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Sample answered essay Questions

Question 1:

Ninema is an admirable character. Support this from Vrenika Pather’s ‘Ninema’ 20marks.

Ninema is an outstanding character who is liked by many of the people she associates with. We see many good traits that she portrays in the story “Ninema”.

To start with, Ninema is presented as a principled person. She does not let the behaviours and traits of others change what she believes in. Her business manner is unique only to her, and she does not change it to fit or be like others. Although she was one of the traders, something about her was different.

She ran her business with an iron fist which made some people like her while others disliked her, -Tie people’s reactions do not affect her as she remains herself. ‘The ladies in the stalls admire _her mainly because they had gotten compromised at work and home.

In addition, Ninema is admirable since she is organised. She plans her work early enough, making it easy to run her business.

She wakes up early in the morning to reap the herbs that she takes to the market for the day. She organises her herbs in an appetising way, which draws many customers to here She does not chat with other ladies aimlessly, which would waste her time. She plans to ensure the stall is organised before she takes her breakfast. Once her stall is ready and only when ready, she takes sips ofthe tea she had brought. Her meals are packed early in the morning, which points to this organised personality. She packs tea and some sandwiches that she takes for lunch. Nlnemaås also admirable since she is skilful wise, She handles different customers masterfully, thus making her earn their loyalty. She can handle Mr Chinran, infatuated with her, by treating him with respect and appreciation instead of encouraging his infatuation. She also handles Mrs Singh firmly but respectively, thus winning her even though Mrs Singh is difficult and troublesome. Ninema’s ability to entice a new customer

by offering an extra bunch of mint for free shows that she is skilful in business, thus making her admirable as a trader.

Lastly, Ninema is seen to be courageous, making her admirable. When a man sexually harasses her, she does not let him go scot- free. She follows the man who pinches her erect nipple and hits him with the only weapon at hand — her Chumpal, which makes the man too astounded to react. The other women hawker jeer and cheer as Ninema repeatedly hits the man. She even gives him extra hits on behalf of all the women, thus depicting her as the fighter of her rights and those for others. By following the man and hitting him with her sandal, Ninema shows her courage.

From the story, Ninema is genuinely seen to be admirable due to her courageous, skilful, organised and moral nature.

Question 2

When one is given power, he/she should use it onlyforgood but more often than not people use it for wrongpurposes. Support this statement basing your argument from Naguib Mahfouz’s ‘A Man of Awesome Power’ Many people who are in powerful positions or who have been gifted with some sort of power tend to abuse it. Instead of utilizing it for improvement of the society at large, they use it for their own selfish interests or to punish those that have wronged them. same scenario is seen in ‘A Man of Awesome Power through a number of illustrations.

We see Tayyib al- Mahdi utilizing the power given to him for revenge. This is not a good a way of power utilization as it causes harm to others. Tayyib realizes that he has power to order things to be and he sets out to utilize the power to change’ his country. However, the first episode where he utilizes this power shows that he is utilizing it to hit back at a person who offends him. The driver of the taxi that he hails suffers his wrath for refusing to stop. When Tayyib is on his way to the heart of the town, he hails a taxi but the driver simply waves a hand at him in haughty refuses. Tayyib’s irritation makes him stare at the rear wheels of the taxi and the two explode suddenly.

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He ignores the voice that reminds him that he should only use his power for good and lets his anger control him. This act of revenge was deliberate since as Tayyib bypasses the driver he feels that he has taught the man a lesson. By utilizing his power to hit back at the taxi driver, Tayyib shows that people with power use it for wrong purposes. We further see wrong utilization of power where Tayyib causes the man in the bus to suffer stomach pains. Although the man had physically attacked a woman, causing him to suffer stomach cramps not justified. Tayyib encounters a confrontation between the man and a woman in a public bus and the man ends up slapping the woman. Just like the incident with the taxi driver, Tayyib lets his anger control him where he focused it on the man’s stomach and immediately the man suffers severe cramps

that cause him to moan and scream in pain. The pain is so intense that an ambulance had to be called to fetch him•

Allowing his anger to control him and causing pain to the man who had slapped a woman is a vengeful act which is wrong thus showing how people with power use it for wrong purposes.

