Read the following poem and then answer the questions that follow.

       In the city

      All moving the Lord knows where,

Dressed in suits and tatters,

Bowties, tights, ochred sheets and earrings,

All thinking of things to come,

Africa is in a state of opportunity,

All look for easy chances.


Of self-upliftment or undeserved promotion

That often mirage further and further

Making frustrate

Minds that should be content


It is a time of opportunity-


When one line makes a poet

And a little acquaintance or chance

Rockets one to the highest office


But the peasant, the pillar of the nation,

Has only to cope with prices that shift

Like the waves that rock the ship

carrying yellow maize to the city.


The employed call out strikes

That only deplete the little funds

That may relieve the peasant-


The elder brother keeps the younger in hunger

At home, if there’s any,

The child plays with an empty bottle,

Cries for more milk

When the cost is daily on the rise


While the incomes remain static

And the higher brackets are daily filled

By youths that will not retire

Within this century.

The child laughs gaily,

Displaying its only four teeth

That show it grows to eat,

Unaware of all that shapes her decade

Adapted from a poem by Joseph G. Mutiga

  1. a)   Who is the persona in the poem ?                                                                                                       (2 marks)
  2. b) Briefly describe what the poem is about.                                                                                           (3 marks)
  3. c) Explain the significance of the first line in the poem.                                                                        (2 marks)
  4. d) Identify the aspect of style used in stanza six and show its effectiveness.                                       (3 marks)
  5. e) Describe the kind of society presented in this poem.                                                                         (2 marks)
  6. f) What is the tone of the poem ? Support your answer.                                                                              (3 marks)
  7. g) Identify and discuss the use of sarcasm in the second-last stanza.                                                    (3 marks)
  8. h) Explain the meaning of the following lines in the poem.                                                                   (2 marks)
  9. i) Africa is in a state of opportunity
  10. ii) The pillar of the nation
HOD Academics Changed status to publish November 22, 2021