WEEP NOT, CHILD.



YEAR: 1964.


The novel,” Weep Note, Child.” Was written by Ngungi wa

thiong”o in 1964 and set in Kenya. The novel reveals the

effects of the Mau Mau war in Kenya. The author shows

how people (natives) participate in the war. Some of the

Kenyans are in dilemma. Example Njoroge and Kamau.

Whether to be loyal to their family or the government.

Also the author shows how Africans led by betrayed

fellow Africans by being closer to the whites while

neglecting fellow Africans. The novel has eighteen

chapters which are categorized into two parts: the first

part has the title: THE WANING LIGHT which has seven

chapters and the second part has the title. DARKNESS

FALLS with eleven chapters. There is an interlude effect

of the protest by the Africans against their white





YEAR: 1964.






Nyokabi, Ngotho’s Second wife, inform her son, Njoroge,

of the plan to take him to school. The boy looks excited

about the news. Njoroge wants to go to school so that

he can be like the big son of Jacobo and the children of

Mr. How lands. Ngotho is squatter in Jacobo’s land and

works for Mr. How lands, a white man as a farm laborer.

Ngotho does not own a piece of land. Mr. Howland is a

rich white farmer in where Ngotho works while Jacobo is

a rich African in whose land Ngotho stays with his two

wives Njeri and Njokabi with their children Boro, Kori,

Kamau, and Njoroge. It is also revealed that the blacks

especially boys who are working for Indian traders at the

shopping center at Kipanga are extremely exploited by

their bosses.


Njoroge’s mother seems not to like her boy being close

to Mwihaki, Jacobo’s daughter because Jacobo is rich

while Ngotho, Njoroge”s father is a poor man. Ngotho

tells his sons stories of the world war and their land

which was taken away by the white men. He tells the

young men the history of their land which was given to

their first ancestors, Kikuyu and Mumbi. The sons, Boro,

Kori, Kamau and Njoroge, seem to build hatred for

Jacobo and Mr. Howlands after they are made aware

that the two grabbed their father’s land when Ngotho

had gone to the world war.

CHAPTER THREE: Ngotho is portrayed as a hard worker

as seen by the value that Mr. Howlands has given him.

Mr. How lands knows that Ngotho has contributed so

much in his progress in the farmer. He cannot sack him

despite his wife’s suggestion against that he sometimes

needs his view about the farm and his plans.


Njoroge is at school and does well the lessons taught at

school. His new teacher is called Isaka a short man with

a small mustache. It is revealed that Isaka is not a good

Christian and he is a womanizer. Njoroge is still close to

Jacobo’s daughter. Ngotho believes that the education

of their son will be a salvation to the family and the

people of Kenya who wants their candy band from the

white man.


Boro and Koro have already left for the city, because they

did not have land or employment. Njoroge and Kamau

are afraid that their alder brothers would get lost in the

city. Kamau complains about Nganga whom he intends

to stop working for and go to the city. There is a strike

planned by workers to protest against exploitations and

low wages. The strike was throughout the country wide

and it affected the white’s government.


Kori and Boro came at home with some men who know

much about the affairs of the country. They taller about

Jomo and the strike which dominated their talk. Ngotho

has conflict with his wife Nyakobi. She has warned him

against joining the strike fearing that it would make him

lose his Job. Ngotho never wants to take orders from a

woman. She was sloped. Mr. How lands warns his

employees never to involve themselves in the strike or

else they will lose their Jobs. Ngotho is in dilemma on

whether to strike or note.


It is the beginning of a new year. Njoroge and Mwihaki

are happy that they have passed their exams and would

go to an intermediate school. Ngotho is then given

orders to vacate Jacobo’s land after the incident. He is

given a piece of land to build by Nganga the carpenter

the cost of building new huts is so high to Ngotho

especially now when he has lost his Job at Mr. How

land’s farm. Kamau pays for Njoroge’s education cost in

standard V. white Mwihaki goes to a boarding school for

girls, for away.




he stories of Dedans Kimathi, leader of the African free

doom Army spread all over. Some people say he has

powers to change in to anything he wishes, which makes

it impossible for him to be arrested by the Whiteman’s

government. The incident in which Ngotho attacked

Jacobo has caused a, lot of tension into full fledged Mau

Mau fighters. Boro blames his father Ngotho for being

the cause of the failure of the strike to pick up.


