GENERAL ESSAY QUESTIONS AND SAMPLE ESSAYS Set 1 of 2 - Blossoms of the Savannah

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1. “Though Resian goes through the valley of death, her determination leads her to a victorious life.” Write a composition to show the validity of this assertion.

Resian in the  Blossoms of the Savannah seems to experience several challenging situations in her life. In the scenarios she seems resolute in her actions as shown in the following ways

Oloisudori declares his intention of marrying her at an early age. This follows after he changes his initial plan: extorting Kaelo. He demands that she should first be circumcised so as to get rid of her state as nemengalana intoiye.  He intends to use anesthesia to make her unconscious and grab her. Resian resolves not to be married.  She tells Oloisudori point blank that she cannot be his wife. She returns the gifts that he had earlier brought and escapes to her father’s shop. Her father beats her so as to submit to the marriage, but Resian remains steady is her decision.

A number of callous youth in Nasila wish to assault Resian and Taiyo. In the first days, Resian and Taiyo take a walk around uncle Simiren compound.  All of a sudden a young man emerges from the blues and grabs Taiyo. Resian order the callous young man to release Taiyo immediately. The Young man has no option but to give in though he promises to revisit his grave decision.

Though in a dream, enkamuratani and other two women surround Resian to circumcise her holding an olmurunya. Although Resian is in a strange land and is defenseless she does her best to combat the situation. Determined, Resian twists enkamuratani’s hand with an intention of ensuring that she does not initiate other girls in the future. She knocks the old witch using a mallet as well as fights the third woman until she disappears.

Olarinkoi disappears with Resian to a far hut in the forest. He locks her up and returns very late in the night while drank. Once he returns, he is in his mission of raping her. He unzips and this gesture sets her trembling. She bites Olarinkoi’s thumb so that the pain reduces his action of rape. Owing to the fact that Resian had earlier witnessed Olarinkoi’s fiery attacks when he dealt with two callous men, it calls for a lot of determination on the part of Resian to tackle him.

In summary, from the above illustrations it is evident that Resian suffers rough challenging times in her life but she deals with all these situations with determination.

2. “The strong bond between Resian and Taiyo contributes significantly to their triumph.” Write an essay in support of the statement.

No man is an island. Human beings were created to relate mutually. The close friendship between Resian and Taiyo is the key to overcoming stormy times that present themselves in their lives as follows

In their new environment at Nasila, the girls meet unique challenges. They are not used to the communal life for all along they have stayed in an urban set up where life is individualistic. At Nasila, they have to get used to impromptu visitors and superior male counterparts. It is the love between the two girls that helps in these scenarios. The duo stay together most of the times. By so doing, they share a lot Taiyo counsels Resian on using kind language on Yeiyo Botorr her aunt. The two girls discuss about danger that lurks from the hostile youth especially because of their uncircumcised condition.

In overcoming the challenge of female genital mutilation (FGM), their friendship bond comes in handy. When Resian goes on a hunger strike she says it is only Taiyo who can change her stand. When Taiyo is informed of Resian’s condition, she does not hesitate to offer herself for Resian’s redemption even when there are risks all over. While at Nasila, they have a lot of time sharing their views towards FGM. The discussions must have strengthened their hard stands towards FGM. It is from these discussions that they vow never to give in to FGM.

In the incident when Taiyo and Resian are accosted by two callous young men their coordination and friendship save them. The incident finds them while they are walking together where they had visited Maiso for lunch. If the struggle had between two men versus one girl probably she would have been surmounted. Although most of the salvation is largely brought by Olarinkoi the fact that the two girls where together makes it easier for them to go about the ordeal. Their joint screaming and their escape unhurt is partly contributed by their togetherness. 

The two birds of a feather hatch a scheme to outwit Oloisudori. They wrap the gifts he had brought them into a box and title it as a gift. They then plan how to execute the plan. They arrange on how Resian is to thank Oloisudori and give him the gift. They discuss the aim of the gesture; to clarify to Oloisudori the fact they cannot be cheated with gifts. From this co-operation, Resian manages to trick Oloisudori and tells off her father and later with Olarinkoi, they manage to leave Nasila.

It is clear from the above illustration that strong friendship bonds can help friend go about hard experiences and overcome them in their lives.

3. Bad decisions can adversely affect our lives. Write an essay in support of the statement with illustrations from the novel. 

The Choices we make can affect us positively or negatively. Bad choices definitely have adverse effects on our future. A character like Ole Kaelo makes several bad choices which not only affect his life but also his daughters. 

Ole Kaelo is advised by his friend what kind of man Oloisudori is. He is told that he is not a man of integrity and warns him about doing business with him. He even warns him to keep his daughters from him. Oloisudori is unheeding to this warning. He goes on to sign business contracts and receiving a loan from him. Later, this man causes him great worry when he threatens to bring his business down if he does not give him his daughter in marriage.

Ole Kaelo makes the bad choice of agreeing to give his daughter Resian in marriage to Oloisudori. He does this to save his business empire and to acquire more wealth as dowry from him. This unleashes a myriad of problems in his family. He keeps assuring himself that his choice of Oloisudori is good and that the man is not all bad but inwardly, he has reservations about such a marriage. His decision worsens the already poor relationship between him and his daughter, who ran away and gets into more trouble with Olarinkoi. Taiyo also has her life ruined by being forcefully circumcised before being forced to marry Oloisudori. Finally, he loses his daughters trust and his fate is unknown because Oloisudori might come for him in person. 

Olarinkoi is not known by the Kaelos yet nobody asks questions about him. He seems a mystery and with time becomes like a member of the family. This earns him trust among the Kaelos to the point that Resian trusts him to take her to Minik’s ranch. This man who the family trusted so much turns into a beast by raping Resian and even planning to circumcise her by force before marrying her. If the Kaelo’s had not trusted the stranger, Resian suffering in his hands would have been avoided.

Mama Milanoi makes a bad choice of giving over her daughter Taiyo to three strange women cheating her that she was being taken to her sister. Her plans is to have Taiyo circumcised before being married by Oloisudori. This action makes her lose the trust her daughters had for her. The wound she has caused them will definitely take time to heal. They too are angry with her that they vow that they would not want to be like her in marriage.

Bad decisions made knowingly or unknowingly will definitely have negative impact in our lives or on those that are dear to us. 

4. Gender inequality is tantamount to violation of human rights. Write an essay in support of the assertion drawing your illustrations from Blossoms of the Savannah. 

Today’s position on the male and female gender is that men and women are equal and none of the gender should dominate over the other. In Blossoms of the Savannah, women are culturally forced to be subservient to men, a practice that denies them some fundamental rights as human beings. 

A wife has the right to state his position on any matter even if it is contrary to the husband’s position. This is not the case with Mama Milanoi, wife to Ole Kaelo. She admits that she did not know which man her husband was doing business with and even if she did, she would not do anything about it for he was the one who carried the family’s vision. She thus leaves every aspect of decision making to him whether those decisions are good or bad.