Beside, Tayyib uses the power bestowed on him to interfere with the radio presentation by causing the presenter to start sneezing. While seated in the café, he hears a radio announcer expounding on the developments that were to be expected in the future. Tayyib feels that the announcer should report on what has been achieved yet instead of giving false hopes to the people. Tayyib thus decides to cause some sneezing to attack the announcer since it was the only way to stop him.

Soon after, the announcer develops massive sneezes that prevent him from carrying on with the presentation. Tayyib feels happy and victorious after the unexpected conclusion of the announcement. Although his desire is to purify the broadcasting sector, the approach of causing massive sneezing to the presenter is harmful and thus wrong. Lastly, Tayyib is seen to use the power given to him to satisfy his sexual passion and desires. Tayyib utilizes the power to make a woman that he is attracted to notice

him. While he is seated at the tea garden planning how to effectively use his power, Tayyib notices a beautiful woman approaching the entrance of the garden. The woman does not notice him at first and Tayyib thinks of how through his powers he can cause her to be head -over-heels with him. He then sends her a hidden message and she responds to him. He sees nothing wrong with satisfying his desires as a way of repairing himself. He closes his note book and they surrender to fate, This is an immoral act since Tayyib is married to Haniya whom he had remained faithful to throughout their marriage.

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People gifted with power should strive to use it only for good purposes and not to cause pain and suffering to others or for immoral deeds like Tayyib did.

Question 3

Some cultural practices do not add value hence should be done away with.

Show the truthfulness of this assertion basing on Eric Ng’maryo’s ‘Ivory Bangles’. (20 marks)

Culture keeps people together and governs their way of life thus is important. However, there are some traditions that are of no benefit and in some cases such traditions cause harm to people who continue to embrace them as is the case in Ivory Bangles]

For this reason, such traditions should be discarded. Polygamy is one such cultural practice that has continued to be embraced yet it has no value. We realize that the community in the story holds in high esteem this practice. As such, a man who does not ascribe to it is seen to be a topic of discussion:

This comes out clear where the old man who is a respected Chief’s councilor is talked about because he had only one wife. According to the story, it was unheard- of for someone as powerful as the old man- a small chief, to have only one wife,

However, this value is seen to have no value since the old man is happy in his marriage and he really loves his wife to the extent that he gifted her twenty-four ivory bangle Besides, the riddle used by old man when responding to the Chief’s demand that he marries another wife shows that polygamy causes harm. The riddle’s interpretation A wife, a co-wife, witchcraft and death points to the harmful effects of the practice. As such, polygamy should be abolished as it causes harm and adds no value. Another cultural value that has no value is believe in the seer and the act of seeking his guidance. The old man goes to seek the advice of the seer after noticing some blood specks in the live at he goat that he slaughtered, He does this since his people, believed in him as their tribal seer and their priest. We also see how valued he is when the old man’s wife dismisses his demands. The old man harshly rebukes her telling her that the seer is the mouthpiece of their departed fathers, we however {see that this belief

does not add value since some of the advices given are bound to cause harm. The advice given to the old man by the seer supports this as the seer tells him ‘That the pebbles demand that he beats his wife and send her back to her father’s home. According to the seer, the pebbles are jealous of a happy wife- a woman unmolested by her husband. This shows that this believe in the seer is of no benefit but rather causes harm.

The superstitious belief that having blood specks in a goat’s liver is a sign of something bad about to happen does not add any value, Tris is not based on any proven basis but is just a traditional belief. The old man goes to consult the seer since he had noted some blood specks in the liver of the goat he had slaughtered. The belief is so strong that the man does not agree with the wife’s dismissal of the seer’s demands. According to the wife, the seer was hitting back at her for turning down his marriage proposal. This argument that had been used previously does not appear believable at this time as the old man reminds the wife that the seer did not put blood specks on the goat’s liver. Wife battering is another cultural practice that the people hold in esteem yet it causes more Karm than good. When the old man consults the Seer about the blood specks in the liver of the goat he had slaughtered, ‘the seer’s pebble disclose that a wife was going to die since the spirits were jealous of a happy wife, a woman unmolested by her husband until old age. This (Shows the value attached to wife molestation. To avert the

death, the old man is asked to give his wife the ‘ritual beating before sending her back to her parent’s home. Although the old man offers to give a number of goats to avert the catastrophes, the pebbles keep demanding for the ritual beating forcing the old man and the wife to come up with a plan of tricking the pebbles. The harmful effect of the ritual beating is seen through Leveri, the wife to the old man’s son. The wife remembers how her daughter-in-law had been beaten to a fingernail’s distance to her grave by the son. This shows that the ritual beating can almost cause death hence the reason it should be discarded.

