NOVEL ANALYSIS LITERATURE
TITLE : A WREATH FOR
AUTHOR : S. N. NDUNGURU
SETTING : TANZANIA MAINLAND
YEAR : 1997
PUBLISHER : HEINEMANN
STRUCTURE OF THE NOVEL
The novel is divided into three phases which are
further divided into fourteen chapters.
The division of the book into three phases is intended to show the major
areas of the story.
The first phase is set in Tanzania covering
chapters one to five. The second phase
is set in Europe particularly Britain and Germany which covers chapters six to
The third phase is set again in Tanzania mainly at
Mkongo Village which located at Songea District in Ruvuma Region covering
chapters ten to fourteen.
This novel speaks about Cholera epidemic disease
which erupts at Mkongo Village and the attempt to find solution towards this
This disease erupts due to the lack of clean and
safe water within the village which located at Songea District in Ruvuma and
some people involve themselves in conflict due to ignorance and poor belief
that they bewitched each other while the real causer is cholera epidemic
This novel also speaks about poverty at Mkongo
Village. The novelist shows Father Moyo
who is the Parish Priest of Mkongo Catholic Mission Station trying to solve
problem of cholera epidemic disease by telling the villagers to find themselves
the empty kerosene tins and distribute to themselves. He insists by telling the villagers that they
have to use these empty kerosene tins for keeping safe boiled drinking water. He continues telling the villagers to wash
their hands with soaps before eating any kind of food. But the problem is that, many people who live
at Mkongo village are very poor hence they can’t afford even to buy soaps and
the empty kerosene tins. This situation
makes Father Moyo to enter into personal conflict on how he should do in order
to make his people safe.
Also the novelist speaks about conflicts which
occur in the society due to poor belief.
This evidenced as the novel opens with a special Sunday prayer when
Father Moyo is inside the church with other worshippers fully of grief thinking
about epidemic disease. Father Moyo is
counting not less than twenty of his parishioners died and buried in the recent
The cholera epidemic had left behind a number of
widows and orphans. This calamity has
brought tense and great conflict in the society. For instance, the conflict between Father
Moyo and the young man Adolfo Teodor.
This conflict emages when Father Moyo is in the church proceeding with
the miser then the young man Adolfo Teodor comes and complaining about his son
illness. He was accusing his grandmother
as a witch, so he followed her in a church where she was praying. Adolfo Teodor claims,
“She killed my sister las month and now
My little son is
sick. She wants to kill him too”
Father Moyo as a priest is trying to exculpate
Adolfo’s grandmother not to be beaten by her grandson Adolfo. This act annoys Adolfo and starts changing
wards with Father Moyo by saying,
“You can say what you
like. You are a Priest and it is your
duty to say such things. You have no
children, therefore you can not understand the anguish of having a sick child
of your own. You can not feel the pangs
of grief for losing a child”.
The child was not be witched but suffering from
diarrhoea and vomiting, but the people always believe in superstitions.
FATHER MOYO’S JOURNEY TO EUROPE
As Father Moyo tried to find permanent solution to
the villagers against cholera epidemic disease.
He decides to go to find Bishop Makita and tell him about his mission to
Europe looking for assistance from their benefactors. As the author narrates the conversation which
is going on between Father Moyo and Bishop Makita
“I want your
advice. I have been thinking of
travelling. To Europe to see my benefactors.
I have a lot of standing invitations from them, you know”
At first, Bishop Makita is very difficult to agree
with Father Moyo’s journey, but after a long time he is conviced. Bishop Makita agreed to allow Father Moyo to
go in Europe.
“Alright, Father Denis
Moyo. I shall pay your fare, and you can
make your travel arrangements as you like” Said Bishop Makita as he closed the door.
Therefore, after few weeks Father Denis Moyo
started his journey from Dar es Salaam to Europe particularly Britain and
AT THE AIRPORT
While Father Moyo is at the airport he met a group
of pilgrims who are travelling to Mecca for pilgrimage. In the group there is somebody who is not new
to him. So he approached the man he
thought he knew and greeted him. We are
introduced to their conversation:
“I seem to have seen
you before” Said Father
Moyo, shaking hands with the man
“Where did you hail from Mzee?”