A woman is a being to be loved and not to love back. Although Ole Kaelo genuinely loved Mama Milanoi when he saw her first, her feelings on him are immaterial. Women were not expected to resist a man’s advances according to Nasilian culture. This is a great violation of her right to love or hate. In her case there is no room for that. It is also expected that Resian should give in to Oloisudori’s plans to marry her. Refusal is regarded as stubbornness. In fact, Oloisudori claims that none of his wives put any resistance in his interest in them. This means that their feelings for him did not matter a great violation of their freedom to choose their marriage partner.

Resian and Taiyo are forced to undergo cultural coaching by Joseph Parmuat. Resian rebels this citing inequality in the plan. She opines that if they were boys, such a thing would not be done on them. Instead, they would be freely roaming Nasila with nobody bothering them. In their case, there is no such option simply because they are girls. Their right to choose what to and not to learn is violated. Girls are taught how to cook for their men but there are no lessons for boys on how to please women. Resian opposes such arrangements saying she would not be taught to solely please men. She claims that even boys should be taught how to please women.

Gender inequality in this society elevates man over the woman to the extent that Resian says that it made men assume that they had right over the body of any woman. This has reduced women to be objects of sex to be exploited by men at will. This practice started with the Ilarinkon warriors who sexually exploited women after arousing their desires. Taiyo and Resian undergo several rape attempts with Resian ending up being raped by Olarinkoi who assumes he has every right over her body. These inequalities have greatly undermined women’s right to privacy and to choose whom to have sexual relation with. 

Gender inequality does not just stop at that. Instead, it is a major cause of violation of basic human rights that all should be accorded a chance to enjoy. Women in the novel have most of their rights curtailed as a result of gender imbalance between men and women.

5. Help can come when least expected. Discuss.

Most people reach the end of the tether in difficult situations and are just about to give up when help comes. Most instances of help appear coincidental but nonetheless; they change the course of life of the character as well as shaping the rest of the novel.

Olarinkoi seems to be at the right place at the right time. He happens to be the savior of Resian and Taiyo when they need help most. He comes to the rescue of the two girls when they are coming from their father’s shop and are about to be raped by two men. Olarinkoi single-handedly saves the girls by fighting the men. Resian and Taiyo are much grateful and would not want to imagine what would have happened if he had not come at that time, even fearing that they would have been infected with HIV. 

Olarinkoi again comes to the rescue of Resian when she discovers her father’s betrayal by planning to marry her off to Oloisudori. He comes to her rescue when she is even contemplating committing suicide by drowning herself into the river. At the same time, Oloisudori and his men are looking for her to abduct her. Olarinkoi promises to take her to Minik whom she had been yearning to meet someday. Although the help turns disastrous with Olarinkoi turning against her, she is able to escape the current wrath of Oloisudori. 

Taiyo is rescued from the hands of her circumcisers by Minik’s men. Minik’s rescue team use tricks to rescue her from the well-guarded home which she would not have escaped in her sickly state.  Were it not for Minik’s intervention, Taiyo would surely have been forcefully married off to Oloisudori after healing. The rescue gives Taiyo a new lease of life, reunion with her sister and of course quicker physical and emotional recovery. 

Minik’s help to Resian and Taiyo perhaps is the most important event that completely changes their lives. She gives refugee to the girls in her ranch hence protecting them from marauding men like Oloisudori and Olarinkoi. She gives Resian a job in the ranch hence giving her something to live on and promises her a scholarship from the ranch. Most importantly, she is able to have the two girls enrolled at Egerton University, their dream university. These kind gestures create a happy ending in a novel that has been dominated by sad events.

When people are about to despair, that is usually the point when help comes. No matter how belated characters like Resian and Taiyo get help, their lives are greatly impacted and changed by those interventions. 

6. In the novel, Blossoms of the Savannah, Ole Kulet goes out of his way to castigate some Maa way of life. Write an essay to show the validity of this statement with close reference to the novel. (20marks)


  • Must display that they understand the question
  • Can either be general or contextualized?
  • Accept any plausible introduction

Body-12 marks


F.G.M was valued by Maa people. No girl would get married before going through the rite.

It was a tool to fight against sexual harassment by Olarinkoi warriors Resian and Laiyo fail to see its purpose and try to run away from it Minik has a ranch where over five hundred girls have been resolved from circumcision.

Resian manages to escape from circumcision through Nabaru who sneaks her away.

Though Mama Milanoi has undergone the rite, she is apprehensive against her daughters Undergoing it.

Heinous acts in the society

Ole kulet castigates heinous acts in the society. When Taiyo and Resian are almost raped by two vagabonds, Tara Muyo and Lante, the society is mad at them and they are almost killed.

Ole Kaelo almost kills them, but later is relieved that he has not caused the death of the man for this could have brought a curse which could not be cleansed.

When Olarinkoi attempts to rape Resian, she almost bites off his finger, He is banished from the village for some time and he misses the opportunity of making her his wife. Kulet portrays that this behavior is unacceptable in the society.

Old men marrying young daughters

Ole Kulet castigates this vice of old men marrying girls young enough to be their daughters.

Mama Mitanoi in her anguish about Oloisudori's wish to marry Resian remembers that in the past, such a thing would not have happened. She could have appealed to the elders' court which would have ruled in her favour.

Oloisudori's effort to marry either Resian or Taiyo does not succeed. He ends up losing his vehicle and fleeing for his life.

Kulet Castigates forced early marriages. Emakererei has rescued over five hundred girls whose dowry their father had taken. She has kept them in her ranch and taken them back to school.

Prejudice against Women

Women in the book have no place in decision making. Mama Milanoi has to accept everything that her husband does.

Taiyo and Resian are also not given their space. Their father refuses to give Taiyo permission for the extravaganza. He is also not bothered about their education.

Resian and Emakererei break the tyrannical regime by making their own decision. Emakererei campaigns against F.G.M and early marriages. Resian defies the dominance of her father by refusing to marry Oloisudori.

Kulet develops these characters to water down male dominance in the society.

Mark 4 well illustrated point 3:3:3:3:3 = 12 marks


-Accept any relevant conclusion

-It must be linked to the marks of the body i.e.
0-4 = 1 mark
5-6= 2 marks
7-9 = 3 marks
10 - 12 = 4 marks

7. Some cultural practices are archaic and outdated, With evidence from the Blossoms of the Savanna, Write a composition in support of this statement.

Introduction: Give a general introduction of the retrogressive cultural practices imposed on the people on diverse cultural practices.

Context based: Highlight the main points of discussion.

Points of interpretation

i) Female genital mutilation which is depicted as a compulsory rite of passage
which a girl must undergo in order to be married to a man.

(ii) Under age marriages where young girls are denied their rights to pursue their ambitions e.g. Resian and Taiyo are sold off by their father at their young age to the Monstrons Oloisudoni.

(iii) Barring people to get married even if they belong to the same tribe but have no blood relations e.g. Taiyo and Joseph Parmuat.

(iv) Male Chauvinism where men feel that they are superior than women e.g. Ole Kaelo being very hard on Mama Milanoi.

(v) Seeing girl child education as waste of money and opportunities. Where we find Ole Kaelo not regarding their daughters not to join Egerton University.


Give a general opinion whether to shed off the said archaic traditions.
Recap of the points discussed as topic sentences.

8. Alienation is a theme that runs through the novel, Blossoms of the Savannah. Discuss.


To be alienated implies a state of separation of a person from a former position, state or object of attachment. There is an aura of enstrangement that runs through the novel in relation to the family of Kaelo and their cultural establishment.


