Basing your illustrations on Blossoms of the Savannah, write an essay to negate the saying “Blood is thicker than water” (20 marks)

Actions by some characters in Blossoms of the Savannah tend to negate the saying ‘blood is thicker than water.’ We expect family bonds to be the strongest and the loyalty to be true yet that is not the case. Ole Kaelo and Mama Milanoi put their daughters Taiyo and Resian through harrowing experiences and ironically, they get help from strangers such as Nabaru and Minik ene Nkoitoi.

Ole Kaelo’s actions go against the saying blood is thicker than water. Although he is Resian’s father, he abhors her for no apparent reason. Ole Kaelo intimidates Resian so much and she only finds solace in her sister Taiyo. Ole Kaelo teams up with Oloisudori to hatch an evil plan to kidnap Resian, anesthetize her and have her circumcised should she turn down Oloisudori’s proposal. He is against her ambitions of joining Egerton University with the intention of marrying her off to an old man she hates. This indeed negates the saying; blood is thicker than water.

Mama Milanoi’s actions also negate the saying blood is thicker than water. In the face of Resian’s constant intimidation by her own father, Mama Milanoi fails to protect her. Resian constantly rushes to Taiyo for a shoulder to lean on. She also deceives Taiyo using Resian’s plight, to accompany the three women to Esoit where she is savagely circumcised against her will. Surprisingly, Taiyo is rescued by Joseph Parmuat, who is not a blood relative; sadly, he loses his life. Indeed, this is a testament that family bonds may sometimes be the weak link in a relationship.

Taiyo’s experiences in Nasila prove that sometimes family ties are not the strongest ties. Her father is clearly inconsiderate of her feelings and needs when he denies her a chance to attend a music extravaganza in Mombasa. When she is kidnapped, help comes from unexpected quarters. She is rescued by Minik ene Nkoitoi’s team. Joseph Parmuat, a distant clan member, sacrifices himself for Taiyo’s sake when her parents seem indifferent. Indeed; this negates the saying blood is thicker than water.

Lastly, Nabaru the enkabaani cares for Resian more than her mother does. Resian even calls her a “God given mother”. Although they are not related, Nabaru proves to be caring and motherly. She tends to Resian following the nasty beating she received from Olarinkoi. When her father tries to forcefully marry her off to Oloisudori, Resian escapes to Inkiito with the help of Olarinkoi; little does she know that he has ulterior motives. He attempts to rape her and hurts her badly. During her 3 weeks stay at Inkiito, Resian receives tender care in terms of medical attention and food from Nabaru. She is not only a loving and caring mother to her, but also a valuable friend and confidant. She also rescues her from the hands of Olarinkoi and his evil mother Enkoiboni despite the fact that she has been paid handsomely in order to be part of the scheme. This also negates the popular belief that blood is thicker than water.

To sum up, Mama Milanoi and Ole Kaelo prove that family members can turn out to be our greatest enemies and occasionally help comes from people who are not necessarily related to us.


Determination leads to victory. Write an essay to qualify this claim basing your illustration on H.E Ole Kulet’s Blossoms of the Savannah(20 marks)

Trying to achieve something difficult relentlessly and resolutely always results in success. In other words, steadfastness pays off. In Blossoms of the Savannah Resian’s strength of will pays off when she beats all the challenges and manages to go to the university against all odds. She breaks the shackles of unsupportive parents, archaic cultural practices of FGM and early marriages and cruel patriarchal beliefs to achieve her dream of enrolling at Egerton University.

Resian is determined to join Egerton University to pursue a course in Veterinary Medicine, a dream she manages to achieve. From the onset, Resian is resolute about her ambition of joining Egerton University. She obstinately urges her sister to talk to their father about their prospect of returning to Nakuru to enroll at Egerton University. Although her father does not support this, she still fights determinedly until she achieves her dream. Her determination makes her trust Olarinkoi who has promised to take her to Ntare-naaju ranch to meet Emakererei who is to aid her pursue her dream. The journey is tumultuous but she beats all odds and finally departs for Egerton on 5th September.

Resian is determined to cheat the cultural expectations and remain uncircumcised, a feat she manages to achieve. When Ole Kaelo relocates to Nasila from Nakuru, there is immense pressure on him to circumcise his girls to evade the derogatory title of father to intoiye nemengalana (uncircumcised girls). He is torn between the Nasila culture and his daughter’s liberty and needs. Some men like Ole Supeyo circumcised all their girls and married them off to prominent men in Nasila. He says that women have to be circumcised to control their wild nature. Ole Musanka, a dignified elder insists that girls must be circumcised. Other women like Enkamuratani, Enkasakatoni and Enkaitoyoni also vehemently support the cut. She risks her life by blindly trusting Olarinkoi with sheer need to escape the cut. She manages to escape from Nasila to Ntare-naaju albeit through difficult situations. Eventually, she escapes both FGM and early marriage.

