CHAPTER ANALYSIS FOR THE RIVER AND THE SOURCE (PART II) BY Margaret Ogola

   CHAPTER ONE

DEATH OF OKUMU ANGOLO AND WIFE INHERITANCE

Nyabera had no children since most of her children were known to die. She got pregnant and got a baby girl. A ritual was performed to enhance the survival of the girl child. Nyabera’s girl was wrapped in a soft skin and placed at the gate of the homestead. A woman picked her up and took her to the nearest homestead which was Nyabera’s .

The child was called Awiti for it had been picked on the road. Okumu, when Awiti is three years old, falls sick and dies. After funeral, a suitable relative is chosen to inherit Nyabera. The man’s name was Ogoma Kwach.

After sometime, the man forgets his parental duties and focuses on his inherited wife who was not really his. The matter is taken to the council of Jodongo. After deliberation, Nyabera is deeply hurt so she decides to seek alternative means of comfort.

She had heaerd of Christianity/ she approaches the only man who has any of the information about Christianity, Pilipo-the drunkard. Piipo offers little insight which of course is only what Nyabera needed.

Nyabera distributed her wealth and went to yimbo to see her mother. She consulted with Akoko, left Awiti with her mother and headed to Gem (Aluor) to start a new life.

 

SIGNIFICANT EVENTS IN CHAPTER ONE

  1. Birth of Awiti and rituals surrounding her.
  2. Death of Okumu and the coming of Ogoma Kwach to continue his (Okumu’s lineage)
  3. Nyabera decides to join Christianity and mover to Aluor, Gem

QUESTIONS FROM CHAPTER ONE

  1. Do you think wife inheritance is a viable option for young widows? Explain.
  2. Explain the implications of Nyabera joining the

OBSERVATIONS MADE FROM CHAPTER ONE

  1. The chapter introduces us to the luo tradition of wife inheritance, ita implications and how naturally man is monogamous. It demystifies the myth that a man ought to have more than one wife, we see this in Ogoma, who neglects his other wives and spends much of his tome with Nyabera.
  2. Christianity and how confused the people are in embracing it is also brought to the fore. We find Pilipo trying as hard as he can to come to term with some of the hard concepts of Christianity when Nyabera asks him for information.

 

CHAPTER TWO

NYABERA IS BAPTISED MARIA

Nyabera travelled from Yimbo to Gem. She arrived in Gem very late, slept in the chief catechist house. The following morning, she explained her reason for coming. She was inducted into Christianity where she thistly learned the ways of the new religion. She was baptized Maria. 

 

SIGNIFICANT EVENTS IN CHAPTER TWO

-Nyabera is baptized Maria

QUESTIONS FROM CHAPTER TWO

  1. What is the impact of Christian baptism and change of name?
  2. Do you the Nyabera found the solace she was searching for?

OBSERVATIONS MADE FROM CHAPTER TWO

  1. Nyabera is given a new name to signify her change of perspective. She was inducted into the new religion which she is proud of. She forgets Were God of the rising sun and embraces a Christian God. It should be important to note that, Nyabera’s choice was motivated by dissatisfaction and humiliation.
  2. Another significant thing that erupts is the spirit of adventure and accepting change. Regardless of her believes in tradition, Nyabera easily absorbs the ways of the white man and willingly accepts Christianity.
  3. We also come across a Akoko society which now easily accepts change. This society is independent minded and does not really on the conservative traditional pool of other people.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER THREE

NYABERA RETURNS IN YIMBO

After baptism, Nyabera visits her parent Akoko. She is very happy with her new name Maria, Regardless of the happiness her mother notices that there is something she earnestly longs for. She had not found everything that she was looking for.

Akoko agrees to go with her to Gem. The remaining family of Owuor Kembo starts a journey to aluor where they settle in the christian community. The family was made up of, Akoko her daughter Nyabera now Maria, her grandson, Owuor Sino and her granddaughter Awiti.

