How Does the The River Between Help in Understanding African History


It is evidently clear from the discussion that many African tribes believed in a greater power, responsible for creation and ultimately overseeing everything. This is symptomatic with many African cultures to the present day. The book also shows about the coming of Europeans into Africa and the changes and rifts that were caused within African communities as a result. The book begins with its description of the hills and valleys and how they resembled lions. This is perhaps to show that they bustled with life and were ferocious. The book describes the importance of the river in the African culture seeing how everything was centered on it. The book states that the river seemed to join people, cattle, trees and wild beasts. In the literal sense, it was because every living creature used to converge at the river for rejuvenation in terms of drinking to its fill. Thus, the river joined living creatures. The powers of the river can perhaps be drawn from the name that the river was given by NgugiwaThiong’o, the author of the book. The river is called Honia, which means heal or bring back to life in native Kikuyu, the tribe from which the book is based. The river was thus seen to withstand weather fluctuations which perhaps attributed to its name since it would heal the land during tough times. The book, at the beginning, also gives away a hint at what it would be about. It shows how from a perspective within the valley, the ridges ceased to be sleeping lions and became antagonists because of the manner in which they faced one another. The ridges would later in the book become entangled in a never-ending struggle for dominion over the other in terms of leadership. The two ridges were Kameno and Makuyu. Kameno was the land of traditionalists who had retained their African values, while kameno was the ridge that was home to Christian converts.