Njoroge is seen having argument with his colleagues in

school about the Mau Mau. He is actually unaware of

what is exactly meant by the Mau Mau movement.

People live in fear of the white man’s government,

especially Ngotho, whose sons are no longer close to

the family. He is afraid that Jacobo will retaliate. Jomo

has been defeated in his trial against the white man’s

government. It is heard that Jomo has been imprisoned.

They blame this on the disunity of the natives



The pressure of the Mau Mau is giving Mr. How lands a

hard time with his administration. He is, however,

determined to wipe them out using their fellow Africans.

Jacobo, the clue, reports to Mr. How lands about his

suspicion of Ngotho and his elder son, Boro. Mr. How

lands instructs Jacobo to find a way of arresting them

for curfew or tax. Kari and Njeri are arrested at night for

curfew but only Njeri is released after the fine has been

paid. Kori is sent to a detention camp without trial.


Fear and tension increase among the natives. There is

curfew at night. Njoroge wonders how Mwihaki will react

when they meet especially with enmity of their parents

since Ngotho attacked Jacobo. It is revealed that the

barber and five others have been discovered dead in the

forest. Mwihaki expresses her feelings about her father

to Njoroge. She hates to see Jacobo with all the security.

The economic and social gap between the two seems to

have widened and they both feel it.


It is revealed that that Mr. How lands looks contended

with his trick of inciting Africans to kill each other. He

has ignored his wife suggestions about going back to

England. Jacobo gives Mr. How lands the note he

received a few days ago dropped at his door. The note




WARNING”. Jacobo suspects Ngotho to have brought

this note. The white soldiers accused Isaka and killed

him on the way to church.


Njoroge passes the examination and his family was

happy about his success. Njoroge meets Mwihaki on the

last Sunday before he leaves for school. They promise to

communicate with each other while at school. Mwihaki

Joined Teacher Training school since she does not pass

the exams as Njoroge.


Njoroge Joins siriana sec. school. He enjoys his stay in

school where he interacts with students from all over

Kenya and meets with many more others of different

races. He meets Stephen, Mr. How land “s son. These

two have a social and economic boundary. While at



Njoroge is picked from school under the escort of two

police officers in a black car. He is handed to two police

officers who take him, to a home guard post known as

the house of pain. At that home, Njoroge is returned to

confess the oath European officers claim he had taken.

At home of torture he hears the voice of Njeri and

Nyokabi. They have both been all arrested. Ngotho

confesses to have killed Jacobo so as to save his son,

Boro. Njoroge is shocked when he thinks of the good

friend ship between him and Mwihaki.


Ngotho passes away some days after having been

released from the home guard post four days ago. This

torture resulted in to his death. No one cries or mourns

the death of Ngotho because of insecurity.


This chapter reveals Mr. How lands has been killed by an

unknown person the very night that Ngotho dies. Boro

and Kamau are suspected for the murder. It is also

revealed that Njoroge has dropped out of school

because of all these events and has been compelled by

situation to work for an Indian in his shop. He hates his

Job but cannot do otherwise.


Mwihaki meets Njoroge. She turns down the request

because of conflict between their families. The memory

of her father death makes her see Njoroge as an enemy.

Njoroge is hurt by the hope which has failed him. He

attempts to commit suicide on a tree branch but is

saved by her step mothers, Njeri and Njokabi. He

considers himself a coward.


From the novel weep Not Child the author portrays the


The title of the Novel “Weep Not Child: This symbolizes

people suffering. It is very relevant to the story itself

because the author has shown that the characters have

suffered from poverty taking an example to Ngotho’s

family who have even no house to accommodate them.