 

SIGNIFICANT EVENTS IN CHAPTER THREE

-Akoko’s family sets new camp among a christian community in Aluor, Gem.

QUESTIONS FROM CHAPTER THREE

  1. Does Christianity offer all the answers to all that one is longing for? Why is Nyabera dissatisfied?

 

OBSERVATIONS MADE FROM CHAPTER THREE

  1. Change is transformatrional, it is like moving from one place to the other, therefore the migration of Akoko with the remnants of her family to Aluor represents physical ghange which conceptually will change their mindset and way of thinking. It will expose tem to rigors of life that definitely will bring into the fore a clear eyed look at life and what is unfolding.

 

 

CHAPTER FOUR

NEW LIFE IN GEM

In Aluor, the children are enrolled in both the catechism and reading classes where they progress with keen determination. They are baptized into christienity and they receive new names. The boy, Owuor Sino is Called Petro, The girl, Awiti is called Elizabeth and Akoko, their grandmother receives the name Veronicah.

After baptism, Maria Nyabera decides to go back to her matrimonial home. She leaves without reason or explanation. Was she on the quest for something? While she was away, Petro Owuor Sino develops an interest in vocation. He confides in Awiti for he is afraid to tell Akoko. The two children decide to wait until Nyabera Comes back.

SIGNIFICANT EVENTS IN CHAPTER FOUR

  1. Awiti and Owuor receiving western Education
  2. Baptism of Akoko, Awiti and Owuor Sino.
  3. Nyabera goes away on the quest to find a child and a husband.

QUESTIONS FROM CHAPTER FOUR

  1. What is the significance of Maria’s disappearance?
  2. Would you allow your only existing child to take to vocation?
  3. Do you think Petro was right to fear his grandmother?

OBSERVATIONS MADE FROM CHAPTER FOUR

  1. Despite being next in line to become chief of Sakwa, Petro owuor Sino labours with the pain of following his true calling. He nonetheless forfeits his mission with his vision. He is Unlike Waiyaki in The River Between who keeps his father’s words and prophesy to save the ridges when the time comes. Owuor on the other hand, chooses to continue with his new calling and nullifies his own responsibility.

 

CHAPTER FIVE

THE VOCATION

After several years away, Nyabera comes back to Aluor beaten by life but still holding on. She confesses her sins and confides in her mother Akoko. Later Nyabera and Petro Owuor Sino speak to Akoko about Sino’s vocation.

She agrees and gives Petro Owuor Sino a new name Peter Owuor Kembo. Owuor Sino forsakes his mission to become chief of Sakwa and follows his dream of becoming a priest.

 

 

SIGNIFICANT EVENTS IN CHAPTER FIVE

  1. Petro Owuor Sino’s vocation.
  2. Petro’s change of name to Peter Owuor Kembo.

 

QUESTIONS FROM CHAPTER FIVE

1. Establish the difference between Petro Owuor Sino and Obura Kembo.

2. Explain the height of Akoko’s generosity.

 

OBSERVATIONS MADE FROM CHAPTER FIVE

  1. Akoko on the other hand left her matrimonial home to a distant land in Alour where she has learned to call home. She Forfeits her desire to reclaim her matrimonial home in Owuor Sino but rather lets owuor to follow his dream. This two portrays the height of understanding and accepting change no matter the cost.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER SIX

GIRL EDUCATION

Owuor joined the seminary as his cousin Elizabeth was enrolled in the newly established primary school. There were very few girls in schools since most girls were being married of at young age. Elizabeth was hardworking and in fact she came top of her class.

 

Elizabeth Awiti OKumu was invited to a teachers’ training college. Her mother is beside herself with fear since Elizabeth was her only child. Akoko sees Maria, Elizabeth mother’s weakness and reprimands her.

 

Making the decision of letting Elizabeth follow her dream is a hard one. Akoko wishes that her husband Owuor Kembo were around to help her.