At the start of the novel, Parsimei Kaelo who has been in Nakuru for a number of years is alienated from his ancestral family and roots. His younger brother, Simiren who remains in Nasila, had been more appreciated and was considered the cultural head of the community by the Kaelo's. Simiren, Parsimei's younger brother happens to be the one who represents the family in the Ilmolelian clan to which they belong. He performs sacred rituals like initiation of girls, circumcision of boys or bethrothal ceremonies on behalf of Parsime. We are also told that Simiren, unlike Parsimei is a strict adherent to his people's customs amd traditions.

The Kaelo daughters, Taiyo and Resian, are also alienated from their roots. Mama Milanoi's women friends refer to the girls as Intoiye Nemengalana (girls who are not circumcised) contemptuously. In their culture, it was expected that females be circumcised, something that has not happened to Taiyo and Resian. In fact it is a taboo to remain an uncut woman/girl. The young man that Taiyo and Resian meet at Nasila also refers to them as Intoiye Nemengalana (girls who are not circumcised). This societal expectation is so critical so much that Joseph Parmuat is given the responsibility of talking to Taiyo and Resian about their tradions. (Pg 71). However, the girls are so alienated that they don't see the gravity of being uncircumcised and that Resian thinks of is her enrolment to Egerton University.

Parsimei Kaelo is also alien. They are alienated to the clan dictates on marriage. Elders term Parsimei's decision to remain married to only one wife who had borne him two daughters as a reckless one. This is alien in a society where polygamy is practiced and boy children are cherished. For instance, Simiren has 4 wives and 16 children or so; Ole Supeyo has 6 wives and about 30 children. It is this alienation that makes Parsimei enlist the help of Simiren and several senior elders of the community to re-establish links and also blessings for his family. (pg 37). He decides to do this by throwing a party. It is in this party that Ole Musanka blesses the Ole Kaelos and advises them to re-assimilate themselves to their peoples' culture. (pg 52)

Minik ene Nkoitoi 'wasp' is alienated to her community. She is regarded as the devil incarnate. She is hated and reviled for campaigning vigorously against traditions that she says abuse the right of the girl child - namely - girls' circumcision and early marriages. (pg 62). This puts her in direct collision with the people of Nasila.

Finally, Mama Milanoi is also alienated from the cultural expectations of her community. She lets her daughters remain uncircumcised in a society where this is considered a taboo. She is also accussed of being aloof and selective on the aspects of Nasila culture that they choose to interact with. (pg 145) ((Plus any plausible argument)

9. Man is the defacto leader of the family and when he faulters many things are bound to go wrong. Using Ole Kaelo for your illustrations show how the faults by the head of family affect


In the Africa set up men is assured to be the family head. He makes major decisions concerning the family and doesn't have to consult. Ole Kaelo in Blossoms of the Savannah is a perfect example of such a man.

Unfortunately for him he faulters and the effects are clear.

Points of interpretation

Ole Kaelo solely opts to move his family to Nasila from Nakuru. He assumes
that they will be comfortable and that by taking them to his newly build house will make them happy. Unfortunately, the family does not know joy there. Pressure from the community to have the girls circumcised is overwhelming and denies them joy. Sex also abounds.

Ole kaelo gets financial and from Oloisudori, an evil man against all expectations.

The result demands to have over his daughter Resian to him. Something that eventually collapses his family.

Ole Kaelo opts not to educate his daughters further and instead hoping that they will get good Nasila man to marry them. This is against the expectation of the girls. Resian tells him in his fate that she will join University. This decision that he makes affects the family unity and his image before them. In the end the family breaks up as the girls opt out.

Ole kaelo resolves to have his daughters circumcised and later handover Resian to Oloisudori to be married by him. This is against her wish as the man is old and she does not love him. Her wish is to join Egerton University to further her studies. It is because of this that Resian leaves and is later followed by Taiyo.


Ole Kaelo blindly makes decision that affects his family as seen above

10. "Diligence and determination are the key to success." Write an essay in support of this saying with illustrations from H. R. Ole Kulet's "Blossoms of the Savannah."


When a person desires to achieve something, no amount of obstacle can deter him/her as long as the ambition lives on. Resian succeeds in fighting FGM, forced marriage, attempted rape and her desire to join university because of her strong determination.
`Accept any other valid introduction

