Njoroge enjoys his time at the missionary school, reveling in the fact that he’s living out his lifelong goal to become fully educated. One day, his program has a soccer game against a group of boys from a nearby school for Europeans. While watching the game, Njoroge spots a familiar boy in the crowd and talks to him, saying he recognizes him. After a moment, he realizes he’s speaking to Stephen Howlands, and the two boys walk away from the soccer game to talk. Avoiding any mention of their fathers, Stephen admits that he used to want badly to play with Njoroge and his brothers but that he was always too afraid. In turn, Njoroge tells him that he too was afraid of Stephen.
Njoroge and Stephen’s friendly encounter shows readers that people who are supposedly enemies can still find ways to connect if only they allow themselves to put aside their differences. Just because Njoroge and Stephen’s fathers are at odds with one another does not mean they themselves have to behave maliciously. What’s more, when Stephen admits that he used to be afraid of Njoroge, readers will remember that Njoroge also used to fear Stephen. In turn, Ngũgĩ demonstrates that divisions and rifts between people often have to do with unfounded or unreasonable assumptions.