Binti

by

Nnedi Okorafor

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Binti can help.

Binti Character Analysis

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 astrolabes. Because of her talents, Binti was accepted to Oomza University across the galaxy on a full scholarship. This presents major issues because Binti is Himba. Himba generally never leave home, but Binti’s love of math and her desire to pursue her education is strong enough to cause her to leave. Even as Binti experiences instances of racism and overt rudeness, she remains proud of being Himba and is especially proud of the otjize that covers her skin and hair and denotes her Himba identity. Things improve once she discovers that all her future classmates love math just as much as she does—and though they’re all Khoush, they can all still connect over this shared interest. This helps Binti feel more secure in her choice to leave home. When disaster strikes and Meduse aliens hijack the ship, killing everyone but Binti, Binti clings tightly to a device she found known as an edan, which seems to protect her. Over the course of the next five days, Binti learns how to use the edan, which allows her to communicate with the Meduse. She forms a fragile friendship with a Meduse named Okwu and begins to learn about Meduse culture and share information about her own. When Binti discovers why the Meduse are headed for Oomza Uni, she uses her skills as a master harmonizer to convince the Meduse to trust her—and the researchers at the university to hand over the chief Meduse’s stinger. Through doing this, Binti’s identity fundamentally changes. She must give the Meduse her jar of otjize, and a Meduse stings her. The sting turns her hair into okuoko, blue Meduse-like tentacles, that mean Binti cannot braid her hair into the special pattern of her family—but the okuoko allow her to communicate with the Meduse. Through her friendship with Okwu and her discovery that she can make more otjize on her new planet, Binti begins to feel more secure in her new identity and even calls home to speak with her family.

Binti Quotes in Binti

The Binti quotes below are all either spoken by Binti or refer to Binti. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Tom Doherty edition of Binti published in 2015.
Binti Quotes

We Himba don’t travel. We stay put. Our ancestral land is life; move away from it and you diminish. We even cover our bodies with it. Otjize is red land. Here in the launch port, most were Khoush and a few other non-Himba. Here, I was an outsider; I was outside. “What was I thinking?” I whispered.

Related Characters: Binti (speaker)
Related Symbols: Otjize
Page Number: 12-13
Explanation and Analysis:

“There is a reason why our people do not go to that university. Oomza Uni wants you for its own gain, Binti. You go to that school and you become its slave.” I couldn’t help but contemplate the possible truth in her words. I hadn’t even gotten there yet and already I’d given them my life.

Related Characters: Binti’s Mother (speaker), Binti (speaker), The Chief
Page Number: 14
Explanation and Analysis:

“Congratulations,” he said to me in his parched voice, holding out my astrolabe.

I frowned at him, confused. “What for?”

“You are the pride of your people, child,” he said, looking me in the eye. Then he smiled broadly and patted my shoulder. He’d just seen my entire life. He knew of my admission into Oomza Uni.

Related Characters: Binti (speaker)
Page Number: 15
Explanation and Analysis:

“It smells like jasmine flowers,” she said to the woman on her left, surprised.

“No shit?” one woman said. “I hear it smells like shit because it is shit.”

“No, definitely jasmine flowers. It is thick like shit, though.”

“Is her hair even real?” another woman asked the woman rubbing her fingers.

“I don’t know.”

“These ‘dirt bathers’ are a filthy people,” the first woman muttered.

I just turned back around, my shoulders hunched. My mother had counseled me to be quiet around Khoush.

Related Characters: Binti (speaker), Binti’s Mother
Related Symbols: Otjize
Page Number: 16
Explanation and Analysis:

Inside, I smiled. Government security guards were only educated up to age ten, yet because of their jobs, they were used to ordering people around. And they especially looked down on people like me. Apparently, they were the same everywhere, no matter the tribe. He had no idea what a “computative apparatus” was, but he didn’t want to show that I, a poor Himba girl, was more educated than he. Not in front of all these people.

Related Characters: Binti (speaker)
Page Number: 19
Explanation and Analysis:

The people on the ship weren’t Himba, but I soon understood that they were still my people. I stood out as Himba, but the commonalities shined brighter. I made friends quickly. And by the second week in space, they were good friends.

Related Characters: Binti (speaker)
Page Number: 21-22
Explanation and Analysis:

“I couldn’t help it,” he said, his fingertips reddish with my otjize.

