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Characters and Characterisation

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Parsimei Ole Kaelo

He is the husband to Mama Milanoi and father to Taiyo and Resian. He is a retrenched commercial manager of Agribix Limited Company situated in Nakuru.


As the bread winner of the family and a senior officer at the work place Kaelo develops a strict character. As the novel begins, he is reprimanding the loaders of a lorry (p.1). He denies Taiyo permission to travel to Mombasa with other young men and women to attend an extravaganza. He thinks Taiyo's exposure to music extravaganza would  make her a harlot (p.45).

Taiyo tells Resian they hurry to the lorry before father spoils their day with his sharp tongue (p. 5). He also denies Resian a chance to go to the university saying her education is enough yet his aim is to enjoy the money (p.207). He terms Resian as stupid and myopic for insisting on going to school. (p.207).

 His daughters fear to report the heinous incident when they are accosted by a callous young man (p.20). When he is away, the house is joyous and comfortable. (p.35). The moment Resian sees him, she becomes clumsy and breaks a glass (p.40).

During the homecoming ceremony, he sends a corrosive glance at Taiyo when Joseph approaches her. (p.48). When their father comes at the sitting room, Taiyo and Resian disappear to the kitchen (p.69)

Commanding/ short tempered

He commands the loaders violently (p.1).Taiyo knew the sting of her father's tongue. (p.1)When a lorry breaks down during relocation, he fuses, curses and mutters expletives (p.10).When Resian becomes clumsy and almost breaks the glass he winces, grimaces and struggles to control himself (p 40).

When mama Milanoi shows her dilemma about whether the girls should be circumcised or not, Kaelo commands, "You must immediately start counseling the girls"(p.61). After Supeyo fails to take him to Oloisudori, he gets very annoyed.

 He shouted in a thunderous booming voice (p.46). On learning that her girls were accosted he takes a sword and froths trembling (p.147).He furiously pursues the men who had accosted his daughters (p.159).


He detests Resian from the moment she is born. When she shows early signs of maturity he declares to himself "the earlier we disposed of her, the better" (p.10). This clearly shows his disregard to his own blood. Mama Milanoi attests that Kaelo had scolded and bullied her like half-witted child (p.29).

He wonders where in the world they fetched that awkward, overblown, stupid Resian. (p.40). When they make an accident with Resian at the door he curses, "Have you run amok?"(P.96). This is a disregard of the delicate emotional little girl. He brutally slaps Resian for not co-operating with Oloisudori (p.209) He gets dowry from Oloisudori without even informing his daughters (p.209).

This is great disregard to Resian for she is the one expected to be in the marriage yet he does not inform her that he has picked dowry.


Kaelo remembers how while young he worked himself to the bone preparing for his future (p.8). He believes the way to the stars is hard work (p.8). Hard work had seen him through the ranks from a clerk to the coveted position of a manager (p.9). He succeeds in whatever he puts his hands in (p.29).

He goes to Nakuru to work and returns to Nasila with wealth (p.38). While organizing for the homecoming event, he wakes up at cock crow. Mama Milanoi informs Yeiyo-Botorr that Kaelo is hard-working and that Taiyo resembles him (p.76).


A sexist person is that who discriminates on grounds of sex. Right from the time Resian is born, he detests her for she is not male. It is unfair for a child is always innocent. In this case she did not participate in her birth.

 He uses abusive language on Resian most of the time. He instructs Joseph to coach her girls on traditional dances. Resian argues that if they were males their father would not have got them a trainer. It had been his prayer to get at least three boys (p.9).


Taiyo is his pride. When she is born, Kaelo proofs his fatherhood (p.10). But when he gets the second girl, he is disappointed. He detests Resian since then (p.10). When he sees Joseph talking to her daughter, he refers her to Mama Milanoi's daughter (p .48) yet we know she belongs to both her father and mother but since he considers the gesture embarrassing he does not wish to be associated with her.

He talks to her daughter through their mother (p.69).this is because his gloated manly feeling cannot allow him to address a young girl. He stays for long time without relaying critical information like the intention by Oloisudori to marry one of his daughters (p.114). Since she is a woman and her decisions are not necessary, he first weighs the issue independently.


