Book Review: Peeling The Cobwebs

July 15, 2020 Off By Annah Kwamboka Achuka

Title: Peeling the Cobwebs
Author: Bonface Isaboke Nyamweya
Publisher: The Writers Pen
Pages: 196
Price: Ksh. 500
Year Published: 2020
Availability: P.O.D. (The Writers Pen 0736389062/0708151647), Jumia Kenya, and Amazon
Reviewer: Annah Kwamboka Achuka


Peeling the Cobwebs is the second work that has been done by Bonface Nyamweya (Mr. BIN) who has clearly distinguished himself as a playwright, poet and novelist. The story talks about the two main characters, Uturoho and Nyorita, who stand at the forefront to destroy the strong walls of tribalism that had taken root since the ancestral times of the Ricafan people.
Uturoho happens to come from a mixed family of a Bochobochoan father and a Buchubuchuan mother while Nyorita is a pure Bechebechean. The two find themselves in Bichibichi as they grow, and this is so because at some point the Bichibichians attack the Bechebecheans and kill all the people except Nyorita’s mother who hardly survives being pregnant of Nyorita. Uturoho’s mother remarries to Bichibichi after so much suffering in Bochobocho due to tribal discrimination. Her very son is killed by Bochobochoans as a sacrifice.
The story is set in the prominent Kisii land since the author has employed some Kisii dialect. It is also set in the present modern twenty first century when the world is calling for equality of races and love for all.
Uturoho and Nyorita put so much effort in eradicating the tribalism from Ricafa’s heart and unite them as a one nation. Each plays their role well. They study to the university level, whereby Uturoho joins the University of Nairobi to pursue a law degree whereas Nyorita joins the Egerton University to pursue Agricultural Engineering. It reaches a time the two want to marry each other but realize that according to the tradition of the Ricafan tribes, inter-tribal marriage is forbidden.
They then come up with an idea of poisoning the people at the millet harvesting ceremony, so that they stay free to marry. As Nyorita goes to purchase the wedding dress, Uturoho goes to fetch umbilical cords of chameleons to poison the two tribes. However, Nyorita is reported to have died since the boutique falls and many people die. After her burial, Uturoho goes to work as a campaigner of the Member of Parliament in Bichibichi. From their dialogue, it is evident that Bochobochoans have dominated the scene of politics just because the first president of Ricafa was a Bochobochoan.
On the way home, he meets a girl who claims to be Nyorita. He learns from her confession that she had not died as reported. Determined to get married, they poison the liquor that was meant for the feast of millet harvest. Their plan gets discovered, something that drives them before the chief and the clan elders. They are judged to serve a life sentence in the caves prison. The story ends in a suspense whereby Uturoho and Nyorita are brought forward, some members of the crowd lift stones to kill them whereas others step forward as if to shield them.
Apart from these two champions of harmony, there are more others who contribute to the plot; both to support them and others objecting them. Miriam (Mama Nyorita), and Getena, Uturoho’s mother, from the much witnessing of the dangers of tribalism, they greatly advice and support their children towards recovering the smiles, peace and unity in Ricafa.
I greatly affirm that this is a very influential work amongst the many I have read. This is because Nyamweya has creatively employed many different styles to present his work. Among them, is the sufficient use of dialogue that makes the story more persuasive. He also uses some local dialect, letters, humor, narration, imagery, metaphoric expressions, story within a story, biblical allusions, descriptions, irony, use of song, rhetorical questions, poetry, among others.
Other than tribalism as the main theme, he also addresses other issues like the place of women and children in the society, superstition, oppression and suffering, death, revenge, education, Abagusii culture, modern religion, love/family life, political reigns, betrayal, among others. Each of these themes greatly plays a role in the achievement of this work.
I found this book to be a very educative one. The ending is sad, although a suspense. But Uturoho and Nyorita stand out to be saviors of the Ricafan country from tribal biases and prejudices. They are true epitomes of patriotism.
Peeling the Cobwebs can play a key role in the society and Africa at large to encourage love, peace and harmony for all people.

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Peeling the Cobwebs is the second work that has been done by Bonface Nyamweya (Mr. BIN) who has clearly distinguished himself as a playwright, poet and novelist. The story talks about the two main characters, Uturoho and Nyorita, who stand at the forefront to destroy the strong walls of tribalism that had taken root since the ancestral times of the Ricafan people.