Resian also manages to escape the suffocating chains of patriarchy when accosted by Oloisudori; she manages to escape forced marriage to an old man due to her steely steadfastness. Oloisudori hatches a heartless plan to have Resian kidnapped and even anesthetized if need be. He plans to forcefully have her circumcised and to marry her as a sixth wife. He manages to arm twist Ole Kaelo into accepting the deal by using gifts including 500,000 shillings and a mansion for Resian in Milimani-Nakuru. Resian is neither lured nor sucked in by Oloisudori’s pompous show of financial might. She calls him mad and says she can only marry him over her dead body. Even though Oloisudori, Ole Kaelo and Mama Milanoi conspire to have her married to Oloisudori, her sheer determination helps her to avoid this.

Resian manages to fight off Olarinkoi who is led to believe that their impending marriage is destiny as prophesied by her diviner mother. She prophesied that Olarinkoi would live with the Kaelos and later marry one of his daughters. He kidnaps her and hides her in a dungeon in the sleepy village of Inkiito after deceiving her. He even tries to rape her. Resian’s courage and determination is seen when she fights bravely and bites him badly while defending herself. She endures harrowing life in Olarinkoi’s hut that is crawling with rats, lizards and snakes. She remembers the Biblical story of Job and how he triumphed because of perseverance. Eventually she manages to escape with the help of Nabaru the enkabaani. Inspired by her bravery and determination, Nabaru walks through the dangerous Inkiito terrain until she finds and convinces a lorry driver to make a detour in order to help Resian. Finally, she meets Minik ene Nkoitoi, who helps her to enroll at Egerton University.

Resian beats all odds and achieves her dreams. Surely, determination leads to victory.


“Our greatest enemies are those close to us.” Basing your argument on H.E Ole Kulet’s Blossoms of the Savannahwrite an essay to qualify this assertion. (20 Marks) 

More often than not, we are harmed or betrayed by those close to us. Our close family members, trusted friends, or other relatives sometimes turn out to be our biggest adversaries. In Blossoms of the Savannah Mama Milanoi betrays her own daughter Taiyo when she deceives her and has her savagely circumcised against her will. Other characters that highlight this vice are Oloisudori and Ole Kaelo.

Parsimei Ole Kaelo is an enemy to his own daughter Resian. He has abhorred her since she was born because he expected a boy. He plans to have Resian forcefully circumcised and married off to a sly and cunning extortionist Mr. Oloisudori, a man she vehemently hates. Oloisudori financed Ole Kaelo’s businesses and helped him to acquire a magnificent home in Nasila. He uses his guile and money to lure Ole Kaelo and Mama Milanoi into accepting his odd demand. Ole Kaelo schemes with Oloisudori to have his own daughter kidnapped and anesthetized should she turn down his proposal. He equates her to a stubborn kid that refuses to suckle. Ultimately, Ole Kaelo fails in his bid to please Oloisudori and to fulfill his own avarice since Resian escapes, leaving them reeling in turmoil.

Oloisudori Loonkiya turns out to be an enemy to Ole Kaelo. They are friends and business allies. Although he knows that Oloisudori is a criminal, he does not expect him to betray their friendship. When Oloisudori visits Ole Kaelo’s home and meets Resian he falls in love with her and demands to marry her. She also has to be circumcised. Oloisudori is an old man while Resian is still a teenager. Ole Kaelo is shocked by this strange demand and beseeches him to drop it and ask for anything else. Oloisudori uses his financial strength and emotional blackmail to convince Ole Kaelo to bless the union. He gives him 500,000 shillings as dowry.  This evil scheme fails when Resian tells Oloisudori off in his face and escapes. Oloisudori later faces the wrath of Minik ene Nkoitoi and his vehicles are destroyed.

Olarinkoi betrays Resian’s trust. He looks odd but seemingly harmless. He is accepted into the Kaelo homestead where he visits freely and eats together with them. He deceives them with food supplies. He earns Resian’s trust when he rescues Taiyo and her from their would-be rapists Ntara and Lante. He turns out to be Resian’s foe when he deceives and kidnaps her taking her to Inkiito instead of Ntare-naaju. He plans to have her circumcised and to marry her and escape with her to Tanzania. He attempts to rape her and causes grievous bodily harm on her. His evil scheme also fails when Nabaru helps Resian to escape from his home. He is also forced into hiding after his shameless rape attempt.

Mama Milanoi is an adversary to her own daughters. She fails to speak up for them but instead selfishly guards her marriage. She is scared to ask her husband to let them join Egerton University. In the face of constant intimidation, she fails to offer her protective wings to Resian who only finds solace in Taiyo. She is privy to the evil scheme to have Resian kidnapped and forcefully circumcised and married to Oloisudori but she remains callously indifferent. She laughs when Ole Kaelo compares her to an obstinate kid. She also blatantly lies and convinces Taiyo to follow the three women to Esoit where she is brutally circumcised. Surely, our family members turn out to be our biggest foes.

