Characters in Elma Shaw’s Redemption Road

Some of the characters in Redemption Road are Bendu Lewis, Commander Cobra/Moses Varney, Siatta, Terrance Clarke, Calvin Daniels, and Agnes.

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Redemption Road
Redemption Road by Elma Shaw
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Redemption Road by Elma Shaw tells the story of the traumatic experiences of the victims of a war-torn Liberia and their attempts at healing, with the novel suggesting forgiveness as the way forward. The novel follows the story of Bendu Lewis, the protagonist heroine, and how she deals with and helps others deal with their haunting past.

Some of the characters in Redemption Road are Bendu Lewis, Commander Cobra/Moses Varney, Siatta, Terrance Clarke, Calvin Daniels, Agnes Jallah, Tenneh, Rosetta, Josephine, Judge Dagoseh, Ewa Lewis, May Davies, and Lieutenant James Tarpeh.

In this post, we are going to examine the roles and relevance of these characters in Elma Shaw’s Redemption Road.

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Bendu Marie Lewis

Bendu Marie Lewis is the protagonist in Elma Shaw’s Redemption Road. She’s a young Liberian woman grappling with past traumas of war and losses. She is deeply affected by her brother Benji’s death and the trauma of her past experiences during the war in Duluma. She is the co-director of Peace in Practice, a local NGO that is dedicated to the peace education and vocational training of victims of war.

The novel follows the trajectory of how Bendu comes to terms with her traumatic past. In this process of reconciliation, the novelist gives us insights into some disturbing events from Bendu’s past. For the past nine years, she has tried to suppress her past and keep it locked somewhere in her mind while she helps other victims of war overcome theirs. She struggles with the weight of her experiences and the burden of her grief, unable to fully articulate her ordeal to others.

However, this changes when her path and that of Commander Cobra cross again. Her past experiences with Commander Cobra resurface. She starts having nightmares about her horrible experiences at Duluma Camp, commanded by Cobra. Bendu is hesitant to forgive Cobra, who has now changed his name to Moses Varney, for his actions, as she feels it would betray the victims who cannot speak up. She decides to press charges against Commander Cobra for his war crimes and bring him to justice through available legal means.

She remains resolute in her pursuit of justice, even when she is kidnapped and harassed by Cobra afterwards. Bendu eventually finds the courage to narrate her war experiences to her family and friends when Commander Cobra threatens to reveal what she did during the war if she does not drop her charges against him. She intimates them of how she was married off to Samson, a rebel soldier, by Cobra and forcibly enrolled in the Women Auxilliary, a combat training group in Duluma camp. She tells them of the hardships she endured, which included beatings from Samson. She ends the expose with the shocking revelation that she had a daughter whom she abandoned in the camp.

Her unburdening of her traumatic war experiences marks the beginning of her healing process and redemption journey. She then visits the ICRC office on Bushrod Island to initiate the process to locate her daughter after nine years of separation. Her emotional turmoil is evident when she is unable to provide her daughter’s real name while filling out the tracing request form. She only remembers her as “Baby Girl.” By the end of the novel, she has reunited with her daughter and learned to make peace with her past.

Bendu is depicted as a resilient, resourceful, and compassionate young woman. She showcases her compassionate nature through her unwavering commitment to her grandmother, Granny May. She refuses to abandon her frail grandmother in the heat of the war, despite people advising her to leave Granny for the sake of her safety. She opts instead to push her in a wheelbarrow to safety and remains steadfast in her decision to stay by her side.

She again exhibits her resilience and resourcefulness when she manages to escape from Moses Varney, who had kidnapped her. She uses her wit and physical prowess to outsmart her captors and escape from a life-threatening situation. She employs the skills she acquired in Duluma camp to knock out Moses Varney.

Bendu is also portrayed as a very hard-working woman. This is demonstrated in how she remains dedicated to her work despite her emotional turmoil and challenges. She is actively involved in PIP activities and does not allow her personal problems to get in the way of the enormous workload in the office. As a counsellor, she demonstrates empathy and understanding towards Rosetta, Josephine, and Tenneh, who are grappling with the aftermath of the war. She shows sensitivity to their individual experiences and provides a safe space for them to express their emotions and confront their past traumas. Bendu’s role extends beyond the counselling sessions as she continues her work to support survivors in areas such as advocating for HIV/AIDS awareness and working on grant proposals for projects aimed at aiding recovery.

