KCSE 2012 English Paper 2 with Marking Scheme

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

    Some fifteen thousand years ago an artist drew on the walls of a cave in Spain a picture of his Stone-Age neighbour robbing a bees' nest of its golden store. In the centuries that have since gone by, no one have ever invented or discovered a purer and sweeter food than honey.

    Because of its chief ingredient, Levulose, or"fruit sugar", honey is almost twice as sweet as cane sugar. Table sugar like salt, has but one taste. Every honey has its own. It would take an epicure's lifetime to discover, sample and enjoy all the possible vintages that bees distil from the thousands of species of nectar-bearing plants.

    Honey is purest of all foods. When properly ripen, its concentration of sugar is so high that bactereia cannot live in it for more than an hour or two. It is said that in ono of the royal Egyptian tombs was found honey that was thirty-three hundred years old darkened and thicked by time, put pure honey still. No knavery can corrupt honey without detection. If diluted with water, it ferments. Nor can the wax of the honeycomb, products of the bees' own glands, be successfully imitated.

    This ancient and mysterious food is one of the wonders of the world, the product of an intricate relationship between bees; the high peak of insect evolution, and the flowers, the loveliest part of the green world. Nature has adapted the the forms of flowers to entice bees, and the bodies of bees to fit and pollinate the flowers and use their pollen and nectar. Some ten thousand species of flowers would be extinct but for the bees, and bees could not live without flowers.

    The honey bee is the most faithful and provident of the flowers' lovers. While a butterfly or abird would move from flower to flower, as a honey-bee is loyal to one sort of a flower at a time. So she brings to each bloom none but its specific pollen, and she makes but one kind of honey at a time.

    At the height of the nectar flow in late spring and early summer, bees literally kills themselve with work. It is the destiny of every good worker to die flying, trying to bring back one last load to the hive. It takes about three hundred pounds of honey just to keep one colony alive; thus to govern a surplus, so that you and me may have some, the hive's workers must fly many million miles more.

    Each drop of nectar in an ocean holding minerals, enzymes and foods. It contains traces of iron, copper, manganese, potassium, sodium, phosphorous, proteins and vitamins. This explains why many diabetics can tolerate honey but not table sugar, and why it helps babies to retain calcium and so grow stronger limbs and better teeth.

    Only certain plants with truly exquisite nectar produce a honey you would want to eat. Many othrers yield nectar from which are made dark-coloured, strong flavoured honeys that only bakers and confectioners use in immense quantities. Tobacco companies buy millions of pounds of low-grade honey a year for preserving, flavouring, moistening and mellowing tobacco.

    Such honeys also go into lotions and cough medicines. For thousands of years connoisseurs have been buying their honey with discrimination. The ancient Athenians got their most delicate honey from Mt. Hymettis. It was famous because it came from a little wild flower called thyme.

    Perfect as it is as food, honey is more; it is slow-formed, perfect drop upon a growing tip of evolution. To take that drop upon the tongue is to partake a sacrament with nature.

    (Adapted from New Horizons in English. A course for secondary schools, Book 4
           by Alice Kiai et al, E.A.E. Publishers.)

    1. What amazing fact about honey do we learn from the first paragraph? (2 marks)
    2. Why is the bees' nest described as "golden store"? (2 marks)
    3. Using information in the third paragraph, summarize the unique qualities of honey in not more than fifty words. (4 marks)
    4. In what ways are bees and flowers interdependent? (3 marks)
    5. This ancient and mysterious foods are one of the wonders of the world. (1 mark)
      (Re-write adding a question tag)
    6. What is the writers' attitude towards the bee?
      Give reasons from the passage to support your answer. (3 marks)
    7. Identify and eexplain the metaphor in the seventh paragraph.(3 marks)
    8. Explain the meaning words as used in the passage.
      chief ............................................................................(1 mark)
      knavery .......................................................................(1 mark)

