Kenya Certificate Of Secondary Education (KCSE 2008) English Paper 2

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  1. Read the passage below and answer the questions that follow. 

    For Africans living abroad, there is nothing more irritating than the constant diet of negative news on Africa. The only silver lining is that Africa is way down the list of news importance for the Western media. Most of the time Africa is ignored but if it does not make it into the newspapers, radios or TV, then it is always portrayed as sinking in corruption, wars, famine and disease. If you set out to find a positive story on Africa, you may have to wait until your grandchildren have grown old.

    What is more unfortunate is that whereas the rest of the world is divided into nations, Africa is lumped into the one big sorry mass. A civil war is a tiny country in Africa elicits screaming headlines such as “Africa returns to barbarity”. Civil wars in Europe are not European Civil wars but civil wars in Bosnia, Serbia and so on. No one bothers to mention that out of Africa’s 54 countries, only two may be engaged in civil wars. That means that 52 countries are peaceful. But the impression that you get from the western media is that all of Africa is at war with itself.

    The same goes for diseases, especially Aids. Hardly does the week go by without the ‘experts’ from the West predicting how Africa’s entire population will be wiped out in fifty years’ time. If all the    predictions made about the impact of Aids had been correct, most African countries would have been entirely depopulated by now. 

    According to the Western media, Africa is corrupt. All of Africa, all the time. It is interesting to note that in America, for example only the executives of a given company are said to be corrupt while all the African leaders are seen as being irredeemably corrupt.

    The point being put across is that Africa is guilty unless proven innocent. Western journalists assigned to cover Africa are in most cases the most junior and the least experience in the organisation. They are given this version of a ‘Hopeless Continent’ for so long that when they land in any African country, they immediately set out to confirm their prejudices. And you can always find what you are looking for.

    The situation  is similar to the  search of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. In Africa, Western journalists set out to find corruption, decay and mismanagement. And if they cannot find it, they will invent it on the basis that “it must be there somewhere”.

     The causes of this generalized negative view of Africa are complex. When you confront Western journalists, they deny that their view of Africa is prejudiced. They are probably telling the truth because they report what they see – but they see what they want to see. And what they want to see, subconsciously is a version of backward, primitive and uncivilized Africa.

    So, while we feel irritated and even angered by the Western media’s portrayal of Africa, we must remember that many journalists cannot help but see Africa the way they are programmed to do. The only way this can change is if the programming is changed. But how do you go about doing so?

    The first step is to create space for dialogue between the Western media and Africans. It is during such discussions that Africans will be able to tell their side of the story. If this happens, then the   Western media will see Africa as we do – a glorious continent full of promise but going through a rough time at present.

                                                                                                                                                                                                           (Adapted from African Business, May 2004)

    1. What is the likelihood of finding a positive story on Africa?  (2 marks)
    2. Why are Bosnia and Serbia mentioned?  (3 marks)
    3. Why is the word ‘experts’ on the third paragraph put in quotation marks?   (2 marks)
    4. Rewrite the following sentence to begin: Had …………………………

      “If all the predictions made about the impact of Aids had been correct, most African countries would have been entirely depopulated by now."  (1 mark)

    5. According to the passage is Africa more corrupt than America? Explain your answer. (3 marks)
    6. Give two reasons why African stories are mostly assigned to the most junior and inexperienced journalists. (4 marks)
    7. How can we tell that the author is an African?  (2 marks)
    8. Explain the meaning of the following expressions as used in the passage: (3 marks)
      silver lining …………………………………………………
      sorry ………………………………………………………..
      irredeemably ……………………………………………….


  2. Read the passage below and answer the questions that follow.

    She lay there, more dazed than dozing, she did not know for how long. No water. No charcoal. There was a little hand mirror in the cupboard and she looked on the dark bruises on her cheeks, but they were less swollen than her back and shoulders. She had opened the window a crack to see in the mirror, then closed it again but now there was a taping on the shutter.

     ‘Who is it?’ she called, fearful that he might be testing her by sending visitors.

     ‘It is Ahoya. Don’t be afraid,’ came the welcome voice in Luo.

     ‘Are you alright, Paulina?’

     ‘I am alright but not very,’ said Paulina shamefacedly, pushing the shutter, ‘and I cannot open the door’.

     ‘Yes, I thought so,’ replied the matter-of-fact voice. ‘He also locked you in. Did he beat you also?’

     ‘Yes, he beat me also.’

     ‘And that is the first time?’

     ‘The first time. He used to love me.’

    Ahoya laughed gently. ‘Well he does love you. I could see it in his face as he caught sight of you. But I thought also he would beat you, for it to shame him to have you lost, though you did not mean it so. Have you anything to eat?’

     ‘No, I don’t need anything, thank you.’

     ‘Or any medicine?’

    ‘No, I shall be alright.’

     ‘Be sensible child. Every wife who comes to Nairobi from the country has problems. Do not think it is the end of the world. Every young man has problems too. Probably all his friends and workmates have been telling him that he is too young to marry and he begins to wonder how he will manage. Don’t you know that if you would have been married in the old way you husband would have given you a token beating while the guests are still there? They say that is so that if you are widowed and inherited you will not be able to say that your new husband was the first person ever to beat you. So don’t start to wish backwards. You praise God that he has given you a husband to love you, just as I have been able to do without one.’

