In the story we meet Naiki, who is a twelve-year-old girl that lives in Kenya. She comes from a normal family with a mother, father, brother and sister. They all live in a house in a small village in Kenya. This is where the story takes place. The family is a part of a Maasai tribe. Naliki`s sister is the one that gets sold away, and her name is Nyalo. She goes to junior secondary school at a boarding school, so she has no idea of what arrangement that takes place at home. She is probably only twelve or thirteen years old, circumcised and her breasts were round enough. Because of these signs her father thought she was old enough to get married. The sad thing is that many girls that are deferred to arranged marriages really are this young, or maybe younger. Nyamalo wants to finish school, but if she marries Ole Siravo she will not be allowed to do so. Her parents don’t think school is necessary if she is ...view middle of the document...
The setting in the short story is based on old traditions and rituals in Kenya, especially in the Maasai tribe. Parent`s in this tribe raise their children like they self were raised, and that is not good because the society has changed. The children in the short story go to school and they have a life that is different from when their parents were young. When girls are deferred to arrange marriages in such early age, their current life changes dramatically. They can no longer do what they want, because they always have to obey their husbands.
When Naliki is ten years old she experiences that her sister Nymalo gets sold off to an older man. She does not want to, but her mother and father force her. Naliki is sad because her parents agree to sell their own daughter for money and gifts. Tumuka, their brother, feels sorry for Nymalo and he tries to talk his father into not doing it. His father turns mad and says that he owns his daughter and that only he can decide what is right and wrong. Tumuka tells him that the times have changed, and she must be allowed to choose her own path in life. Sadly this does not work on their father, and Nymalo still has to marry Ole. When she starts crying her father says, “you will go, my daughter. You are not your own daughter”. Two days later the ceremonial departure from her parent`s home takes place, and Nymalo was dressed like a real bride. Before Naliki left after keeping her sister company, Nymalo said that she wished their parents were dead.
Two years later when Naliki was twelve years old, another man comes to visit her parent`s at home. She suspects that something is wrong and sits under the eaves of the house to listen to the conversation the man has with her father. The man named Ole Timau and he said that he had come to ask for his only daughter. Her father wondered if he meant that Naliki should marry one of his sons, but the old Ole said that the wife eas for him. He already had several, but he could take one more. Naliki was terrified. She knew that she now had to get circumcised, and not finish school. This was not something that she wanted, but she knew that her father would force her. She decides that she will run.