Undeniably, she plays a crucial role in facilitating healing and support for the survivors of war trauma through PIP. In fact, it was she who advised Siatta to send her cook, Tenneh, to counselling sessions at PIP twice a week to help address mental health issues such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. This goes to say that Bendu is committed to improving the well-being of others.

She is also portrayed as a determined and inquisitive individual. She was concerned when she read the news of Moses Varney’s death. Against the advice of Terrance, she wants to get to the root of the matter. It was this resolution that made Terrance covertly arrange for her arrest by the police in connection to the murder of Moses Varney. She is depicted as someone who values justice and is willing to take risks to achieve it.

Characters in Redemption Road
Characters in Elma Shaw’s Redemption Road

Commander Cobra/Moses Varney

Moses Varney is the antagonist in Redemption Road. He is a 54-year-old man who has come to Monrovia to procure arms for his principal and bribe Judge Dagoseh to enjoy protection from the judiciary.

He is a character torn between his desire for a better life and his recognition of the corrupt system in which he operates. Varney is frustrated by the injustice he sees around him but feels compelled to participate in corrupt dealings, such as giving money to Judge Dagoseh, in order to survive and improve conditions for himself and others. He reflects on his past experiences and dreams of a day when justice will prevail in Liberia.

His encounter with Bendu in the text brings to light who he was during the war, before his name changed, and who he still is. During the war that brought Charles Taylor to power, Moses Varney was a ruthless and cruel rebel leader who oversaw dehumanising atrocities like extrajudicial killings, rapes, torture, and forced marriages. In other words, Cobra is depicted as a brute who committed a lot of atrocities during the war.

We are informed, through the author’s introspection into Cobra’s thoughts, that Cobra did not suddenly become the monster that he is. He had a troubled upbringing and faced mistreatment in his uncle’s home after his parents died in a ghastly motor accident. He was subjected to abuse and exploitation. However, this is no excuse for his cruelty.

As a rebel soldier, he kills for fun and in order to be feared by others, especially under the influence of drugs like marijuana. There is a particular instance during the war when he slaughters a prisoner of war because he wants the man’s skull as a trophy. This obviously shows his callous disregard for human life.

As the post-war Moses Varney, he is involved in clandestine illegal activities such as arms dealing and diamond smuggling. He also goes about bribing judges like Judge Dagoseh for immunity and protection from the law. He breaks into Bendu’s home and later abducts her, in connivance with his driver, when he becomes aware that she is seeking retribution against him. He tries to harass Bendu into dropping her war crime charges against him. It is apparent that he would have killed Bendu if she hadn’t initiated her escape plan.

Bendu’s escape meant more legal trouble for Varney, as she accused Varney of assault and battery. His boss, Chief, could no longer cover his tracks or help him evade the authorities. Consequently, the Chief confines Varney to Paynesville House.

The next thing we hear about Varney is his death. His lifeless body was discovered in the St. John River, with reports suggesting he was shot in the head. If we connect the dots, the only logical explanation is that he was killed by those he was working for, so his exposure and the attendant legal cases would not implicate them or jeopardise the covert mission they assigned him in the first instance.

Siatta

Siatta is Bendu Lewis’s big sister, and she shares the same light skin as their mom. She’s married to Terrance Clarke, who works for the Liberian government.

She offers Bendu a temporary home when Bendu’s house gets broken into and her safety is at risk. She engages Bendu in conversations about relationships and struggles. She is thus portrayed as a very supportive sister.

Siatta wasn’t in Liberia during the war; she was in America. So, she doesn’t know much about the war firsthand and its impact on its victims. She has to learn about it from others. Consequently, she has a rather belittling view of them for how they enabled their fellow countrymen to subject them to human degradation in the name of war. She also does not subscribe to the idea of taking blame for the sins of our ancestors. Siatta, however, changes this perspective when she experiences the chaos and panic caused by the escalating fighting in Monrovia from her Gardnersville home. She tries to contact Bendu and Terrance during the turmoil, but she is unable to do so due to jammed phone lines.

Siatta is observant and assertive. She reveals Terrance’s involvement in Bendu’s arrest for the murder of Moses Varney. She confronts Terrance about his actions. She later files for divorce from Terrance for his betrayal, deceit, and unfaithfulness.

Terrance Clarke

Terrance Clarke is Siatta’s husband and Bendu’s brother-in-law. He works as a politician for the government in Liberia. He serves as a foil to Siatta’s character. Terrance is portrayed as manipulative and deceitful. He orchestrates Bendu’s arrest and is involved in illegal activities, including helping Cobra evade arrest. Siatta’s revelations expose Terrance’s betrayal and unethical behaviour.

