Chief Matenje is an illustration of corrupt leading – peculiarly. the corrupt and oppressive leading seen on the African continent. He is the adversary and scoundrel of the novel “When Rain Clouds Gather” . When we are foremost introduced to Chief Matenje. he is referred to as the “troublesome and unpopular brother” of the “paramount head named Sekoto” ( Head 2008:18 ) . Chief Sekoto appointed Chief Matenje as the subchief of Golema Mmidi. a little. rural small town in Botswana. He is highly disliked by the villagers because of his “overwhelming avarice and unpleasant personality” ( Head 2008: 18 ) .
Chief Matenje’s unattractive and difficult visual aspect is influenced by the angry. tortured and negative life which he had lived. He is described as holding a “long. gloomy. melancholy. leery face” ( Head 2008: 43 ) . When the supporter. Makhaya Maseko. first meets the Chief. he sees the face of a “tortured man” with “scarred deep ridges across his forehead and down his cheeks” ( Head 2008: 65 ) . He notes that this is the face of a adult male who has merely experienced the “storms and winters of life. ne’er the warm dissolution Sun of love” ( Head 2008:18 ) .
Chief Matenje “really believed he was ‘royalty’” ( Head 2008: 62 ) . He used a figure of points. including “a high-backed kingly chair” and “a deep. purple tasselled and expensive gown” ( Head 2008: 62 ) . to expose this image. He even wished to expose this royalty in his actions. When he foremost meets Makhaya. his descent down the stairss of his house is described as “regal. kingly. spectacular” ( Head 2008: 62 ) . However. Makhaya sees right through this behavior – he notices the “sham of it all” and it “instantly arouses his sympathy” ( Head 2008: 62 ) .
Chief Matenje lived a alone life “in a cardinal portion of the small town in a large. cream-painted mansion” ( Head 2008: 41 ) . He had antecedently been married but his married woman divorced him and maintain their two kids. While he had lived entirely for many old ages. he had late “acquired a invitee and friend in a certain politician called. Joas Tsepe” ( Head 2008: 41 ) . However. Matenje was still non happy. He felt insecure and unsettled in the small town. He was really witting of the fact that the villagers disliked him and his leading.
Hewas merely able to obtain a feeling of security in the small town from his “mansion. slaves. and a immense pick Chevrolet” ( Head 2008: 42 ) . Matenje “became really rich” ( Head 2008: 21 ) by working the villagers. He made his money from cattle theorizing. Gilbert Balfour ( a British adult male life in Botswana ) . nevertheless. set an terminal to Matneje’s cowss theorizing concern by get downing a “cattle co-operative” which became really popular amongst the villagers ( Head 2008: 21 ) .
Matenje was a diehard who was really witting of the tribal divide. We see on page 43 ( Head 2008 ) that he “understood tribalism” and he “commanded the largest followers of diehard traditionalists” . He disliked his brother. Chief Sekoto. vastly because he felt “the chieftainship should be his” ( Head 2008: 43 ) . He saw his brother as an “amiable. pleasant nitwit” ( Head 2008: 42 ) – the really opposite of what he perceived as a good leader. He saw “arrogance and pride” as being “part and package of the bearing of a great chief” ( Head 2008: 42 ) .
Matenje’s disfavor of his brother. Chief Sekoto. was so intense that he was even involved in a program to assassinate him. When Chief Sekoto found out about the blackwash secret plan. he brushed it aside and alternatively gave his brother the station of decision maker in the small town. However. Chief Matenje was still non able to allow travel of his hate. He went on to reassign this extreme hatred for his brother to the villagers of Golema Mmidi ( Head 2008: 43 ) . The villagers were really witting of this hatred. Even though they “politely addressed Matenje as ‘Chief’” ( Head 2008: 18 ) . they “avoided him every bit much as possible” ( Head 2008: 44 ) .
Chief Matenje saw himself as more of import and superior to the people of the small town. We see this clearly in a meeting between Matenje and Dinorego ( an old occupant of Golema Mmidi ) . When Dinorego greets Chief Matenje. Dinorego’s recognizing “was dismissed with a little gesture of the caput. which contained in it an heritage of centuries of disdain for the ordinary man” ( Head 2008: 65 ) . On page 185 and 186 ( Head 2008 ) . we see that Matenje is unable to see people as people.
Alternatively he saw them as “pawns to be used by him. to interrupt. banish and destroy for his ain entertainment” . Furthermore. the greatest minutes of his life had occurred when “he had inflicted enduring on his fellow man” ( Head 2008: 185 ) . This is the sad truth of Chief Matenje’s life. However. the writer suggests that possibly Matenje behaves in this manner merely because he doesn’t know anything different. She states that “this was the tradition in which he had grown up and possibly he could non be blamed for taking full advantage of it” ( Head 2008: 186 ) . While Matenje sees himself as superior to the villagers. he feels inferior to persons who occupy places of high quality.
After Matenje’s decease. Gilbert is peculiarly troubled by the “pathetic manner in which Matenje ever backed down when confronted by a superior” ( Head 2008: 193 ) . We besides see on page 74 ( Head 2008 ) . that Matenje “walked out crumpled” when he discovered that Makhaya had been granted a abode license and that “particularly person in a superior place could do him crumble in this way” .
In the terminal Matenje recognises that he is evil – “he was an evil deviant and he knew it” ( Head 2008: 186 ) . Before he committed suicide. it seems he did experience some compunction. After he has barricaded himself in his house. he stood at that place “crying like a forlorn and lonely child” ( Head 2008: 186 ) . At first. Chief Sekoto viewed his brother’s self-destruction as an incommodiousness – “oh. oh the muss and dither and brother” ( Head 2008: 189 ) . Subsequently nevertheless. he stops “play-acting” and is “genuinely upset” by his brother’s decease ( Head 2008: 190 ) .
Chief Sekoto admirations if his brother had suffered merely because “he wanted more things than a adult male should want for one life” and that he had been “the incapacitated victim of awful. private hungers” ( Head 2008: 189-190 ) . The villagers excessively feel a sense of loss for the Chief after his self-destruction. We see that he was in “all of their ideas. vibrating like a great. unobserved shadow over the whole village” ( Head 2008:192-193 ) . Even Makahaya thinks that “you couldn’t of all time bury Matenje. non once you had met him face to face” ( Head 2008: 193 ) .
In the terminal. it is largely commiseration that the characters are able to experience for Matenje. He has really few good qualities that they could retrieve. Even the writer admirations “what’s at that place to keep onto except a awful commiseration? ” ( Head 2008: 192 ) . Matenje is a memorable character who had an acute impact on the lives of all the persons he came into contact with. They are unable to bury him – even after his decease. It is merely in decease that he finds some salvation and forgiveness from the villagers – “you have to be loved a spot by the clip you die” ( Head 2008:
192 ) .
Head. B. 2008. When Rain Clouds Gather. Edinburgh: Heinemann