Lastly, Ntara son of Muyo betrays Resian and Taiyo. He is their relative. Although he is of the Ilukumae clan, he is their first cousin. He is a son of Mama Milanoi’s sister who married Muyo an elder. He accosts them while in the company of Lante son of Kanyira and attempts to rape them. In the scuffle that ensues, the girls are injured. They are rescued by Olarinkoi. It is odd that he tries to rape his own cousins. He is later apprehended and beaten up mercilessly. He is also fined three heifers.

In conclusion, the events in Blossoms of the Savannah prove that those close to us turn out to be our greatest adversaries.


“Individuals who are selfless and determined are always rewarded in life”. Using illustrations from the novel Blossoms of the Savannah, write an essay in support of this statement. (20 Marks) 

Some individuals show great concern for other people by sacrificing their valuable time and possession for others. Their steadfast spirit coupled with their selflessness always results in success. In Blossoms of the Savannah Minik ene Nkoitoi and Nabaru are characters who are rewarded for such acts of kindness. They achieve what they set out to do.

Minik ene Nkoitoi is not only selfless but also determined. Her resoluteness pays off. First, she manages to go to Makerere University to pursue a course in veterinary medicine, which is no mean feat for a Maa woman. For instance, all of Ole Supeyo’s daughters were circumcised and married off to prominent Nasilian elders. Although Minik was also circumcised, that does not hinder her from achieving her dreams. She manages a sheep ranch at Ntare-naaju. Unlike other Maa women who subserviently coil before men, ene Nkoitoi remains an assertive individual who succeeds because of her resoluteness.

Apart from her success in education and career, Minik also succeeds in her fight against needless cultural practices like FGM. She relentlessly puts up a spirited fight against FGM and early marriages. She faces stiff resistance from conservative chauvinists such as Ole Supeyo, Ole Musanka and Oloisudori but she stays steadfast in her quest to abolish the inessential traditions. Even fellow women like enkamuratani, enkasakatoni and enkaitoyoni fuel the practices further. Minik has been labeled entagoroi (wasp) but she does not relent. Due to her selflessness she manages to rescue five hundred thousand girls and sacrifices her valuable time and resources to make them comfortable. Resian and Taiyo also benefit from her selfless nature. She accommodates and feeds them and enables them to join Egerton University. Indeed, Selfless and determined characters always succeed.

Nabaru is also both selfless and determined. When Olarinkoi deceives and kidnaps Resian and takes her to Inkiito instead of Ntare-naaju, Nabaru’s help comes in handy. She nurses and feeds Resian like her own daughter. She gives her water, milk, bits of olpurda, pounded mutton and ugali. She reveals the evil plan that enkoiboni has for Resian. She selflessly nurses and feeds Resian for over 12 days. Although she has been paid handsomely, she abandons the initial plan and chooses to help Resian. In her Resian finds not only a loving and caring mother but also a valuable friend and confidant. She makes Resian comfortable by making her a bed using her two blankets. She manages to make Resian’s stay at Inkiito a bit bearable. She succeeds since selfless individuals more often than not achieve success.

Nabaru is also determined to help Resian escape the cut and marriage to Olarinkoi; she succeeds. She walks a long distance to the next shopping centre to find a driver, Lebutu, and convinces him to help her rescue Resian. She makes a daring and determined trek considering the terrain was dangerous and riddled with wild animals. She succeeds since she ensures Resian arrives safely at Ntare-naaju and meets her role model Minik ene Nkoitoi, the emakererei. Resian refers to her as yeiyo-ai-nanyorr which means my beloved mother. Nabaru’s resolute spirit helps Resian evade circumcision and marriage and instead get chance to join her dream institution- Egerton University. Olarinkoi and enkoiboni fail terribly but Nabaru succeeds.

In conclusion, it is indeed true to say selfless and determined individuals are usually rewarded in life.


“Bad deeds always go unrewarded.” Write a composition to support this assertion basing your illustration on HR Ole Kulet’s Blossoms of the Savannah. (20 Marks)

Individuals who commit atrocities more often than not fail to achieve whatever they are trying to achieve. Some individuals do shocking or cruel things due to their selfishness but they never succeed. In Blossoms of the Savannah, Olarinkoi, who tries to rape Resian, is hurt and humiliated and he fails to marry her. Ole Kaelo and Oloisudori’s atrocities also fail to bear fruits.

Oloisudori plans to forcefully circumcise and marry Resian against her will but he fails terribly. Oloisudori is a sly extortionist tricks Ole Kaelo (Resian’s father) into a business partnership. After helping Ole Kaelo secures several lucrative contracts, he demands to marry Resian forcefully. Resian hates him since he acts suggestively when the first meet. Ole Supeyo had earlier cautioned Ole Kaelo about his randy traits. He tries to woo her with gifts such as a golden brooch and bracelet and a spectacular house which she duly hands back. He hatches a callous plan to have Resian kidnapped and anesthetized should she turn down the proposal. He fails terribly since Resian calls him mad and says he can only marry her over her dead body. Even after spending millions of shillings and using unethical means to get a wife, Oloisudori fails to get Resian hand in marriage.