Although culture is a glue that holds people together, some of the outdated practices should be gotten rid of as the cause more harm than good.

Question 4

War causes a lot of harm and thus should be avoided at any cost. Validate this statement basing your illustrations from Chimamanda Adichie’s ‘Ghosts’ (20 Marks)

Whenever parties engage in some form of fighting, there are grave implications that follow as is seen in Ghosts’ where the civil war that happened in July 6, 1967 cause suffering and pain to the people.

To start with, war is seen to cause displacement of several people. Many people are forced to run away from their country and their homes when the civil war broke

Prof. James and Ikenna’s meeting takes James down the memory lane where he recounts how they were forced to evacuate Nsukka in a hurry in July 6, 1967 when the war began. Through their conversation, we learn that Ikenna has lived in Sweden ever since the war began and has only come back to Nsukka recently. He discloses that he was flown out on Red Cross planes just like many other children had been airlifted to Gabon. Prof. James did not escape the displacement since he and his wife, Ebere had to move to America when the war broke out. Many people are seen to have been forced to leave their motherland as a result of the civil war.

secondly, we see that war leads to loss of lives. Several people had their lives cut short due to the civil war that broke out. The return of Ikenna comes as a surprise to Prof, James since Ikenna was thought to have died in the war. It is no wonder that Prof initially thought of throwing a handful of sand at him just like his people did to ensure that it was not a ghost. Actual loss of life is seen through Ikenna’s family. While explaining to prof the reason why he never returned to Nsukka after the war, Ikenna tells him that his whole family was killed when Orlu was bombed during the war thus he had nobody to come back to. It is not just Ikenna who lost loved ones but Prof too. His first daughter Zik died in the war. He tells Ikenna that the war took Zik. It is no wonder they named their second daughter Nkiruka which means: what is ahead is better.

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Thirdly, war is seen to cause massive destruction and loss of properties. When Prof James and his wife first returned to Nsukka when the war ended in 1970, they notice major destructions that had occurred. Prof recounts how they found their house and items destroyed. His books were lying in front of the gate, his Mathematical Annals torn and used as tissue paper, the bath tab used as toilet and their photos ripped and their frames broken. The massive destruction of their house was too much that they had to be assigned a different house in a different street to avoid seeing their old house. In the process of their house being destroyed, they lose their Piano that belonged to Ebere. Prof also remembers the landscape of drove back to Nsukka after the war. The massive destruction a recounted by Prof shows how destructive war is.

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Lastly, war causes psychological and physical suffering o live with nightmares the victims. Those who experience war and sad memories of it. Prof James is seen to have lived with the memories of the war. He easily remembers every detail of the war as he recounts it to Ikenna. Ikenna has suffered psychologically as is seen from the fact that he lost all his family in Orlu hence the reason he does not return to Nsukka. His psychological suffering is further seen from the fact that he never remarries after the war took his wife. Further evidence o psychological pain is seen where Prof observes how his people avoided the topic of war and if they engaged in it, it was with some vagueness. The naming of their second daughter Nkiruka- what is ahead

is better, also shows the pain that Prof and Ebere: were trying to avoid. The people also suffer physical pain. Prof.James remembers how a wounded soldier was shoved in their car on the day they returned to Nsukka«

War causes loss oflives, displacement ofpeoplej and destruction of properties among other effects. People should thus strive to live in harmony and avoid it at all costs.

Question 5

Lack of courtesy between the police and civilians leads to lethal conflicts. Justify the validity of this statement using illustrations from Meja Mwangi’s Incident in the park. (20 marks).

Across the world, over centuries, the behaviour of some of the police officers has caused dire repercussions. Sometimes this happens due to excessive use of force or simply wrongful application law and policies, but majoriy this occurs as a result of impolite

Incident in the Park shows how city dwellers, hawkers and loafers find themselves in conflicts with the police over flimsy and petty reasons often ending unpleasantly. When the two constables accost the fruit peddler, he gets startled and confused. They demand for his licence and identity card which he obviously doesn’t have. Then he offers five shillings which doesn’t seem

good enough as one constable shrugs. This means that at times if the offer were attractive, they would have accepted it and left him.