  1. Resian is determined to go back to Nakuru and join Egerton University
    She is determined to take a course in Veterinary Science and become a veterinary doctor. She wants to read everything that there is to be read and put on the graduation regalia at the end of four years. She therefore requests her sister to persuade their father to allow them go back to Nakuru and join the university. Discussing polygamy, Resian reminds Taiyo that she doesn’t want to be a parent in the foreseeable future but wants to study emphasizing that such peripheral matters as marriage will come only after she will have obtained her degree. She enlists for the help of her mother who later becomes elusive.
    When Taiyo fails to find the most opportune moment to speak to their father, she decides to take the bull by the horns by facing her father at the shop to ask him about her plans of taking her to university. Ole Kaelo tells her she has had enough formal education. Instead, he has sold her to Oloisudori. Unbowed, she tells him she will still go to the university and hopes that his father will be there to witness her graduation. Olarinkoi’s abduction doesn’ t stop her either. She shares her afflictions and dreams with Nabaru. Touched by her physical and mental courage, Nabaru promises to help her do what she intends to do or go where she wants to go once she is back onto her feet, with or without the enkoiboni’s predictions. She later procures a lorry with which she helps recue her out of Olarinkoi’s tentacles and takes her to Minik’s ranch which is a safe haven for young girls escaping female genital mutilation and early marriage.
    Minik later calls her with her sister and shows them two envelopes containing their letters of admission at the university where they are to report on fifth of September. On the very day, they board Minik's vehicle and travel to the university. They cannot believe that their long cherished ambition and adoration had at long last become a reality. Resian says prayerfully that all is well that ends well. 4, 18, 71, 87, 206-207,279,281,284*
  2. Resian wins against the attempted sexual assault by Olarinkoi
    After being abducted by Olarinkoi, Resian is consoled by a dream in which she meets the Emakererei who promises her all kinds of wonderful things. Her sweet dream is, however, interrupted rudely and violently by Olarinkoi. Drunk, he walks to the terrified Resian, gets holds of her shoulders and shakes her violently glaring at her with his glittering eyes. He tells her that she is his wife and he will find out how educated her body is. He gets hold of her, drags her into the other room and begins unfastening her buttons with his rough trembling hands. Panicking and terrified, Resian tries to get away from him, but he holds her effortlessly as he brutally continues to fumble with her dress, trying to loosen it. Resian screams as loud as she can in vain as her abductor holds her more firmly with his strong arms and against her loud protests, he tears her garments and begins to push her towards the bed.
    Resian doesn’t give in, however. She desperately takes her last chance of self-defense and self-preservation. She musters all her strength, thrusts his thumb into her mouth, sinks her teeth into the flesh like a ferocious animal and tenaciously holds onto it, tugging at it fiercely like a lioness and tears it. She clings unto the thumb as Olarinkoi howls in pain, tries to push away but she holds on, digging deeper into the flesh, nearly severing the limb as Olarinkoi cries loudly. Olarinkoi struggles to escape the wrath of Resian’s teeth. He knocks and manages to escape. Although she faints, she manages to prevent Olarinkoi from defiling her. later, feeling embarrassed, Olarinkoi apologizes and assures her that he will not repeat what he tried to do. p.220, 212, 215, 222, 223, 240-241, 245, 248, 249
  3. Resian successfully fights forced marriage.
    Oloisudori who is hugely owed by Ole Kaelo gets attracted to Resian upon seeing her when he visits Kaelo’s home. He takes advantage of Ole Kaelo’s assurance that he cannot be denied anything in his home by telling his host that he is interested in his daughter, Resian. Grudgingly, Ole Kaelo consents. Later, he arrives and pays dowry for Resian. The briefcase of five hundred thousand shillings plus other princely gifts like a pretty golden brooch and twelve lengths of different kinds of materials, a golden pendant, golden bracelet a cutely designed golden ring for Resian to seal the marriage. Determined to ward off any possible marriage plans, Resian swears to show Oloisudori that she was a chattel to be secured by the content of a briefcase. With her sister, she intends to show him that they were not on sale and that they were not equal to the prize the briefcase. They are determined to show him that they were young women who had their own pride, self-respect and self-esteem and not rudderless objects drifting in the sea without direction. P196. Determinedly, Resian asserts that she will try to face him bravely and tell him what she thinks of him they plan to repackage the gifts and return them to the monster-Oloisudori. P. 195-198
    Oloisudori invites the Kaelo’s to his palatial home in Nakuru Milimani area to show them the magnificent house he had been building for Resian. He had been beautifying it in order to make Resian fall in love with upon seeing it. So much that on seeing it, Ole Kaelo is attracted so much to the wealth that he decides that he was not going to allow his daughter’ s ignorance to destroy her future. He declares that as a father, he had a Godgiven duty to guide her to a secure future; to lead her to the honey pot that would be part of her future. A plan to ensnare Resian is hatched. Kaelo would prepare the ground for Oloisudori’s coming to persuade Resian into the marriage. If she refused, his men would arrive in the evening, pounce on and abduct Resian and drive her to her house in Nakuru. When she refuses, the three-Oloisudori, Kaelo and Mama Milanoi connive and agree on abducting Resian and forcefully marrying her.
    In his third visit, Oloisudori reveals to Resian that she is his wife and that their fate is sealed and that only death shall par them. Resian screams at him telling that he is mad…stark mad to think that she is his wife. She adds that she can only be his wife over her dead body and that he and her father can kill her and take her body to Oloisudori’s palatial home. Excruciatingly pained by Oloisudori’s remarks, Resian storm out of the house and heads to the shop to confirm this plans from her father.
    He confirms her fears by telling her that Oloisudori has asked to marry her. she interrupts her father by shouting and screaming. She tells him to better kill her than hand her over to Oloisudori. Even the revelation by her father that he has already taken dowry from Oloisudori and that she is his wife whe likes it or not doesn’t deter Resian. She walks out on her father and rushes to Nasila river as she contemplates committing suicide. She is prepared to die than marry Oloisudori. Luckily, Olarinkoi appears and saves her. She later reveals to Nabaru her dreams of meeting Minik. However, Olarinkoi is determined to fulfil her mother’s prophesy of marrying Resian and living with her in Tanzania. Olarinkoi’s abduction doesn’t stop her either. She shares her afflictions and dreams with Nabaru.
    Touched by Resian’s physical and mental courage, Nabaru promises to help her do what she intends to do or go where she wants to go once she is back onto her feet, with or without the enkoiboni’ s predictions. She later procures a lorry with which she helps recues out of Olarinkoi’s tentacles to Minik’s ranch where she finds a safe haven for young girls escaping female genital mutilation and early marriage. P.93-95,194,192,197,195,203-210,213215,222-224,245-247,248-249.
  4. Resian manages to fight female genital mutilation.
    Her mother tells her that F.G.M is in everyone’s lips in Nasila. It is so entrenched that Resian and her sister experience so much contempt from the vagabond who first accosts them. For Ole Supeyo and his ilk, circumcision was "an important practice which tamed an otherwise wild gender." P.22. he says that"...a certain measure of docility was necessary to keep more than of lots of poisons." P.22. He and Ole Musanka castigate Minik who protects girls from this practice. It is therefore difficult for Resian to escape especially when her father, after the cultural reception declares that after his wife "prepares his daughters to appreciate and accept their future responsibilities as mothers and home builders" and after Joseph Parmuat "teaches them a few home truths", they will " the enkamuratani to play her part before we give them away..." P.61 Aware that men "...are the creators of the labyrinth the women continue to meander around...P.91 she promises to escape going through this barbaric practice. Resian declares that the enkamuratani’s "…withered, claw-like hands would only touch her over her dead body..."P.58. she declares that over her dead body will she be circumcised. She says she would rather live in a noisy place than live anywhere near a vagabond who would accost her ...with the intention of mutilating her sexuality. P.33 • Resian and Taiyo vow to join Minik in fighting against F.G.M. P.87 To escape, she constantly reminds her sister to persuade their father to allow them travel back to Nakuru. However, this doesn’t go through. Even so, her determination sees her escape from home through the ‘ help’ of Olarinkoi. When she later learns from about the mono-eyed woman and her son’s determination to clip that erogenous salacity from you that destroys homes… in order …. become a respectable woman worthy..."P.229 • Resian's determination to live through the challenge inspires Nabaru to support her escape "...I am willing to help you do what you intend to do or go where you want to go once you are back onto your feet..."P. 233. She finally manages to escape from Olarinkoi and meets her mentor Minik, the anti-crusader of F.G.M. pgs: 224-225,232-234, 242,245-249 253, 277278*
  5. Resian’s wins in her will to meet her mentor; Minik, the Emakererei.
    She first hears about Minik when Ole Musanka places a voluble on Minik contemptuously referred to the wasp on account of her advocacy to maintain intoiye nemengalana amongst their daughters. Resian and her sister, Taiyo wonder who Minik is and why she evokes so much virulent hatred amongst Nasila people.52,53. When her further confirms that he has already sold her to Oloisudori, she contemplates ending her life. However, Olarinkoi finds her at Nasila river and offers to help her fulfil her dream of meeting Minik. However, Olarinkoi changes his mind and decides that she is his wife and even attempts to rape her. The rape attempt wears her down. However, Olarinkoi’s abduction doesn’t stop her from meeting her mentor. She shares her afflictions and dreams with Nabaru. Touched by her physical and mental courage, Nabaru promises to help her do what she intends to do or go where she wants to go once she is back onto her feet, with or without the enkoiboni’s predictions. She later procures a lorry with which she helps recues out of Olarinkoi’s tentacles to Minik’s ranch where she finds a safe haven for young girls escaping female genital mutilation and early marriage.
  6. Minik’s determination to save girls/Taiyo from F.G.M and forced marriage respectively pays off.
    In her efforts to save young girls from retrogressive customs, she had come to persuade Ole Supeyo not to circumcise his five daughters. She is so insistent that the old man has to forcefully eject her out of hiss homestead, threatening to clobber her. p. 21,22 despite being abhorred in Nasila she doesn’t relent in her efforts to save the helpless girls who are circumcised and married off at an early age. A case in point is Taiyo whom she rescues from Olosudori who has already managed to have her circumcised and is planning to marry her off against her will. She had sent her rescue team to trace Taiyo. It was easy to find her as for the home in which she was kept was being guarded day and night by fierce armed men. The rescue team had to retreat to Nasila to find Parmuat, their contact man who had initially directed them to Esoit. They make several attempts to save Taiyo and almost giving up when Parmuat manages to help them rescue Taiyo by luring Oloisudori’s the whole team of guards into a beer party, leaving Taiyo unguarded. They team strikes and scampers away with Taiyo like men fleeing from a burning village for three kilometres, to spot where they had left their vehicle. They escape the stones that are thrown at them. Later, when Oloisudori shows up at the ranch to take one of Ole Kaelo’s daughters, Minik does not allow him. She orders him to get out of the place fast for his own safety and the safety of his expensive machines, adding that the two girls are under her charge and that none of them will be taken away from her. she steels herself and looks into his eyes with an unwavering stare. when he orders his men to get Resian, her four hundred energetic workers who had just eaten to their fill surged forward and in no time reduced Oloisudori’s convoy into smouldering shells and acrid smell of burning tyres besides clobbering Oloisudori and his men thoroughly to the extent that they had to run away. P. 281-284
  7. Nabaru's determination helps Resian escape F.G.M, forced marriage to Olarinkoi and take her to Minik, her mentor.
    Frustrated by her father's determination to sell her ofc to Oloisudori, Resian runs to Nasila where she contemplates suicide. Olarinkoi finds her there and offers to help her fulfill her dream of meeting Minik. However, Olarinkoi changes his mind and decides that she is his wife and even attempts to rape her. The rape attempt wears her down. Luckily, she finds a God-given mother in Nabaru, who is so much touched by her physical and mental courage that she promises to help her do what she intends to do or go where she wants to go once she is back onto her feet, with or without the enkoiboni’s predictions. She feeds her well and nurses her until she regains her strength, which was necessary for her escape. She later procures a lorry with which rescues her. Olarinkoi hangs on the lorry, threatening fire and termination, but Nabaru's will sees Resian escape to Minik’s ranch where she finds a safe haven for young girls escaping female genital mutilation and early marriage.
    (Accept any 4 well illustrated points. Mark 3;3;3;3) Total 12 marks
    Grammar and Presentation- 4 marks

