The main characters of the short story “Cell One” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie are Nnamabia and his parents. The story follows Nnamabia’s evolution over the course of two years, as well as his parents’ reactions to his behavior. While the parents do not evolve, Nnamabia has a coming of age experience that affects how he looks at life. 

The story is told by Nnamabia’s sister, the narrator. We do not know too much about her, except that she is younger than Nnamabia and that she might be feeling a slight resentment towards him because of the way he is treated by their parents. The story mentions some other characters as well: the policemen, the old man in Nnamabia’s cell, the prisoners, the neighbors, and young cult members. Most of these characters illustrate the social context of the story.

You can read a full characterization of Nnamabia and his parents in the following pages.