Nervous Conditions

by

Tsitsi Dangarembga

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Mr. Matimba Character Analysis

A teacher at the village school and at Sunday school. He breaks up the fight when Tambu tackles Nhamo for stealing her corn, and, after listening to her tale, he offers to help her sell her corn in Umtali. Unlike most of the other adults in Tambu's life, Mr. Matimba listens carefully to Tambu and takes her desires seriously. When they're on the street together in Umtali, Mr. Matimba tells Doris, a passing white woman, a story about Tambu's circumstances designed to arouse her sympathies and with this, is able to help Tambu raise enough money for two years of school. Understanding that the ten pounds would immediately disappear if Tambu takes it home, Mr. Matimba sets up a system to pay for school that allows Tambu to use the money without having to keep it herself. He later tries to impress upon Jeremiah that Tambu's education will be valuable to the family.

Mr. Matimba Quotes in Nervous Conditions

The Nervous Conditions quotes below are all either spoken by Mr. Matimba or refer to Mr. Matimba. 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:
The Limits of Education Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Lynne Rienner Publishers edition of Nervous Conditions published in 2004.
Chapter Two Quotes

He thought I was emulating my brother, that the things I read would fill my mind with impractical ideas, making me quite useless for the real tasks of feminine living. It was a difficult time for him because Mr. Matimba had shown him that in terms of cash my education was an investment, but then in terms of cattle so was my conformity.

Related Characters: Tambu (speaker), Jeremiah, Nhamo, Mr. Matimba
Page Number: 34
Explanation and Analysis:
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Mr. Matimba Character Timeline in Nervous Conditions

The timeline below shows where the character Mr. Matimba appears in Nervous Conditions. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter Two
The Limits of Education Theme Icon
Men vs. Women Theme Icon
Obedience vs. Independence Theme Icon
...Nhamo brought her corn. Tambu immediately raced to Nhamo, tackled him, and was stopped by Mr. Matimba when she tried to tackle him again. Mr. Matimba chastised the watching children and sent... (full context)
The Limits of Education Theme Icon
Men vs. Women Theme Icon
Obedience vs. Independence Theme Icon
Tambu told Mr. Matimba the whole story. He suggested that Tambu sell her corn to Whites in town and... (full context)
The Limits of Education Theme Icon
Colonialism Theme Icon
On Tuesday, Tambu climbed into the truck with Mr. Matimba . He explained to her why the bumps on the road felt bumpier in a... (full context)
Colonialism Theme Icon
...got out of the car and stopped on a corner. Tambu arranged her corn as Mr. Matimba tried, in English, to flag down an old white woman. Tambu tried not to act... (full context)
Men vs. Women Theme Icon
Colonialism Theme Icon
Obedience vs. Independence Theme Icon
Mr. Matimba helped Tambu pack up and explained that he'd told Doris that Tambu was an orphan... (full context)
Men vs. Women Theme Icon
Obedience vs. Independence Theme Icon
Finally, they called in Mr. Matimba . He pointed out that someday, Tambu will be able to earn more than ten... (full context)