Also characters have been portrayed to have been

suffering from ignorance as evidenced to Ngotho’s

family where almost the whole family has never

attended to school with an exception of Njoroge

whose dream is also denied by the colonialists

because they arrest him from the school as a

suspect to have been taken Maumau oath.

Characters are portrayed to suffer from excessive

oppression, humiliation as well as intimidation done

by the whites. This is also widely seen on the way

Njoroge is dismissed from the school. Ngotho and

other Africans who suspected to have been involved

in Maumau war are killed; tortured hence insecurity

grew among Africans.

Characters are suffering from disunity as well as

result of betrayal and puppets made by some few

Africans. Taking an example to Jacobo who can’t

unite with his fellow Africans since he is regarded to

be puppet to the whites. There is a war (Maumau)

which ultimately causes fear and insecurity among

Africans to the extent that people are crying.

In this case the author tries to portray that the children

(people) of Africa should not cry rather they have to work

hard in meeting their set goals.


1. Ngotho.

He is the husband of Nyokabi and Njeri as well as the

father of Boro, Kamau, Kori, Njoroge and Mwangi.

He is an ex-soldier who fought during the Second

World War in favor for the British colonial rule.

He has no land to settle with his family. Thus he is a

squatter in Jacobo’s land and affirm laborer in Mr.

Holland’s farm.

He succeeds in maintaining peace in his family but

the peace was disturbed after all clung Jacob.

He is a polygamous since he posses two wives, Njeri

and Nyokabi.

He is in a conflict with Jacob because Jacob sold his

land to Mr. Howland when Ngotho was in the war.

He is a nationalist because he mobilized his fellow

Africans to fight against the whites.

He dies because he was hitted by exploitation done

by foreigners.


African traditions like polygamy may have positive

impact to people’s life. We see Ngotho’s family loves

each other particularly on how they support Njoroge

to join school despite being polygamous.

Extended families in Africa always create burden to

families. This is shown on the way Ngotho fails to

take his children to school because of large number

of family he has.

The movement to liberation is not a simple

phenomenon since it is characterized by torture as

seen to Ngotho who is highly tortured.

2. Njoroge.

He is the son of Ngotho and Ngotho.

He has the ambition of studying hard thus he is a

hard worker as he believes that only education will

liberate the Kenyan.

He is accused by the police to have taken the Mau

Mau oath.

He is taken from his boarding school under the

escort of police officers to join his parent in a home

guard post. Hence he is taken from his boarding

school under the escort of the police.

He is a honest boy as he embraces/behaves like an

African boy by respecting his parents and others.

He is a friend of Mwihaku, He attempts to commit

suicide but is saved by his step mothers.


Poverty limits a child to get access to basic needs.

Children like Njoroge cannot get better clothing

because of poor living conditions found in the



A friend in need is a friend indeed. Here we see that

true friends support each other in time of need. This

is shown on the way Mwihaki and Njoroge provide

mutual relationship.


Young people can establish the best and successful

relationship. The author shows how Mwihaki and

Njoroge relationship is good in a sense that it proves


that the relationship between girls and boys does not

only mean love affairs only.

Hard working is the father to success. The author

shows how Njoroge studies hard where the result of

his commitment and struggle is good performance

he gets.


3. Jacobo.

He is a rich African farmer.

He is a betrayer because he the only Africa allowed

by the whites to grow pyrethrum in the land.

He is a father of two children Mwihaki and Lucia.

He is against the African who protest against

colonial rule. Thus he is a puppet and selfish person

because he support the whites at the expense of

other African

He is hypocrisy as seen on the way he chases away

Ngotho from works to Mr. How lands.

He is killed by Boro as revenge to the cruel rule he

was exercising on the native Kenyan.

He represents few Africans who are ready to

endanger other fellow men for their own sake


Puppetism extends domination of African by

foreigners. Good example is cited to Jacob who

causes his fellow Africans to be extremely

dominated by the whites because of his

speculations he made from Africans towards the



2. Betrayal is bad as it causes conflict and ultimately

may lead into the killing. This is evidenced on the

way Jacobo’s betrayal causes his death as he

receive a sound beating from Africans who are

indeed furious and dissatisfied with his deeds.