Olarinkoi, who kidnaps Resian with a view of marrying her, is unrewarded. Olarinkoi is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He pretends to be a friend to the Kaelos when he lives with them. He rescues Taiyo and Resian when Ntara and Lante try to rape them thus earning Resian’s trust. He tricks Resian into believing that he will take her to Ntare-naaju to meet Minik ene Nkoitoi, and avoid circumcision and marriage to Oloisudori. Instead he takes her to Inkiito village where he tries to rape her and assaults her until she passes out. Resian’s journey to Inkiito and the stay there is harrowing. Luckily she escapes with the help of Nabaru. Thus Olarinkoi fails to marry her. He is also forced into hiding due to shame and nearly loses a finger when Resian almost severs it. Surely, bad deeds always go unrewarded.

Ole Kaelo’s greed for material possession does not bear fruits. Ole Kaelo is sucked in by Oloisudori’s opulence and apparent generosity that he fails to see the danger he exposes himself and his family into. After getting into a business partnership with Oloisudori, he is thrown into turmoil when Oloisudori demands to marry Resian. He is faced with a dilemma of either losing his daughter’s faith and love or losing his lucrative contracts and possibly his magnificent house. After visiting Oloisudori’s palatial homes, Ole Kaelo chooses wealth over Resian’s happiness. He warms up to the idea of having Resian kidnapped and anesthetized. He receives 500, 000 shillings among other gifts but fails to have Resian marry Oloisudori. She runs away from home leaving his father confused! His evil plans prove futile.

Mama Milanoi selfishly guards her marriage at the expense of her daughter’s happiness. She is a conservative conformist who remains subservient and fails to protect Taiyo and Resian. When they move to Nasila, she is delighted since her daughters would be married by prominent men. She is, however, stuck between the devil and the deep, blue sea of either losing her daughters’ faith and love or going against the Nasila traditions. She deceives Taiyo and aids three women to abduct her and whisk her away to Esoit village where she is forcibly and brutally circumcised. She hopes to have her married to Oloisudori so that they keep the business contracts and maintain the enviable living standards in Nasila. Her plan fails since Taiyo is rescued by Minik ene Nkoitoi’s team and taken to Ntare-naaju where she joins other girls. Resian and she swear never to be subservient like their mother! Indeed, bad deeds always go unrewarded.

In conclusion, bad deeds never bear any fruits instead the perpetrators fail terribly.


Irresponsible decisions can lead to serious consequences. Referring closely to H.R. Ole Kulet’s Blossoms of the Savannah, write an essay in support of this statement. 

When people make decisions that are devoid of good judgement the results are usually adverse. People like Ole Kaelo and Oloisudori suffer as a result of their rash decision.Ole Kaelo makes an irresponsible decision when he engages in business with Oloisudori. When Ole Kaelo is retrenched from Agribix Limited, he chooses to relocate to Nasila, his native home, with his family. Here, he opens a shop dealing in Agricultural products. His business is funded by Oloisudori. Oloisudori also helps him to secure some business contracts. He helps Ole Kaelo to secure a 4 years’ contract to supply all government institutions in Nasila with agricultural inputs like fertilizer, seeds, herbicides, fungicides et cetera. His mentor Ole Supeyo warns him against his involvement with Oloisudori. He says that Oloisudori is corrupt. He equates him to a hyena and a randy he-goat and cautions Ole Kaelo to keep him away from his daughters. Ole Kaelo does not heed. This decision haunts him when Oloisudori asks for his daughter Resians’ hand in marriage. Resian has to be circumcised first. Her dream is to enrol at Egerton University. When she learns of her father’s plan, she confronts him at his shop and he slaps her, further straining their relationship. She runs to Nasila river where she contemplates suicide. Olarinkoi finds her and promises to take her to Ntare naaju to meet Minik ene Nkoitoi, who could help her pursue her education. Ole Kaelo’s rash decision makes him to lose his daughter. She leaves Nasila with Olarinkoi.

Mama Milanoi makes an unwise decision when she keeps a low profile when her daughters are subjected to punitive cultural practices. When they relocate to Nasila after Ole Kaelo is retrenched, Taiyo and Resian suffer the stigma of being labelled “intoiye nemengalana”. Ole Kaelo plans to circumcise Resian and marry her off to Oloisudori. Mama Milanoi knows that her dream is to join Egerton university and pursue a degree in Veterinary medicine. She however fails to defend Resian against the pressure from society to have her circumcised and married off against her will.  She succumbs to the pressure of the Nasilian culture. She knows that FGM is a tortorous and painful experience but she still fails to speak to Ole Kaelo against it. She is privy to the details of having Resian abducted and forcefully circumsised but she still remains silent. The painful outcome of her subservience is that Resian esacpes from home with the help of Olarinkoi and she eventually manages to meet Minik ene Nkoitoi and to enrol at Egerton University.  Mama Milanoi loses her daughter’s trust.