In conclusion, Resian and Minik succeed to achieve their goals due to their unwavering determination.
Accept any other valid conclusion-2 marks

11. 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.

12. 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.

13. “Our greatest enemies are those close to us.” Basing your argument on H.E Ole Kulet’s Blossoms of the Savannah write 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.


  • Oloisudori betrays Ole Kaelo. Though they were close business friends. Oloisudori blackmails Ole Kaelo so that Ole Kaelo has no option but to marry off his daughter to Oloisudori.
  • Mama Milanoi who is the mother to Taiyo betrays her by allowing her to accompany three women to take her to Resian only for her to end up being forcefully subjected to F.G.M.
  • Ole Kaelo, father to Taiyo refuses to allow his daughter Taiyo to travel to Mombasa with the other youth selected by an FM radio station for a music extravaganza. To him participating would be like engaging in prostitution.
  • Ole Kaelo also betrays his daughter's ambitions to join Egerton University preferring instead to marry them off to Oloisudori. This shows he is not ready to help them realize their dreams as a father should do.
  • Ole Kaelo betrays Resian. He openly shows his resentment to Resian. Constantly rebuking her for even the slightest of mistake she makes. He hates because he expected a boy child not a girl child. This leaves Resian with a low self-esteem and fearful.
  • Olarinkoi, who is occasionally accommodated by the Ole Kaelo's and is even though he is not part of their family, later betrays the Ole Kaelo's when he abducts Resian with the intention of eloping with her. This is betrayal to a family that had hosted him. 

14. “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.

15. “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.

16. 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.

17. 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.

18. 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.

19. “As bad as it may be, every culture has a good side. Closely referring to the treatment of the girl child”, write a composition in support of this; drawing your illustrations from H.R. Ole Kulet’s Blossoms of the Savannah.

Traditional cultures though condemned have been of great help in caring for the interest and safety of the girl child against wayward/predatory men. This is evident in Nasila culture in Blossoms of the Savannah.

  • Elder’s court
    Mama Milanoi laments Oloisudori’s obnoxious act of demanding her daughter Ressian for a wife. Oloisudori is the age mate of Parsimei – Mama Milanoi’s husband. Mama Milanoi recalls that such a thing would have never happened in the past. She says that in those old good days, had her husband tried to enforce such an abomination, she would have appealed to the Elders court which would have ruled him out of order, possibly fined him together with his purported son in law. A public rebuke and cleansing ceremony conducted by the fearsome Oloiboni would shamed the culture – abusers and their collaborators; a deterrent act. (without mentioning of elder’s court, it is thin) page 113-114, 115
  • Women’s court
    Culture also gave aggrieved women room to call for mass action-swift, vindicive and decisive. It was most feared by men. Mama Milanoi recalls an incident of a mannerless old man who got infatuated with a fourteen-year-old daughter of his daughter of his agemate and started stalking her. The man seduces the girl while milking her mother’s cows. The girl reports the incident and her mother appealed to the women’s court for the culprits, let out the calves. No cow was milked no fire was lit in the hearths. Then they attacked the homestead of the accused using firewood, husband’s knobkerries. The old man is beaten thoroughly, stripped naked; teased and paraded naked in all the homesteads. The aggrieved girl would question him and he would be forced to give a certain response. The women’s cry would send all men scampering for safety up in the hills. The accused would be beaten to death. All the men would be denied food and milk till they called the Oloibon to cleanse the homestead and restore peace, love and unit. Such punishment deterred men from offending the sensibilities of Maa. (without appeal to women’s court - thin)Pg 115-117
  • Patureishi
    Joseph Parmuat cultural lessons and dances helps Ressian and Taiyo understand the various kinds of love that young people in Nasila were involved in. Such love include the conventional and the Patureishi. Those involved in conventional were considered betrothed. Should the betrothed misbehave or offend the sensibilities of the Nasula culture and lose the favour of the girl’s parents, he would forfeit right to marry the girl. Patureshi – institution also checked the conduct and behavior of young people and keep them discipline. The young man who violated it or engages in disgraceful act, disrespect for women, the Paturesihi would shame him. A young man who balanced conventional and Patureishi earned respect and was regarded as a potential leader and of the future of Maa. This safeguarded the girl child. (Role of Patureishi must come out clearly, failure - thin) Pg 125-127
  • Punishment of the vagabonds
    Another incident where sensibilities of Nasila was breached is when Taiyo and Resian are returning home from their father’s shop. Two young men accosted and attempted to rape them. They dragged them to the bush and Olarinkoi’s appearance and has intervention saved them. This was a serious violation that left the girls traumatized. When they reported to the family, the entire clan is enraged, and a search for the culprit ensures. When they were caught they were clobbered until they bled profusely. They pleaded for mercy and fearfully hid under the legs of and old man. One of them –Ntara Muyo was their first cousin. The other was Lante-son of Kanyira. Elaborate cleansing ceremony is planned and Ole Kaelo is compensated. Taiyo and Resian went to be paid two heifers each. The tenets of Nasila culture ensured justice for the girls. (without punishment, compensation and cleansing ceremony - thin) Pg 140, 156-164
  • Olarinkoi’s Exile
    Olarinkai offers to evacuate Resian to Ntare Naaju Ranch – the home of Minil-ene -Nkotoi- Emakererei to escape a forcible circumcision and marriage to Oloisudori. Resian who was at the verge of committing suicide saw a savior in Olarinkoi and accepts the offer gratefully. However, he takes her to Inkiito where he goes drinking and comes in at night and attempts to rape her. She bites his thumb and he hurts her until she passes on. Nabaru who nursed her tells her that the mono eyed woman – Olarinkoi’s mother had prophesied her marriage to his son but the attempted rape diluted everything. Olorinkoi is banished into exile for days and later the marriage fails to materialize pg 232 – 234
  • Ill-intent men
    Resian blames her father for the tension in the family for being forced to stay behind to host Oloisudori against her will – Resian opines that this is the neo-culture. Girl child was always protected and shielded from males who ogled and stare at them with no good intentions. Where there were male visitors, the girls were taken to their aunt’s houses to avoid meeting some of these ill-intent fellows. The aunts would instead serve the guests. Fathers too had minimum interaction with their daughters and guarded jealously their privacy and guaranteed them security(without the shielding of girls from men; taking them to aunt’s place, score thin). Pg 174-175