     ‘You too?’ asked Paulina, wondering. ‘You too, like Drusilla, you are not married yet and you seem to understand so much?’

     ‘You have met Drusilla, have you?  Well she is a very great friend of mine. And Miriam who lives quite near here, is another. And all we know is that God can look after us in all that is needful. But you, who have a husband, also need food and medicines, and I will bring it myself so that no one can accuse you of having men visitors, but you can give the tray to Amina in the front room and I will get it collected.

    She rushed away and Paulina at once felt comforted. After half an hour Ahoya came back in the car. She handed through the window a tube of ointment and a tray of thick slices of bread and jam and cold orange drink on it.

     ‘Now if he smells the ointment, tell him that I brought it and he can come and ask me questions he likes.

    But now I must hurry. I have a meeting on the other side of the town’

    Paulina heard the car start. She ate carefully forcing herself to finish, and when Amina tapped at the window to take the tray away they exchanged such small courtesies as can be managed without a common language. Paulina slept until the stiffness softened into a small ache all over her body, and Amina gathered her cronies to tell them:

    ‘That Martin, soft he may have looked and spoken but my goodness, did he go for her! And the mother’s milk hardly dried on her lips, poor young thing. We’ll see that she learns to give him something to think about, won’t we just.’'

    1. Explain what happens just before this extract. (2 marks)
    2. Describe the first meeting between Paulina and Ahoya. (4 marks)
    3. Explain the meaning of the following words as used in the extract. (2 marks)
      1. Dazed …………………………………………………………………
      2. Courtesies ……………………………………………………………..
    4. What does Paulina think of Martin after the events so far recorded in the novel? (2 marks)
    5. Rewrite the  following in reported speech:  (1 mark) 
      “No, I don’t need anything, thank you.”
    6. Describe two character traits of Paulina revealed in this extract.  (5 marks)
    7. Make notes on Ahoya’s view of wife beating. (4 marks)
    8. Who is Drusilla? (3 marks)
    9. Comment on the expression ‘And the mother’s milk hardly dried on her lips'. (2 marks)


  3. Read the poem below and then answer the questions that follow. 

                  The splash.

                  Under the warm sunshine,
                  A pond of water rests, calm and serene,
                  The blue sky inhabits the middle of the pond,
                  And its sides reflect the greenery, 
                  Spotted with the yellow and red,
                  The red and the violet,
                  The water, the sky, the vegetation,
                  Hand in hand convey harmony and peace.
                  Then comes the splash!
                  And a tremendous stirring surges:
                  Reflections distort,
                  Giving way to rushing flow of ripples, 
                  Ripples innumerable,
                  All fleeing from the wound,
                  Time elapses,
                  Ripples fade,
                  Reflections regain their shape,
                  And once again emerges the pond,
                  Smooth and tranquil,
                  But the stone!
                  The stone will always cling to the bottom.

                                        Yusuf O. Kassam

    1. What do you think this poem is about? (3 marks)
    2. What is implied by the use of colour imagery (lines 4, 5, 6)? (4 marks)
    3. Identify and explain two stylistic devices use in this poem other than colour imagery. (4 marks)
    4. Describe the tone of this poem. (3 marks)
    5. Explain the meaning of the last two lines. (3 marks)
    6. Explain the meaning of the following words as used in the poem: (3 marks)
      Surges …………………………………………………………………..
      Fade ……………………………………………………………………
      Tranquil ……………………………………………………………….

    1. Complete each of the following sentences by filling in the blank space with the correct form of the word in brackets. (5 marks)
      1. The two ………………………..(sister-in-law) hugged during the wedding ceremony.
      2. She had ..........................(run) for five kilometers before the others caught up with her. 
      3. His speech was good but it was slightly marred by his poor…………………(pronounce) of words.
      4. It was ………….(doubt) a superb performance.
      5. We wanted the option that would give us the ………………..(little) trouble.

    2. Rewrite each of the following sentences as instructed. Do not change the meaning. (5 marks)
      1. I did not know that there was trouble ahead.
        Begin: Little …………………………………………………………………………..
      2. She is very tall.
        Begin; How …………………………………………………………………………..
      3. I was very unlikely that our national team would lose the match. (Rewrite using the word likelihood.)
      4. Come with me. (Rewrite adding a question tag.)
      5. Wanjiku said to Onyango, “I will join you in a few minutes.” (Rewrite in indirect speech.)

    3. Complete each of the following sentences by inserting the appropriate linking expression. (5 marks)
      1. Ondieki is impatient and rather arrogant: ……………….., he is a brilliant engineer.
      2. I have no wish to criticize Muturi; ……….……, I agree with most of his actions and decisions.
      3. There is considerable evidence that smoking is harmful; ……………………….., it must be discouraged at all costs.
      4. I voted in favour of the proposal; …………………… did Mrs Wanyonyi.
      5. We could have done much better …………………. we had not taken so much for granted.

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