Ole Kaelo suffers when he chooses to deny Resian and Taiyo a chance to pursue their education at Egerton university. Parsimei Ole Kaelo instead asks Joseph Parmuat, a teacher, to teach them cultural aspects of Nasila in preparation for circumcision and marriage. Resians coaxes her sister Taiyo to speak to their father about the prospect of joining Egerton University on so many occasions, because she burns with passion for education. When she tries to ask her father, he gets so angry at her. He warms up to the idea of marrying her to Oloisudori.  Ole Kaelo receives gifts and money from him. He fails to protect her daughter from advances by the corrupt extortionist. Resian finally escapes from Nasila with the help of Olarinkoi and later manages to meet Minik ene Nkoitoi who helps her to finally leave for Nakuru to join Egerton university. Oloisudori loses her as a result.

Oloisudori errs in his decision to follow Resian and Taiyo all the way to Ntare naaju ranch. When his first choice for a wife, Resian, runs away with Olarinkoi, the Kaelo’s offer Taiyo as a replacement. Minik’s men manage to rescue her from Esoit village but not before she is circumcised. When he loses both of them, Oloisudori pursues them upto Minik ene Nkoitoi’s ranch. He knows that Minik is referred to as ‘entangoroi’ or wasp but still chooses to confront her. He demands for either Resian or Taiyo saying he has paid dowry enough for both. Minik says that she will not release them even to their own father. She asks Oloisudori to leave. He asks his men to grab Resian and then a pandemonium ensues. Minik’s 400 workers descend upon them and clobber them thoroughly before torching his expensive vehicles and reducing them to smouldering shells. Oloisudori loses his vehicles and still fails to get a wife even after spending a lot of money, time and effort.

Olarinkoi makes two foolish decisions. First, he abducts Resian and then he tries to rape her.  When Resian runs away from home and is contemplating her next course of action by the Nasila River, Olarinkoi arrives and tells her that Oloisudori’s men are looking for her all over. He offers to take her to Ntare naaju to meet Minik her icon. She complies owing to the fact that she trusts him since he has been a regular visitor at their home and he saves Taiyo and her when the vagabonds, Ntara Muyo and Lante, try to rape them. Olarinkoi does not keep his word.  He instead takes her to Inkiito. He locks her up in a dingy hut. That night he comes back stone drunk insisting that Resian is his wife. He mocks her about her education and he forcefully grabs her tearing her clothes and pushing her to the bed. She defends herself by pushing his thumb into her mouth and sinking her teeth into it until he bleeds. She almost severes the thumb. Olarinkoi suffers physically and also emotionally when he is admonished by his mother until he goes into hiding due to shame. Nabaru, the nurse, who was contracted by the mono-eyed woman to take care of Resian after circumcision helps to rescue her when she brings a lorry driver, who takes them to Ntare naaju.  Apart from the physical and emotional pain, Olarinkoi fails to get Resian as a wife as a result of his irresponsible decision.

Mama Milanoi makes an irresponsible decision when she tricks Taiyo into circumcision. When Resian runs away with Olarinkoi to avoid marriage to Oloisudori, Taiyo is offered as a replacement. Mama Milanoi allows her to accompany the three women from Esoit. They lie to Taiyo that Resian is on a hunger strike and has gone for three days without eating. They want her to accompany them to Esoit for Resian’s sake. She complies and accompanies them happily since her mother assures her that their father had vowed never to try to marry them by force to any man. At Esoit she is thrown into turmoil as no one attends to her or talks about Resian. She is instead left in a dingy hut. The next morning she is dragged out of the hut by a group of excited women, 20 litres of cold water is emptied on her head before she is forcibly circumcised by ‘enkamuratani’. The ordeal is so painful that she passes out. She is later rescued by Minik’s men with the help of Joseph Parmuat, who tricks the guards guarding her, with alcohol. The guards attempt to chase after Minik’s men,pelting them with stones,  but they fail. Parmuat is speared to death. Mama Milanoi loses Taiyo when she is taken to Minik’s ranch.

Through characters like Oloisudori and Olarinkoi, we learn that foolish decisions usually lead to bad consequences. We ought to think before we leap.


Write a composition to show how education brings positive change in society using illustrations from Henry Ole Kulet’s Blossoms of the Savannah.


An individual who is persevering and optimistic usually emerges triumphant. Referring closely to H.R. Ole Kulet’s Blossoms of the Savannah, write an essay in support of this statement. 


Misunderstanding crops up whenever a family fails to share opinions and values. Basing your illustrations on Ole Kaelo’s family, show the validity of this statement.


