Chege is Waiyaki’s father and an elder from Kameno. Chege is old and wise, a seer, and one of the few people who knows of the ancient prophecy that a savior will rise from the hills and save their people. Because their family is part of an ancient line and because of his son’s natural ability to lead, Chege believes that Waiyaki will be that savior. He sends his son to study with the missionaries in Siriana so that he may learn their secrets and use that knowledge to free the Gikuyu people from the colonists. Chege is dedicated to the tribe but recognizes that fighting in the old ways will no longer work—if the Gikuyu are to survive, they must learn the white people’s methods and tools, contrasting with Kabonyi’s belief that they must fight the white people with weapons and force their own people to follow only Gikuyu customs. Though he occasionally wonders if his son will fail, Chege dies of old age shortly after Waiyaki is circumcised, believing that now that his son is a man, he will be ready to step into his role as savior.
Chege Quotes in The River Between
The The River Between quotes below are all either spoken by Chege or refer to Chege. 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: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of The River Between published in 2015.).
Chapter 4 Quotes
Chapter 5 Quotes
“Arise. Heed the prophecy. Go to the Mission place. Learn all the wisdom and the secrets of the white man. But do not follow his vices. Be true to your people and the ancient rites.”
Chege Character Timeline in The River Between
The timeline below shows where the character Chege appears in The River Between. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...Kamau, Kinuthia, and Waiyaki gather their cattle and head for their homes. Waiyaki arrives at Chege’s hut as night falls. When Chege hears that Waiyaki took his cattle all the way... (full context)
...feared hell, now, because Christ made him a “new creature,” he does not fear hell, Chege, or any of the vengeful tribesmen. When he returned to Makuyu to spread Christianity, many... (full context)
The harvests are strong, and the villagers sacrifice to Murungu. The old men, such as Chege, remember that strong harvests often precede famines, like the one that left him a widower.... (full context)
...reputation across the ridges. In the wake of Muthoni’s death, the split with Siriana, and Chege’s death, Waiyaki takes spreading education in the ridges as his personal “mission.” The people respond... (full context)