DREAMS, CONVERSION AND NTARA'S MAN OF AFRICA BY STEVE CHIMOMBO (University of Malawi) 'What was it that first led you to think of Christ and Christianity?' I have asked my young candidates for entrance into the catechumenate. I have had various answers. It was a dream', some said. (Alexander Hetherwick') If Nthondo in Ntara's Man of Africa had been asked a similar question to that in the quotation, the response would have been the same: dreams.2 Nthondo's road to Christian conversion is strewn by dreams so integrated with the narrative that it is largely through them that the author not only provides commentary but also seeks to arouse in his character 'the voice of conscience hitherto dormant but waiting the call of Christ to awake to life'.3 The purpose of this paper, then, is twofold: an examination of the nature of Nthondo's dreams before and after exposure to Christian influences and how the author manipulated the content of the dreams to achieve his aim of converting the character. Man of Africa is a fictional biography set in Chewa society during the latter half of the nineteenth century. Nthondo, the central char- acter, is born and grows up in
Journal of Religion in Africa – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1989
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