He is a white settler who owns large plot of land

He never think of returning back home in Europe

because of richness of the land in Kenya.

He is harsh as well as racist as seen on how he

harshly treats Africans who work for him

He is an oppressor as well as exploiter to Africans

because they worked to his farm for long hours but

received very low payment

He has a son whom he decided to take him back to

stay in Europe.

Like other Europeans he represents group of the

foreigners who tend to torture and victimize Africans

by despising their ways of life as well as making

them serve as their servant


(i) From Mr. How lands we get a lesson that white’s

investment in Africa may have bad intentions. This is

evidenced on the way how settlers like Mr. How lands

who has no eve a dream of leaving the continent (Africa)

because of heavy investment that they have invested.

Some whites/settlers have settled in Africa forever.

(ii) Foreigners especially whites have nothing substantial

to Africans rather their self gain. This is shown on the

way Mr. How lands uses Ngotho as a cheap labor who

then assumes positively by working very hard as a result

Mr. Howland is not concerned on his economic hardship

that faces him what he real cares is only his labor power.

5. Njeri.

She is the first wife of Ngotho.

She is the mother of Boro, Kamau and Kori.

She cares her family very well. So as her family

members are united.


She is Ngotho’s first wife as well as the mother of

Boro, Kamau and Kori

She cares her family very well

She respects his husband too.

7. Nyokabi.

She is the second wife of Ngotho.

She is the mother of Njoroge and Mwangi.

She cares the family very well and unites it.

She is intelligent woman.

She makes sure that her son goes to school.

She is tortured and victimized.

6. Teacher Isaka.

He teaches in primary school.

He is killed when his trek is discovered by the white


He uses the church and religion to incite the natives

against the white man’s rule.

7. Mwihaki.

She is the youngest daughter of Jacobo.

She is the closest friend of Njoroge.

She is kind girl because she supported Njoroge from

the group of young boys who planned to harass him

She suffers from alienation because of status of her




The term exploitation refers to misuse of human

resources without paying proper benefit for it. In the

book, the author has shown that the white men exploit

the poor natives who work for them in the farms. Ngotho

is an illustrative evidence of the exploited Africans.

Africans are taken by force to fight in the World War II,

the war which is none of their concern. As a result, they

are losing their land. Ngotho, Nganga, Boro and Barber

are good examples of people who were exploited.

Exploitation is vividly practiced in many parts of the

world Tanzania in particular since majority among the

Tanzanians do not receive what they actually deserve to.

Different workers in government and private owned

institutions are extremely exploited through their labor.

We should ensure that all sorts (elements) of

exploitation are uprooted if at all we real need to build a

just society.


This is an action of having more than one wife. In the

novel the author has shown this by using Ngotho who

has two wife’s Njeri and Nyokabi. However, the existence

of two wives in one house, they live in peaceful way to

the extent that they allow Njoroge who is born from the

junior mother (Nyokabi) to join the school and the whole

family agreed to support him including his brothers from

elder wife (Njeri). The tendency of polygamy is real seen

in many African societies where many families do

practice it despite the prevalence of some discrepancies

attached to it more especially misunderstanding among

them. To this there is a need to create mutual love and

affection for smooth upbringing our family.


Awareness can simply be referred to the knowledge that

someone has about something good or bad that existing

within the society. In the book the author shows that

many people in Kenya are aware of the situation in the

country that is why they decide to form a group of

fighting against the actions of white men. Also Mwihaki

and Njoroge are aware of their parent’s enormity. More

over the family of Ngotho is aware of what happened

during and after the world war. Awareness is vividly seen

to majority in Tanzania particularly on government deeds

like corruption, nepotism as well as other social

upheavals. We should therefore strive in avoiding all

issues that may contribute to failure of our progress.