It is therefore clear that most traditions of the people have a way of ensuring that its daughters’ security was guaranteed and there is need to perpetuate them.

20. Some cultural practices are archaic and out dated. Write an essay in support of this statement. (20mks)

This can be general, specific or general specific bringing out the retrogressive nature of cultural practices imposed on people
of diverse cultures.


  • Female genital mutilation which is depicted as a compulsory rite of passage if a girl has to be respected, valued and married. Expound on Resian’s and Taiyo’s experiences in Nasila.
  • Under- age marriages where young girls are denied the right to pursue further education and ambitions e.g Resian and Taiyo are sold off by their father to Oloisudori without their consent.
  • Barring people from getting married or involved in a relationship if they are considered to be of the same clan but not related by blood eg Joseph and Taiyo
  • Male chauvinism where men feel they are superior to women eg Ole Kaelo’s and Mama Milanoi’s situation concerning their daughters’ circumcision, lesson on Maa culture,Olarinkoi’s demand that Resian cooks for him,Ole Supeyo’s opinion on women circumcision as being dehorned and therefore being made docile and submissive, Oloisudori being sarcastic towards Resian after having confirmed that he has already bought her off from her father and that she can do nothing concerning the betrothal( His word was final)
  • Seeing girl child education as a waste of time eg Ole Kaelo totally denies his daughters pursuing further education saying the education they have is enough and Joseph was asked to teach the girls on the reqirements of a respectable Nasilan woman and later get cicurmcised as they await getting married. Ole Supeyo educates his sons upto the University level yet his daughters don’t get such opportunity but married off to prominent men in Nasila .

Recap on the points discussed in the content.

21. “Self-interest is a vice that whoever engages in it is bound to fail” Using Blossoms of the Savannah, write an essay to support this assertion. (20mks)

When one does something in the hope of benefiting himself or herself, the person is most likely not to succeed in his or her endeavors. This is well illustrated by Ole kulet in Blossoms of the savannah. (2mks)
Accept any other valid introduction.


  • Ole Kaelo’s self interest make him to engage in things which later on make him regret his decisions. Ole kaelo is advised by a friend Ole supeyo about the kind of man Oloisudori is. He is told that Oloisudori is not a man of integrity and warns him about doing business with him. He is even warned to keep his daughters away from him. Later this man causes him great worry when he threatens to bring his business down if he does not give him his daughter in marriage. Since Ole Kaelo does not want to lose his business and the money given to him by Oloisudori he accepts to offer Resian to oloisudori, leading to him losing his two daughters in end when Resian escapes to Miniks place and later Taiyo who was rescued by Minik’s men.
  • Mama Milanoi decides to participate in offering her two daughters to Oloidudori. First Resian who ecapes then Taiyo. She fears going against ole Kaelo since she knows what is at stake if she does. This action makes her lose the trust of her daughters and they are angry with her and vow that they would not want to be like her marriage. In the end she also loses her two daughters.
  • Olarinkoi seems to be a mystery in Ole Kaelo’s house, though he has his hidden intentions. He pretends to be of help to Resian when he finds her by the river after being disappointed by Ole kaelo the father. After taking Resian to his place, he turns into a beast by trying to rape Resian and even planning to circumcise her by force before marrying her. But Resian protects herself by biting his thumb when it was later known that he had to rape Resian, he was admonished and he later lost Resian when she was helped to escape by Nabaru
  • Oloisudori is also another person who perpetuates self-interest when he extorts his clients. He has made Ole kaelo sign up to several contracts just to extort him at the end. He then changes his mind when he comes over at Ole Kaelo’s for his pound of flesh. He demands that Ole Kaelo gives him his daughter
    instead. Later on he still insists on his demands even after Resian escaping to Minik’s place and Taiyo being rescued, he proceeds to the ranch when Minik was having a farewell party for the 2 girls. This decision which he made out of self interest sees his convoy being reduced smoldering shelf and acrid smell of burning tires clobbered thoroughly.
    Mark 3:3:3:3

In conclusion we can therefore agree that self –interest can lead to failure to anyone who engages in it.
(2mks) (Accept any valid conclusion).
Font – 12
Grammar – 8
Introduction – 2
Conclusion – 2
Total - 20

22. When people build a strong friendship, they easily endure and overcome any obstacle that come their way and emerge successful. Using examples from Ole Kulet’s Blossoms of the Savannah, write an essay to show the truth of this statement.

Points of Interpretation

  • Who have strong friendship?
  • What challenge/obstacle/problem do they face?
  • How does their union come in handy to help alleviate/overcome the challenge?
    NB: How their strong friendship works to help in a given challenge must clearly be brought out for the candidate to score a full mark in any point.