Women suffer in male-dominated societies. Write an essay to validate the truth in this assertion basing your illustrations on Blossoms of the Savannah.

In most societies, men hold primary power and influence. Blossoms of the Savannah highlights the problems women suffer in a male-dominated society. Resian, Taiyo, Mama Milanoi and Minik ene Nkoitoi suffer a myriad of problems in Nasila.

Resian suffers for simply being born a girl. Ole Kaelo is infuriated when his second born child turns out to be a girl. He had prayed for a boy and wanted at least three boys.  The society values boys more than girls. A boy would carry the Kaelo’s name to the next generation Ole Kaelo offers Resian as a sacrificial lamb when Oloisudori comes looking for a wife. As much as she knows her father hates her, she is shocked that he has the temerity to sell her to a man she hates with a passion. Resian is always sad and aloof owing to her father’s mistreatment. Resian feels betrayed by her father and at one point considers committing suicide. She is forced to run away from home with the help of Olarinkoi. Surely, women in male-dominated societies suffer a great deal.

Men in Nasila use FGM to oppress women. Women are considered a wild gender that has to be tamed through FGM. Girls who undergo FGM suffer physical and psychological pain. Uncircumcised girls are mocked, derided and contemptuously referred to as intoiye nemengalana. Circumcised girls are considered decent and accorded respect. The subject of FGM makes Taiyo and Resian feel squeamish, hopeless and downcast. Resian feels that FGM is useless today and is only used by men to oppress women. Taiyo is duped and taken to Esoit village, 5 kilometers away from Nasila, where she is forcibly circumcised. She is dragged out of a hut, splashed with 20 litres of cold water, wrestled to the ground and circumcised. The excruciating procedure is carried out using a bladelike tool known as olmurunya. She faints and only regains consciousness two days later. She even imagines she had died! Even after being rescued, she suffers bouts of sickness, restlessness, weakness and pain. This all happened in order for her to be married off to Oloisudori since men in Nasila do not marry intoiye nemengalana.

In male-dominated societies, women suffer forced early marriages. When Resian learns that she has to marry Oloisudori, she is thrown into a sea of agony. Forced marriage is rampant in Nasila. Oloisudori and Olarinkoi try to marry Resian forcefully. Resian’s dream is to join Egerton University. Her father, however, plans to marry her off to Oloisudori against her will. He makes all these plans behind Resian’s back. He receives cash and gifts from Oloisudori knowing too well that Resian only values university education. Oloisudori even considers rendering Resian unconscious should she decline his proposal. At Inkiito, Resian realizes that many girls are married to old men. One girl is eighteen and her husband is about seventy five. Such girls live in squalor conditions. To avoid marrying Oloisudori, Resian runs away from home. She endures an agonising 3-week stay at Inkiito battling hostile hosts, mosquitoes, hunger and physical injury. Surely, she suffers a lot when her father tries to marry her off without her consent.

In Nasila, Resian and Taiyo suffer sexual exploitation since they are not circumcised. They are mocked and chided by strangers. Two vagabonds attempt to molest them. Like most men in Nasila, Ntara and Lante do not respect women. When they first meet, Oloisudori harasses Resian despite her being too young for him. She describes him as an ill-mannered devil. At Inkiito, Olarinkoi unsuccessfully tries to rape Resian. He comes home drunk as a skunk and demands for food from her. He then tries to molest her. She fights back fiercely and bites his thumb. Olarinkoi then assaults her viciously rendering her unconscious. For a couple of weeks that follow, Resian endures pain from the attack. Resian and Taiyo undergo physical and emotional anguish in the hands of men who abuse their privacy.

Women in Nasila suffer because they are voiceless. Mama Milanoi is voiceless when her husband plans to marry off Resian to Oloisudori. She cannot even dissuade him from circumcising their daughters. In Nasila, it is men who make decisions. Mama Milanoi suffers sleepless nights pondering in pain owing to the excruciating experience awaiting her daughters yet she remains voiceless. Mama Milanoi is in a dilemma because she is torn between being a dutiful Maa wife and being a protective mother to Taiyo and Resian. As a subservient Maa wife, she has little choice but to submit to her husband and Nasila cultural dictates. She is baffled that an old man like Oloisudori could marry Resian, something that was unheard off during her childhood days. She visits and talks to other women like Yeiyo bottor in an attempt to avert the marriage. The thoughts of early marriage and circumcision take her through mental torture yet the male-dominated society gags her and renders her voiceless. She suffers in silence.

Minik ene Nkoitoi is treated contemptuously by men in Nasila. Men like Simiren and Ole Musanka hate her passionately. She is referred to as entagoroi, a derogatory name for a sharp-tongued woman. When she tries to stop Simiren from circumcising her daughters and marrying them off to old men, he chases her away and almost assaults her physically. Ole Musanka curses her that “she may go down with the setting sun”. Even women in Nasila call her a witch. Minik ene Nkoitoi suffers mistreatment and alienation in Nasila simply because she fights archaic practices like early marriages and FGM, which are perpetuated and fueled by men, with a view of oppressing women.