Protest refers to the act of expressing strong

disagreement with or opposition to something. This

disagreement may be either positive or negative. In the

book, the author shows that people in Kenya protest

against the actions of forced labor land alienation, heavy

taxation, and harsh treatment which are done by whites.

This is shown by Mau Mau fighters. Equally important,

the practice of protest is very much seen in our society

where we live in particularly when undesirably action

happens. To this people have been protesting against

the action of killing of albinism, early marriage,

excessive drinking and indeed immoral behaviors that

leads to chaos and shame to the society members. It is

worthy while for the society to stand still in fighting for

society’s rights without any sort of hesitation.


The term womanization refers to the act of a man

involving in sexual relationship with many different

women who are not legally married with. In the novel, the

author has used teacher Isaka who is a woman lover. He

loves girls and woman for sexual affairs. The habit of

womanization is real happening in many societies where

men tend to involve init by having several partners

without taking into an account that the action may

results to the spread of deadly disease like HIV and

infringe (affects) their future dream put in place. In this

case society has to bear in mind that wominazation is a

bad act since it may results into economic mis

appropriation, it also results into conflicts and worse still

it contributes to loss of man power necessary to

national development. Thus the concerned

individuals/groups should get rid of it.


The term poverty refers to the state of not being able to

get basic needs due to limitation of resources. In other

word the term refers to inability of a person to meet

his/her basic needs such as food, shelter and clothes. In

the novel, Ngotho is portrayed as a poor African who

owns nothing except his labor power as a results he

decided to work as a laborer to Mr. Howland’s farm for

meager (low) payment. It is because of poverty his son

Njoroge is seen being laughed by fellow children at

school because of poor dresses he put on (torn clothes).

Poverty has is a common thing to many people in the

world Tanzania in particular when people who lives in

rural and even urban live in poverty line. This is because

they don’t have access to better health services; they fail

to maintain eating diet as a result the only way forward

such society can do is to work hard in different sectors

by using their manual laborers in order to minimize

hardship in their life.

Role of women

This refers to the way on how women contribute either

positively or negatively in the society. In this book the

author has portrayed women differently. Woman as good

advisor. To this the author shows how Nyokabi

(Ngothos’s wife) advises his husband (Ngotho) from not

joining the movement because she real new that his

(Ngotho’s) involvement would affect the stability of the

family. Since women are not given access in front of

men when it comes issues to make decision, Ngotho

what her wife (Nyokabi) advised him and decided to join

the movement leading him to be charged to have been

among the organizer of the movements against

colonialism. In our society, women have been key figures

in bringing positive harmony to the development

especially at family level, individual and indeed national

levels because they hold leadership positions through

that they engineer development.


The term betrayal is defined as the act of not being

faithful to something or someone. In other word it refers

to the act of going the agreement made by two. In the

novel, there are many actions which show the denial of

people to his/her fellow friends. The author shows how

Jacob betrays his fellow Africans for accepting to join

the white man’s government. Ngotho betrays his family

when he attacks Jacobo. A lot of tension exists between

the two friends, especially his brother, Njoroge by killing

Jacob. This leads to dismissal of Njoroge from school.

The tendency of betrayal is commonly seen in our

society since family members betray one another;

political leaders are the leading bodies in betraying their

citizen’s above all religious leaders do the same. We

have to find way out of getting rid of it.


The term conflict refers to the collision or disagreement

between two or more opposing sides. It can also involve

an individual. In the Novel the novelist has portrayed

different misunderstandings (conflicts). The conflict

between the natives and the white man’s government

and also there is a family conflict between Ngotho’s

family and Jacobi’s. The conflict between Mr.Howlands

and his wife has been shown by the author. Intra –

personal conflict is present to Ngotho, Boro, Njoroge

Mwihaki, and Jacobo. These conflicts are categorized as


(i) Interpersonal conflict: This refers to that conflict that

occurs between one person and another. In the novel,

the author has shown this by giving the conflict between

Ngotho and Jacob. This is because Jacob is claimed to

have sold Ngotho’s plot to the white settlers (Mr.