The police refuse to listen to the fruit merchant and harshly shove him along the street to the city telling him he will explain to the judge. This complicates matters even more because the fruit- seller fears the judge more. It throws him into more panic as he has a case that is coming up the following week and the judge is a “tyrant”. He explains further that he is selling this time so that he can afford of me but all his entreaties fall on deaf ears. They remain unimpressed saying nothing until he breaks away and flees into the crowded city.

The situation escalates when the constables chase the fleeing man shouting for help from the passers-by. They actually betroth him unto the mob. A city man intercepts him and another man lunges for him as shouts increase. Tossed here and there as a suspect, the desperate fruit peddler stumbles and falls into a ditch. No one seems to care to find out what really is happening before taking action. No one listens as he pleads for mercy. 7his is where he meets his ‘verdict’ which is death. According to the crowd, ‘justice’ is administered. The mob universally condemn him without plausible evidence.

By the time the police arrive at the scene, it is too late. Their action is irreversible and fatal. Flie mob has already killed him for being a “thief”. They who are supposed

to ensure public safety an security have aided the killing o/a hardworking hawker by their silly mistake. This should not have happened if they had treated

the man Politely. An innocent life is so unnecessarily lost. This makes the public lose confidence in the police. after investigations the truth will come out and it will be hard to trust the police.

In a nutshell, wanton conflicts and deaths of innocent citizen could be averted if the police handled matters with courtesy and sobriety.

Question 6

A Silent Song — Leonard Kibera.

Action speaks louder than words. Discuss the truth of this saying using illustrations from Leonard Kibera’s A Silent Song. (20 marks)

The character of an individual tells more than what they actually say. Mbane’s brother, Ezekiel, preaches water and takes wine. He is so devoted to God as a preacher, but neglects Mbane, to agonize in the streets for a long time until he almost dies. When he brings Mbane to his hut claiming to rescue him from the barbaric city in order that he can see the light of God, the blind beggar starts to feel more lonely and miserable in the desolate environment. lhe desolate hut is not a habitable place for him as it has a flea-ridden floor. One wonders

why he cannot live with his own brother in his own house! This action tells that the preacher does not love his brother.

It ironical for Ezekiel to keep preaching to his blind brother about Christ and salvation instead of first saving him from the harsh street beggary. Ezekiel seems to have already judged him as a sinner and that “Christ” will come down from heaven to do the good to him. Mbane dies miserably without much help from his brother. This is least expected from a man of God who should Have preached to his brother through actions of care and concern.

A Silent Song And Other Stories KCSE Essay Questions and Answer

Ezekiel portrays religious hypocrisy since Christians would not throw insults and abuses to God’s people when they don’t agree with them on some issue, or when they do not show that they believe in Jesus Christ. When Mbane shows no interest in Christ, his brother tells him he is worse than a Judas. EIT1is lack of patience for a Christian, especially a preacher, is not morally acceptable.

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Another action that tells of the preacher’s action is the meaning in his silence later as Mbane nears his death. Christians, good men and women on a Christmas morning, also display pretence in the way they curse and call him names instead of bringing the good knowledge of Christ to him. They claim, in his hearing, that he is an able-bodied person, only crippled more daily by the idleness of leisurely

begging. He could only yearn impotently beyond the reach of darkness and lameness. At times, self-pity overcomes him. To him, the God of the Gospel and religion are comforts beyond his reach as a cripple. His God is his only hope of deliverance from pain, destitution and despair. The people’s actions discourage him about Christianity which they profess but not practice.

In conclusion, the true gospel is the action of an individual because it is more practical than mere words. Actions work and satisfy the heart more than proclaiming the word ofGod.

Question 7

Incident in the Park — Meja Mwangi.

1. Lack of courtesy between the police and civilians leads to lethal conflicts. Justify the validity of this statement using illustrations from Meja Mwangi’s Incident in the Park. (20 marks).

