A Battle Over Love and Status
Read the excerpt below and answer the questions that follow. (25 marks)
“Why do you want to steal my wife?” “The word I used is ‘marry’. You prefer ‘steal’?””What good is she to you?” Kimani cursed himself for that wording: he had degraded not only his wife but also himself, and in the same breath, upgraded his foe.”What good is she to me? Because she is much older than I am? — is that what you mean? Then hear my answer. Old is gold.”Mr Walomu’s opponents had a different answer: ‘ ‘When a cat gets into a pigeon coop,” they said, “it kills all the pigeons it finds there, not just those it will eat”.Mr Walomu had already eaten three pigeons and now had in his paws a fourth: Asiya. Strewn along his path, lay many others he had killed but not eaten. So who could say for sure that,months hence, Asiya would not become one of these?Mr Walomu’s opponents continued. “As for what you call ‘stealing’, a professor in Texas says that lots of people do it. He threw in a Swahili to support his claim.”Na hivyo ndivyo ilivyo.” To help it along, he gave an appropriate English equivalent. “And that’s how the cookie crumbles.”That was mockery Professor Kimani felt had to reject. “You have three beautiful wives,” he began. This was a silly start, as even he realised. Had he not sounded like an envious loser? Nonetheless, he went on. “All of them are young.””And young they’ll still be the day I die,” Walomu added.”Karanja, you know the saying: ‘A real bull dies with green grass in its mouth’ .”
QUESTIONS WITH ANSWERS
a) Briefly explain what happens just before this excerpt. (3 marks)
In the events leading up to the heated conversation between Mr. Walomu and Professor Kimani, several important incidents occur.
Firstly, Professor Kimani confronts MP Walomu about marrying his wife, Asiya Omondi . This confrontation likely stems from the fact that Asiya divorced Professor Kimani and married Mr. Walomu due to his wealth and financial status .
Secondly, Tad Longway, the director of special projects, visits Professor Kimani and discusses the mission of AGDA (African Governance and Democracy Alliance) with him . Mr. Longway invites Professor Kimani to join Path Alpha, a strategy aimed at challenging Africa’s status quo and mobilizing civic discontent for change .
These events set the stage for the heated conversation between Mr. Walomu and Professor Kimani in the excerpt. The conversation likely revolves around the marriage between Mr. Walomu and Asiya, as well as the confrontation between Professor Kimani and MP Walomu. The tension between the two characters is palpable, leading to a physical scuffle that ultimately results in Professor Kimani being charged with assaulting an MP .
The heated conversation between Mr. Walomu and Professor Kimani is a culmination of the conflicts and clashes that have been building up throughout the narrative. It not only highlights the personal grievances and animosity between the two characters but also reflects broader themes of wealth, power, and the consequences of challenging the status quo.
b) Identify and illustrate two-character traits of Walomu in the excerpt. (4 marks)
In the excerpt, two character traits of Walomu are highlighted: his corrupt nature and his immoral or promiscuous behavior.
Firstly, Walomu is portrayed as corrupt . It is mentioned that he amasses a significant amount of wealth when he leaves teaching, which attracts Professor Kimani’s wife, Asiya, to him. This suggests that Walomu is involved in illicit activities or engages in corrupt practices to accumulate his wealth. This trait of corruption reflects his willingness to exploit his position and engage in unethical behavior for personal gain.
Secondly, Walomu is depicted as immoral and promiscuous . He is described as having three wives and engaging in sexual activities with other women, whom he refers to as “killed but not eaten.” This implies that Walomu is involved in multiple extramarital affairs and lacks moral integrity. His promiscuity and disregard for fidelity reveal a character trait of immorality, where he prioritizes his desires and indulgences over ethical considerations.
These character traits of corruption and immorality contribute to Walomu’s negative portrayal in the excerpt. They highlight his flawed moral compass and his willingness to engage in unethical actions to satisfy his personal interests. These traits also create tension and conflict with other characters, such as Professor Kimani, who confronts him about stealing his wife. Overall, Walomu’s character traits of corruption and immorality serve to emphasize his negative and morally questionable nature.
c) Then hear my answer. (Add a question tag) (1 mark).
d) Discuss two themes raised in the excerpt. (4 marks)
e) Identify and illustrate three stylistic devices used in the excerpt. (6 marks)
In the excerpt, two prominent themes emerge from Walomu’s character traits of corruption and immorality. These themes shed light on the moral and societal challenges faced by the characters and the broader African context. The themes of “Corruption and Its Effects” and “The Moral Decay of Society” are central to the narrative.
The first theme, “Corruption and Its Effects,” highlights the pervasive nature of corruption and its consequences within the story. Walomu’s corrupt actions, such as amassing wealth through illicit means, reveal the extent to which corruption infiltrates society . This theme emphasizes the negative impact of corruption on both individuals and institutions. It showcases how corruption can lead to the erosion of ethical values, the abuse of power, and the breakdown of trust between individuals and within communities. This theme also reflects the larger issue of corruption in African nations, where it is seen as a hindrance to development and progress.
The second theme, “The Moral Decay of Society,” explores the deteriorating moral standards within the story. Walomu’s immorality, demonstrated by his multiple wives and promiscuous behavior, highlights a broader societal decline . This theme delves into the consequences of a society that has lost its moral compass, where personal gain and gratification overshadow ethical considerations. It raises questions about the values and principles that underpin relationships, institutions, and the overall fabric of society. The theme further underscores the need for individuals and communities to uphold and promote moral integrity in the face of moral decay.
Both themes provide a critical lens through which the story examines the challenges faced by African nations. They explore the detrimental effects of corruption on society’s well-being, as well as the erosion of moral values that undermine social cohesion and progress. By highlighting these themes, the excerpt invites readers to reflect on the broader implications of corruption and immorality within the context of African nations.
In conclusion, the themes of “Corruption and Its Effects” and “The Moral Decay of Society” resonate strongly in the excerpt, showcasing the detrimental impact of corruption and immorality on individuals and society at large. These themes shed light on the challenges faced by African nations, urging readers to contemplate the importance of ethical conduct and the need for collective efforts to combat corruption and restore moral integrity.