Welcome to Our Hillbrow

by

Phaswane Mpe

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The Beggar Character Analysis

The beggar is a native South African who is houseless and lives by the University of Witwatersrand. He used to call out to “Aibo!” to Refentše as Refentše went to school. Cousin told Refentše not to respond, but Refentše would always say hello. One day about five years after Refentše first saw him, the beggar is carried towards the hospital in a wheelbarrow and does not greet Refentše. It is unclear if the beggar lives or dies.
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The Beggar Character Timeline in Welcome to Our Hillbrow

The timeline below shows where the character The Beggar appears in Welcome to Our Hillbrow. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Apartheid and Colonialism  Theme Icon
Prejudice and Ignorance  Theme Icon
As they continued their route, Refentše and Cousin saw a group of beggars, and one of them called out a greeting in Zulu. Refentše waved, but Cousin didn’t.... (full context)
Apartheid and Colonialism  Theme Icon
Prejudice and Ignorance  Theme Icon
...for Vickers place. On his way back to Cousin’s apartment, Refentše responded again to the beggar’s greeting (“Aibo!”). The beggar’s warm behavior made Refentše want to give the beggar whatever change... (full context)
Prejudice and Ignorance  Theme Icon
Two months into teaching at the university, Refentše saw his “friend” (the beggar) being pushed in a wheelbarrow towards the Hillbrow Hospital. The beggar did not say “Aibo!”... (full context)