Siatta suspects that Terrance isn’t faithful to her because of his strange behaviour. He often comes home late without explanations or apologies, and Siatta finds evidence of him communicating with other women. She also discovers that he has been in contact with Chief Kesselly, the police boss, even though he claimed otherwise.

Terrance is sneaky and keeps secrets. He knows about Moses Varney’s murder from a newspaper he bought but doesn’t tell anyone until Bendu finds out when she asks to read the newspaper. He dismisses Bendu’s curiosity and attempts to dissuade her from investigating further. His behaviour also hints at underlying guilt and discomfort regarding the situation.

Calvin J. Daniels

Calvin J. Daniels is a freelance journalist who works for the World Journal. He is tall, with greyish hair and dark eyes. He grew up with Bendu and was a close friend of her late brother, Benji. He has a history with Bendu, having been in love with her since they were children. He is also genuinely interested in Bendu’s work at the NGO, Peace in Practice. As a result, his interview with Bendu, featured in the World Journal, brings PIP to the global limelight.

Calvin has a deep-seated desire for justice, which stems from the trauma of witnessing violence during the 1980 coup. He has a different understanding of justice from Bendu’s. He prefers to handle matters himself, rather than involving the authorities. He expresses doubts about the effectiveness of the police and is confident in his ability to address the situation independently.

Calvin is portrayed as supportive figure in Bendu’s life. He helps Bendu in her quest to bring Commander Cobra to justice. He takes practical steps to ensure her safety, such as arranging security and promising to get her a phone. He also intervenes during Bendu’s confrontation with the police.

He expresses romantic interest in Bendu. His love is shown by sending her flowers and surprising her with a romantic dinner. He also takes proactive steps to address her needs, such as arranging a lawyer for her. When Bendu’s daughter was found and returned to her, Calvin takes up the role of Baby Girl’s godfather.

However, Calvin Daniel has a hardened perspective about the war. He expresses indifference towards war stories and justifies his past actions during the war. Calvin’s dialogue and actions contribute to a debate about accountability and the consequences of past atrocities. This, however, changes when he covers the Sierra Leone war crimes tribunal for the World Journal. He returns from Sierra Leone and initiates a scholarship programme for war-affected youth.

Agnes Jallah

Agnes Jallah is the co-director of Peace in Practice. A survivor of the civil war herself, Agnes helps in the rehabilitation of other survivors of the war through the local NGO she and Bendu run.

Despite lacking formal education beyond high school, Agnes is portrayed as passionate about her work and committed to the organisation’s mission. She demonstrates innovation and leadership within the organisation. She contributes, in no small measure, to its growth and impact on the community. In fact, Agnes is credited with the idea of the Truth Project, which proves successful in PIP as a channel to facilitate healing for both victims and perpetrators. She advocates for forgiveness as a means of healing and repairing relationships.

Agnes’s role extends beyond administrative duties; she serves as a confidante and sounding board for Bendu’s thoughts and emotions. Agnes proves to be a worthy counsellor and advisor to Bendu several times in the novel. She advises Bendu to not let her past affect her decisions and to embrace new possibilities, such as a potential relationship with Calvin.  She also cautions Bendu about the potential dangers of pursuing Cobra’s case and expresses concern for Bendu’s safety. She doubts the feasibility of prosecuting Cobra. She nonetheless respects Bendu’s determination and stands by her friend’s side despite her concerns.

Her visit to Bendu’s home after noticing her absence from work further demonstrates her concern for Bendu’s well-being. Her presence during Bendu’s trying moments also speaks volumes of her concern for her colleague and friend.

Tenneh

Tenneh is a young survivor of war trauma whose character embodies resilience, courage, and vulnerability. At 22 years old, she works as a cook’s assistant at Siatta’s house. Despite her young age, Tenneh carries the weight of profound emotional scars from her experiences during the war. She is described as being affected by various symptoms of post-traumatic stress, including depression, which sometimes leaves her bedridden for days.  This is why Bendu recommends she attend PIP’s counselling sessions so she can heal from war trauma. Tenneh is grateful for the help she receives from PIP.