In Blossoms of the Savannah, Taiyo and Resian, Resian and Nabaru and Resian are some of the characters that forge deep friendship which helps go over the many problems that befall them.
(Accept any other relevant introduction) 2marks


  • When Taiyo and Resian are accosted by a vagabond on their first day in Nasila, their closeness helps them avert a would worse scenario. Resian asks the vagabond to leave her sister’s hand. She reminds him that they don’t have any money on them. Taiyo on her informs the vagabond that they are not the type of women he thinks. Later when Resian is traumatized by the experience, Taiyo comes in to reassure her by promising to talk to their father about the possibility of going back to Nakuru. Pp. 14-19; 32-33.
  • On realizing that Resian is always tempestuous after the father’s constant tongue-lashing and that even their mother would not help them, Taiyo takes it upon herself to mob her sister’s tears. Right from nursery school through to secondary, Taiyo who was ‘fiercely devoted to her sister’ ensured that she protected her sister from the bullies. She was also keen and ‘always sensed her sister’s yearnings.’ PP. 32-34.
  • The two sister bank on their love to outwit Oloisudori upon realizing that their mother and father would not assist them at all. They come up with a conspiracy to return the gifts as a reciprocal gesture to Oloisudori. This is to prove a point- that they are focused girls with a clear map of what they want in life. They also plan that they would feign innocence until when Oloisudori’s intentions become apparently clear to them. Taiyo advises Resian to ensure that he doesn’t remain alone in the house with oloisudori for he may harm her. This plan works to their favour as Resian is able to face-off Oloisudori and beat them at their plan- that of forced marriage. Pp. 195-205
  • After Resian is rebuked by her father for refusing to serve Oloisdori, Resian runs out into the cold at night. Taiyo follows her out in the cold and condemns her for endangering/risking her life. She urges her to go back into the house so as not to catch a cold. Pp. 169-173
  • Resian forms a formidable alliance with Nabaru to defeat Olarinkoi and the enkoiboni’s schemes. Nabaru becomes Resian’s confidant. She buys into Resian’s dream. She reveals the evils planned out against Resian and goes out of her way to rescue Resian into the Ranch. Despite Olarinkoi’s infantile threats, she delivers Resian safely to her nirvana. Pp.220-223; 230-245; 248-252; 262-265
  • Taiyo and Resian forge a strong bond with the Minik and the over 400 girls they find at the Ranch. It is this bond that has thrived between them that helps them to vanquish Oloisudori. Because of the love Minik has developed for the girls, he faces Oloisudori, a man of means and humiliates him publicly. Together with other enegetic workers they burn down Oloisudori’s convoy and ashes and also beat him thoroughly. With their biggest threat behind them, the two girls embark on their academic journey. Pp. 279-284.
    (Accept any 4 well illustrated points. Mark 4;4;4;4. Total 12 marks)
    Grammar and Presentation 4marks


True friendship knows to obstacle raised on its way. 
(Accept any other valid conclusion) 2marks

23. Irresponsible parenting can lead to instability in a family. Discuss the truth of this statement using the novel “Blossoms of the Savannah” by H. Kulet

Accept any relevant introduction (2 mks)

  1. Hatred – Olekaelo hates Resian from birth. He hoped mama Milanoi would give birth to boy for a second born.
    • He gets disappointed when he gets a girl.
    • Vents his frustration on the poor child.
    • Effects – Resian realizes her father does not like her right from her cradle.
    • He detests her, treats her harshly, openly favours Taiyo. Distance created.
    • Her personality is affected since she grew up sullen, bewildered and resentful (pg 10).
    • She becomes rebellious, angry and bitter.
    • Her nature was darkened by melancholy, self – doubt.
    • At home she became difficult to deal with especially with her father
    • Ole-kaelo as a parent failed to offer lose, acceptance and assurance.
  2. Forced Marriage:- Ole Kaelo fails to protect the girls from Oloisudori. Resian was left alone in the house when she encountered Oloisudori.
    • Ole kaelo agrees to Mary Resian to Oloisudori: He is aware he is a criminal, a bank robber and a gangster (pg. 194)
    • He is willing to cast a blind eye on the fact that Oloisudori is old enough to be Resian father.
    • He is willing to use Resian as the sacrificial lamb to secure his palatial home and business contracts.
    • He allows Oloisudori to black mail him with a demand for his daughters hand in marriage. Giving out Resian to Oloisudori is too small a price.
    • He betrays his daughters when he agrees to the plan fo her abduction should she turn down Oloisudori’s marriage proposal> (pg 191).
    • He fails in his responsibility to care and protect his daughter because of material gain.
    • Resian feels betrayed is full of anger and bitterness – she runs away from home, where she undergoes such trauma at the hands of Oloirinkoi.
    • Resian has suicidal thoughts.
    • Olokaeilo chose to please the Maa people at the expense of his family.
  3. Education – Olekaelo refuses to take Resian to Egerton University.
    • Her ambition was to study veterinary doctor.
    • She asks her mother and Taiyo to make the request for but never go the chance.
    • When Resian vehemently asks if he will take her to university, he informs her that formal education that she had was enough. (pg 207)
    • Suggests that she can join Parallel program once she marries Oloisudori.
    • He also fails in assisting Taiyo pursue her music interests.
    • He fails in His responsibility to fully educate her daughters when brought a big conflict between his and the girls.
  4. Mama Milanoi’s silence;-
    • She fails to protect the girls from the harsh mean traditions.
    • When Resian tries to confide her fears to her she dismisses and scolds her for referring to Oloisudo as a manner less old man.
    • She sends her back to serve the old lustful man tea.
    • She does little to correct the tension between Resian and her father does not come to rescue her.
    • Taiyo is surprised at her mothers inability to protect Resian from mistreatment from her father.
    • She betrays Resian – she failed her.
    • She was fearful of her husband and was owed to silence even when injustices were being committed against her own daughters.
    • Her silence pained Resian beyond words.
    • She betrays Taiyo by tricking her into going to Esoit to undergo faced circumcision.

The once good and peaceful family falls apart due to the parents failure to take up her roles responsibly.
In the face of adversity one requires strong - will power. Justify – referring to the story “No need to lie”.

24. Mama Milanoi’s submissiveness results in the break up of her family. With clear illustrations from the novel, Show the truth of this statement.

Mama Milanoi is depicted as a woman who is unable to defend her daughters against unfavourable decisions made by her husband in order to protect her own interest.

  • She does not protect Resian when she is harassed for not being born a boy.
  • She fails to defend daughters against their father’s decision to have them circumcised.
  • She does not speak out against the plot to drug and abduct Resian if she refuses to marry Oloisudori.
  • She is part to the women who abduct Taiyo and have her circumcised against her will.


Any other correct point. Expect fully illustrated answers
Introduction 2 marks
Body 12 marks
Language 4 marks
Conclusion 2 marks.

25. “When faced with challenges in life, help comes at a time that it is least expected.” Citing evidences from Henry Ole Kulet’s Blossoms of the Savannah, write an essay in support of this statement.