“You can’t control yourself?” I snapped.

“You have exactly twenty-one,” he said. “And they’re braided in tessellating triangles. Is it some sort of code?”

I wanted to tell him that there was a code, that the pattern spoke my family’s bloodline, culture, and history. That my father had designed the code and my mother and aunties had shown me how to braid it into my hair.

Related Characters: Heru (speaker), Binti (speaker)
Related Symbols: Otjize
Page Number: 23
Explanation and Analysis:

In my culture, it is blasphemy to pray to inanimate objects, but I did it anyway. I prayed to a metal even my father had been unable to identify. I held it to my chest, shut my eyes, and I prayed to it, I am in your protection. Please protect me.

Related Characters: Binti (speaker), Heru, Okwu, Binti’s Father
Page Number: 24
Explanation and Analysis:

We’d all been taught this Meduse form of killing in history class. The Khoush built the lessons into history, literature, and culture classes across several regions. Even my people were required to learn about it, despite the fact that it wasn’t our fight. The Khoush expected everyone to remember their greatest enemy and injustice. They even worked Meduse anatomy and rudimentary technology into mathematics and science classes.

Related Characters: Binti (speaker)
Page Number: 25-26
Explanation and Analysis:

My brothers had all just laughed and dismissed the idea. My parents said nothing, not even congratulations. Their silence was answer enough. Even my best friend Dele. He congratulated and told me that I was smarter than everyone at Oomza Uni, but then he’d laughed, too. “You cannot go,” he simply said. “We’re Himba. God has already chosen our paths.”

Related Characters: Binti (speaker), Dele (speaker), Binti’s Father, Binti’s Mother
Page Number: 29
Explanation and Analysis:

When I’d sit in the desert, alone, listening to the wind, I would see and feel the numbers the way I did when I was deep in my work in my father’s shop. And those numbers added up to the sum of my destiny.

So in secret, I filled out and uploaded the acceptance forms. The desert was the perfect place for privacy when they contacted my astrolabe for university interviews.

Related Characters: Binti (speaker), Binti’s Father
Related Symbols: Otjize
Page Number: 29
Explanation and Analysis:

“Evil thing,” I heard the one called Okwu say. Of all the voices, that one I could recognize. It was the angriest and scariest. The voice sounded spoken, not transmitted in my mind. I could hear the vibration of the “v” in “evil” and the hard breathy “th” in “thing.” Did they have mouths?

Related Characters: Okwu (speaker), Binti (speaker)
Page Number: 42
Explanation and Analysis:

I couldn’t give all my otjize to this Meduse; this was my culture.

Related Characters: Binti (speaker), Okwu
Related Symbols: Otjize
Page Number: 49
Explanation and Analysis:

I sat up straight, ignoring the fatigue trying to pull my bones to the bed. “I am Binti Ekeopara Zuzu Dambu Kaipka of Namib.” I considered speaking its single name to reflect its cultural simplicity compared to mine, but my strength and bravado were already waning.

Related Characters: Binti (speaker), Okwu
Page Number: 50
Explanation and Analysis:

I frowned at it. Realizing something. It spoke like one of my brothers, Bena. I was born only three years after him yet we’d never been very close. He was angry and always speaking out about the way my people were maltreated by the Khoush majority despite the fact that they needed us and our astrolabes to survive. He was always calling them evil, though he’d never traveled to a Khoush country or known a Khoush. His anger was rightful, but all that he said was from what he didn’t truly know.

Related Characters: Binti (speaker), Okwu, Bena
Page Number: 54
Explanation and Analysis:

“In your university, in one of its museums, placed on display like a piece of rare meat is the stinger of our chief,” it said. I wrinkled my face, but said nothing. “Our chief is...” it paused. “We know of the attack and mutilation of our chief, but we do not know how it got there. We do not care. We will land on Oomza Uni and take it back.”

Related Characters: Okwu (speaker), Binti, The Chief
Page Number: 56
Explanation and Analysis:

Spongy. As if it were full of the firm jelly beads in the milky pudding my mother liked to make. I could sense current all around me. These people had deep active technology built into the walls and many of them had it running within their very bodies. Some of them were walking astrolabes, it was part of their biology.