“I am from Songea”, answered the man.
“Of course. That’s why I thought I’d seen you
before. I am also from Songea. I am the Padre of Mkongo Church. Padre Denis Moyo”.
“Oh, I see. I haven’t been to Mkongo myself but I have a
brother who lives there”.
“Really? Who is that?”
“Bwanapima. You must have heard of him. He is a famous medicine man in Mkongo”.
“Of course I know
Bwanapima. And you say he is your
Bwanali immediately broke off his conversation
with Father Moyo and rejoined his fellow pilgrims.
Father Moyo also stood up and collect his
handbag. Father Moyo got on board to
Europe. His mission is successfully
done, first in Birmingham and then in Munich.
IN THE PLANE TO EUROPE
Father Moyo got a friend who introduced himself as
James O’Brien. This was British young
man who deals with drugs and hashish.
This young man came from calabrini gang which deals with drugs all over
the world including China, Malaya, India, Mexico and Tanzania where they grew
Opium, Marijuana and other drugs.
The calabrini’s organization has huge network in
transportation of drugs. Example: On the
sea, roads and air.
James O’Brien succeeded to export his hashish by
hiding a hashish packets in the (Green Label written Tanzania Tea) into Father
Moyo’s bag. Father Moyo did not notice
about the drug with him until his bag is caught at Charles de Gaulle Airport.
After short investigation with police father has
seen innocent and released.
Father Moyo was captured by drug dealers from
Calabrini gang. They have beaten him
severely to an extent that he lost consciousness. Father Moyo found himself in gang’s
house. He met Doctor Bennet a scientist
and a medical doctor in Calabrini’s organization. Doctor Bennet had joined the Calabrini’s
organization ten years past. He is
infact the brain behind the organization.
He helped Father Moyo to escape from the gang’s hands. Doctor Bennet says to Father Moyo.
“As for your safe
conduct out of here I shall make the necessary preparations and by midnight
tonight you should be free”.
Before Father Moyo had left he met Doctor Bennet,
his savior at Basle Switzerland. In
their entire allegation Father Moyo is trying to convince Doctor Bennet by any
means to go to Africa, particularly in Tanzania. At the end Doctor Bennet agreed and promise
to work in one of the mission’s hospitals or dispensaries at Mkongo. As it is shown in their conversation.
“How about coming to Africa with me?”
“Sounds like a good
idea. Would be welcome?”
“Why, of course! If you could give the suggestion serious
thought. I would do everything to
help” “I like the idea of working in Africa. But I would have to plan the move carefully
so that when I get there I would be able to work in a hospital or dispensary of
In Germany, at the Benedictine Monastery of St.
Ottilien where most of the White Missionaries in Songea diocese had come from
and place where Father Vitus Mayer is buried.
One morning as Father Moyo was passing through a small village on his
way to a neighbouring town, Father Moyo noticed some lovely flowers displayed
outside the window. He was informed
that, that was a small time’s Florist shop.
He stopped at the shop and asked the Florist to prepare a wreath of
cornations and roses for him. This is to
be a wreath for Father Vitus Mayer. This
is symbol of honour and respect to Father Vitus Mayer.
BACK TO MKONGO VILLAGE (SONGEA)
Due to cholera epidemic disease hence raises theft
On 9th September, Papandreau’s gang
invaded brother Nyoka and took a carton of medicine (Tetracycline). The notable event in this course is the
murder of Father Moyo’s house servant who called Kalistus.
The man was murdered on the way trying to save the
stolen medicine. He is killed by one of
the Papandreau’s gang (Mohamed Saidi).
We get this evidence of killing from the confession of Christopher Miteo
“I now come to the
most important part of my statement, or rather, my confession”.
“We were filing out of
the unused door when Kalistus spotted us.
He began to give chase shouting” “Thieves! Thieves!”.
“Our mission was to
steal, not to kill. Unfortunately one of
us, Mohamed Saidi, became nervous when Kalistus continued shouting and
following us deep into the jungle…..
Saidi waylaid Kalistus behind a bush.
