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Read the narrative below and then answer questions that follow.

There was a great famine in the land where Obunde and his wife, Oswera, lived with their nine children.  The only creatures who had some food were the ogres and before they would part with their food, they demanded a lot of things.

One day, Oswera went to one Ogre’s home and asked him for some food, for by then her children were almost dying of hunger.

‘I have no more food except sweet potatoes, the ogre told her.

‘I shall be happy to have the potatoes.  We have nothing, not a grain of food at my house and the children are starving.  Please let me have some and I shall repay you after the harvest.

‘No, if you want food you must exchange with something right now.  Will you give me one of your children in exchange for my potatoes?  Oswera hesitated, her children were dear to her, but then they would die without food.

‘Yes, I shall let you have one of them for his meal, if only you could let us have some potatoes,’ Oswera answered.  Then she took a big basket full of potatoes and told the ogre the exact time he could go to her home to collect one of her children for a meal.

Oswera thought hard and she decided she would not give a single one of her children to the ogre for a meal.  She therefore cut young banana stalks and cooked them nicely.

When the ogre came, she gave them to him and the beast greedily went away satisfied.  Soon the potatoes were finished and she had to go to the ogre again.

Oswera and Obunde, her husband kept on cooking banana stalks for the ogre each time he came for one of their children, until one day, she had no more banana stalks to cook for the animal.

“You have now eaten all my children, yet we still need the potatoes.  What shall we give your now?” Oswera asked in despair.

‘Then I shall come for you and your husband,’ the ogre replied angrily as he helped Oswera to load her basket of potatoes on her head.

‘Yes come tomorrow at the usual time in the afternoon and get me.  I shall have cooked myself for you,” Oswera said calmly.

The following day the ogre went promptly as Oswera had told him and he found the home almost deserted.  He looked everywhere but a part from Obunde there was no trace of anybody. Then he looked at the usual place and found a huge bowl of a big meal Oswera had cooked for him.  The ogre did not realize they had prepared a dog instead of Oswera.  When he had eaten the ogre told Obunde he would come for him the following day.  Obunde got very worried and that night he could not sleep.  The following day he started crying:

“Ah Oswera my wife, how did you cook yourself and how shall I cook myself for the ogre?” He sat down in the dust of his compound and wept.  Oswera became very annoyed with her husband.

You, you stupid, foolish man! Why sit and cry there all day long? How do you think I cooked myself? Take one of the dogs and quickly prepare it for the ogre!’

Very quickly Obunde got up, caught, killed and prepared a dog for the ogre.  Then he joined his wife and children in a huge hollow part of a tree in his compound where they had hidden. That day the ogre knew he was going to have his last meal of juicy human flesh.  Being a generous and unselfish ogre, he brought many of his fellow ogres.  They were going to have a feat.

Suddenly as they were eating, they heard a man singing very happily.  No they could not believe it! It was Obunde singing! And he was boasting of how he had cheated the ogre.

                               The greedy ogre ate banana stalks

                              Not my family;                            The greedy ogre ate a dog                     Not Obunde Magoro!

                               The greedy ogre ate banana stalks

                              Not my family;                            Now come and get Obunde,                                His children and wife.

Obunde sang the words and the ogres got very angry. The first ogre rushed into the hollow of the tree, but Oswera had heated a long piece of iron until it was white.  She pushed the iron into the ogre’s mouth.  The beast fell down dead.  The next one rushed into the hollow and Oswera killed him in the same way.  In this way she killed all the ogres and saved her husband and all their children.

                                                                   My story ends there.


(a) Classify the above narrative.                                                        (2marks)
(b) Whom do you consider to be the champion in this story?  Why? (2marks)
(c) Where do you think the pace setting of the story? Give a reason. (2marks)
(d) Compare Obunde and the ogre as they are presented in this story. (2marks)
(e) Illustrate two features of the story that makes it an oral narrative. (4marks)
Explain the moral lesson of this story.                                    If you were to collect the above from the informant,  (2marks)
i. What methods of data collection would you use?                          (3marks)
ii. What challenges are you likely to face?                                        (3marks)



                An Old Woman and her Deformed Son

There was an old woman whose children died in infancy and only a deformed boy survived to grow into adulthood. The boy was a hunchback.

