Stephen Kumalo: A 69-year-old Zulu priest who tries to find his household in Johannesburg, and later to rebuild the breaking down state of his town. The father of Absalom, book three focuses greatly on his relationship with James Jarvis.
Theophilus Msimangu: A priest from Johannesburg who helps Kumalo discover his child Absalom and his sis Gertrude.
John Kumalo: Stephen’s brother, who denies the tribal credibility and ends up being a spokesman for the brand-new racial movement in the city; a former carpenter.
Absalom Kumalo: Stephen’s son who left home to look for Stephen’s sibling Gertrude, and who murders Arthur Jarvis.
Gertrude Kumalo: The young sibling of Stephen who becomes a prostitute in Johannesburg and leads a dissolute life.
James Jarvis: A rich landowner whose child, Arthur, is murdered. He concerns the realization of the regret of white citizens in such crimes and forgives the Kumalos.
Arthur Jarvis: Murdered by Absalom Kumalo, he is the child of James Jarvis. He does not appear in the unique, however his liberal racial views are highly significant and influential.
Dubula: A huge man who was the “heart” of anything and whatever Arthur Jarvis did, consisting of desiring peace in between the races.
Mr. Carmichael: Absalom’s lawyer; he takes his case pro deo (for God) in this case meaning for free.
Dad Vincent: A priest from England who helps Stephen in his problems.
Mrs. Lithebe: A native housewife in whose home Stephen remains while in Johannesburg.
The Harrisons: A daddy and child who represent two opposing views concerning the racial issue. The dad, who is Arthur’s father-in-law, represents the standard view, while the child represents the more liberal view.
The Lady [Absalom’s spouse]: A teenage woman, approximately 16 years old, fertilized by Absalom, whom she later weds. She informs Kumalo that Absalom will be her third hubby and that her dad had deserted her family when she was rather young. Provided her young age it is uncertain if any of these marriages were entirely consensual.