All we heard later were the frantic screams of dying man! We went back to see what’d happened. Only to see the work that Saidi had done”
The gang include Papandreaus himself as the gang
boss, Athuman Abdallah Allias, Msumari, Barnabas Kapinga known as Mandondo and
This gang involved in different thefts in
Songea. They could pick people’s pockets
at the market and at the bus station, blocking people’s homes, offices, rob
people during night time and take away vehicles and sometimes they could rob
Also we are told about irresponsibilities of
police inspector known as Mpangala. We are told that when police given
information which probably needed a quick measure they could not come on time.
Father Moyo claims about the Police.
“I see all the same,
it wont be until after two days that we can expect the Police to arrive. I know
In the process of exploring information about
murderers, one villager called Musa who is said to have detected the death of
Kalistus was taken by the Police at a hidden place. Musa was tortured and
highly humiliated by the police who forced him to mention names of the
Musa saw them from a far what they were doing but
he could not notice them because the murderers were strangers and had masked
their faces. The investigation was therefore in vain because no arrest was
FATHER MOYO ARRIVED AT SONGEA FROM EUROPE
People are happy to see him back. He called
Brother Nyoka and asked him if he knew the person called Miteo. This is the
name proclaimed by Father Moyo’s dream.
At 08:00 hours on the appointed day the little
courtroom of Songea in which the Chengu (traditional court of Ungoni) is to be
held is filled to capacity. The case indeed was strange one since it was not
known who was going to be the defendant.
As the case goes on, inspector Mpangala insists
that Musa is the one among the killers so he should speak the truth about the
Murderers. Seeing that what the police inspector did was non – sense, the angry
mob begins to advance towards inspector Mpangala and his assistant.
Proceeding with this theft case, father Aloisius
Kafupi, Father Denis Moyo and Brother Nyoka hold a conference in the sitting room.
Kafupi suggests that the case should be explained to Mr. Patrick Milinga, the
Regional Police Commander (R.P.C).
This is because Mr. Milinga is responsible,
intelligent and an honest man compared to inspector Mpangala who is
Now the case is presented to Mr. Milinga and
Father Moyo told the Police Commander everything that is needed in this case
including the suspects of the case. Father Moyo says,
“So we thought of
inviting you here, in order to tell you information what we know and what we
suspect about the theft and murder case of Mkongo”.
After listening for the explanations given by
Father Moyo, Mr. Milinga promised to take measure on this case without any delay.
Mr. Milinga says,
“Now if there is
anything that you know or suspect, please let me know; For from now on I mean
to take charge of this case myself.
It took almost two hours in that night when the
all suspects are arrested.
Father Cyprian meets Paul aged twelve, the last
born, a son of Bwanapima the medicine man who has five wives. Paul’s mother is
Rozina the youngest and most loved wife of Bwanapima. Rozina is the daughter of
the late Julius Ndiwu Miteo and the sister of suspect Christopher Miteo.
Paul tells the whole situation at home and why
sometimes his mother does not cook for him when he returns from school. Paul
“She helps father with
his medicine. Father brings a lot of herbs, roots and tree barks from the bush,
and mother either pounds them in the wooden mortar, or boils them, or sometimes
spreads the powders on a large mat. These days she sometimes peels some
European medicines which look like beans”.
This information from Paul helped the
investigation about this case.
AFTER ARRESTING ALL THE SUSPECTS
Mr. Milinga phoned Father Kafupi to tell him about
the matter concerned.
“We have netted them”
“Netted them all; Miteo,
Constantine, Bwanapima and
his wife Rozina and Yombayomba too.”
“You went as far as Mkongo?”
“Of course. We started off at 22:00 hours, and by
we had all of them arrested. They are all here
“How did you find Bwanapima’s house?”
Well, we got village Chairman first, and he took
us to Bwanapima’s place.
We searched the maize barn and found a cellophane
bag full of
tetracycline capsules. We then did a little arm
twisting and the man’s wife,
Rozina screamed like a
child. We wanted her to show us where she had buried the shells of the
tetracycline capsules. She eventually showed us where she had buried the shells
of the tetracycline capsules. We told her to dig out the stuff, which she did,
of course. It is fortunately these things including government typewriters,
motor spare parts, and letters which may shed light on a number of hitherto to
unresolved cases”. Later in the morning we will start taking their statement. I
will keep you informed, so long for now”.