In one such session, she reads a letter she has written to her mother as part of the activities at PIP. She writes in the letter that her mother gave her to the soldiers to save herself and her baby boy. The soldiers sexually assaulted her. When she managed to escape from them and returned home, her mother denounced her and pushed her out instead. The letter reveals the betrayal and abuse she suffered during the war. Her courage to share her story demonstrates her resilience and determination to confront her past, despite the pain it brings. Tenneh unapologetically refuses to shy away from expressing her pain and condemning her mother’s actions.

Tenneh contracted HIV as a repercussion of her past experiences. She surprises everyone by revealing her HIV-positive status. She expresses a desire to help others by sharing her experience, regardless of the stigma and fear associated with HIV/AIDS. This revelation increases Bendu’s respect for her, and she now thinks of her as a strong and truthful person.

Tenneh helps teach others about HIV, how it spreads, and how to stay safe. She becomes a full-time peer counsellor at PIP. She is mentioned as a subject of concern, with Bendu and Agnes discussing her well-being and the stigma surrounding her HIV status. Tenneh’s situation serves as a backdrop for discussions about community awareness and support.

Redemption Road
Redemption Road by Elma Shaw

Rosetta and Josephine

Rosetta and Josephine, like Tenneh, are victims of the war. They are beneficiaries of the PIP counselling sessions. They actively engage in discussions about forgiveness, past experiences, and HIV/AIDS awareness, showing their openness to learning and support.

Rosetta lost her husband to ethnic violence during the war. Her character is marked by bitterness and resentment. She struggles to come to terms with her loss.

On the other hand, Josephine emerges as a nurturing and empathetic figure within the group. She is described as a motherly figure who encourages younger women to open up. Josephine embodies compassion and understanding. Her role in comforting Tenneh during her emotional outburst portrays her empathetic nature and her willingness to provide support to those in need.

Furthermore, their interactions with Tenneh and Bendu underscore the significance of community and solidarity in overcoming adversity. Rosetta’s acknowledgment of Tenneh’s pain and Josephine’s comforting presence contribute to the sense of camaraderie within the group.

Elma Shaw uses the contrasting responses of Rosetta and Josephine to trauma to emphasise the individual nature of healing and recovery. While Rosetta grapples with bitterness and anger, Josephine offers a sense of warmth and compassion.

Judge Dagoseh

Judge Dagoseh is a judge in Liberia’s justice department. He has a large belly that sticks out over his desk when he sits in his chair. He is mentioned in Varney’s reflections as someone who embodies impunity.

He is depicted as the embodiment of corruption within the justice system. He represents the corrupt and unjust elements within Liberian society. He exploits the system for his personal gain. He accepts bribes from Varney without hesitation to aid and abet Varney’s illegal activities, which include the distribution of arms.

In a particular instance, Dagoseh accepts a bribe of thirty pieces of silver from Moses Varney. He sees his action as a means to escape poverty rather than as a form of injustice.

Eva Lewis

Eva Lewis is a wife, mother, and grandmother. She is a mother who has known the loss of a child. She mourns the murder of her son, Benji, in April of every year. This makes it appear as if she loves her dead son more than her daughters, who are alive. However, she confirms that she would have done the same if she had lost any one of them. To her, losing a child is like losing a part of herself.

When Bendu calls in to tell her and her husband (Bendu’s father) about her traumatic experiences, she doesn’t know how to handle the situation. She comes home to help assuage and ease the pains of her daughter. She flies in from the USA on the high side of positivity.

Eva also plays an active role in preparing for Baby Girl’s arrival. While the search is on for May Davies, Eva is already assuming the role of a grandmother. She makes every decision with her granddaughter in mind. It is needless to say that she helped Bendu transition into a mother.

It is important to add that Eva’s recounting of Benji’s sacrifice provides crucial insight into the family’s history and the impact of past events on their lives.

May Davies

May Davies is the unwanted girl-child of Samson and Bendu Lewis. Her unwanted status becomes apparent at birth when she is not given a proper name. Everyone calls her Baby Girl or Bébé Geh. This is further accentuated by the fact that she is abandoned by her mother so early in life and left at the mercy of itinerant Ma Musu and her daughters, who give her a name to call her own.

Her name, May Davies, is a combination of her grandmother’s name and Ma Musu’s last name. She is later separated from Ma Musu and her daughters in Ghana. She is later reunited with her mother in Liberia, about nine years after their separation. In Bendu, Eva, Siatta, and Calvin, May has a mother, an enthusiastic grandmother, a big aunt, and a godfather, respectively.