Related Characters: Binti (speaker), Okwu, The Chief, Binti’s Mother
Page Number: 60
Explanation and Analysis:

“Was it the sting?” I asked.

“No,” it said. “That is something else. You understand, because you truly are what you say you are—a harmonizer.”

Related Characters: Binti (speaker), Okwu (speaker)
Page Number: 70
Explanation and Analysis:

But above all this, outside of the horror of what we’d done, we all felt an awesome glorious...shock. Our hair hung in thick clumps, black in the moonlight. Our skin glistened, dark brown. Glistened. And there had been a breeze that night and it felt amazing on our exposed skin.

Related Characters: Binti (speaker)
Related Symbols: Otjize
Page Number: 72
Explanation and Analysis:

Several of the human professors looked at each other and chuckled. One of the large insectile people clicked its mandibles. I frowned, flaring my nostrils. It was the first time I’d received treatment similar to the way my people were treated on Earth by the Khoush. In a way, this set me at ease. People were people, everywhere. These professors were just like anyone else.

Related Characters: Binti (speaker), Haras, The Chief, Okwu
Related Symbols: Otjize
Page Number: 75
Explanation and Analysis:

“You’ve never seen the Meduse, either. Only studied them...from afar. I know. I have read about them too.” I stepped forward. “Or maybe some of you or your students have studied the stinger you have in the weapons museum up close.”

Related Characters: Binti (speaker), The Chief, Okwu, Haras
Page Number: 75-76
Explanation and Analysis:

The spiderlike Haras raised two front legs and spoke in the language of the Meduse and said, “On behalf of all the people of Oomza Uni and on behalf of Oomza University, I apologize for the actions of a group of our own in taking the stinger from you, Chief Meduse. The scholars who did this will be found, expelled, and exiled. Museum specimen of such prestige are highly prized at our university, however such things must only be acquired with permission from the people to whom they belong. [...] We will return it to you immediately.”

Related Characters: The Chief, Binti, Okwu
Page Number: 78
Explanation and Analysis:

“That is true, but what about your home? Will you ever return?”

“Of course,” I said. “Eventually, I will visit and...”

“I have studied your people,” she said. “They don’t like outsiders.”

“I’m not an outsider,” I said, with a twinge of irritation. “I am...” And that’s when it caught my eye.

Related Characters: Okpala (speaker), Binti (speaker)
Related Symbols: Otjize, Okuoko
Page Number: 80
Explanation and Analysis:

I’ll never forget the way the chief’s body went from blue to clear the moment the stinger became a part of it again. Only a blue line remained at the point of demarcation where it had reattached—a scar that would always remind it of what human beings of Oomza Uni had done to it for the sake of research and academics.

Related Characters: Binti (speaker), The Chief
Related Symbols: Okuoko, Otjize
Page Number: 84
Explanation and Analysis:

I pulled my hand away and took a deep breath. If I couldn’t make otjize here, then I’d have to...change. I touched one of my tentacle-like locks and felt a painful pressure in my chest as my mind tried to take me to a place I wasn’t ready to go. I plunged my two fingers into my new concoction...and scooped it up. I spread it on my flesh. Then I wept.

Related Characters: Binti (speaker)
Related Symbols: Otjize, Okuoko
Page Number: 88
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Binti LitChart as a printable PDF.
Binti PDF