  2. Read the extract below and then answer the questions that follow.

    A few people applauded. And then there was silence. ( Kabonyi too had stirred things in their hearts). Soon they began to talk. Some saw alot of truth to what Kabonyi had said. They knew they were not cowards. And surely it was easier to drive away the white man and return to the old ways! But others, especially the young people, were on Waiyaki's side. Waiyaki himself was hurt. Kabonyi had touched on a sore spot, the question of youth. When Waiyaki stood up again the old defiance came back. The courage that had made him famous among the boys of his riika was now with him. At first he just looked at the people and held them with his eyes. Then he opened his mouth and began to speak. And his voice was like the voice of his father. No- it was like the voice of the late Gikuyus of old. Here again was the saviour, the one whose words touched the souls of the people. People listened and thier hearts moved with the vibration of his voice. And he, like a shepherd speaking to his flock, avoided any words that may be insulting. In any case, how could he repudiate Kibonyi's argument? Waiyaki told them that he was their son. They all were his parents. He did not want to lead. Their elders were there to guide and lead the youth. And the youth had to listen. He, Waiyaki would listen. All he wanted was to serve the ridges, to serve the hills. They could not stand aloof. They could never now remain isolated. Unless people heeded his words and plans, the ridges would lose their former dignity and would left a distance behind from the country beyond...

    So he spoke on, pointing out the importance of learning, of acquiring all the wisdom that one could get. People wanted him to go on, on, on telling them the sweet words of wisdom. When he sat down the people shouted and, as if of one voice, shouted. "The Teacher! The Teacher! We want the Teacher!". And some shouted: " Our children must learn. Show us the way. We will follow."

    What more could Waiyaki want? He felt elated with gratitude and happiness.

    Thereafter every elder and teacher who spoke added nothing but praise for their Teacher. An inter-ridge committtee was elected to look after the education of all and see to the building of new schools in the country. Kabonyi was not on it.

    1. Explain what happens just before this extract. (3 marks)
    2. "The courage that had made him famous among the boys of his riika was now with him, "
      Give an incident earlier in the novel where Waiyaki demonstrates this courage. (2 marks)
    3. "And his voice ... was like the voice of the great Gikuyus of the old."
      What was it in Waiyaki's background that explains Kabonyi's antagonism? (5 marks)
    4. Identify and illustrate three character traits of Waiyaki brought out in this extract. (6 marks)
    5. Briefly state two serious accusations that Kabonyi raised against Waiyaki in a similar setting later in the novel. (4 marks)
    6. Identify and explain two figures of speech used in this extract. (4 marks)
    7. Rewrite the following sentence in direct speech:
      Waiyaki told them, unless the people heeded his words and plans, the ridges would lose their former dignity and would be left a distance behind by the country beyond ... (1 mark)

  3. Read the poem below and answer the questions that follow.
    He is a jolly good boss
    Sits behind a shiny mahogany desk,
    Dreamy and contented like an over-fed python
    That has just swallowed a bearded goat

    He is a good-natured fellow
    Always patting the rumps of secretaries with tight skirts
    Which say: marry me if you dare
    Laughs asbent-mindedly and sinks back into dear oblivior

    He is an industrious head
    Gets dog-tired early in the morning from signing a few papers
    Whose contents he is mildly aware of
    And leaves for lunch and for the day at 11:30 am

    He is a humourous chap
    Jokes about how he is underpaid and over-worked to his juniors.
    Who laugh subserviently to conceal their indignation
    And grudging envy.

    He is mighty generous comrade
    Brags about his christ-heart,
    Being a proud donor of a few bastards
    To guileless girls under him,
    And believes he is a God-sanctioned mission
    That dates back to Abraham.

    He is a jolly good boss
    A perfect paragon for leadership.

    Kitche O. Magak.

    1. What is the message of this poem? (4 marks)
    2. Give evidence from the poem which indicates that the juniors are suffering secretly. (2 marks)
    3. Explain the image in the line
      "Dreamy and contented like an overfed python." (3 marks)
    4. Identify and comment on two aspects of irony in the poem. (4 marks)
    5. Explain the meaning of the following words as used in the poem: (3 marks)
      1. oblivion ....................................................................................
      2. guileless ..................................................................................
      3. God-sanctioned mission ............................................................