 

 

SIGNIFICANT EVENTS IN CHAPTER SIX

  1. Elizabeth joins primary school and passes exceptionally at the top of her class.
  2. Nyabera, Elizabeth’s mother shows reservations to let her only child go.

 

QUESTIONS FROM CHAPTER SIX

  1. Do you think Nyabera is justified in feeling insecure about her girl furthering her education?
  2. Explain early African belief about girl child education. Do you think these beliefs have changed?

 

OBSERVATIONS MADE FROM CHAPTER SIX

  1. The progress of Elizabeth Awiti disapproves many skeptics who thought girl education was useless. She underscores the value of equality in both children in education and outlines the fact that girls too are capable of great achievements.
  2. Maria Nyabera represents a league of mothers and women who have a thought that education spoils the girl. She fears that her girl might not get a suitor due to her extensive and expanding education. She does not seem to understand the value and purpose of girl education.

CHAPTER SEVEN

LIFE IN COLLEGE

There are six girls and 28 men in college. Awiti concentrates on her education. Exceptional students like her are feared by men. This is aggravated by the fact that her cousin is in the seminary.

Finally, Awiti meets a man, Mark Anthony Oloo Sigu during exeat. Mark is smitten by her and concerned why she is always alone. Mark tells her that he was in the army and that he had been called to work in Nakuru. She promises to reply to his letters if and when he writes.

 

 

SIGNIFICANT EVENTS IN CHAPTER SEVEN

  1. Elizabeth and her college life.
  2. Meeting Mark Anthony Oloo Sigu.

 

QUESTIONS FROM CHAPTER SEVEN

  1. What problems do bright girls face while in college?
  2. Explain your understanding of education and relationships in contemporary society.

 

OBSERVATIONS MADE FROM CHAPTER SEVEN

  1. There is a slow change in the manner courtship was carried. Instead of sending a jawangyo to look for a suitable mikayi for Mark, he takes it upon himself to reach out for the girl.
  2. Segregation on religious ground and personal conviction is imminent as Elizabeth leads a lonely life because of her brightness and religious bringing.

 

 

CHAPTER EIGHT

I  HAVE SEEN THE FUTURE-AKOKO. THE RIVER WILL CONTINUE

Awiti  finds the audacity to reply to Mark’s unrelenting letters. The two engage each other about their families. They only medium was letters since Mark was away in Nakuru working. After sometime, Mark tells Awiti that he would be coming to see her parents.

Since there were only females in ALuor, Akoko sends word to Sakwa and Yimbo. Matters of marriage negotiations are well handled by men. They plan for the day, Kong,o, the traditional brew is made among other delicacies.

Finally, the day arrives and Mark Anthony Oloo Siguu arrives with his entourage of six. They are welcome by Awiti’s family. There were the twins of Oloo, Akoko’s sister ie Opiyo and Odongo, there was Peter Owour Kembo from the seminary and people from Sakwa.

The negotiations continued after introduction. The day was reminiscent of the day chief Owour Kembo arrived in Yimbo to asak for Akoko’s hand. Mark Oloo to had arrived in full battle regalia. It was a mark of the old in the new since a stone throw away was a church and a school.

The bride price was set at a token bull, two cows and six goats a surprise to the people of Seme, where Mark came from. The y had in fact planned for a high bride price and set aside 24 heads of cattle. After negotiations, there was the drinking of Kong’o and talking.

Akoko summoned is new grandson-in-law to sit by her side. She was seen to be happy smiling and laughing. That night, in the wee hours of the morning, Adoyo Obanda Akelo Akoko christened Veronicah died peacefully in sleep.

 

 

SIGNIFICANT EVENTS IN CHAPTER EIGHT

  1. Elizabeth gathering the courage to write to Mark Oloo Siguu
  2. Marriage negotiations at Aluor where Elizabeth is betrothed to Mark Anthony Oloo Siguu.
  3. The deathof Akoko Obanda

 

QUESTIONS FROM CHAPTER EIGHT

  1. Outline the similarities between the betrothals of AKoko to that of Awiti.
  2. Was a mature time for Akoko to die? Explain.
  3. The book compares Akoko’s death to that of Simeon and Anna of the Bible after they had seen baby Jesus. How relevant is this comparison?