Binti Character Timeline in Binti

The timeline below shows where the character Binti appears in Binti. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Binti
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
Binti turns on her transporter, praying silently. She doesn’t have a backup plan if her cheap... (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
At the station, Binti purchases her ticket and boards the shuttle. She notes the rising sun as she threads... (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
Binti looks back and can see the lights from her father’s astrolabe shop, the sand storm... (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
Science, Humanity, and the Ethics of Research Theme Icon
Binti thinks again that she’s 16 and has never left her city. She feels all alone... (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
Community, Friendship, and Belonging Theme Icon
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
Binti wants to ask the officer if he scans everyone’s astrolabe so deeply, but now she’s... (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
Binti moves fast through the crowd. She considers finding a restroom so she can apply more... (full context)
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
As Binti stands in line for boarding security, a group of Khoush women tug at Binti’s hair.... (full context)
Science, Humanity, and the Ethics of Research Theme Icon
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
Binti pulls her hair to the front and touches the edan concealed in her pocket. It’s... (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
Science, Humanity, and the Ethics of Research Theme Icon
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
The guard waves Binti through. Binti smiles to herself, as government security guards have lots of power but only... (full context)
Community, Friendship, and Belonging Theme Icon
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
Binti finds her room and her group of 12 other new Oomza Uni students. They’re all... (full context)
Science, Humanity, and the Ethics of Research Theme Icon
Community, Friendship, and Belonging Theme Icon
Binti is the only Himba on the ship. The Himba are known for their innovative technology,... (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
A boy named Heru catches Binti’s eye. They don’t speak, but they smile at each other sometimes. He comes from a... (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
Science, Humanity, and the Ethics of Research Theme Icon
Binti never gets to tell Heru the truth about her braids. Five days before the ship... (full context)
Science, Humanity, and the Ethics of Research Theme Icon
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
...rustle. They’re tall, with silk-like domes for bodies and tentacles that spill to the floor. Binti can hear them breathe. She pulls her edan closer and prays to it to protect... (full context)
Science, Humanity, and the Ethics of Research Theme Icon
Community, Friendship, and Belonging Theme Icon
Binti suddenly remembers that she was just talking to her friends. She remembers how they’d spent... (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
Science, Humanity, and the Ethics of Research Theme Icon
Community, Friendship, and Belonging Theme Icon
Binti explains that no one in her family wanted her to go Oomza Uni, and that... (full context)
Science, Humanity, and the Ethics of Research Theme Icon
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
Binti is the first Himba ever to be accepted into Oomza Uni. Even though the hateful... (full context)
Science, Humanity, and the Ethics of Research Theme Icon
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
Back in the present, Binti opens her eyes and clutches the edan to her chest. The Meduse in front of... (full context)
Science, Humanity, and the Ethics of Research Theme Icon
Community, Friendship, and Belonging Theme Icon
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
Binti fills a tray and her satchel with food and water and then leaves the cafeteria.... (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
Binti picks up her astrolabe, which she made to fit her own needs before this trip.... (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
Science, Humanity, and the Ethics of Research Theme Icon
The astrolabe finally says that Binti is 121 hours from Oomza Uni and projects a map. Binti recognizes that she’s in... (full context)
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
Something knocks at Binti’s door, scaring her. She jumps and then freezes to listen. Whatever’s on the other side... (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
Science, Humanity, and the Ethics of Research Theme Icon
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
Binti sits at the window and rolls otjize into her braids. The otjize smells like home... (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
Binti snaps out of her trance and nearly screams. She hasn’t heard anyone speak since the... (full context)
Community, Friendship, and Belonging Theme Icon
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
...One Meduse, whom the others call Okwu, wants to break down the door and kill Binti. Binti interrupts their arguing and calls to Okwu to talk with her. She looks down... (full context)
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
Binti says she’s not evil and refuses to open the door. As the Meduse mutter outside,... (full context)
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
Okwu speaks again and asks about the “blue ghost” that Binti created to help them converse. As Binti moves away from the door, she admits that... (full context)
Community, Friendship, and Belonging Theme Icon
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
One of the Meduse darts forward. Binti sees her entire family at her funeral flash before her eyes, and she sees her... (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
Community, Friendship, and Belonging Theme Icon
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
Ten hours later, Binti is out of provisions. She tries to stay busy, but doing anything is difficult since... (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
Community, Friendship, and Belonging Theme Icon
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
Fifteen minutes later, Okwu returns. Binti checks to see that she was right—the tentacle that touched her otjize isn’t as damaged... (full context)
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
Okwu doesn’t move. Binti asks if the otjize helped its tentacle, but Okwu blows an irritated breath and leaves.... (full context)
Science, Humanity, and the Ethics of Research Theme Icon
