Study Guide

Out of Africa Part 2, Chapter 5

By Isak Dinesen

Part 2, Chapter 5

A Kikuyu Chief

  • Okay, so Kinanjui is the great Kikuyu chief and a good friend of the narrator. Once, when he came to visit her, she gave him a terribly strong alcoholic drink to keep him busy while she finishes visiting with another friend, and it knocks him out.
  • Everyone thought he was dead, but after about an hour he stood up and went home without a word. The narrator seems to think that this was what founded their friendship. Getting people pass-out drunk isn't the best way to make friends, if you ask us.
  • The narrator asks Kinanjui to come settle the matter one and for all, and he pulls up in a fancy car. She and Kinanjui and Farah take their positions at the head of the council and get ready to lay down some judgment.
  • She explains to the people that the matter between Kaninu and Wainaina is settled and written on paper. Kaninu owes Wainaina a cow and calf, which he brings into the circle.
  • Suddenly Wainaina's mother breaks into a crazy wail and Wainaina says that the cow is too old and he won't take it.
  • Everybody goes berserk, shouting out their opinions. Kinanjui waits it out, and finally everybody calms down and Wainaina and Kaninu come to put their thumbprints on the document that has been drawn up.
  • Chief Kinanjui also signs it, as does the narrator, whose name we finally learn: Baroness Blixen.