When Rain Clouds Gather by Bessie Head (a). They had been made free. He had thought that only white men harmed the people of Africa. When Rain Clouds Gather. EBook features. Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Get this from a library! When rain clouds gather a novel. [Bessie Head]. When Rain Clouds Gather has 906 ratings and 77 reviews. Zanna said: It was Alice Walker who advised me to read Bessie Head, and it’s true, she knows how.
Chief Matenje is an example of corrupt leadership – particularly, the corrupt and oppressive leadership seen on the African continent. He is the antagonist and villain of the novel “When Rain Clouds Gather”. When we are first introduced to Chief Matenje, he is referred to as the “troublesome and unpopular brother” of the “paramount chief named Sekoto” (Head 2008:18). Chief Sekoto appointed Chief Matenje as the subchief of Golema Mmidi, a small, rural village in Botswana. He is extremely disliked by the villagers because of his “overwhelming avariciousness and unpleasant personality” (Head 2008: 18). Chief Matenje’s unattractive and hard appearance is influenced by the angry, tortured and negative life which he had lived. He is described as having a “long, gloomy, melancholy, suspicious face” (Head 2008: 43).
When the protagonist, Makhaya Maseko, first meets the Chief, he sees the face of a “tortured man” with “scarred deep ridges across his brow and down his cheeks” (Head 2008: 65). He notes that this is the face of a man who has only experienced the “storms and winters of life, never the warm dissolving sun of love” (Head 2008:18).
Chief Matenje “really believed he was ‘royalty’” (Head 2008: 62). He used a number of items, including “a high-backed kingly chair” and “a deep, purple tasselled and expensive gown” (Head 2008: 62), to display this image.
He even wished to display this royalty in his actions. When he first meets Makhaya, his descent down the steps of his house is described as “regal, kingly, spectacular” (Head 2008: 62). However, Makhaya sees right through this behaviour – he notices the “sham of it all” and it “instantly arouses his sympathy” (Head 2008: 62). Chief Matenje lived a lonely life “in a central part of the village in a big, cream-painted mansion” (Head 2008: 41).
He had previously been married but his wife divorced him and kept their two children. While he had lived alone for many years, he had recently “acquired a guest and friend in a certain politician called, Joas Tsepe” (Head 2008: 41). However, Matenje was still not happy. He felt insecure and unsettled in the village. He was very conscious of the fact that the villagers disliked him and his leadership. Xenserver 6 2 Keygen Crack. Hewas only able to obtain a feeling of security in the village from his “mansion, slaves, and a huge cream Chevrolet” (Head 2008: 42).
Matenje “became very rich” (Head 2008: 21) by exploiting the villagers. He made his money from cattle speculating. Gilbert Balfour (a British man living in Botswana), however, put an end to Matneje’s cattle speculating business by starting a “cattle co-operative” which became very popular amongst the villagers (Head 2008: 21). Matenje was a traditionalist who was very conscious of the tribal divide.
We see on page 43 (Head 2008) that he “understood tribalism” and he “commanded the largest following of diehard traditionalists”. He disliked his brother, Chief Sekoto, immensely because he felt “the chieftaincy should be his” (Head 2008: 43). He saw his brother as an “amiable, pleasant nitwit” (Head 2008: 42) – the very opposite of what he perceived as a good leader. He saw “arrogance and pride” as being “part and parcel of the bearing of a great chief” (Head 2008: 42). Matenje’s dislike of his brother, Chief Sekoto, was so intense that he was even involved in a plan to assassinate him. When Chief Sekoto found out about the assassination plot, he brushed it aside and instead gave his brother the post of administrator in the village.
However, Chief Matenje was still not able to let go of his hatred. He went on to transfer this extreme hatred for his brother to the villagers of Golema Mmidi (Head 2008: 43).
The villagers were very conscious of this hatred. Even though they “politely addressed Matenje as ‘Chief’” (Head 2008: 18), they “avoided him as much as possible” (Head 2008: 44). Chief Matenje saw himself as more important and superior to the people of the village.