Kunle in The Dark is based on an African man (possibly a slave) named
Quamina who met Edward Rushton aboard an American ship. Rushton recounted
to his friends many times that he had befriended a young African boy
on a ship, whom he had taught to read and write, and who had later saved
This event took place when the small boat that Quamina and Rushton
were in sank as they were pulling to shore in rough seas. Seeing that
his friend was exhausted, Quamina pushed an empty water cask towards
Rushton for him to cling to. Unfortunately, Quamina then drowned.
Kunle's character is based on a young man from Yorubaland, in West
Africa, who was being initiated into Ifa practice - an eight to ten
year process - when he was taken by slave traders.
Throughout his captivity Kunle attempts to continue his religious practice
and reconnect with his distant culture and beliefs by divining and creating
medicines from substitute plants that he finds in the New World, and
by sacrificing to influence the outcome of events.