 

OBSERVATIONS MADE FROM CHAPTER EIGHT

  1. There is a change in the way relationships are conducted. We encounter long distance relationship where the medium of communication was the letter. We also see a relationship where, a girl or the boy does not look for antecedents in each family line to test whether they are related.
  2. Akoko dies a happy life for she feels her mission has been fulfilled. She sees Mark and Awiti as possible transformes of the future she had hoped for. She knows that her river will never run dry. What exactly did Akoko and Mark Siguu discuss?

CHAPTER NINE

END OF AN ERA

Akoko is buried in Aluor where she had spent most of her adult life. The mass is conducted two priest and six deacons among them Peter Owuor Kembo.

It is hard to come to terms with her sudden death for she had looked so full of life. Mark wants to be beside his wife to be but she turns him away harshly for she wants to be alone.

Nyabera becomes the wise one and retells the story of the great Adoyo Obanda aka Akoko. This calms her daughter Awiti who goes and apologises to Mark as she picks her pot of water from the river.

SIGNIFICANT EVENTS IN CHAPTER NINE

  1. The burial of Adoyo Obanda aka Veronica Akoko.
  2. Elizabeth’s reaction to her grandmother’s death.

QUESTIONS FROM CHAPTER NINE

  1. What’s the impact of the death of Akoko to the flow of the story?
  2. Explain your reaction to the demise of one of the key character in the story.

 

OBSERVATIONS MADE FROM CHAPTER NINE

  1. Despite the challenges in life, we got to go on living. Adoyo Obanda’s death, though sudden and unexpected leaves room for the remaining people of her family to take control of their destiny. It is obvious in the book that Elizabeth Awiti and Her mother Maria Nyabera heavily relied on her wise counsel on key matters. Her death poignantly places them at the centre of key decision making and from this chapter; Nyabera starts in a good stead.

CHAPTER TEN

THE ULTIMATE BOND

After the period of mourning, Peter went to Rome. Elizabeth and Mark waited for him to come and conduct their marriage ceremony. He was ordained as a priest and posted to a parish but he had a mission to fulfill. He came back to Aluor and conducted the wedding of Elizabeth Awiti and Mark Anthony Oloo Siguu.

The newlyweds went to live in Nakuru where Mark was working. It was not long when Elizabeth starteds experiencing the early signs of pregnancy. The cople did not know and therefore, Elizabeth ended up aborting the tender pregnancy after taking Anti-malarial.

It took time for her to get pregnant again rising Mark’s mother curiosity. Finally she was pregnant again. The two were happy.

 

SIGNIFICANT EVENTS IN CHAPTER THREE

  1. The ordination of Peter Owuor Kembo into priest hood.
  2. Mark Anthony Marries Elizabeth Awiti OKumu
  3. The confusion of their first pregnancy.
  4. Jubilant young expectant couple

QUESTIONS FROM CHAPTER THREE

  1. What has failed in parenting and grooming of young people into marriage? Why do you think Elizabeth had her first pregnancy terminated?

OBSERVATIONS MADE FROM CHAPTER THREE

  1. It is evident that young couples who choose to live away from the community as it was ago, have challenges knowing the most common early signs of pregnancy. Mark gives his young wife anti-malarial a mistake which he is oblivious of. The two seem to not have considered thinking of pregnancy or still had not known anything about marital expectations.

END OF PART II

 

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34 thoughts on “CHAPTER ANALYSIS FOR THE RIVER AND THE SOURCE (PART II) BY Margaret Ogola

  1. The analysis is fine but i think it should have theme after every chapter for students to understand better

  2. okach this a good work continue bringing more we are thankful …throw in some characters of Akoko and stylistic devices used in the River and the source

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