Howland). To add on that there is a conflict between

Jacob and his fellow Africans. This conflict emanates

from the fact that Jacob is has hypocritical tendency as

he used to disclose the secret set in place by Africans to

the whites.

(ii) Intra-person conflict: This refers to the conflict that

occurs within or someone’s mind. The author shows that

Njoroge has been affected to this type of conflict ore

especially after being dismissed out of the school while

he formerly believed that it is only education that will

liberate the Kenyans.

To this he then decides to kill himself (suicide). Equally

important the boy (Njoroge) faces intra-personal conflict

due to the fact that his parents has put impossible

conditions to him from not being closer to Mwihaki

whom they love each other.

Family conflict: This refers to the conflict that

involves the members of the family only. In the book

book, the author has shown different kinds of family

conflicts like a conflict between Ngotho and his wife.

This conflict emanates from the fact that Ngotho

never honor the advice posed out by her wife

(Nyokabi) not to join the African’s movement

because it may brings contradiction to the family.

Political conflict: This refers to the conflict in which

members of different countries/nations come into

different misunderstanding over the political affairs.

In the book, the author shows that the Kenyans

organized Maumau war against the whites in order to

bring political stability and to stamp all kind of

dictatorial tendencies rooted among the whites to


Economic conflict: This is a type of conflict whereby

there is class/social stratification among the people.

In the book, the author has shown this type of

conflict citing an example to Jacob who enjoys from

the favor given by the whites while the majority

(Africans) suffers by being paid low wages. Also the

whites enjoy the African resources including land

found in Africa while majority among Africans

(Kenyans) live in a poverty lines.


The conflicts discussed in this novel have been as a

result of the following reasons:

Betrayal: This has shown on the way Jacob assumes

a betrayal to Africans to the extent that different

enmity among them grew steadily.




YEAR: 1964.



Poor/bad leadership or government. in the book, the

author has shown that the British colonial

government was too dictator, oppressor and

exploiter to Africans, hence Africans have to resist

against the system.


Presence of lasses. This is to say, the rich and the

poor blame one another. In the novel, the author has

shown that there is a very big gap between Africans

and the whites. Africans led by Ngotho work as

laborers to earn their living while the whites led by

Mr. How lands exploit the Africans.


4. Violation of human rights: In the book for example,

the author has shown that Kenyans were killed,

tortured and victimized by the whites while are

innocent. Good example Njoroge is dismissed out

from the school to join the Maumau activist just

because his father (Ngotho) is a suspected to be

among the Maumau activists. Similarly, Ngotho’s

wives (Njeri and Nyokabi) are taken to the detention

camp while they never involve in the Maumau war

but their husband (Ngotho) is charged for it.


Any conflict within the society results into the following


It brings insecurity among the society members to

the point of fairing to involve in the whole process of

economic development

It results into sufferings of the masses. Good

example is Teacher Isaak who actually lost his job

also Njoroge dismissed out from the school

It results into loss of life. Good example id Jacobo

and Dedan Kimathi who were killed as a result of the


It accelerates into violation of human rights. As seen

to many Kenyans are being forced to detention camp

irrespective of their neither gender nor age.

Other themes in this novel include;

Colonial rule and Dictator Ship.

Mr. How lands and Jacob are dictators. They use force

on the natives who attempt to protest against the

colonial government. The family of Ngotho is victimized

in order to safeguard the well being of the white man

and his farm/ wealth. The natives are tortured by the

police officers in order to make them confess to have

taken the oath some of the natives are quite innocent of

what has taken place.


The Mau Mau fighters are seen fighting for a chance in

the country. They organize protests and revenge against

the white men. People are sacrificing their life so as to

bring change in the society. The freedom fighters are

patriotic to their country and society in general.


There is fear among the natives because they are not

sure of their safety. A state os emergency has been

announced. People are killed here and there. Jacob, Mr.

How lands, Nganga, the barber Isaka and many others

lose their lives unexpectedly. The presence of curfew

and detention camps shows that the life was not secure.

E.g.: Ngotho is beaten and died


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