Although the old woman loved this hunchback son of hers, she was secretly ashamed of his physical appearance. She was so ashamed that each day she was on the look – out for visitors who might come around just to make fun of him. To keep him away from the public eye, she used to confine him in a drum most of the time. So, right from his childhood the boy grew up in a drum. He was taken out only a few times during the day when the old woman was sure that there were likely to be no intruders around. When the boy attained circumcision age, he was duly circumcised. After circumcision he said to the old woman, “Mother, I now want a wife, can you please find me a girl to marry!” “Yes, my son”, said the old woman. “I will try. I am indeed very pleased to learn that you are already thinking of a wife.”

By and by, the old woman went to look for a suitable girl to marry her son. She approached a pretty girl and asked her whether she would be interested in marrying her son and the girl, promised to think about it. Without disclosing her son’s physical defects to the girl, the old woman set about wooing her intensively. She brought all sorts of gifts to her mother, helped the girl to collect firewood and even helped her with the work in the shamba. Reluctantly the girl gave in and there upon requested the old woman to make the necessary arrangements so that she would meet the future husband. The old woman cunningly suggested that the girl should accompany her to her house where she would be able to meet the boy.

The old woman lived a long way from the girl’s village. On the day when the girl decided to visit her prospective bridegroom, she walked and walked until sunset. It was a very long journey indeed. When she eventually arrived, the old woman pretended that the young man was around and would appear shortly. The girl waited and waited but the boy did not appear at all. At bed time the girl was told that the boy was already in bed sleeping. She was shown a separate place to sleep, and thus no opportunity to either see or talk to the boy as would have been expected of people who were planning to live together. Very early in the morning the girl asked the old man, “ Please, where is the boy you want me to marry?” and the woman replied, “ My son woke up early in the morning and went to work in a different village yonder so that he can earn something for your bride price”

Although the girl was visibly disappointed, she tried to conceal her sentiments and appear to be at home with everything around the house. The old woman and the girl went to cultivate in a banana grove. While they were away the boy jumped out of the drum and busied himself about the house with the little chores singing:

Khanenuya munju, mwange, Khanenuye munju mwange

                         Mkhasi nakikhali misilu, maji kakuombelesay musecha kacha                          Khuema, abele khuchuma nacha sina?

                                   Menyile, mukhang’oma, kurumba kuli khumukongo

(Let me busy myself in my house. Aren’t women foolish? Mother fooled  her. “Your husband has gone to work.” How could I have gone to work? I just live in my little drum because I have a hunchback.)

The girl heard the boy’s singing but it was so faint that she would neither comprehend the meaning of the song nor even make out as to which direction the sound came from. However, out of curiosity she stopped from time to time and listened. This went on for several days until she started to guess the meaning of the words in the song. On getting the message home, she was quite disturbed. Her suspicion was strengthened by the fact that each morning they left for the shamba without sweeping or washing utensils but on their return they found everything tidy about the house. One day she deceived the old woman by telling her that she was going to attend to the call of nature while in fact her intention was to discover the house and stood listening keenly at the door. She got really upset with the boy’s derogatory song. She pondered with herself, “ So this is my husband to be? A hunch back confined to a drum?  No wonder the old woman deceived me the way she did. What girl in proper senses could marry a man like that? Anyway what can I do now?  I must put an end to this continued bluff…..”

One morning she said to the old woman, “Mother, today will you go to look for firewood while I go to the plantation alone?” The old woman said, “Yes, my daughter, we can share work that way.” She had grown so used to the cheerful and friendly manner of the girl, thinking that she would not mind staying on as her daughter – in law even after discovering that her son was deformed. Indeed she was already contemplating making the revelation to her.