Every suspect was interrogated by two Policemen,
but the most interesting and most important of all statements is that made by
Christopher Miteo who declared being involved in the stealing at priest’s
house. He mentioned names of all who participated; Athumani Abdallah, Alias
Msumari, Barnabas Kipingu and Mohamed Saidi who killed Kalistus.
Christopher Miteo proceeds with his long
Kalistus behind a bush. All we heard
later were the frantic screams of a dying man!
We went back to see what‘d happened, only to see the work that Saidi had
done. Saidi threw the sword on the ground and looked at me. Then he started
running away through the thick jungle. I have never set my eyes on him again
since then. My guess is that he has either hanged himself. I picked up Saidi’s
blood smeared sword, and three of us began to run away.
Now we see the judgment. Justice Mandwanga of
Tanzania high court tried the case. The prosecution was made by Mr. Milinga,
the (R.P.C) for Ruvuma Region.
Fifteen years jail for Constantine Kaguru, fifteen
years jail for Omari Mtepa or Bwanapima for aiding thieves. Yombayomba got six
months for giving false information to the Police. Christopher Miteo, Athumani
Abdallah, Msumari and Barnabas Kipingu, Mandondo were each sentenced to fifteen
years like their boss Constantine.
Having been sentenced, the accused are allowed to
appeal within fourteen days. Only Constantine Kaguru and Omari Bwanapima
appealed. Unfortunately, they were enhanced the sentence of twenty years each.
Going around of the end pages, we are introduced
the sugar crisis in Songea. This is revealed by Bwanali who sells sugar in
black market and uses behind door to import them from Arabian countries which
use to go as one of Pilgrimage Muslem. This is hypocrite muslem.
At the end we are exposed to the arrival of Dr.
Bennet at Songea Airport at 11:00 hours. He was welcomed with joy at the
Bishop’s house. A simple discussion was made about where Dr. Bennet shall be
posted. Dr. Bennet selected to work at Mkongo to Peramiho.
CHARACTERS AND CHARACTERIZATION
1. Sister Gaudiosa
2. Father Mayer
5. Papandreu’s Gang
9. James O’brien and Calabrian
11. Father Denis Moyo
12. Adolfo Teodor
In this novel, the novelist shows Mkongo village
is left with a number of orphans and widows due to cholera epidemic disease.
Father Moyo could count not less than twenty of his parishioners he had buried
in the recent past. Father Moyo gives solution to his people by telling them to
boil drinking water because the water that used are fetched from contaminated
AND HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION
In this novel, the novelist shows that during the
investigation police do not regard humanity. The writer shows constable Hilary
Muhagama pull Musa’s hair and Mr. Chowo also twists Musa’s hand at the back
despite the truth and cooperation he is giving to them. Also the writer shows
that policemen treating Musa by pointing a gun at him threatening to kill him.
In this novel the writer shows that the police
could not respond to calls when something occurred until after some days had
elapsed with an excuse that they had no transport. However some police like
inspector Mpangala had made so many things to the people to an extent that
people could no longer trust him.
In this novel the writer shows that people who
live at Mkonga village are very poor. This reveals when Father Moyo told them
to buy empty Kerosene tins and to buy soaps for washing their hands before
eating anything for prevention contamination of Cholera epidemic disease. But
the villagers fail even to buy soaps and empty Kerosene tins. This is poverty
at Mkongo village.
5. THEFT AND
In this novel the writer shows that Papandreau’s
gang involves in theft and gang to an extent that one of his member known as
Mohamed Saidi murdered Kalistus who is Father Moyo’s house servant. This gang
involved in different theft in Songea and in the other towns beyond Songea.
They could pick people’s pockets at the market and at the bus station, rob
people during night time and take away vehicles.
In this novel the writer shows that James O’brien
and Calabrin deal with drug all over the world.
Jame’s O’brien is sent in East Africa, particularly Tanzania mainly for
collecting hashish. He concealed two hashish packets into Father Moyo’s bag
when travelling from Dar es Salaam Airport to Europe.