May Davies brings joy to Bendu’s life and reminds her of Granny May. She observes the world around her and questions societal norms. She questions her mother about why Calvin is her godfather and not her father. May shows affection for Bendu and Calvin, and calls them “Mama” and “Father,” respectively.

Lieutenant James Tarpeh

Lieutenant James Tarpeh is the police officer to whom Bendu reports to Commander Cobra. He appears to be complicit in the leak of intelligence reports to Commander Cobra. He seems more satisfied interrogating Bendu as a suspect in the murder of Commander Cobra than bringing Commander Cobra in for questioning for his war crimes.

Characters in Redemption Road
Characters in Elma Shaw’s Redemption Road

Other Characters in Redemption Road

Other characters in Redemption Road include Chief, Gabriel, Granny May, Benjamin Lewis, Jonah, Weah, Sam Lewis, Benji Lewis, Ma Musu, Hannah, Oretha, Cousin Rebecca Johnson, Cousin Orlando, Samson, John Reeves, Counselor Marlon Gray, Chief Kesselly, Rhonda Cooper, Dr. Wamah, Barry Diallo, Joseph, and Old Man.

Chief: Chief is a political heavyweight with whom Moses Varney maintains direct correspondence. Moses runs errands for him in the procurement of arms. The chief issues orders to Varney regarding the operation. He was instrumental in the death of Moses, who has become more of a liability than an asset for him and his cronies.

Gabriel: Gabriel is an official of ICRC. He is the intermediary who helps in the reunion of Bendu Lewis and her long-abandoned daughter, May Davies. He is portrayed as friendly and helpful. He also exhibits professionalism in explaining the procedures for locating Bendu’s daughter and keeping her informed about the progress of the search.

Granny May: Catherine May Tyler Lewis, also known as Granny May, is Benjamin Lewis’s mother and Bendu Lewis’s paternal grandmother. The story begins with a memorial programme commemorating her death. She had passed away on her way to Monrovia after visiting some relatives in Sumoville. Her body was never recovered, so her family used a casket and some of her favourite items to symbolise her during the memorial. People who attended the memorial describe Granny May as a kind, generous, and humorous woman.

Benjamin Lewis: Benjamin Lewis is the father of Siatta, Bendu, and the late Benji. He is the husband of Eva and the grandfather to May Davies. While not much is mentioned of him in the text, there are snapshots of him in the first chapter of the novel, when a burial ceremony is arranged for Granny May and when Bendu calls her parents to confess her traumatic experiences during the war.

Jonah: Jonah is Bendu’s first love. He dies months away from his marriage to Bendu. His death leaves a hole in the heart of Bendu and makes it hard for her to begin a loving life, let alone sustain one. Jonah is remembered fondly by Bendu through their engagement photo and past conversations. His presence in Bendu’s thoughts reflects her ongoing struggle with grief and longing for closure.

Weah: Weah is Moses Varney’s driver. He is a war survivor who wants to get away from the violence and the attendant madness of war. He just wants a simple, pedestrian life. However, his involvement with Moses brings him to the very thing he runs away from. Regardless, he proves helpful in how he quickly detaches himself from his boss when the latter has been knocked out and he is confronted by Bendu with a gun in hand. To prove that this act is not done under pressure, he also supplies intel about his boss’ whereabouts to the police through a phone call. Weah comes to us as a typical Liberian man who craves a return to his normal life.

Sam Lewis: Sam Lewis is the husband of Granny May; the grandfather of Bendu, Siatta, and Benji; and the grandfather of May Davies. He had died long before the civil war. He is mentioned at a passing instance in the novel. His picture is one of the cherished items placed in Granny May’s casket to symbolise her unfound remains.

Benji Lewis: Benji Lewis was the late son of Benjamin and Eva Lewis. He was the brother of Siatta and Bendu, and a friend of Calvin Daniels. He was killed during the first coup in 1980 that brought in the regime of Samuel Doe. He died that day in April, 1980, mistaken for Calvin Daniels, the son of the Daniels. He paid the ultimate price and saved Calvin and his sisters from a similar fate. Benji loved his sisters. He is mourned yearly by his mother, Eva, and his friend, Calvin. His death weighs heavily on Bendu’s mind.

Ma Musu: Ma Musu is a 54-year-old woman Bendu got to know at Duluma camp. She is a resident traditional healer in the camp. She’s well-liked and respected by everyone there. Ma Musu is friendly and often smiles, showing her white teeth. She looks after Bendu when she arrives at the camp. She even massages her fingers injured by Solomon. She provides guidance and support to Bendu during her pregnancy. She shares her own experiences of loss and survival during the war. Her husband was killed, and her two sons were taken away. Her sister died of cholera, but her two daughters, Hannah and Oretha, are with her in the camp. Baby Girl was left in her care when Bendu absconded.

