We Need New Names Characters

Some of the characters in We Need New Names include Darling Nonkululeko Nkala, Chipo, Bastard, Mother, Father, Mother of Bones

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We Need New Names Hardcover
We Need New Names Hardcover
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Some of the characters in We Need New Names include Darling Nonkululeko Nkala, Chipo, Bastard, Mother, Father, Mother of Bones, Prophet Revelations Bitchington Mborro, and MotherLove.

Darling Nonkululeko Nkala

The main character and narrator of We Need New Names, Darling is a young girl who once lived a fairly comfortable life in Zimbabwe but, along with her family and much of her community, must move to a shanty town called Paradise following political unrest.

Darling spends the first half of the book as a child in Paradise, playing games and stealing guavas with her friends. In the second half of the book, she moves to America to live with her Aunt Fostalina.

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Bastard

Bastard is one of Darling’s friends in Paradise who often tries to act brave and manly.

Chipo

Chipo is one of Darling’s young friends in Paradise. Her grandfather raped her and got her pregnant, causing her to go mute in the beginning of the story. She is one of the characters in We Need New Names used to project the wanton abuse and trauma that go with political unrest and displacement.

After Darling leaves for America, Chipo has her baby and names it Darling as well. Chipo is generally a reserved girl, but she yells at Darling over the phone for abandoning Zimbabwe.

Godknows

Godknows is one of Darling’s young friends in Paradise who often tries to act brave and manly.

Sbho

Sbho is one of Darling’s young friends in Paradise. She often plays a maternal role in the group.

Stina

Stina is one of Darling’s young friends in Paradise.

Mother of Bones

Mother of Bones is one of the important characters in We Need New Names. She takes care of Darling for a majority of her childhood in Paradise, while her father works in South Africa and her mother sells things.

Mother of Bones is a very strict and religious woman who makes Darling go to church services on Fambeki. She fasts to try to cure Father’s sickness.

Mother

Darling’s mother is an infrequently seen character as she spends most of her time selling things at the border. She has an affair while Darling’s father is in South Africa, sleeping with a man in the same bed where Darling pretends to sleep.

Father

Darling’s father leaves for South Africa shortly after leaving their home and moving to Paradise. He returns to Paradise from South Africa when he has become too sick to work, and Darling must take care of him.

Prophet Revelations Bitchington Mborro

Prophet Revelations Bitchington Mborro is the leader of Mother of Bones’s church, which meets on the mountain Fambeki.

He often preaches loudly and for a long time. He asks congregants to pay large sums of money as a sacrifice. He is projected as a religious fraudster. He uses the platform of organized religion to exploit people and assault them during prayer sessions.

MotherLove

MotherLove is a woman who lives in Paradise and supplies the villagers with alcohol. She sings beautifully and is brought to tears when she finds the female children trying to get rid of Chipo’s stomach (pregnancy) with a coat hanger.

Aunt Fostalina

Aunt Fostalina is Darling’s aunt who lived in Zimbabwe and moved to America when Darling was young. Darling has dreams of moving to America to live with her, which eventually come true.

Uncle Kojo

Uncle Kojo is Darling’s uncle in America.

TK

He is Darling’s older male cousin who lives in America.

Marina

She is one of Darling’s friends as a teenager in America.

Kristal

She is one of Darling’s friends as a teenager in America.

Eliot

He is a man Darling works briefly for as a maid and who has an affair with Aunt Fostalina.

Jim

He is Darling’s boss when she works at a grocery store in America.

Further Reading:

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