In summary, it is clear that women suffer in male dominated societies.


Betrayal causes pain and strain in the family. Using illustrations from Henry Ole Kulet’s Blossoms of the Savannah, write an essay to validate this statement. 

Good families are built on trust and love. When we fail or desert our family members, we cause them untold grief. In Blossoms of the Savannah, Taiyo and Resian suffer when their parents betray them.

Ole Kaelo betrays his daughter Resian when he irrationally mistreats her for no apparent reason, causing her untold grief. He fails his daughter because he detests her right from birth. He feels cheated by nature since he had prayed for at least three boys but as fate would have it ends up with two girls. Ole Kaelo loves his first daughter Taiyo but hates her younger sister Resian. He was utterly disappointed when she turned out to be a girl when he prayed for a healthy baby boy to carry the Kaelo’s name to the next generation. He is angered by her body size and intends to dispose of her as soon as possible. Resian feels betrayed since her father intimidates her and her mother fails to protect her from the provocations. Her only reprieve is Taiyo, who gives her a shoulder to cry on. The girls enjoy their father’s absence more than his company. Resian wonders why her father despises her so much but does not hate Taiyo. She ponders whether it was her fault. Her father wants her to marry a shady crook named Oloisudori by force.  She argues that if her father respected her, he would have listened when she said she disliked Oloisudori. Resian knows that her father hates her but is shocked that he could go as far as selling her. This betrayal causes Resian misery since she was a child and she grows up to be sullen, bewildered and resentful. She even thinks there is a curse for being born a woman. Her nature is darkened with melancholy. The frequent tongue lashing and harshly impatient nature from her father towards her contribute to her tempestuous disposition. She is haunted by nagging complaints and never ending unhappiness. Sometimes she sits alone in the biting cold brooding over her father’s inexplicable hateful nature. Her sadness is compounded by the fact that he intends to forcefully marry her off to a monster she hates, in order for his business venture to thrive. The pain pushes her to edge until she contemplates drowning herself in Nasila River in pursuit of peace. Surely, when a father hates his own daughter this, much the result, needless to say, is untold suffering.  (Pgs. 9-10, 34, 172-173, 205, 210)

Mama Milanoi betrays both Resian and Taiyo when she chooses to remain indifferent and aloof to her own daughters causing them pain. At first, she has a strange premonition since her daughters are uncircumcised yet the culture demands otherwise. She is thrown into a conundrum of either forcing the girls to undergo FGM and losing their faith, love and confidence, or refusing to yield to tradition at the risk of being labelled a pariah. Instead of fighting to protect her daughters when their father plans to circumcise them, she subserviently bows to pressure and foolishly asserts that culture is everything and it rules their lives. Now that FGM had reared its ugly head, she knows that it was going to wreak havoc in the innocent girls’ young lives. She also knows that her daughters do not expect their own parents to subject them to the excruciating pain and turmoil of FGM. It would be mental torture for them. However, she remains aloof and selfish simply to protect her position as a dutiful Maa wife. She concurs with Yeiyo Bottor that Resian has olkuenyi which can be cured through FGM. She knows that FGM would terribly hurt the girls but she fails to protect them. She kept lying to the girls and reassuring them that nothing sinister was in the offing as they prepared to circumcise them. She laughs with her husband and Oloisudori as they discuss Resian’s fate but a feeling of betrayal lingers in her heart. Mama Milanoi fails Resian and Taiyo since she abandons them at the time of need. Taiyo and Resian are angry at their mother and term her as an example of a wife they never wanted to be. She had been held captive by her husband and could not express her own opinion unlike Nabaru and Minik ene Nkoitoi. Resian is forced to run away from home through a harrowing journey but Taiyo pays the ultimate price when she undergoes the excruciating pain of FGM. Surely, when a mother fails to protect her daughters, they suffer. (Pgs. 17, 34, 60-62, 63, 78, 147, 192, 276)

Mama Milanoi tricks her daughter Taiyo into circumcision causing her pain and regret. She calls Taiyo to greet three women visitors from a village called Esoit. They say Resian had sought refuge there after running away from home. They need Taiyo to accompany them since Resian was on a hunger strike and had not eaten anything for three days. They claim they pitied Resian and claim she had mentioned Taiyo who could persuade her to eat and save her life. Since Taiyo is caring and knows Resian depends on her for protection, she buys the story. She is happy since her mother assures her that their father had vowed never to marry them by force to any man. This is the height of deceit and betrayal from a mother. At Esoit, there is no sign of Resian. Taiyo is abandoned in a dingy hut and at dawn she is dragged out, drenched with 20 litres of cold water, wrestled to the ground and forcibly circumcised. Her screams of terror and pain fall on deaf ears. She faints and only gains consciousness two days later, feeling sore, bitter and angry. She even imagines she had died. She is later rescued by Minik ene Nkoitoi but still suffers bouts of pain, intensely painful headaches and  weakness. It is difficult to come to terms with the forcible circumcision. Taiyo and Resian blame their father for wanting to please Oloisudori at the detriment of his own daughters. Their mother does not escape their ire. They think she is the embodiment of a bad wife and mother. When a parent betrays their child, they cause the child grief. (Pgs. 272, 274, 275, 276-277)