And so each went her separate way. But as soon as the old woman vanished from sight the girl dashed back and stood at the door which had now become a familiar ground for spying on the hunchback. She listened briefly as the boy sang mischievously inside the house.

Then she stole a quick glance peeping through a side hole.

To her amazement, she saw that he was a real hunchback! Quite oblivious, the boy went on sweeping the floor and singing. The girl felt that she could no longer stand it. She broke into the house suddenly with the intention of beating up the mischievous fellow. But before she could get hold of him he dodged nimbly and slipped back into the drum. Nonetheless, the girl fuming with anger picked up the drum and smashed it on the floor. A pool of blood started oozing from the broken drum. The poor hunchback was dead.

Considering it appropriate revenge on the old woman the girl felt no remorse for the action she had taken. She rolled over the cold body of the hunchback as a lump of anger swelled up in her throat. When the old woman returned home and found the mess she had done in the  house she screamed at the top of her voice, “ Ooh , oh…. Uuuuwee…. Uuuuweeeeeee!” But it  was all in vain. The deformed boy whom she had been ashamed of showing to the public was dead and gone forever! Yes, instead of feeling relieved by the burden of shame she now felt great anguish for this loss. After killing the hunchback the girl also disappeared never to be seen again. The poor old woman remained there weeping and feeling quite forlorn.


        (a) Place this narrative in its correct genre ..                                                            (1mk)

 (b)How is the old woman to blame for the tragedy that befell her?                               (1mk)   (c) Identify two socio – economic activities in the community. Support your answer with the evidence from the story.                                                                               (4mks) (d) What is the role of the song in the narrative?                                                   (2mks)

         (e)With illustrations, describe the character of:                                                  (4mks)

  • The girl
    • The old woman 
  • Explain two features typical of oral narratives present in this story.        (4mks)
  • Identify and illustrate any two moral lessons we learn from this narrative   (4mks)  



Read the song below and then answer the questions that follow.

        Soloist       : Greetings to you comrade warriors.

Others: Greetings!

Soloist: Do you know or you do not know me?

        Others        : We do not know you?

        Soloist       :  I know you know me not

For I am he who is known as Ole Pare who wears a loose ring And who owns stout steers and a healthy herd.

That bears in the months of plenty.

That are over-weight by fat.

                Others         : Yes it is him indeed!

                Soloist        :  He that owns heifers with large stomachs.

For whom the meadow is insufficient but who gets stuffed at the valleys.

Where cow bells are removed1

 As they are grazed together with those of the king’s    Others: It is him!

                Soloist:  I have the blue one with the horn.

Whose beauty resists branding.

Who leads the large herd of Kilapa2

          Whose numbers pose difficulty when moving homes.                                   

                            From NaomKipury, Oral literature of the Maasai

                 Notes:         1. To prevent them from being discovered.

                                    2. Name of a cow. 

  • In which category would you place this song? Give a reason for your answer.(2marks)
  • Describe the character trait of Ole pare depicted from th4e piece.              (2marks)
  • Explain two political aspects of the people from who the song is sourced.          (4marks)
  • The soloist seems to be rich. Cite his possessions.                                     (2marks) (e) Discuss one theme evident in the song.                                                      (3marks)
  • If you have gone for fieldwork to collect the above oral narrative:

i. Highlight three of its aspects you would analyse.    (3marks) ii. Mention three methods you would use in its collection.   (3marks)

  • I know you know me not                                                                  (1mk)

End: …me


Read the narrative below and then answer the questions that follow.

Once upon a time, all animals in the jungle were of the same plain colour but when they were invited by king lion for his son’s wedding, they decided to decorate themselves for the occasion. The tortoise was given the task of making the dye to be used. Though he was slow, he was the most intelligent.

The big day was fast approaching but the tortoise had only managed to make one big pot of black dye. He called a meeting and they all decided to use the available dye to make various patterns in their skins.