His mentor is Ole Supeyo (p.20) who is a serious businessman in cattle trading. He owns a pick up for business (p.22). Plans to open the shop at the onset of rains (p.24). He is about to sign a four-year's contract with the government through Oloisudori. (p.24). His mother-in-law is happy to get a son in law who is a businessman (p.28).


Even after being warned by Supeyo against the corrupt Oloisudori, Kaelo insists on dealing with him due to financial gains. He views the warning as envy on the part of Supeyo (p.26).

Because of greed, he becomes a sycophantic follower of Oloisudori. This makes him mention reckless statements like "There is nothing that he ought to be denied in this home" (p.98).

He chooses to deal with Oloisudori the criminal due to greed (p.109). He wishes to deal with the wealthy. (p.109). He does not care the means of getting wealthy (p.111). He takes dowry for his two daughters even when they want to join university (p.111).


He tells off his brother when elders send him to tell him to marry other wives and get more children and sons. He says polygamy is archaic. He has only one wife and two daughters even when men have many wives and many children.

He builds a modern stone house for his family with red tiles (p.27). His shop in Nasila is also furnished tastefully to attract high-class customers.


Though a parent to Resian and Taiyo he betrays them. He does not provide parental love as he ought to. He does not support university education for his daughters and he supports their early marriage. He also supports their FGM so that he can receive dowry and safeguard his businesses.


During the homecoming ceremony, he swears never again will he Live away from Nasila nor abandon its culture (p.40). The twin sub clans of Ilmolelian Itoorasha Kiheji and Lelema will always be like two chambers of his heart. (p.40). He calls Joseph to train Taiyo and Resian Maa dance and culture (p.121).


He had got detached from Nasila life for many years. He has to hold a homecoming ceremony. (p.37). It is now thirty years since he left Nasila for Nakuru. He seems to embrace more of the modern culture than the traditional one. This makes him embrace the likes of Oloisudori

Perfectionist/ Meticulous

He made sure that their furniture was loaded as fittingly as possible so that it does not break on the way (p.14).He organizes a homecoming party without fault (p. 37). He includes guests from all the five clans (p 37).


When elders send Simiren to tell him to be polygamous, he dismisses polygamy as archaic yet later he encourages FGM on her daughters (p.13), which is equally a negative traditional cultural practice.


Even when he is retrenched, he goes about the sudden news without physically showing he is beaten. He views the new change as an inevitability (p.7). When Resian runs and leaves Oloisudori at home on reaching the shop, Kaelo attempts not to show his great fury to the girl. When asked about university studies he answers stoically, "I decided I am not sending you there" (p.207).


He stubbornly denies his daughters a chance to study at the university. Taiyo comments 'You know the stubbornness of father' (p. 4).


When Oloisudori visits, Kaelo stands in order to please him. (p.177). He seems to be worshipping riches and wealth.


He is hurt because Simiren is more appreciated and considered as the cultural leader of the Kaelo's (p.9).


Ole  Supeyo trusts him. He would entrust him to count his money (p.4). Milanoi's parents find him a dependable protector (p.29).


He is well versed with the murky business of the underworld. (p.23). He is about to sign a four-year's contract with the government through the help of the corrupt Oloisudori (p.25).

Foresighted planner

Mama Milanoi expresses this fact on (p.29) in a flashback. He planned homecoming ceremony meticulously (p.37). He tells Joseph that he had planned his future life when he was young (p.70).


Mama Milanoi attests to the fact that Kaelo is responsible (p.28). She says since he married her he has always provided for the family.


Mama Milanoi confirms this trait (p.29). He calls her "Lanoo-ai-nayorr" an intimate expression (p.30). Taiyo is his favorite daughter (p.111).

The role of Kaelo is to anchor the themes of patriarchy, culture, FGM, greed among others. He is useful in development of other characters especially Taiyo, Resian, Mama Milanoi and Oloisudori. The writer uses him to create flashbacks and his retrenchment helps in developing the novel's plot.

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