Love and Friendship

Love is presented in different forms in the text. There is love between parents and children, husbands and wives, siblings and even relatives.

The love between parents and their children is clear in the homestead of Chief Odero Gogni. From the moment Akoko is born, the chief, shows affection for her. “She held a special place as the first born daughter and all things had to be done perfectly…” (p.16). The chief takes time to pick a suitor for his daughter and demands a hefty bride price. This kind of love is also seen with Akoko and her children. When Obura disappears, Akoko and her husband are devastated. Akoko also suffers the pain of losing Owang’ Sino and many of her grandchildren. This kind of love manifests itself in the relationship between Nyabera and her only daughter, Awiti. Mark and Elizabeth also show a lot of love for their children whom they educate in the best schools and provide them with financial and emotional support.

Love between siblings can be seen in the relationship between Akoko and her brother Oloo. He sends his twin sons –Opiyo and Odongo – to accompany her to Kisuma and later, to construct a granary for her. Oloo also accommodates Akoko when she leaves Sakwa for Yimbo. There is also love between Aoro and his younger brother Tony. Tony works extra hard in school so that he can be admitted into Aoro’s school while Tony’s sickness inspires Aoro into pursuing medicine. While Vera loves Becky at first, she soon discovers her hatred and selfishness and their relationship deteriorates.

Love between husbands and their wives is clear in the home of chief Owuor Kembo. He loves Akoko to the point of losing interest in other women. This infuriates Akoko’s mother-in-law who thinks that his son has been bewitched. Mark and Elizabeth love each other and stay married till death. Mark shows his love by helping his wife in the house despite the taunts from his friends. John Courtney loves his wife, Becky, at first but he divorces her after realizing her infidelity. Aoro and Wandia’s love for one another, starts from university and leads to marriage, in the end. Aoro supports his wife, especially when she decides to go for further studies in America.

Distant and close relatives also show love and friendship for one another. For instance, Awiti and Peter Kembo are cousins but live as brother and sister at Aluor Mission. When Owuor wants to tell Akoko about his desires to become a priest, he consults Awiti at first. After the death of Akoko, Peter consoles Awiti and during Awiti’s wedding, it is Peter who conducts the ceremony. There is love between Vera and her sister-in-law, Wandia. The two women encourage each other and seek advice from one another. Wandia and her mother-in-law also show love for each other and before Wandia embarks on her further studies, she consults Elizabeth, who supports her. Wandia’s family and Aoro’s family celebrate together during Wandia’s graduation and they get on well with each other.

Discussion points

  • How can you describe the relationship between Mark and his daughter Mary?
  • Does Becky show love for her children?
  • Does Aoro love his son, Daniel?
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