Across the world, over centuries, the behaviour of some of the police officers has caused dire repercussions. Sometimes this happens due to excessive use of force or simply wrongful application of the

law and policies, but majorly this occurs as a result of impolitel interactions between the two parties.

Incident in the Park shows how city dwellers, hawkers and loafers find themselves in conflicts with the police over flimsy and petty reasons often ending unpleasantly.

When the two constables accost the fruit peddler, he gets startled and confused. They demand for his licence and identity card which he obviously doesn’t have. Then he offers five shillings which doesn’t seem good enough as one constable shrugs. This means that at times if the offer were attractive, they would have accepted it and left him.

The police refuse to listen to the fruit merchant and harshly shove him along the street to the city telling him he will explain to the judge. This complicates matters even more because the fruit- seller fears the judge more, It throws him into more panic as he has a case that is coming up the following week and the judge is a “tyrant”. He explains further that he is selling this time so that he can afford a fine but all his entreaties fall on deaf ears They remain unimpressed saying nothing until he breaks away and flees into the crowded city.

The situation escalates when the constables chase the fleeing man shouting for help from the passers-by. They actually betroth him unto the mob. A city man intercepts him and anotherman lunges for him as shouts increase. Tossed here and there as a suspect, the desperate fruit peddler stumbles and falls into a ditch, No one seems to care to find out what really is happening before taking action. No one listens as he pleads for mercy, This is where he meets his Verdict’ which is death. According to

the crowd, ‘justice’ is administered. The mob universally condemn him without plausible evidence.

By the time the police arrive at the scene, it is too late. Their action is irreversible and fatal. The mob has already killed him for being a “thief”. They who are supposed to ensure public safety and security have aided the killing of a hardworking hawker by their silly mistake. This should not have happened if they had treated the man politely. An innocent life is so unnecessarily lost. This makes the public lose confidence in the police. after investigations the truth will come out and it will be hard to trust the police.

In a nutshell, wanton conflicts and deaths of innocent citizens could be averted if the police handled matters with courtesy and sobriety.

A Silent Song And Other Stories KCSE Essay Questions and Answer

Question 8

A Silent Song — Leonard Kibera.

1. Action speaks louder than words. Discuss the truth of this saying using illustrations from Leonard Kibera’s A Silent Song. (20 marks)

The character of an individual tells more than what they actually say. Mbane’s brother, Ezekiel, preaches water and takes wine. He is so devoted to God as a preacher, but neglects Mbane, to agonize in the streets for a long time until he almost dies. When he brings Mbane to his hut claiming to rescue him from the barbaric city in order that he can see the light of God, the blind beggar starts to feel more lonely and miserable in the desolate environment. The desolate hut is not a habitable place for him as it has a flea-ridden floor. One wonders why he cannot live with his own brother in his own house! This action tells that the preacher does not love his brother.

It ironical for Ezekiel to keep preaching to his blind brother abou Christ and salvation instead of first saving him from the harsh street beggary. Ezekiel seems to have already judged him as a sinner and that “Christ” will come down from heaven to do th good to him. Mbane dies miserably without much help from his

brother. This is least expected from a man of God who should have preached to his brother through actions of care and concern.

Ezekiel portrays religious hypocrisy since Christians would not throw insults and abuses to God’s people when they don’t agree with them on some issue, or when they do not show that they believe in Jesus Christ. When Mbane shows no interest in Christ, his brother tells him he is worse than a Judas. This lack of patience for a Christian, especially a preacher, is not morally acceptable.

A Silent Song And Other Stories KCSE Essay Questions and Answer

morning also display pretence in the way they curse and call him names instead of bringing the good knowledge of Christ to him. They claim, in his hearing, that he is an able-bodied person, only crippled more daily by the idleness of leisurely begging. He could only yearn impotently beyond the reach of darkness and lameness. At times self-pity overcomes him. To him, the God of the Gospel and religion are comforts beyond his reach as a cripple. His God is his only hope of deliverance from pain, destitution and despair. lie people’s actions discourage him about Christianity which they profess but not practice.

In conclusion, the true gospel is the action of an individual because it is more practical than mere words. Actions work and satisfy the heart more than proclaiming the word of God.

Another action that tells of the preacher’s action is the meaning in his silence later as Mbane nears his death. Christians, good men and women on a Christmas

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