Resian’s Determination in Blossoms of the Savannah

Question: Regardless of the challenges a person faces in life, one’s determination can make them achieve their dreams. Drawing illustrations from the Blossoms of the Savannah, By Ole Kulet write an essay in support of this statement.

It is easy for people to lose focus of their goals and give up when they come across obstacles while pursuing their dreams. However, determination helps keep one’s eyes on the ball even in the face of daunting challenges.  In Blossoms of the Savannah, Ole Kulet uses Resian and Minik to illustrate how determination helps these women overcome insurmountable odds to achieve their dreams.

Resian overcomes her father’s resentment to eventually join her dream school, Egerton University. From her birth, her father detests her because he expected a boy for a second child. Ole Kaelo does not hide the hate for Resian as he reprimands her at the slightest of mistakes. When eventually Oloisudori makes clear his intention to marry Resian, Kaelo readily trades her for wealth betraying his selfishness. When Resian approaches her father at the shop after running away from Oloisudori, Ole Kaelo slaps her and maintains that she has to marry Oloisudori. Resian shows her determination by vowing to go to Egerton without her father’s help, and severing her relation with Ole Kaelo for betraying her. Her determination eventually pays off when she joins Egerton with help from Minik

Minik overcomes the hatred and detest from her community to save over 500 girls from the retrogressive aspects of Maa culture. She was hated among the community for her fight on FGM and early marriages. Soin Supeiyo recounts how he insulted her and threw her outside the compound for trying to advise him not to circumcise his daughters and marry them off. She had also been nicknamed “The Wasp” for her traits. She was insulted by Edward also. Despite having been circumcised she still went ahead to go to Makerere and learn. She goes through a lot of challenges but these only serve to keep her spirits up to fight the retrogressive aspects of Maa culture. She runs a thriving government ranch where she has also set up a rehabilitation center for girls she has saved from the retrogressive cultures. 

Resian escapes from two forced marriages to achieve her dream of joining Egerton University. Ole Kaelo had made business plans with the corrupt Oloisudori to fund his shop and his house in Nasila in return for monetary gains. When Oloisudori comes to collect he sets his eyes on Resian and tells Kaelo that he wants her for marriage. However, Resian firmly rejects Oloisudori’s advances and tells him off.  She repeats the same message to her father before running away from home. Olarinkoi tricks her and takes her to Inkiito with plans to fulfill his mother’s prophecy of marrying one of the Kaelo daughters. Resian’s determination is also evident when she fights off Olarinkoi’s attempt to rape her and bites his thumb in self defense. Resian is saved from this ordeal by Nabaru who rescues her from Olarinkoi’s home and gets her to Minik’s ranch. It is here that she eventually finds a place at Egerton University. 

Resian’s determination helps her avoid female genital mutilation. It enables her to remain  uncircumcised (Intoiye Nemengalana) despite the pressure and stigma from her society. Ever since their arrival to Nasila, their parents had faced pressure to have their daughters circumcised. FGM is glorified among the Maa people as many women have undergone the cut including Mama Milanoi and Ole Supeyo’s daughters. When Resian runs away from home, Olarinkoi offers to assist but it was a plan to kidnap her and marry her against her will. Olarinkoi and his mother wanted to forcefully circumcise Resian. It is clear from her dreams that she wants to fight against this even if it costs her life. Eventually she talks to Nabaru who later saves her from Olarinkoi and his mother. She takes her safely to Ntare Naaju where Minik offers her refuge. Resian’s optimism keeps her going long enough to overcome these challenges at Olarinkoi’s home.

 As this essay has illustrated, determination is critical in the pursuit of one’s goals. With determination, Resian achieves her ultimate goal to study at Egerton despite the attempts to forcefully circumcise her and marry her off.

An essay by Chris Hani Misama Ogweno (

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