Baruti is a wise mentor figure that Shaka learns from.
And we think Shaka chooses wisely when he decides to metaphorically sit at Baruti's feet. Baruti is a generous, wise person who really cares about Shaka and invests in his life over time. When Baruti starts treating Shaka like a nephew or younger brother, it's genuine, and it makes a genuine difference in Shaka's life over time.
Baruti is in the Melanic Brotherhood, and he's known for being a wise spiritual leader and for being pretty hardcore when it comes to physical fitness. Basically, he's all about the self-improvement:
"No matter what you do while you are in here," Baruti would tell me, "never give up on learning and trying to be a better person." I didn't always listen to him, but over the years, I would find all that he shared with me to be of great value.(14.39)
We'd say that Baruti's words had an impact, and that Shaka definitely became a better person over the years.