The leopard was allocated the job of painting the rest of the animals. The zebra was the first on queue followed by the giraffe, then the donkey and all the other animals were to follow. The giraffe and the zebra were painted and they looked very beautiful.

Then the donkey’s turn came but he was undecided on the pattern to choose. The leopard decided to paint him like a zebra and got down to work. He had a long line along the donkey’s spine from head towards the tail. On reaching the tail, the donkey started giggling. The leopard continued and the donkey jumped and threw him his hind legs saying the brush was tickling and he could not contain himself any longer.

He had thrown his hind legs so hard that he hit the pot containing the dye. The dye spattered all over the animals on the queue. The cheetah got speckles all over his body, the leopard got spotted and the crow who happened to be passing by with an urgent letter for the king hanging on its neck was splashed by the dye which covered him the whole body apart from the neck where the letter was. On seeing this, the hyena started laughing but got a large splotch on his mouth.

All the animals rushed to the stream to try and wash out the dye but it was already dried and had become permanent. Nobody could get off the spots, streaks, speckles and splotches. And that is how the donkey was responsible for the various patterns we see on animal’s bodies today.


  1. Classify the narrative above.                                                                      (2mks)
  2. Indentify and illustrate any two social aspects of society from which this narrative is

        taken                                                                                                              (4 marks)

  • Indentify and illustrate any three features peculiar to oral narratives evident in this

        narrative.                                                                                                        (6mks)

  • Indentify and illustrate any two character traits of the Leopard.                 (4 mks)
  • Who would be the target audience of such a narrative                                         (2mks)
  • If you were to collect this  narrative from the field, what preparations would you make before the actual field work                                                                        (2mks)


Read the following narrative and answer the questions that follow. The origin of death. *

It is God who created man. And since God had pity, he said I do not want men to die altogether. I wish that men, having died, should rise again. And so he created men and placed them in another region. But he stayed at home.

And then God saw Chameleon and the Weaver-bird. After he had spent three days with Chameleon and Weaver-bird, he recognised that Weaver-bird was a great maker of words compounded of lies and truth. Words of lies exceeded the true ones.

Then they watched Chameleon and recognised that he had great intelligence. He did not lie. His words were true. So he spoke to Chameleon. “Chameleon, go into the region where I have placed the men I created, and tell them that when they have died, even if they are altogether dead, still they shall rise again – that each man shall rise again after he dies.”

Chameleon said, “Yes, I will go there,” But he went slowly, for it is his character to walk slowly.

Weaver-bird stayed behind with God.

Chameleon travelled on, and when he had arrived at his destination, he said, “I was told, I was told …” But he did not say what he had been told.

Weaver-bird said to God, “I wish to step out for a moment.” And God said to him “Go!”

But Weaver-bird, since he is a bird, flew swiftly and arrived at the place where Chameleon was speaking to the people and saying, “I was told, …” Everyone was gathered there to listen. When Weaver-bird arrived, he said “What was told to us? Truly, we were told that men, when they are dead, shall perish like the roots of the aloe”.

Then the Chameleon exclaimed, “But we were told…. we were told we were told, that when

men are dead, they shall rise again.”

And now all the people left and returned to their homes. This was the way it happened. And so men become old and die: they do not rise again.

 (When Hippo was Hairy and Other Tales from Africa, Lutterworth Press, 1990)


a) Explain why this narrative would be classified as a myth.      (2 marks)
b) What two differences are there between myths and legends? (4 marks)
c) escribe any one character trait of: i) Chameleon ii) Weaver bird. (4marks)
d) Explain one instance where suspense occurs in the story. (2marks)
  • Identify and illustrate any two features of oral narrative present in the above oral narrative.           (4 marks)
  • Chameleon said, “Yes, I will go there” (Change into indirect speech) (1 mark)
  • It is God who created man. (Change into passive                                 (1mark)
  • Identify and illustrate one social activity practised by the community from which the

        narrativeis drawn.                                                                               (2 marks)


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