harm their chief, Chief Matenje. Chief Matenje was afraid when he saw the villagers in his yard. He committed suicide. To save his brothers image Chief Sekoto told everyone he died of a heart attack. The people of Golema Mmidi now knew that they are free.

Chief Matenje is a very good example of corrupt leadership. He is the chief of a village called, Golema Mmidi. He represents “old Africa” at it’s worst. How is he an example of corrupt leadership? Chief Matenje is seen as an evil, greedy man (Head 2006). Where a chief or leader is supposed to empowering and generous, he is exactly the opposite. He hates the people of his village and would therefore do...
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