Q1. Read the extract below and answer the questions that follow.
At first light, as was her wont- for she was an early riser, she woke the entire village with wails and screams. People rushed out of their houses to the chief’s homestead thinking that it was the chief or his son who had died, for either case it would have been Nyar Yimbo’s duty to raise the alarm. When a good sized crowd had gathered, she stood just outside her house and spoke with a loud voice.
“I Akoko Obanda Nyar Yimbo (daughter of the people of Yimbo) came to the homestead of Owour Kembo, chief, as a pure girl nineteen seasons old. In all that time I was taught nothing but the ways of Chik and how to conduct myself as a woman of impeccable birth. Never in all that time did my mother or my father take me out in the dark for the purpose of showing me how to cast spells or to brew love potions to snare the hearts of me. I was taught that the way to keep a man was by the work of my hands and the words of my mouth. Obanda my granduncle was a great healer, after whom many children are named. He was known to harm no man and frequently sent off those who sought trouble for others with a flea in their ear.
Has anyone ever seen me gossiping with other women at the water hole? Do I always not rise early to till my lands? Have I ever begged for food from you my mother-in-law as all your daughters-in-law do? Do I not always have enough to eat and more left over to barter in exchange for cattle, goats and sheep? (Indeed the size of the herds had become quite impressive).
Children are a gift from Were both to the deserving and undeserving. Do not even murderers, witches and sluggards who cannot even feed themselves have children? Should I spit in the eyes of Were like a snake and deny that he has given me children? Were creates a child in its mother’s womb in secret, in his own time and at his own evolution. I have not stood in the way of my husband and other women. He is the chief and I cannot order him either to marry or not to marry.
Much has been said by the daughter of the people of Asembo(nyar Asembo) and her son Otieno about the thirty head of cattle that were paid to my father as a bride price. It causes them much bitterness that I have not borne thirty children in exchange for those cattle. Indeed my continued presence here is bitter aloes to them. Therefore I shall lift their gloom and suffering and depart from here to go back to my father’s house. Be it known that my father was a wealthy man before receiving those cattle and would have remained wealthy without them. For none of my twenty- one brothers is wifeless. Be it noted also that the wealth I have created in this home is more than double the number paid for me. This everyone knows. Therefore when I reach home, I shall request the council of Jodongo to convene proceedings for a separation. My people will give back your cattle and you will give me back mine.
(a) Explain what happens just before the extract. (3 marks)
(b) Identify one theme that is addressed in this excerpt. (2 marks)
(c) Identify and illustrate two features of style used in the extract. (4 marks)
(d) Identify and illustrate three character traits of Akoko as brought in the extract. (6 marks)
(e) Comment on the view that this society holds about a married woman. (2 marks)
(f) Explain the meaning of the following phrase as used “…………… raise the alarm” (1 mark)
(g) Children are a gift from were both to the deserving and the undeserving.
(Change into an interrogative statement) (2 marks)
(h) Elsewhere from the novel, compare how Owour Kembo and Otieno treat their wives. (2 marks)
(i) What happens just after this extract? (3 marks)
(a) 1. Akoko’s husband is under pressure to marry another wife.
2. Nyar Asembo (chief Owour’s mother) wails and laments accusing Akoko of bewitching her son (chief Owour Kembo)
3. Akoko is in the fields but later comes home and she gets the wind of the matter.
(b) 1. Family conflict – Nyar Asembo is in a conflict with Akoko because she is unable to bear children regularly.
- She also accuses her of bewitching the son which annoys Akoko deeply.
2. Religion –Akoko believes in were- children are a gift from Were and created them in secret.
3. Traditions – naming of a children; Obanda my granduncle was a great healer, after whom many children are named.
(c) Rhetorical questions – “ Has anyone ever seen me gossiping with other women at the water hole?
Use of local language- ‘Were’ ‘chik’ children are brought up in the way of chik
1 mark for identification
1 mark for illustration
(d) 1. Hardworking/ determined
She tills her land and has enough to eat and barter
2. impulsive /rash/ reckless
-when she learns about the accusation from the mother –in –law she wails and people gather.
She does not think about the results of her action.
- she strongly believes that children are a gift from Were- god.
(e) - Women are viewed as a source of wealth. Akoko says that thirty head of cattle was
paid as bride price.
- Women are supposed to bear as many children as possible as long as bride price was paid for them 1 mark each
(f) Attract attention
(g) Are children a gift from Were both to the deserving and undeserving?
(h) Owour Kembo- treats Akoko as a queen 1 mark
Otieno –treats his wives like sluts 1 mark
(i) -Akoko leaves her matrimonial home.
