Welcome to Our Hillbrow

by

Phaswane Mpe

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Welcome to Our Hillbrow can help.
Piet is Lerato and Tshepo’s father. Piet died when Tshepo was very young and before Lerato was born, because he was murdered by a cousin. Piet was from Alexandra, a village very near Tiragalong, and he would visit both villages often even though he lived in Johannesburg. Piet and Liz, Lerato’s mother, were employed by a white couple in the city (Piet worked as a gardener), and they lived together in the couple’s servant’s quarters. Back in Tiragalong, Piet’s cousin Molori’s mother fell ill, and Molori hired a bone thrower to explain the illness. The bone thrower disingenuously told Molori that Piet was to blame, and Molori and a few hired hitmen stabbed Piet to death the next time he went to visit Alexandra. In heaven, Piet is reunited with Tshepo, Tshepo’s mother, and Lerato.

Piet Quotes in Welcome to Our Hillbrow

The Welcome to Our Hillbrow quotes below are all either spoken by Piet or refer to Piet. 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:
Regret and Redemption Theme Icon
).
Chapter 3 Quotes

It did not occur to Molori and his uncle to doubt the bone thrower’s insights. His accurate knowledge of their family affairs was too impressive; where else could such knowledge have come from, they reasoned, other than from his reading of the bones? The uncle reminded Molori about the Tiragalong saying: witches have no distinct kin colour through which other people can recognize and identify them. Piet and his mother might put on the act of being good people. But who was to say that that was not the art of witches?

Related Characters: Bone Throwers, Molori, Piet
Page Number: 77
Explanation and Analysis:

Your skull threatened to collapse at any moment, causing you the worst headache known to humanity. Your head spun at untold speed and you became intensely dizzy in these hot, whirling webs of sensory input, your memory picking out choice words here, scenes there…the infinite fragments combining and recombing in the containing frame of your head. Until the roaring pressure of your skull finally exploded:

Welcome to our Hillbrow…Welcome to our Alexandra…Welcome to our Tiragalong in Johannesburg…

Related Characters: Refentše , Piet
Page Number: 79
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Welcome to Our Hillbrow LitChart as a printable PDF.
Welcome to Our Hillbrow PDF

Piet Character Timeline in Welcome to Our Hillbrow

The timeline below shows where the character Piet appears in Welcome to Our Hillbrow. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2 
Regret and Redemption Theme Icon
Prejudice and Ignorance  Theme Icon
Storytelling Theme Icon
Many months later, it would be revealed that Lerato’s father, Piet, was also the father of a beloved boy from Tiragalong, Tshepo. Tshepo was the very... (full context)
Chapter 3
Regret and Redemption Theme Icon
Prejudice and Ignorance  Theme Icon
...have the same father. Then, Refentše’s mother takes him and Lerato to meet her father (Piet) and Tshepo. Piet was killed when Tshepo was four and Lerato was not yet born. (full context)
Storytelling Theme Icon
...years ago. The movie begins with Liz, Lerato’s mother, when she is pregnant with Lerato. Piet kisses her goodbye. They live together as a gardener and a housekeeper for a white... (full context)
Storytelling Theme Icon
One such relative is Molori, Piet’s cousin. Their relationship is ordinarily very close, but Piet has no way of knowing that... (full context)
Storytelling Theme Icon
...in an office and the relative works as a gardener. The bone thrower then describes Piet with startling accuracy. Molori does not know that the bone thrower makes it his job... (full context)
Storytelling Theme Icon
...dreaming of a snake that tries to poison him. He imagines that the snake is Piet. By the time he wakes up the next morning, he is angry, scared, and “full... (full context)
Regret and Redemption Theme Icon
Storytelling Theme Icon
As Refentše watches the story of Piet’s life and death from Heaven, he thinks about the complexities of living. He thinks so... (full context)
Chapter 4
Prejudice and Ignorance  Theme Icon
Storytelling Theme Icon
Refilwe did not know anything about Piet, Liz, and Lerato’s story. All Refilwe knew was that Lerato lived in Hillbrow, which made... (full context)