Tom Lanwood, a veteran revolutionary and political theorist from Panafrica who is nearing sixty years of age. While Udomo is in England, Lanwood is his idol for his dedication to revolution. After Udomo’s rise to power in Panafrica, when Lanwood returns, it is clear to Udomo that thirty years in England have made Lanwood woefully out of touch with the reality of the Panafrican situation. Lanwood, for example, believes that total Africanization of workers is needed, whereas Udomo and Mhendi both believe that European know-how is necessary, because the Panafrican people have not been adequately educated or prepared for total Africanization. Lanwood serves at least two purposes in advancing the plot: in showing Udomo’s growth from idol worshiper to leader who figuratively leaves his idol behind, and in making clear yet another difference of opinion Udomo faces with one of his Panafrican colleagues.
David Adebhoy (ah-
Davis Mhendi (
Paul Mabi (
Lois Barlow, Udomo’s thirty-five-year-old white lover. At first haunted by her dead husband, Lois comes to fall in love with Udomo. During their relationship, Lois illustrates the tension between Udomo’s private and political lives. Although Lois has a dream of being with Udomo forever, she realizes that his political work is more important to him and that someday she will have to let him go. Still, even as Udomo rises to power in Panafrica, he continues to be nostalgic about his interlude with her. Lois’ presence in the novel helps to portray the emotional aspect of Udomo’s life, in contrast to his political interests.
Maria, Mhendi’s Panafrican lover. Her resemblance to his wife, who was killed after the revolution attempt in Pluralia, expedites his falling in love with her. As with Lois and Udomo, Maria’s presence illustrates the importance of a political leader’s private life.
Jo Furse, Lois’ roommate. She briefly has an affair with Udomo, resulting in her pregnancy and abortion. This latter incident is the catalyst in Lois leaving Udomo.