LOVE IS NOT CONSIDERED IMPORTANT IN A SUCCESSFUL MARRIAGE. DISCUSS BASING YOUR ILLUSTRATIONS IN THE BOOK THE RIVER AND THE SOURCE.
AKOKO’s marriage to chief AWOUR KEMBO is and exemplary marriage which epitomizes respect and understanding from each partner. It is a marriage that one can describe as a marriage ordained from the word go. Essentially many picture love as the cornerstone of any successful marriage. It is not a myth though, love is a glue that unites a relationship.
It is common knowledge that AKOKO and KEMBO never dated but what stands out is, the magnetic pull with which OWUOR KEMBO was compelled to paying 30 heads of cattle unflinchingly. Much less their marriage became astonishingly successful.
I would digress from the above question and point out that, if the meaning of love is looked along the line of dating and being allowed to make a choice on who you want to marry, then, that kind of love is irrelevant. But if love, is based on understanding each other then, love is always a key ingredient in successful marriages.
Therefore on the grounds of my first definition of love, I would agree that, love is not that important in successful marriages. AKOKO did not choose a suitor for herself. It was rather her father who set the rules of engagement. In fact the chief, ODERO GOGNI, had established that, she would only marry a son of a chief and that she should be a MIKAI. All this rules were to fulfill ODERO GOGNI’s selfish ambitions, they never focused on the interest of AKOKO, the girl to be married of.
On the other hand, OWUOR KEMBO was in dire need of a MIKAI. His evaluation of the girl was based on hearsay from the JAWANG’YO (spy) who had been sent to look for a suitor. This establishes the fact that, even the man himself never knew the girl he intended to marry especially in circumstances like those of OWUOR KEMBO. He only saw AKOKO for the first time when she had been called to come and greet the guests.
Even after the ‘inspection’ AKOKO had no say in the matter until the time she was married off. In the present society it would be weird to go of with a stranger because of the dictates of the society.
NYABERA, the daughter of AKOKO is too married of to OKUMU without question, she is married to OKUMU because OKUMU was near home and so she would be around to help her mother when help is needed. She seem contented in her marriage despite the unfortunate incidents of death which claimed her children. Without question, when her husband dies, she is inherited. She commits to her new association with dedication until OGOMA KWACH, forsakes his family to be with her.
From the above relationships, the society dictates the rules of engagements and the two parties do not really know what they are getting to. They submissively bow to culture and as seen manage to make their relationships work.
However, in the generation of MARK ANTHONY OLOO SIGU, there is a slight digress from the norm. MARK spots ELIZABETH AWITI and declares his love for her before the elders from the two clans could meet and negotiate. Similarly, AORO SIGU proposes to his long time girlfriend, WANDIA MUGO before the two can even meet their parents. Despite the change in the tradition of the institution of marriage, the two relationships manage to have successful matrimony.
In the case of VERA and ANTHONY MUHAMBE, their steady love is mired with VERA’s educational ambitions. It crumbles and VERA joins OPUS DEI. REBECCAH (BECKY) has love for money. We do not exactly know whether she loved JOHN COURTNEY, but the fact that she married him and was wounded when he left shows that there was love between them. VERA in fact admires the love between them when she pays them a visit after breaking up with MUHAMBE. This union crumbles due to infidelity.
In conclusion, successful marriages, even devoid love, heavily depend on the devotion of the two parties involved, sacrifice and understanding. MARK, after cheating on his wife bowed to shame and moved on with life forgetting the sad incident. AWITI hearing the rumours chose to bury all and kept on a stoic face. OWUOR KEMBO, even though his wife was hard at giving birth chose to be with her as her sole companion.