- The children protest but she orders them to go back and wait their father’s return.
- When Owour Kembo comes and gets the story, he almost strikes his mother and throttles his brother half to death. 1 mark
Q2. Read the extract below and answer the questions that follow.
“She means everything to me”. She looked at him steadily for a little while. “So do you -though I am beginning to think it’s a waste of time. When are you going to propose if at all?. We’ve known each other for six years. Six years? What I don’t have by now I’ll never get. I am twenty six years old and you are looking at the finished product. And I am tired of being asked when I will bring home the man from Ruguru- meaning the man from the west as my relatives refer to you”.
“You do not mean it, don’t you? It is not brain fever due to overwork and lack of sleep, is it?” he said it half in rest, half in earnest. “You really are too much,” she said getting up.
“Come on! Do have a sense of humor. It isn’t every day a girl proposes to me. As a matter of fact this is the first time – so forgive me if don’t quite know what to say. But you know there’s never been anyone else since I met you. To heal with it, since we are in the age of equality, why don’t I just say that there’s never been anyone else? The answer is yes I’ll marry you. Any day you want. Today, if we can get anyone to marry us”.
You are really a comedian, you know. What are you still doing here- an underpaid intern? Your should be out there earning your millions with bill Cosby and the rest”. This was how there conversation always ended. Two strong wills pitted against each other. She wondered if she was taking on more than she could manage. But he had a power over her- which even he did not know. There was no one else, there could be still she was piqued by him.
“Point taken. But I am dead serious. You can tell your mum that I’ll over pay my courtesy call as soon as this internship business is over. My intentions towards her daughter have always been good even if I am not a son of Mumbi and Gikuyu- the founders of your great tribe”.
The alarm rang and cut him short. “Yak! I’ve got to run, honey. I have gallonfuls of blood testing yet to be done. I’ll just walk you to the bus stop and then get on with the job at hand. “He grubbed his coat and opened the door. She understood. After all, she herself was an intern and at the mercy of the clock and the back and call of others. It was one hell of a life and once heel of a courtship. Why couldn’t she fall in love with an ordinary guy who worked ordinary hours? One doctor in the house was than enough. She wondered if the marriage would survive the onslaught of medicine. Time would tell.
(a) Explain what happens immediately before and after this excerpt. (4 marks)
(b) Identify and illustrate any one theme evident in this excerpt. (2 marks)
(c) (i) She means everything to me” who is referred to a “she” in this sentence? (1 mark)
(ii) What makes the ‘she’ age faster than she should have later in the story? (1 mark)
(iii) I am twenty six years old and you are looking at the finished product”.
Explain the meaning of the underlined phrase. (1 mark)
(d) Both Wandia and Aoro are interns in different hospitals. What challenges do they encounter as they serve as interns? (4 marks)
(e) Which trait of character is shared by both Aoro and Wandia in this excerpt? (3 marks)
(f) Illustrate any two features of style used in the excerpt. (2 marks)
(g) Where do Aoro and Wandia meet for the first time in the story? (1 mark)
(h) “There’s never been anyone else since I met you” (Beginning: Never…………). (1 mark)
Wandia has time off from Machakos Hospital to go and see her mother. On her way to Muranga she stops by to see Aoro her boyfriend in Nairobi. (2 marks)
Wandia meets her mother in Hospital she also visits her sister and spends the night there.
Her intended marriage to Aoro is discussed by both her sister and mother. (2 marks)
(b) Change (1 mark) - Wandia proposes to Aoro, a deviation from the norm since men normally propose to women (1 mark).
(c) (ii) Wandia’s mother. 1 mark
(ii) Because of worry, overwork and lately diabetes. (1 mark)
(iii) She is mature and ready for marriage. She does not require any more time to develop. 1 mark
(d) -they have no time to rest or eat.
-they have no time for social life
-they have no sleep and are overworked.
- They interact with rude and uncompromising consultants. 4 x1=4 marks
(e) Both are loving/ caring 2 marks
-Wandia proposes to Aoro
-Aoro confesses to Wandia (1)
(f) Direct address – she means everything to me”
Humour – “I’ll marry you. Any day you want. Today, if we can get anyone to marry us.
Rhetorical question- “why couldn’t she fall in love? 2 marks
(g) At the university of Nairobi as they pursue medicine 1 mark
(h) Never has there been anyone else 1 mark
Blossoms of the Savannah excerpts
SYNOPSIS OF BLOSSOMS OF THE SAVANNAH