Characterization is the description of a character ‘s physical traits (how the character looks like) point of view, personalities, private thoughts and actions. In Fathers of Nations by Paul B. Vitta, various characters have bccn used to develop the plot, other characters, themes and styles.
Character of Dr. Abiola Afolabi in Fathers of the Nations
He’s a graduatc of Harvard University in thc USA currently teaching in the university of Ibadan, Nigeria and author of
Failure of Nations as revealed by Fiona McKenzie, the journalist. He had earlier presented himself as the guide to the four men. His role in the summit was to be the advisor to the head of state.
When asked why he came to the summit , he proudly says he never came to the summit…he was invited by the president. (Pg 9)
After a comprehensive introduction by Ms McKenzie, Dr Abiola averted his eyes to enjoy the fame he had created. (Pg 6)
He gives orders to Prof, Kimani to an extent of expecting a protest from him. HC even demands that Kimani obeys him; obey professor… obey (Pg 3). He also gives the same orders and demands to be obeyed when he calls Pastor Chiamaka…..don’t argue obey. (Pg 18)
Afolabi is such a self preserved person. When asked who he is he just says he is a guide, he never wants to reveal his identity (pg 4). He even gets angered when Pastor Chiamaka insists on who he is (Pg 17).
When he meets Pamela’s father (Pg 67) he swears he would never disclose the scene to his wife Pamela (Pg 70). Afolabi is very much aware of the fact that his family are organizing for him to have another wife since his wife hasn’t
given birth. He never discloses it to his wife, Pamela. (Pg 80)
At his first meeting with Prof. Kimani he successfully convinces him to join Path Alpha. To convince him he repeatedly refers to Prof Kimani’s history — something he is proud of. …from your history again …
5. Hot tempered/ temperamental/ short tempered
He gets furious at Ms McKenzie (Pg 9) when she informs him that her boss wants her in his office at the middle of the interview; he gets annoyed to a point when asked if he is ok he almost shouts.
When Prof. Kimani picks his call but delays to respond, the person who conceals his identity and is referred to as the guide (later learnt to be Dr.Abiola ) gets irritated very fast. (Pg 2) Tired of so many questions from Pastor Chiamaka (Pg 17) he shouts at pastor ordering him to shut his mouth.
He has two documents; Way Omega and Path Alpha. He understands what each proposes. In the summit he is given the role of ensuring that Way Omega carries the day…but he sees Path Alpha as the only solution in Africa. He devises a way of introducing Path Alpha in the summit — a rival ideology to Way Omega. He says ‘While Way Omega gives you a bird in the bush…Path Alpha presses the same bird into your hands (Pg 154). He uses the proverb…a bird at hand is worth two in the bush.
When he calls Prof. Kimani, Kimani calls him a ‘cocky educated Nigerian (Pg 4) simply because of the way he pronounces every stressed syllable and his impeccable grammar (Pg 3)
He looks down upon Fiona McKenzie (Pg 9) He thinks that Fiona is just a journalist who doesn’t know much about books. This is when Ms McKenzie terms him pessimist in his book ‘Failure of Nations’what do you know about books any way? (Pg9)
Bragging about his superiority and how special he is he also says that he never came to the meeting; instead, he was invited. Firm He orders the man carrying McKenzie carelessly by her waist to put her down. When the man asks him whether he is a man enough to repeat what he has said he says ‘Yes… yes, I told you to put her down.’
Character of Pastor Chineke Chiamaka in the Novel: Fathers of Nations
He was a pastor of the Church Inside Africa in Lagos, Nigeria. He was banned from preaching after attacking the government that it is supposed to take action not advice itself.
He really wants to know who the secret guide is. When told to shut up by the caller he still insists (Pg 17)
He critiques the government boldly without fear in front of his congregation. The congregants never respond because of the consequences but this never deters him from speaking his mind.
According to her the government is supposed to take action not advise itself. It is for the same reason Pastor Chiamaka is arrested and banned from preaching. (Pgl 14, 115)
His sermons are persuasive. (Pg 110). …his sermon that Sunday was witty and persuasive. (Pg 114)
Short tempered /Emotional /High tempered
When the guide tells him that he had seen him at the bar Pastor Chiamaka gets annoyed. He tells him candidly that he had begun getting into his nerves. (Pg 19) .do you know what, Mr whoever you-are? You are beginning to get into my nerves…. . when asked the kind of business he had in the bar…he felt a lump of anger rise up in his throat (Pg 19). This shows that he is bitter about the question the guide asked.
When the guide lowers his temper after the two have had an argument, Chiamaka uses the opportunity to ask him oncc more on who he is. “…Look! You and I are supposed to be walking together, wc arc on the same lilission.’ Pastor Chiamaka responds…then why won’t you tell me your real name? ‘(Pg 1 8)
When asked to identify the items in the briefcase he has received at the Seamount Hotel’s west wing, he correctly identifies them and is able to identify the phone he is using!
Character of Professor Karanja Kimani, Fathers of Nations
He is a professor at the Institute of Development Studies within the University of Nairobi, Kenya. He’s also the ex-husband of Asiya Omondi as well as father to Tuni.
He is a professor, He studied at the University of Oxford. He is a Senior Lecturer in thc University of Nairobi.
He loved his wife Asiya Omondi . When Asiya wants them to separate so that she gets married to Newborn Walomu, Prof. Kimani never agrees to it. He tries his best to convince Asiya but it falls on Asiya’s deaf ears.