Ole Kaelo betrays Resian when he agrees to marry her off against her will to a wanton criminal – Oloisudori, causing her untold misery. Oloisudori is a rich man who helps Ole Kaelo by financing his business in Nasila and assists him in acquiring government contracts to supply agricultural inputs. He then demands to marry Resian. Ole Kaelo had been retrenched from his job at Agribix limited in Nakuru and had decided to relocate to his native Nasila to venture into business.  Ole Kaelo’s mentor Soin Ole Supeyo warns him that Oloisudori was a corrupt criminal, a hyena and a randy he-goat. He cautions him to keep the amorous man away from daughters. He does not heed the warning. Ole Kaelo knows that it is his duty to protect and educate his daughters and it pains him to hand them over to a man they don’t love. He foresees them crying forlornly and questioning the sincerity of his love and the reason for his betrayal. However, he still chooses to betray and sacrifice Resian. He accepts cash and other gifts from Oloisudori. He vows that Resian has to be married by Oloisudori and is party to an evil scheme to abduct her in the event that she resisted. While Mama Milanoi feels they were betraying Resian, Ole Kaelo feels happy and satisfied especially after visiting her potential husband’s palatial homes. As they drive past Egerton University, he feels Resian was foolish for choosing education over marriage to a wealthy man. Resian was speechless when it dawned on her that her father had sold her to Oloisudori. She feels it was a curse being born a woman in Nasila. She knew he disliked her but never thought her own father could sell her. She cries in anger and outrage and accuses him of betrayal and hatred. She says it was better to die than marry her father’s monstrous friend. He even slaps her with the view of intimidating her into bowing to pressure of his demands. Resian leaves his office and heads to Nasila River where she contemplates suicide. She instead chooses to flee from home with the help of Olarinkoi and embarks on a harrowing, daunting journey to Ntare Naaju not knowing what awaited her. Resian surely suffers in the wake of her father’s betrayal. (Pgs. 26, 108, 111-112, 178, 185, 191-193, 204, 205, 208, 209, 210)

Ole Kaelo betrays his daughter Taiyo when he fails to support her musical aspirations. Taiyo loses trust in her father when he denies her permission to attend an extravaganza organised by an FM radio station.  Taiyo loves music. She has excelled in music festivals and been awarded many times. Broadcasting stations noticed her talent and encouraged her to pursue a career in music. Even her parents applauded her on many occasions so she did not expect them to have any objection if she pursued the desire of her heart as a future occupation. An FM station offered her a chance to attend a music extravaganza in Mombasa and attend a short course later. Her father refuses to grant her permission, claiming rather absurdly that performing for money was akin to harlotry. It is evident that Taiyo loves music. It was in her blood. She thoroughly enjoys the children’s performance in Nasila. When her father denies her permission, it leaves a wound in her heart. She stubbornly tries to convince him but loses the fight. This betrayal leaves her seething in rage. (1-2, 44-45)

Lastly, Ole Kaelo betrays his daughter Resian when he refuses to send her to university. Resian is determined to join Egerton University. When they are about to relocate to Nasila from Nakuru, she tells Taiyo that she does not want to work at their father’s shop. She wanted to join Egerton University to study veterinary medicine and be called Dr. Resian Kaelo. She requests her sister Taiyo to persuade him to allow them to return to Nakuru and enroll at the university in order to avoid being subjected to outdated traditions. She is not interested in Parmuat’s cultural lessons. She only wants formal education which is universally beneficial to all. Her only hope was placed on Taiyo speaking to their father as their mother proved to be either impuissant or unwilling. She, however, chooses to remain optimistic envisioning herself in Egerton University donning academic regalia. She rejects Oloisudori’s gifts and hands them back since her only ambition is to pursue university education. Her father refuses to allow her to join university. He intends to marry her off to Oloisudori, a man Resian deems a monster. She refers to him contemptuously as ol-ushuushi – a reckless person and olbitirr – a warthog. Resian assertively declares that even if she was over eighty years old she would still join university. It is painful for her to struggle, run away from home, suffer in Inkiito in the hands of a callous brute – Olarinkoi, before she finally joins university, courtesy of total strangers Nabaru and Minik.  She finds solace in the distant lands of Ntare Naaju when her own parents betray and hurt her. (Pgs. 4, 18, 33, 58, 73, 89, 196, 207, 210)

In brief, when family members fail or desert us, we suffer immense pain or hardship.

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