Hannah and Oretha: Hannah and Oretha are the daughters of Ma Musu. Hannah, in particular, tenders to Bendu in her first days in Duluma camp. Like Bendu, these two are also given out as wives to the soldiers in the camp. They both supported Bendu during her time in the camp. Hannah is described as brave and respected among the men for her leadership in the Women’s Auxiliary, while Oretha is portrayed as gentle and nurturing, particularly towards the children in the camp. Out of the camp, they both followed their mother and took along May Davies, whose care they were fostered with after Bendu left.

Cousin Rebecca Johnson: Cousin Rebecca is Bendu’s cousin, whom Bendu and Granny May visited in the village. Rebecca advised Bendu and Granny May against leaving the village, but Bendu, in her eagerness to return to Monrovia, insisted they leave. Consequently, Bendu feels that Cousin Rebecca blames her for Granny May’s death and Cousin Orlando’s disappearance, and that she hasn’t forgiven her for this past transgression. However, Eva disproves this by saying Cousin Rebecca has long forgiven Bendu but just doesn’t know how to connect to her.

Cousin Orlando: Cousin Orlando accompanied Granny May and Bendu to the motor park. He was abducted by rebel soldiers. His whereabouts and what became of him remain unknown.

Samson: Samson was Bendu’s abusive husband at Duluma camp. He is depicted as violent and controlling, particularly when he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. He regularly assaulted Bendu despite her protests and threatened her with further harm if she resisted. At some point, Bendu had to stand up to him one time and punch him in the face. This punch earned Bendu the nickname, Lieutenant TKO (Technical Knock-Out) for the rest of her stay at the camp. Samson eventually left the camp and left Bendu to face pregnancy and childbirth alone.

John Reeves: John Reeves is the owner of the law firm contracted to take up the case of Bendu Lewis against Moses Varney. He enables Gray to take on Bendu’s case. The law firm institutes a law suit against Moses Varney for abducting and assaulting Bendu. Counselor Reeves, in particular, appears in person at the police station when Bendu is accused of being a suspect in the murder of Moses. He arrives to support Bendu and challenge her arrest.

Counselor Marlon Gray: Gray is a lawyer fully in charge of Bendu’s case against Cobra. He works under John Reeves at the Thomas & Reeves Law Firm in Liberia. He also acknowledges the difficulties of bringing warlords to justice, which makes him pass for someone indifferent towards the plight of victims of the war. It takes a narrative in the form of a rebuttal to his ignorance by Bendu about how child soldiers kill randomly and indiscriminately during the civil war for him to have an idea of the severity of Moses Varney’s war crimes and atrocities. In the end, he is only able to charge Moses for the kidnapping and the assault on Bendu, howbeit with some remorse.

Chief Kesselly: Edwin Kesselly is the police chief introduced when Bendu is arrested for the murder of Moses Varney. Not much is said about him but we are able to establish that there was a correspondence between him and Terrance Clarke right before Bendu’s arrest. What this means is that it is in fact Terrance Clarke who instigated Bendu’s arrest because the latter is insistent on unearthing the killer(s) of Moses Varney.

Rhonda Cooper: She is the owner of Rhonda’s Restaurant, where Calvin orders dinner for Bendu. Her restaurant provides the setting for Bendu and Calvin’s romantic dinner.

Dr. Wamah: He is the attending physician at the hospital who treats Bendu’s injuries.

Barry Diallo: Diallo is introduced as Varney’s contact for the exchange of goods, specifically rough diamonds for arms. He is portrayed as a shrewd and cautious individual, as evidenced by his insistence on a deposit and his decision to lock Varney in the room.

Joseph: He is another rebel soldier in Duluma camp. He is ordered by Commander Cobra to bring Bendu. He is involved in a confrontation with Bendu and Ma Musu in the process of carrying out this assignment. The novelist uses his character to further illustrate the pervasive presence of violence and coercion in the fighters’ camp.

Old Man: The old man is the character who commends Bendu for staying with her grandmother till the very end during the explosion at Charlue Town. He would later intervene to save Bendu at Charlue Town from a mob who mistook her for a spy while she was trying to escape from Duluma camp months later. In other words, he repays her with the same kindness she showed her grandmother.

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