Joseph is Obi's friend and kinsmen. He shows Obi the ropes in Lagos before he leaves for Nigeria, then shows Obi the ropes again when he returns. Though Joseph may not be educated, he does understand his culture, and he tries to gently guide Obi on a path that will be mutually beneficial to everyone in Obi's life. Even though Obi abandons Joseph when he criticizes his decision to marry Clara, Joseph remains a faithful friend. After Hannah Okonkwo's death, Joseph brings beer to Obi's apartment so that Obi can offer the traditional libation to the friends and family who come to mourn his mother's death. Joseph proves to be a faithful, wise friend.