But there is only one thing that has power completely, and that is love. Because when a man loves, he seeks no power, and therefore he has power. I see only one hope for our country, and that is when white men and black men, desiring neither power nor money, but desiring only the good of their country, come together to work for it.
After Msimangu explains how power can corrupt a man, he says that the only way to have power that is not corrupt is to love. He feels that Christian love stands as the solution to the inequality in South Africa, so that black and white people can feel compassion for one another and see each other as human rather than ruling over one another. Msimangu shows his optimism in expressing this belief.
For it was not only a voice of gold, but it was the voice of a man whose heart was golden, reading from a book of golden words.
As Msimangu preaches in a church, Kumalo thinks that his voice reflects his kind, generous heart. Even though Kumalo arrives in Johannesburg already as a religious man with good intentions, he sees in Msimangu a truly one-of-a-kind Christian, and as he hears Msimangu preach, Kumalo sees him as almost godlike.
Perhaps we should thank God he is corrupt, said Msimangu solemnly. For if he were not corrupt, he could plunge this country into bloodshed. He is corrupted by his possessions, and he fears their loss, and the loss of the power he already has.
After Kumalo and Msimangu hear John speak, Msimangu explains the benefit of John being corrupted by material goods and attention, as this corruption will ensure that John will never actually take action on any of what he says. Msimangu reveals his wisdom by understanding that John doesn’t possess as much power as he believes he does.
Kumalo went with his friend to the gate, and Msimangu said, I am forsaking the world and all possessions, but I have saved a little money. I have no father or mother to depend on me, and I have the permission of the Church to give this to you, my friend, to help you with all the money you have spent in Johannesburg, and all the new duties you have taken up.
As Msimangu and Kumalo say goodbye, Msimangu gives Kumalo all the money he has, which amounts to thirty-three pounds. This amounts to more money that Kumalo has ever had and will do a great deal to help him and his wife live well. Msimangu’s generosity of spirit shows his true selflessness. Readers may infer that if everyone else lived as selflessly as Msimangu, inequality would cease to exist in South Africa.
It was Msimangu who had said, Msimangu who had no hate for any man, I have one great fear in my heart, that one day when they turn to loving they will find we are turned to hating.
As Kumalo sits on the mountaintop, he remembers what Msimangu says at the beginning of the novel. Although Msimangu feels optimistic that the problems in South Africa could be solved by love, he is not naive enough to think that so many years of inequality could not make black people as hateful as white people.