TOP ACHIEVERS’ LITERATURE GUIDE

A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE AND NOTES TO
 FRANCIS IMBUGA’S
BETRAYAL IN THE CITY

BY
DAVID MUKUNA ASWANI

Complete with practical learners’ tasks and revision questions.

 

 

Copyright © 2014

All rights reserved by David Mukuna Aswani
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical including photocopying, recording, taping or by any information retrieval system, without permission in writing of the publisher.

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ISBN:  978-1-49950-652-5

First published 2014

 

Acknowledgement


This guide book brings to reality a long held dream of being a whole Kenyan-nation class teacher. The seed of writing was planted into me by my late father, Shem Aswani, who also doubled as my early life teacher.
Secondly, I wish to acknowledge the love of my mother, Grace, which has always been the sole force behind every positive step I have made in my life. Thank you very much mother.
Special acknowledgement goes to every child who has goes through my hands at St. Monica Chakol Girls’ High School in Busia County, on whose face I have daily read the genuine longing to drink from the wells of knowledge.

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Foreword …………………………………...........Pg 1
About the author: Who is Francis   Imbuga?.............Pg 3
A synopsis of the Play…………………………….Pg 5
ACT ONE
Scene One Summary ………................................  Pg 7
Scene Two Summary……………………………. Pg 11
Scene Three Summary……….. ………………….Pg 15
ACT TWO
Scene One Summary…………. ………………….Pg 19
Scene Two Summary…………. ………………….Pg 23
Scene Three Summary……………………………Pg 25
Scene Four Summary……………………………..pg 27
The Relevance of the Title-Why Betrayal

in the City? ..........................................................  Pg 30
Thematic concerns………..................................    Pg 32
Style and Language Use………………………..   Pg 54
Characterization…………………………………  Pg 76
Revision Questions……………………………… Pg 106

Memorable quotes from the Play……………….. Pg 108

Foreword

This guide book is the most comprehensive and best researched ever on the play. It is a complete house work, ideal for teachers of Literature and most appropriately for KCSE candidates preparing to sit for question 3 of English paper 3 (101/3).
Practical examples and specific illustrations, tasks, definition of terms and revision questions have been presented in the simplest of languages.
I took my time to thoroughly analyze the play and it is unlike many other guide books which flood the market with the sole aim of reaping from the genuine thirst for knowledge in the quickest way while adding very little to the bank of knowledge of learners and teachers. All users will find this guide invaluable.
The guide is not for duplication in examinations but rather aims to guide teachers and learners in an in depth understanding and appreciation of this master piece of creativity by Francis Imbuga.
It is important for the users to thoroughly read through the play and only use this guide as a supportive aid to their understanding of the play.
The analyses help the users to see themselves as ‘citizens of Kafira’ and therefore easily interact with the setting, characterization and the thematic concerns raised by Francis Imbuga.
The guide book is not a final authority but a contribution to the many other thought-provoking literary discourses, dialogues and conversations on perhaps Imbuga’s best work of writing.
I call upon the users to engage positively with my thoughts and analyses.
Thank you

Mukuna David Aswani.
Author

 

About the author: Who is Francis Imbuga?  
Born in 1947, Professor Francis Davis Imbuga is one of Kenya’s most prolific writers. He was a leading figure in theatre.
He was a playwright, a literary scholar, an actor and a play competition adjudicator.
His is mainly concerned with issues of cultural conflicts between modernity and tradition. He also depicts the disappointment that comes with the high hopes of independence in African countries.
He is fondly remembered for his sense of humour, wit and satirical writing.
His works include:

  • The Fourth Trial(1972)
  •  Kisses of Faho(1972)
  • The Married Bachelor (1973)
  • Betrayal in the City (1976)
  •  Games of Silence (1977)  
  • The Burning of Rugs.
  • The Successor (1979)
  • Man of Kafira (1984)
  •  Aminata.(1988)
  • Shrine of Tears (1993)
  • Miracle of Remera (2005)
  • The Return of Mgofu (2011)
Francis Imbuga died on November 18th 2012. Until his death, Professor Imbuga directly served Kenyatta University in various capacities including Chairman of the Literature Department between 1985 and 1988, Dean Faculty of Arts and Director of Quality  Assurance.

A synopsis of the Play
Betrayal in the City is a political play in which the writer examines the problems of independence and freedom in the post colonial states in Africa. It is set in an imaginary state of Kafira characterized by decay in morals, greed for power, material possessiveness and selfishness under the repressive dictatorship of Boss.
The play opens with Doga and Nina lamenting as they mourn their dead son, Adika, murdered brutally during a university students’ demonstration. The couple wishes to perform a traditional ritual for their dead son. On the night of the day of the ritual, there has been an attack on Adika’s grave in an apparent attempt to burn Adika’s remains by his killers.
The old couples’ effort to perform the ritual is hampered by express directions from the government brought by Mulili and Jere claiming that the ritual should not go on in the interest of peace; but Doga and Nina are adamant. There only remaining son Jusper, is imprisoned for murdering Chagaga, the man who shot dead his brother but is later released only after his parents are murdered.
Jere has a change of heart and allows the shaving ceremony to go on but is arrested for doing it. The play then moves to a prison cell where we meet Jere and another prisoner Mosese, a university don. Mosese was imprisoned for speaking out his mind at Adika’s funeral but had been arrested on false drug-related charges. The two are part of a group of prisoners who are to entertain a visiting head of state to Kafira.
Tumbo, a senior government officer in Kafira, and also the man in charge of the entertainment programme, picks on Jusper to script a play to entertain the visitor. Jusper takes the chance to seek a perfect revenge. He scripts a play entitled ‘Betrayal in the City.’ This play within a play brings out the desired change that everybody has been waiting for. The rehearsal for the play intended to entertain the visiting Head of state becomes a real confrontation arrived at effortlessly by Jusper, Mosese, and Jere; taking everyone by surprise.
At the end, Mulili, Boss’ most loyal and dreaded advisor and the public face of the brutality and repression of his regime has to be eliminated to bring real change to Kafira. There is change of guard as Boss loses power.

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