Meet the characters of Jungu Josh

Main Characters

Joshua McGreer

Josh is 13 years old and the lead character. He grew up in London and has been living with his aunt Verona and her family on a farm in Africa. After his mother disappeared, he takes her place as the ruler of Kalimbula, a secret valley somewhere in East Africa. He is known as Chief Zimbila – the Honey Badger. Josh experiences countless challenges to protect Kalimbula against various evil forces.

The Professor

The professor is one of Kalimbula’s biggest enemies. He makes kurizas (zombies) of people and animals, who then become his followers who he controls and who does anything at his command. He wants to control the whole of Kalimbula and Africa in this way. He believes Josh’s blood is the cure that will make his followers normal again. Because he is afraid he will lose control over his disciples, the professor is on Josh’s trail and wants to kill him. The professor is also known as Impizi (the Hyena).

Verona Barrington

Verona is Silvia’s sister who also grew up in England. She takes care of Demsley, their farm in Africa, after her husband Walter’s accident which left him in a wheelchair. She is nasty, vicious and insensitive and only cares about her two daughters.

Njeri Nagadingo

Njeri is a 15-year-old girl who lives in Kalimbula. She becomes Josh’s best friend and is one of the members of the Quaternion who help Josh with his difficult and dangerous tasks as king. She is tall and lean, and a very good fighter. She is physically strong and agile. She has a short fuse, but above all she is a loyal friend to Josh.

Princess Dilifu

She is Chief Pingana’s only daughter who disappeared 12 years ago on Lake Somba. The people of Kalimbula sent her away on the water (as a sacrifice) so that the ancestors would send rain to the valley to break the draught. But contrary to what her father and the rest expected, she never returned.

Masheba the witch

Masheba is also one of Kalimbula’s enemies. Unlike the professor, she wants to become the ruler of Kalimbula. She is wicked, a convincing liar and she uses powerful dark magic. That is why she is a big threat to the land and its people. She lives in a treehouse in the Kuvura Woods – a dead landscape with terrifying animals. One of her helpers is Tai, the vulture.

Ngandu the wise man

Ngandu is one of the elders and also one of the two wise men in Kalimbula. He is Josh’s adviser in the valley and helps him with the challenges during his reign. He is also one of the members of the Quaternion, the inner circle of Josh, and Josh’s link to the elders in the valley. He raised Charlie. He is very eccentric and lives alone in a cave in the Blue Mountain. Although he does weird, silly things, he is a clever old man who helps Josh in finding solutions to the defeat Kalimbula’s enemies.

The Sifashama

The sifashama consists of the elders of the valley. They are anonymous and wear red tree bark cloaks. Their faces are covered with large capes which are pulled far over their faces. They aid the king and provide him with advice – they have Kalimbula’s interest at heart.

Charlie the aardwolf

Charlie is the fourth member of the Quaternion. He becomes Josh’s loyal friend after their first encounter and accompanies him regularly on his expeditions. He lives with Josh in the king’s hut. He normally sleeps during the day and roams the valley at night in search of food. He is crazy about termites and termite cookies. He is also known as the Gentle Brave One.

Silvia McGreer

Silvia is Josh’s mother. She lectures at a university in London and did research with the professor on the red mongoose in Kalimbula. She presumably developed a cure which would make the zombies normal again and thus became one of the professor’s enemies. Silvia disappeared two years ago, and everyone believes she is dead. She is also known as Jandenga, the Honeybird.
Other characters

Walter Barrington

Wally is Verona’s husband. He is in a wheelchair after he was injured in a horse-riding accident. He was a friendly, pleasant man and was like a father to Josh, but after the accident he cannot talk or move anymore and he needs round-the-clock care.

Akunu the blacksmith

Akunu is an Uchubi man who helped Silvia and the professor with their research in the valley for years. He lives in Bodonga with his wife where he is a practicing blacksmith.


The Uchubi tribe is the second largest tribe of Kalimbula. They are a serious, reserved people with an ancient language and centuries’ old traditions. They reside mainly in the main village, Bodonga.


Gwanga-gudjus live in Abumondja, a sludge plain near the Gombi Swamps. They have large, oval-shaped heads and huge hands. The are very strong and have an exceptional sense of smell due to their six nostrils and mucous membranes. Their favourite food is zebra meat. They cannot talk – they communicate with each other via clairvoyance. They are very violent and unpredictable.


Doris works for Verona on the farm and takes care of Wally. She is a good person and is also Silvia’s friend. She helps and protects Josh during his stay on the farm after his mother disappeared. Her African name is Wamombi and she originally comes from Kalimbula.

Tarampi the wise man

He is the other wise man of Kalimbula who provided the previous king, Chief Pingana, with advice. He lives in the feared Mabandi Mountains in a mountain hut and is a friend of Ngandu.

The Gubazozo

The Gubazozo is a monster who can be summoned by shamanism (ancient, dark magic) every 200 years. He is utterly evil. He is invisible to almost all people and a person is only aware of his presence by a metal taste in the mouth and sometimes by a rustling as he approaches.


Kurizas are soulless zombies and the creations of the professor. He uses the red mongoose’s blood to infect people and animals to become his followers. They do anything at his command.

Muriel Barrington

Muriel is seven years old and the youngest daughter of Wally and Verona. She has freckles and a round little figure and is not as clever as her sister. She is very spoilt and gets everything her heart desires.

Tai the vulture

Tai was raised by Masheba the witch and he is her helper, confidant and friend.


The Magani tribe is the largest tribe of Kalimbula. They are a cheerful and friendly people who love to socialise. They reside mainly in Liba, Village of Kings, and Kipoko, the Village of Trade.


Minokkos are evil little beings who live in the Gombi Swamps at the edge of the Kuvura Woods. They have large heads and short bodies; wear masks with giant hairy manes, white faces and small slitty eyes. They hop and jump and communicate with snarls and growls. They eat all sorts of meat.

Etta Barrington

Etta is the nine-year-old (and eldest) daughter on the farm and differs greatly from her sister in appearance and disposition. She is tall and skinny with a pointy nose, pale white skin, and black hair. She is precocious and gets along with Josh the best.

Smithy the parrot

Smithy is the beloved parrot of the Barrington family. He likes to talk a lot but is a stubborn trickster who loves biting fingers.

Chief Pingana

Chief Pingana is the previous king of Kalimbula who died two years ago. On his deathbed, he chose Silvia as his successor because his two children disappeared. His plan was to use Silvia to defend Kalimbula against all its enemies.