KCSE REVISION QUESTIONS FROM THE RIVER AND THE SOURCE, by Musungu

Dignity of a woman is to live life to full and to fight to the end. Basing your illustration on the novel The River and the Source. Discuss.

The book clearly puts the woman on the line here, the author Margaret Ogola clearly says that, a lazy woman is a disgrace to herself and her man but a hardworking woman hides the shame of her family despite the fact that her man is worthless. This pins down the humongous role a woman plays. The life of Adoyo Obanda, Nyabera, Awiti, Wandia and Becky brings to light the struggle a woman goes through.

First and foremost, Akoko after her betrothal to Chief Owuor Kembo has to endure the rigors of a married life. She is never appreciated because of her beauty and industry but looked down upon because of fate. It is unlikely to expect a woman to conceive and deliver children, a situation which is against her control, however, the society deems her irrelevant on the account of her few children

When disaster struck, starting with her son Obura and then her husband then closing in on her last remaining son, Owang’ Sino, Akoko is bereft of a pillar to lean on. She therefore, wakes to a reality that, what fate throws at you makes you stronger, with her little strength, against the forces of tradition, she manages to secure the position of her grandson, Owuor Sino before going back to her maternal home. To save face, Akoko resolves to journey to Aluor where she would not live under the fear of the wrath of in-laws. In order to live her life in full, Akoko dedicated her life to work and her family, she never borrowed from anyone but found a way to provide for her family. She also had the strength to confront challenges and mentor her daughter Nyabera who was weak at heart. Furthermore, she was flexible and a visionary who knew the right time to let go and had the strength to start over again. That is what kept her going, what gave her hope and made her strong to make ground breaking decisions.

Secondly, Nyabera, though weak at heart, has the Audacity to embrace change. When all else seems lost to her, Nyabera is clever enough to live her matrimonial home to start over again. She becomes the epitome of Akoko’s change. In traditional African Society, we would say she covered her mother’s shame by yanking Akoko away from Yimbo where she was living as a migogo. She introduced her family to new ways which transforms the lives of Awiti and Owuor Sino. Furthermore, with time she gives up her ambition to have more children and settles to loving one-Awiti.

However, her love for Awiti becomes unbearable that Akoko has to intervene to make her understand that, Awiti has dreams to pursue. Were it not for Akoko the risk taker, Awiti would have ended up being married before she could become a teacher. Nevertheless Maria Nyabera lives to the fullest dying at old age having fulfilled her role as the pillar in which Awiti rested on after the death of Akoko. She had bravely fought to bond the family and fill the huge void that had been left by Akoko.

As we jump onto Awiti, we come across a woman who is ready to reach new heights. Despite the ridicule at school she ends up graduating top of her class. Finally, she meets Mark Antony Oloo Siguu. Again here we spot the hand of Akoko in bringing reason to the unreasonable Nyabera and her In-laws who still heavily believed in the magnanimity of bride price. In Akoko, we see the real essence of bride price- a token of appreciation. Awiti is married and brings up her family upright and disciplined. Despite her soft spot, she guides her children with an iron fist creating moderation where she sees absolute unreason in her husband. She also understands her husband and is ready to forgive when things get out of hand. In this case women show a sense of maturity in handling infidelity. During her burial, we can draw from the number of people who attended it that she was a woman of immense success. She had managed to unite her family and build a society that would forever treasure mwalimu.

Another significant woman is Wandia Mugo. Her childhood dream was to become a doctor. She painstakingly takes on the rigors of medicine to become the first female doctor to achieve a doctorate in medicine. In so doing, she not only achieved her goals but also made sure that her sole dreams in life had been achieved.

To sum up, women play an instrumental role in creating the pedestal of happiness and progress in the society. It is on their shoulder that the heavy responsibility of managing the affairs of the family and society rest. It is this responsibility that makes women live a life to fullness.

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