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
Okwu again asks how they’re able to communicate. Binti makes herself sound powerful and admits she doesn’t know. When Okwu asks, she gives her... (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
Science, Humanity, and the Ethics of Research Theme Icon
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
Binti wakes up to find a plate of smoked fish and a bowl of water right... (full context)
Community, Friendship, and Belonging Theme Icon
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
Eventually, Binti says that there are a people in her village who live on the edge of... (full context)
Community, Friendship, and Belonging Theme Icon
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
Okwu remarks that the Khoush’s skin is the color of the flesh of Binti’s fish. They don’t have okuoko. Meanwhile, Binti is colored like the fish’s skin, and she... (full context)
Science, Humanity, and the Ethics of Research Theme Icon
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
Binti can tell that Okwu is young. In a way, it reminds Binti of herself. It’s... (full context)
Science, Humanity, and the Ethics of Research Theme Icon
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
Binti reminds Okwu that its okuoko is healed and asks if it’ll let her live in... (full context)
Science, Humanity, and the Ethics of Research Theme Icon
Binti asks Okwu about the “current-killer” it used in the Meduse-Khoush war and reminds it that... (full context)
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
Binti bravely walks through the corridor linking the Meduse ship to the Third Fish, trying to... (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
Binti knows she should be terrified. The chief hates humans, so both she and Okwu are... (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
Community, Friendship, and Belonging Theme Icon
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
Binti closes her eyes and focuses on the edan’s current. She can hear that the floor... (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
Community, Friendship, and Belonging Theme Icon
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
With Okwu’s prodding, Binti shares her plan to negotiate peacefully with Oomza Uni. Binti insists that many will die—and... (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
Community, Friendship, and Belonging Theme Icon
Binti says that the Meduse are right: she can’t represent them while holding the edan. Someone... (full context)
Community, Friendship, and Belonging Theme Icon
Binti smells home—specifically, she smells the place where she digs up clay to make otjize. She... (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
Science, Humanity, and the Ethics of Research Theme Icon
The Meduse don’t return, so Binti prepares for landing. She looks out the window at the planet’s two suns, giving the... (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
Community, Friendship, and Belonging Theme Icon
Binti hears a horrible, rumbling, angry growl. She’s terrified that a monster is coming for her,... (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
Binti follows Okwu and the chief through the ship. She sees all the Meduse in the... (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
...mentally unwell. Despite this, they felt happily shocked and enjoyed the breeze on their skin. Binti thought of this as she rubbed otjize in her hair and considered washing all the... (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
Community, Friendship, and Belonging Theme Icon
Outside the ship, human soldiers meet them. The chief growls for Binti to go first and Okwu softly tells Binti to look strong. Her scalp still tingles... (full context)
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
...university looks like a “spider made of wind” and introduces itself as Haras. Haras invites Binti to speak. Binti explains that she comes from a land where there’s so little fresh... (full context)
Science, Humanity, and the Ethics of Research Theme Icon
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
Binti continues her story and details how the Meduse killed everyone on the ship. She makes... (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
Community, Friendship, and Belonging Theme Icon
Binti is certain that the professors will agree to her proposal. The Meduse chief speaks angrily... (full context)
Science, Humanity, and the Ethics of Research Theme Icon
Community, Friendship, and Belonging Theme Icon
...in all things. Haras says that they’ll give back the stinger right away, which makes Binti sink to the floor. She apologizes and then feels Okwu steady her from behind. Binti... (full context)
Science, Humanity, and the Ethics of Research Theme Icon
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
...honorable. The chief says that it will speak with advisors before making a choice, but Binti can tell it’s pleased. (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
Looking around, Binti feels very alone and like she’s part of something monumental. She wonders if her family... (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
Community, Friendship, and Belonging Theme Icon
Binti inspects her lock and feels her head. She can feel her hand pressing down on... (full context)
Science, Humanity, and the Ethics of Research Theme Icon
Community, Friendship, and Belonging Theme Icon
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
Binti explains that supposedly, all that happened spread around Oomza Uni in mere minutes. The story... (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
Science, Humanity, and the Ethics of Research Theme Icon
In one of the libraries in Weapons City, Binti and Okwu stare at the empty place where the chief’s stinger used to be. The... (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
Weeks later, once Binti starts classes and people stop pestering her, Binti runs out of otjize. She tracks down... (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
Binti weeps and washes her homeland off her skin. When she’s done, she touches her okuoko.... (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
When it’s dark, Binti grabs her container of fresh otjize. As she prepares to dig her fingers in, she... (full context)
Community, Friendship, and Belonging Theme Icon
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
Binti goes to see Okwu at its dorm. Okwu emerges and tells Binti that she looks... (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
Science, Humanity, and the Ethics of Research Theme Icon
Community, Friendship, and Belonging Theme Icon
At Binti’s dorm, Okwu insists it knows what Binti is thinking. Binti sobs that the Meduse are... (full context)