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BLOSSOMS OF THE SAVANNA:
Themes

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DETERMINATION/OPTIMISM

Not giving up in whatever one decides to do is very instrumental in achieving success. Resian's determination to go to university from the beginning of the novel to the time her dream is achieved is remarkable. This determination is seen from the time they are in Nakuru to when they relocate to Nasila. As her father and family is busy packing so that they can go to their rural home in Nasila, she tells her sister "I don't want to work at the shop...I want to come back to Nakuru and join Egerton University. I want to take a course in Veterinary Science and become a veterinary doctor" (p.4).

She keeps urging her sister to talk to their father so that they can be enrolled at the university. To escape FGM, she tells her sister: "That's why it's imperative that you persuade Papaai to allow us go back to Nakuru and enroll at the university" (p.33). She is worried that her father had spent all the money in decorating the shop and left with nothing for their university education (p.65). Sometimes, she would imagine herself admitted at the university "...and walking majestically with other students into one of those awesome lecture theatres, while donning her academic regalia" (p.89). After their near-rape by two young men, Resian tells Taiyo to use that incident to compel their father to take them to university (p.144).

She dreams of graduating and getting a chance to work with Minik ene Nkoitoi, her lifelong role model. (p.153). She is determined to face Oloisudori and resist his advances on her. We are told that "She had vowed to face the monster gallantly...She was in the battle front and success or failure was in her hands" (p.200). Her optimism to join university does not reduce even at her lowest moment when she realizes her father's intention to marry her by force to Oloisudori. She says, "If I don't die and live to be eighty, I will still go to the university. I'll go to Egerton University, Papaai...I hope you will be there to witness my graduation" (p.210).Even in her dream while held captive by Olarinkoi at his hut, she has a dream that showcases her gallant and determined nature. "She was determined that the old enkamuratani would never circumcise another girl again" (p.244). In the dream she fought both the enkamuratani and enkoiboni with a mallet.

Resian's determination to get university educated and resistance against FGM start bearing fruits when she and Nabaru reach Ntare-Naaju sheep ranch. "She remembers the Maa adage that said: home was never far for one who was still alive" (pp.256-257). Her dreams of joining Egerton University are fulfilled when Minik promises that she would ensure that she and Taiyo get enrolled at the university as they wanted. This is fulfilled when she brings them letters of admission to the university towards the end of the novel. The song that the girls from Intapuka-e-Maa sing is full of determination. The girls are proud of being uncircumcised and have hopes of being doctors, teachers and engineers and contribute in building the nation with men (p.281). Taiyo is determined to be married by Joseph. She says she won't be dissuaded by Nasila culture that prevents inter-clan marriage saying, "...I cannot accept its verdict...I am too, ready to face any eventuality that may arise out of our love for one another" (p.134).

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