    6. Identify two instances of alliteration in the poem. (2 marks)
    7. Why are the last two lines in the poem significant? (2 marks)

    1. Rewrite the following sentences according to the instructions given after each. (3 marks)
      1. Esther said Patricia had stolen her dress.
        (Begin: Esther accused …)
      2. The kind of dance fascinates the youth more than it does adults.
        (Begin: The youth …)
      3. There are very few students in the classroom.
        (Use … any …)

    2. Fill in the blank space with the correct form of word in brackets. (3 marks)
      1. We ……………………. (regular) visit our grandparents in the village.
      2. The company has been in ………………… for twenty years. (exist)
      3. The man agreed to accompany her to the market after a lot of ……………….. (persuade)

    3. Appropriately punctuate the following sentences to indicate paranthesis. (2 marks)
      1. When we meet next I am not sure that a lot of things will have changed.
      2. Any information that you have including minor details should be submitted to the office.

    4. Complete each of the following sentences using the correct phrasal verb from the word given in brackets. (3 marks)
      1. The bomb ………….. at around midnight. (go)
      2. You have to ………….. to her what to do. (spell)
      3. Mwangi has ……… the lights because he wants to sleep. (turn)

    5. Fill in each of the blank spaces with the appropriate word. (4 marks)
      1. A short story revolves …………. a main character.
      2. The teacher was grateful …………………..the students’ input.
      3. He has been ………………..leave since last week.
      4. Her life was riddled ………………………… contradictions.


