Nnedi Okorafor

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Binti is the novella’s titular protagonist; she’s a 16-year-old girl from the Himba tribe. Binti is a gifted mathematician and “master harmonizer”; she, like many Himba, can manipulate mathematical currents and create sophisticated devices like… read analysis of Binti


Okwu is a young, hotheaded Meduse. Though Binti occasionally uses he/him pronouns for Okwu, she most often uses “it.” Okwu has a distinctive voice—Binti describes it as almost female-sounding, which sets it apart from… read analysis of Okwu

The Chief

The chief of the Meduse, like all Meduse people, is rational, honorable, and has no issue being violent if that violence is undertaken for an honorable reason. Some time before the novella begins, researchers… read analysis of The Chief


Okpala is a professor in the mathematics department at Oomza University. She’s a Khoush woman who is covered head to toe in green garments. Haras insists that Binti take classes with Okpala so they can… read analysis of Okpala

Binti’s Father

Binti’s father is a skilled maker of astrolabes. Prior to Binti leaving the planet, he’d planned to leave his workshop and business to her, but Binti believes he won’t do this now that… read analysis of Binti’s Father
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Haras is the professor who acts as the representative for Oomza University during the negotiations between the university and the Meduse. Binti describes him as looking like “a spider made of wind.” He eloquently… read analysis of Haras


Heru is a fellow future student at Oomza University. Binti has a secret crush on him, and they finally begin to speak to each other after about two weeks in space, when Heru notices that… read analysis of Heru


Bena is one of Binti’s older brothers. He’s an angry young man and often spouts off about how evil the Khoush are—even though he’s never really known a Khoush person. Binti believes that while… read analysis of Bena

Binti’s Mother

Binti says little about her mother, but her mother’s warnings about Oomza University wanting to coopt Binti’s talents for their own nefarious uses ring in Binti’s head as she travels. Binti’s mother also has the… read analysis of Binti’s Mother
Minor Characters
Dele is Binti’s best friend at home. Though he’s proud of her and of her acceptance to Oomza University, he still laughed at the thought of her actually leaving home to attend the school.