This conflict appears when Father Moyo is thinking
much on how to help the villagers from the calamity. Later on, he discovers
ways of solving this problem. He decided to find the empty Kerosene tins and
distribute to the villagers, then he would advise them to boil the drinking
water and use soaps. But the problem is how could they do so while they didn’t
have even the soaps? This was question which disturbing Father Moyo.
between Adolfo Teodor and Father Moyo
This conflict images when Adolfo Teodor went to
the church and make quarrel with her grandmother accusing her to bewitch his
son who was sick at the moment. On seeing that Father Moyo is trying to save
the old woman from being hurt by the young man Adolfo Toeodor. By so doing,
Father Moyo engaged himself in the conflict with this young man.
between Inspector Mpangala and the angry Mob
This conflict emages when Inspector Mpangala
insists that the priest of Mkongo also is responsible for the murder of
Kalistus but all the presented claims are neglected before the Chengu. Seeing
that what the police inspector did was non – sense, the angry mob begins to
advance towards Inspector Mpangala and
between the government and Papandreau’s gang
This conflict emages when Papandreau’s gang involves in theft of
stealing tetracycline carton and the murder of Kalistus who is Father Moyo’s
house servant. All suspects are arrested and sentenced fifteen years jail each
but after appealing Bwanapima and Constantine Kaguru were enhanced twenty years
AND ROLE OF WOMEN.
“The position of women” is the
social status of women within the society in accordance with traditional
attitude dictated by the culture of the society.
“The role of women” are the
cultural obligations and responsibilities of the female members of any society.
(a) Woman as
In this novel the writer shows sister Gaudiosa
feels sympathy with Kalistus death. This is seen when sister Gaudiosa sees the
wound in Kalsitus body which caused by Mohamed Saidi as a result led him to his
(b) Woman as
In this novel the writer shows Sister Gaudiosa
handles the remained carton of tetracycline to Father Moyo because she thinks
that capsules can be used on wisely or extravagantly.
(c) Woman as
weak person and coward
In this novel the writer shows Rozina Bwanapima’s
youngest and loved wife, screaming like a child and shows the investigators the
place where the shells of tetracycline had buried after these men twisting her
(d) Woman a
tool of enjoyment
In this novel the writer shows that Bwanapima has
five wives who use them as tool of enjoyment for his sexual desire. Apart from
all wives but Rozina is the most his lovely wife who entertains him a lot.
and gang hindering development in a certain community, therefore government
should provide severely punishment to offenders.
should alleviate poverty from Regional level because it becomes a source of
eruption of epidemic disease like Cholera.
3. The police
officers should respect human rights and rule of law in our country because
torturing people who are still suspects is against the law.
dealers existing in our country but the government is quiet on them due to
nepotism and weakness of some leaders.
The title used in this novel impresses the readers
to know what is inside the book the novelist has succeeded to show why he has
named the book “A wreath for Father Mayer”. The title extracted after Father
Moyo visited European countries. One morning when he is passing through a small
village on his way to neighbouring village in Germany at the Benedictine
Monastery of St. Ottilien, where most of the white missionaries in Songea
Diocese had come from and the place where Father Vitus Mayer is buried. Father
Moyo noticed some lovely flowers and is asking the florist to prepare a wreath
of cornations and roses from him. This is to be A wreath for Father Mayer, the
title of the book. He replaced them on grave of Father Mayer as a symbol of
respect and honour for him.
This novel is set in Tanzania and other some parts
in Europe. The main and important provinces in Tanzania include Mkongo a small
village in Songea District and Ruvuma Region Sub – Catholic Mission Station,
Peramiho; The main Catholic Mission Station where Bishop Makita works and Dar
es Salaam International Airport. In Europe there are two important provinces,
Birmingham the funny city in London and German the Benedictine Monastery of St.
Ottilien, the place where Father Mayer the founder of the church at Mkongo was
The novel has flashback narration as the events
expressed do not narrated chronologically. First we are introduced about
cholera epidemic disease at Mkongo village then Fatehr Moyo is in Dar es Salaam
Airport and then in Britain and then in the plane where James O’bried hidden
hashish in father’s bag. After that we are introduced the conversation between
Father Moyo and Bishop Makita which occurred before father Moyo’s journey to