  1. Comprehension
    1. No one has ever invented a purer and sweeter food/honey is the purest and sweetest food ✓2        
    2. To emphasize how precious/very nutritious/valuable honey is: it is the sweetest and purest for(superlative)
    3. Honey is unique because it is purer than any food. ✓1a bacteria cannot live in it more than 2 hours ✓
      1b. It can also last for years (without going bad)✓1c, it is Impossible to corrupt/imitate honey/ it ferments if diluted with water ✓1d.
      The answer must be in continuous prose, if not affix N and deduct 50% of the mark.
      Penalize for faulty expressions by a glimmer. Allow a max of 50 words only.
    4. Bees rely on flowers for honey while flowers rely on bees for pollination. ✓3
      interdependence must be shown otherwise = 0.
    5. The ancient and mysterious food is one of the wonders of the world, isn't it?
      Wrong punctuation=0
    6. The writer has great) admiration/respect/gratitude/appreciation/awe/amazement/wonder for the bee ✓2. He describes it as hardworking/faithful/loyal/ industrious/selfsacrificing/diligent and persistent. A bee is willing to die...gathers surplus... sympathetic - mileage, dying can also score.
      Ill= 1
    7. Each drop of sectar is an ocean ✓2. To emphasize the richness of honey/ a single drop has astonishing nutrients ✓1
      • Chief - main/principal/key/most important/major/most significant ✓1
      • Knavery - dishonesty/trickery/deception/deceit/deviousness ✓1.
  2. Extract from The River between
      • it was during the gathering for the parents' meeting ✓1
      • Waiyakl had just addressed the meeting and heen applauded ✓1
      • kabonyi has just reponded ✓1 b.
    1. Kamau & Kinuthia fighting/When he ran after a wild goat for sheer fun✓2
      • Waiyaki was the only son of Chege, a revered tran though to be a descendant of Mugo wa Kibiro, the seer✓1
      • Chege knew the prophecy about the future leadership of the community ✓1 and had passed it to Waiyaki ✓1
      • Kabonyi was the only other man who knew the prophecy ✓1
      • Kabonyi feared that Walyaki could be that leader ✓1
      • Waiyaki had been sent to Siriana to learn the secrets of the white man ✓1
      • There was an ancient rivalry between Kameno and makuyu. ✓1
    3. Waiyaki is
      • Respectful
      • Discerning/observant
      • Courageous
      • Charismatic
      • Focused
      • Appreciative
      • Dedicated
      • Tactiful
      • Educative
      • Defiant
      • Concerned
      • Captivating/ charming - held people with eyes
      • Sensitive
        Id =1 ; lllust. = 1 Any 3x2 = 6
    4. Kabonyi accused Waiyaki of
      • Attending Joshua's church
      • Going to siriana secretly to meet the white man/selling the tribe
      • Wanting to many Nyambura:uncircumcised/Christian
      • Touching a dead body of Muthoni and not cleanced
        Any 2x2 =4
    5. Figures of speech
      • Metaphor..held the with his eyes/ ...sore spot/...touched the souls...
      • Simile: ...like a shepherd...
      • Symbolisim: ... like a shepherd...
        Id=2; illust.=1
    6. Waiyaki said, "Unless you heed my words and plans, the ridges will lose their former dignity and will be left a distance behind by the country beyond...." / "Unless you heed my words and plans, the ridges will lose their former dignity and will be left a distance behind by the country beyond..," Waiyaki said.✓1
      • Thematic statement: The poem talks about a corrupt leader/ poor leadership/ immoral/ abuse or misuse of office ✓2
      • He flirts with his secretaries in a disrespectful manner ✓1
      • He is immoral having several children with helpless innocent girls and boasting of it as being a God-given mission ✓1
      • He exploits his workers by underpaying them while he pretends to be overworked and underpaid himself.✓1
        Any two illustrations = 2x1
    2. Who laugh subserviently to conceal their indignation (and grudging envy)✓2
      • it is a simile ✓1
      • It brings out the evil nature of the boss/his greedy nature/he is a dangerous person/he is exploitative/he is inactive/immobile/inefficient/lazy ✓1
      • Further explanation of the above points ✓1.
      • He is referred to as a good - natured person who should be respectful to his Juniors, yet he shamelessly flirts with his secretaries patting their hips.
      • He paints a picture of being industrious but he is hardly aware of his work working for a short time in the office only to leave at 11.30am
      • He claims to be overworked and underpaid yet this is exactly the opposite. It is his juniors who are overworked.
      • He is generous, but generous not on positive virtues but on vices. He has fathered children with innocent girls claiming to be a God sent mission to fill the earth.
      • He is said to be a perfect paragon of leadership yet he is fiddled with corruption, immorality and poor leadership.
        Any 2 points - 4mks
        No contrast = zero
      1. Oblivion - in a daydream/ staring into nothingness/being in a state of fantasy/ sleepiness/ state of being unconscious of what is going on around him ✓1
      2. Guileless - innocent/gullible/naive/unsuspecting✓1
      3. God-sanctioned mission - Divine / God-given right ✓1
      • gulleless girls
      • perfect paragon
      • Leaves for lunch
      • marry me
      • secretaries in tight skirts
        The sounds must be identified e.g underline. If no = zero
      • Bring out the irony of such leadership.
      • It is a satire of society's leadership
      • Repetition of the lines emphasize the hypocrisy of the leader.
  3. Grammar
      1. Esther accused Patricia of having stolen her dress.
      2. The youth are more fascinated by this kind of dance than (are) adults. / The youth are more. fascinated than adults (are) by this kind of dance.
      3. There is hardly any student in the classroom. There are hardly any students in the classroom.
      1. We regularly visit our grandparents in the village. (3mks)
      2. The company has been in existence for twenty years.
      3. The man agreed to accompany her to the market after a lot of persuasion.  
        Wrong spelling= zero
      1. When we meet next - and I am not sure when - a lot of things will have changed.
      2. Any information that you have (including minor details) should be submitted to the office (2mks)
        Accept the use of dashes, brackets or commas to indicate parenthesis.
      1. The bomb went off/goes off/will go off/had gone off/is to go off/will be going off around midnight.
      2. You have to spell out to her what to do.
      3. Mwangi has turned off /turned out the lights because he wants to sleep.
      1. A short story revolves around a main character.
      2. The teacher was grateful for the student's input.
      3. He has been on leave since last week.
      4. Her life was riddled with contradiction.
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