He loves his daughter Tuni. He’s really traumatized when she passes on; even after the burial he morns Tuni earnestly.
He abuses Newborn Walomu as a fat baboon…a greedy fat baboon. This is when he goes to ask him why he stole his wife.
Short tempered/Hot tempered
Angry he is after Walomu steals his wife; he decides to go and attack him.
Character of Comrade Ngobile Melusi
He’s a comrade and citizen of Zimbabwe. He’s also a politician and husband to Ziliza who lost her life to tribal clashes.
When he discovers that he is diabetic, he reads pamphlets about it with an interest similar to that which first time car owners read manuals (Pg 83). He wants to know more about diabetes hence how to manage it…this attitude pays off; he is now an authority on diabetes. (Pg 83)
He insisted that he must get in with his needle and indeed he succeeds. He never succumbs to the officer’s demands…so sir I will let you in with your medicine after all please proceed. (Pg 85)
He observes that they were the only customers yet it was 1:30 pm noting that the economy had crashed.
He loved his wife Ziliza dearly. When narrating how he to lost her, he cries. …Comrade Melusi starts to glisten with the beginning of tears. (Pg 90)
He lies on his bed daydreaming about Ziliza. He reaches out for his wallet then pulls out her photograph…just to bring out the memories. The caller tells Melusi to come urgently to a meeting in an hour yet Comrade Melusi returns to his wife’s photo. This shows how Comrade Melusi loved his wife.
5. Engineer Seif Tahir – Characterisation in Fathers of the Nations
He’s cnginccr, a fortner employee of the ministry of defense in Libya. He joins ‘Fist of Allah’ right after returning from overseas. It’s later dismantled.
He feels humiliated when Rahmah Mahmoud says no to his advances. (pg 121)
He retaliates on his advances being rejected by Rahmah Mahmoud. He slaps her claiming that she shed her veil in public; a violation of the Libyan culture,
He deeply regrets that Rahmah lost her eye„.as per the court verdict the I lammurabic verdict — an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth (Pg 122) he loses peace, The author says he becomes Inuch restless now than he has never been. (Pg 122)
6. Newborn Walomu – Character and Role
He has formerly been a junior colleague of Profe Kimani at the University of Nairobi. He is an MP… a rich MP with four cars. He ‘stole’ Prof. Kimani ‘s wife, Asiya.
When he leaves teaching, he swims in money and amasses a lot of wealth that attracts Kimani’s wife to him. (Pg 30)
Walomu has three wives and Asiya will be fourth yet he has many other women he engages in sexual activity with; those he calls ‘killed but not eaten’ (Pg 36)
He adds by saying a real bull dies with his grass on his mouth. (Pg 37)
7. Fiona Mckenzie
She’s a reporter for Gambian News who’s later taken on loan by Voice Of America (VOA). She was adopted by Ian and Elspeth McKenzie; the Scottish missionaries who were in Banjul,
She jokingly tells Dr. Abiola to go take a photo because hc is young against his forty five years . ‘Go have your picture taken right now Dr Afolabi, You won’t always look this good. I am joking, go.’ (Pg6)
She thanks Dr. Afolabi for agrccing to havc an interview with her. ‘First Ict thank you for agreeing to sit for this interview.’
When her boss calls her she tells Dr Afolabi: The silly boss wants me.’ (Pg 10)
McKenzie was spiking words with bile left in her mouth by an earlier exchange (Pg 134)… She could no longer hide her anger’. (Pg 135)
8. Asiya Omondi
Previously wife to Prof, Kimani and mother to Tuni, she divorces Prof. Kimani because of his financial status; she’s now wife to Newborn Walomu.
She choses to get married to Newborn Walomu at sixty years because he has money and four cars. He leaves Prof. Kimani because he is poor; having only one car which again is faulty. (Pg 33)
Even when Prof. Kimani says that money doesn’t guarantee happiness, she says ‘never having had it, how would you know that it doesn ‘t?’
9. Rahmah Mahmoud
When Seif Tahir slaps her she become emotional and strikes Seifin his left eye and slits it open. (Pg 122)
She slits Seif’s eye after a slight provocation from Seife President Didier Banguora
After analyzing what the first two speakers had said he came up with his support for Path Alpha. He says candidly that there is no need of adopting Way Omega because it was once adopted.
10.President Simba Ibarosa
He has never taken floor to make friends or amends…he is free in expressing his feelings and opinions.
11. President Wasiwasi Wesiga
He anticipated many coups and nipped them in the bud before they got off the ground.
At the sumnlit he reminds the chair of thc ‘trick ‘ when he realizes that the tnccting is getting out of hand, (Pgl 65)
12. Thaddues Longway
It is his first meeting with Dr. Afolabi but he knows that he is the man serving as an adviser of the heads of state in the summit (Pg73)
He is also aware of what Way Omega and Path Alpha he tells Dr. Afolabi that Way Omega and Path Alpha differs like day and night in that Way Omega is top-driven and lacks will of implementation. Path Alpha is bottom led and it has will.
When Dr.Afolabi is adamant to accept to be the guide to for Path Alpha travelers, Tad Longway informs him that there is no problem since he’s the advisor to the summit. He tells him to look at what Way Omega is recommending for adoption and what Path Alpha is proposing as an alternative. He tells him that he is open minded. (Pg 74)