  • Most people reach the end of the tether in difficult situations and are just about to give up when help comes suddenly. Most instances of help in Blossoms of the savannah appear coincidental but nonetheless; they change the course of life of the characters as well as shaping the rest of the novel. (Accept any other relevant introduction)
  • Olarinkoi seems to be at the right place at the right time. He happens to be the savior of Resian and Taiyo when they need help most. He comes to the rescue of the two girls when they are coming from their father’s shop and are about to be raped by two men, the vagabonds. Olarinkoi single handedly saves the girls by fighting the men. Resian and Taiyo are much grateful and would not want to imagine what would have happened if he had not come at that time, even fearing that they would have been infected with HIV. The incident also made the two girls build up their trust in Olarinkoi, (Pg. 140-143).
  • Olarinkoi again comes to the rescue of Resian when she discovers her father’s betrayal by planning to marry her off to Oloisudori. Resian confronts her father at the shop and realizes she has been ‘sold’ to the monster Oloisudori. Her father is hostile to her and beats her up and she runs away. He comes to her rescue when she is even contemplating committing suicide by drowning herself into the Nasila River. At the same time, Oloisudori and his men are looking for her to abduct her. Olarinkoi promises to take her to Minik whom she had been yearning to meet someday. Although the help turns disastrous with Olarinkoi turning against her, she is able to escape the current wrath of Oloisudori. It is while at Olarinkoi’s hut that Nabaru becomes of help and eventually escapes with her to Minik’s Ranch. She also escapes the knife remaining intoiye nemengalana.
    Olarinkoi’s help then is a blessing in disguise, (Pg. 204-2011, 224, 237, 244-249).
  • Taiyo is rescued from the hands of her circumcisers by Minik’s men. Minik’s rescue team in coordination with Joseph Parmuat use tricks to rescue her from the well-guarded home which she would not have escaped in her sickly state. Were it not for Minik’s intervention, Taiyo would surely have been forcefully married off to Oloisudori after healing. The rescue gives Taiyo a new lease of life, reunion with her sister and of course quicker physical and emotional recovery. Their dream of joining Egerton University is equally realized after the recovery, (Pg. 270-274).
  • Minik’s help to Resian and Taiyo at the most challenging moment perhaps is the most important event that completely changes their lives. She gives refuge to the girls in her Ranch hence protecting them from the marauding men like Oloisudori and Olarinkoi. She gives Resian a job in the ranch hence giving her something to live on and promises her a scholarship from the Ranch. Most importantly, she is able to have the two girls enrolled at Egerton University, their dream university. These kind gestures create a happy ending in a novel that has been dominated by sad events, (Pg. 261-262, 264-267, 279,281-284).
    In conclusion, people are about to despair, that is usually the point when help comes. No matter how belated characters like Resian and Taiyo get help, their lives are greatly impacted on and changed by those interventions. (Accept any other relevant conclusion)

26. The rich culture in the Nasila community bonds the people in the society together. Write an essay with clear illustrations from the novel ‘Blossoms of the Savannah’ by Henry Ole Kulet to justify this statement.

  • There is an instance of pride in cultural identity. This enhances the Maa’s unique identity as witnessed during Ole Kaelo’s homecoming party. It is manifested in songs and dances (pg44) the jewelry worn by the guests: ivory beads, coloured lessos, kangas and shukas.
  • The generosity of the Nasila community as all and sundry are invited to savor in the celebration and partake in typical Maa food and drinks served during the home coming ceremony. (pg51-52)
  • The community bond is also laudable in the togetherness seen in the community’s activities. We are told “Life and work was communal.” This evident at Ole Kaelo’s homecoming party, (pgs 42-52) No wonder, Kaelo is overwhelmed at the brotherhood, honour and selflessness he witnesses during his ceremony.
  • Nasila way of life clearly defines relationships. And from his consanguinity is kept at bay (pg 118)
  • Justice system among the Nasila is apt and acceptable. (pgs 162-164) and (pgs 115-117)
  • The Maa people value family. In the family there is love, care and provision. Simiren and his family. (pgs 152 – 155)
  • The Maa people have a strong religious/spriual mentality which binds them together. Ole Kaelo’s home is blessed by elders who give good tidings to the children and property (pg38)
  • Cultural expectation on love to guard against illicit relationships. (pgs 124-127)
    “When one fails to heed to advice, they suffer.”

27. "Change is inevitable in any society”. Validate this statement with the illustrations from the novel, Blossoms of the Savannah (By Henry Ole Kulet)

Introduction: Accept a valid introduction

Points to consider

  • Ole Kaelo and his family relocate from Nakuru to Nasila after his retrenchment from Agribix limited. His two daughters, Taiyo and Resian were born and raised up in Nakuru. The idea of leaving Nakuru for a village town, Nasila, is coldly embraced by Taiyo and Resian.
  • There is change of Nasilian cultural practices. In the past, culture did not allow an elderly man to marry a girl young enough to be his daughter. It was considered an abomination, and the perpetrators risked being fined heavily besides facing a public rebuke and cleansing ceremony. Ole Kaelo is collaborating with Oloisudori, his age mate, to ensure that he marries his daughter, ResianKaelo.
  • There is environmental change. Mama Milanoi recounts how Nasila Rivers had changed. Nasila water was no longer the same clean water that she and her friends drew when they were girls. The water had been polluted. People were emptying sacks of agricultural chemicals and poisonous pollutants into Nasila River.
  • There is an emergence of new generational vocal female activists who openly oppose FGM. Minik, a manager of a big sheep ranch and veterinary medicine graduate fights against female circumcision, a practice that is deeply embedded in Nasilian culture. She faces sharp resistance from conservative Nasilans and is christened Emakererei, the wasp.

Conclusion: Accept a valid conclusion

28. “people who do bad deeds to others never go unrepaid” Show the validity of this statement with reference to Henry Ole kulet’s novel “Blossoms of the Savannah”.

In the text, characters like Oloisudori, Ole kaelo and others perpetuate evil towards other characters, but they also receive their equal measure of pain and suffering as discussed below.
Oloisudori is a businessman but with questionable deals. Despite his age, and being polygamous, he shamelessly wants to marry Ole Kaelo’s teenage daughter. He blackmails Ole Kaelo into giving his daughter Resian in marriage to him or forgets his numerous business contracts which Oloisudari had helped Ole Kaelo to secure. He further puts Ole kaelo in a tight corner where he has to forcibly circumcise. Taiyo and give her to him in marriage after Resian runs away from home. However, his actions never go unpaid, in a bid to forcibly take his bride from Minik’s ranch, his convoy of vehicles is attacked and several of hi cars burnt. He ends up losing both Resian and Taiyo, his money and his property.
Ole kaelo betrays their trust of his daughter Resian. He openly resents Resian and is quick to scold her for the slightest of mistakes. He insults her just because he expected a boy child for his second born and not a girl child. He readily agrees to marry off Resian to Olisudori rather than forfeit his numerous business contracts which Oloisudiri had helped secure. He also turns down her request to join Egerton University saying that he had already received her dowry. However, Ole kaelo pays dearly for his decisions since Resian openly comfronts him at his shop and turns down the marriage deal with Oloisudari, she later escapes from home and leaves Ole kaelo with no option but to give out Taiyo in marriage to Oloisudori.
Mama Milanoi’s bad deeds towards her daughters leaves them with a strong dislike for their mother. As a mother, she never comes to the defense of her daughter when Ole kaelo constantly scolds her. She further colludes with her husband to marry off Resian to Oloisudori. They collect gifts and dowry from Oloisudori and even shamelessly hatches a plan on how Olisudari will collect his bride Mama Milano also colludes with the Enkamuratuni to have Taiyo forcibly circumcised thereby causing her a lot of physical and emotional pain. All her actions never go unrepaid as her two daughters all run away from home and vow never to copy her example as their mother.
Oloisudori bad deeds towards Resian never go unpunished. He rescues Resian just before her attempted suicide promising to take her to Minik’s Ranch. He however turns on his words, forcibly abducts her with the intentions of marrying her. She endures a long torturous journey at the back of an old pick – up track. She forced to stay in a lonely dark hut and even physically assaults her when his attempted rape on her backfires. He however pays dearly for his actions as Resian bites off his thumb to near amputation during the attempted rape. He is rebuked by his mother for his actions and forced to go into hiding for a number of days.

In conclusion bad deeds are always paid with bad deeds as seen above.

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