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Msimangu is warm, generous, and humble young minister in Sophiatown. He guides both Kumalo and us through Johannesburg, explaining the political and socioeconomic difficulties that the black population faces and providing shrewd commentary on both blacks and whites. He assists Kumalo with great sensitivity, working to spare him pain when he can and arranging time for him to rest. In general, he makes Kumalo’s time in Johannesburg bearable.

Of all the characters in the novel, Msimangu has the clearest understanding of South Africa’s injustices, and he serves as Paton’s mouthpiece in suggesting a solution: Christian love. According to Msimangu, white South Africans oppress the blacks because they fear their numbers and their power. Msimangu believes that only selfless love can counter this fear. Msimangu’s own selflessness is affirmed at the novel’s close, when he gives his worldly possessions to Kumalo and joins a monastery.