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Friday, January 3, 2020


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by Benard Mapalala

We give you Two Analysis of this novel, so that you can have a wide understanding about the novel:

i) Analysis 1

ii) Analysis 2






Chapter 1
Introduction  of Adyeri’s family
Daddy comes back home very drunk, wet and dirty and the whole atmosphere changes. He orders his food and as Abooki carries it to him, Atwoki unfortunately crashes into her, sending the meal down. It was a hell of a mistake. Daddy laments and fumes. Both Atwoki and Abooki are frustrated and frightened because they know a cane will soon follow. He calls Atwoki twice and gives him a classic slap in the face. Amoti appears from Virika hospital where she had gone to fetch water. She attacks Adyeri for beating her son a man-sized beating. She regrets for marrying him and calls him a pig. Amoti was good at a war of words since she believed they hurt her husband deeply.
Adyeri gives her a sound beating. Atwoki goes to help her but he receives a furious kick in the stomach. At last Adyeri leaves the house not to come back that night.

Chapter 2
Vicky comes with a fiancé.
Vicky who had gone to Kitangwenda several months ago, comes back with a stranger (Munyamahanga). Vicky was a daughter of Adyeri’s late sister. She was forced to move from home due to harsh treatment from both her uncle and aunt –Amoti. She met a rich man who owned a garage at Kamwenge and wanted to marry her. He was called Akena. They receive a cold welcome from Amoti who reports their arrival to Adyeri. Adyeri doesn’t react rudely, instead he welcomes Vicky politely. On hearing that Akena owns a garage Amoti becomes jealous and complicates the matter that Vicky cannot marry a Munyamahanga. For Adyeri, as long as the bride price is settled it doesn’t matter who/what marries Vicky whether it is a person, a cow or a donkey. He meets with his drinking pals and they put a proper breakdown on the bride price as follows:
15 heads of cattle. 8 goats
50,000/= shillings for buying back cloth.
15,000/= shillings for buying Daddy’s walking stick and
2 jerry cans of beer.
At the end, the meeting ends without a consensus between the two parties. (Adyeri’s side and Akena’s side)

Chapter 3
Uncle Araali pays the visit.
We are told of Atwoki who is very intelligent and good footballer when young, which suggests that he would be a good footballer in the future. He makes prophesies with his fellow children about their future. We are also told of Abooki (Atwoki’s sister who is in the same class with him). One day their uncle (Araali) comes to visit them and brings them sweets and biscuits. He finds the children very hungry and they have no firewood in the house. He gives them money to buy all the needs in the kitchen. Then Daddy comes staggering and singing his favourite song. He is told that uncle Araali has come and is the one who bought the domestic needs. He feels ashamed to see the visitor footing the food bills in his house.

Chapter 4
Vicky is introduced to a bad company.
Vicky is back from Bundibugyo where she went to pluck tea in a neighbour’s plantation. She is now chatting with Tusiime and Kunihira (Lacking any comfort and guidance at home, she had increasingly felt drawn closer to the two.pg 16). They advice Vicky a lot of things including running away with Akena or getting involved in commercial sex because they are doing it. These two friends of hers were both the worst by-products of Fort Portal education system. Tusiime led others in the burning of the mattresses at Maria Goretti Secondary School and was discontinued. Kunihira was expelled in the third year from Kyebambe Girls Secondary School. She spends a lot of time with them and takes many of her meals at their place. Vicky changes and becomes a polished lady and men begin chasing her. She begins footing the food bills and brings drinks (beer) for her uncle. That silenced both Amoti and Adyeri. She then elopes with a man from Kasese and leaves the house. 

Chapter 5
Adyeri’s background. (flashback)
One day Adyeri was invited at Kinyamasika Primary School as one of the pioneer teachers of the school. The children of class five sang the song that struck deep in his heart strumming painful memories of his whole life. It is this song that bears the title of the book. It needs people to reflect on their lives when they are still alive and think of what will be left behind when they are gone, lest they pass like a shadow. Adyeri decides to rise and go back home.
We are told of the story of Adyeri’s concubine (Birungi) who was his secretary and how he squandered the school funds to build her a house at Burungu. He then moved to live with Birungi after being fired from his job. He sold his land and financed a shop she had opened at Mugusu Trading Centre. He began to deteriorate and was admitted for having HIV/ AIDS and wondered who might have infected him with the disease since he had many concubines (He was a maniac). After the TB treatment he goes to shelter himself at Birungi’s house but she chases him away. 

Chapter 6
Atwoki becomes famous and successful.
Atwoki becomes famous and successful. He scores two goals that send his team to the African Cup of Nations. He becomes famous all over Uganda. He is Nicknamed “Fort Portal Bullet”. He receives gifts and money from his fans and the President offers him a brand new car plus fully paid holiday trip to the Queen Elizabeth National Park in Kasese. Adyeri lives miserably but has categorically stated that he will not kneel and ask any financial assistance from Atwoki. Amoti is happy because of the tragedy that has befallen her husband and says let him learn. An old woman comes to beg her to forgive him but she refuses. Then the football fans of Atwoki bring Adyeri in a stretcher. One man speaks for the group and begs Atwoki to forgive his father.

Chapter 7
Atwoki’s life in Kampala.
Atwoki has been invited by his friend David in Kampala. Before going home they go to a restaurant where David influences Atwoki to have a girlfriend. Atwoki refuses since he has never slept with a girl in all his 22 years of age. David even tells a girl named Edda to kiss him. Reaching home, Atwoki receives a warm welcome. After lunch they gather to watch a film that is full of sexual scenes. Then Atwoki is given a room in the visitors’ quarters full of pornographic magazines and pictures of half naked women. David tells Atwoki ‘if you cannot change the world allow the world to change you’. pg 33. He is given another offer at the Sheraton but before going they watch a TV programme on AIDS. The victim narrates his state how AIDS has affected him. He also says how he suffers from stigma from his friends and relatives. As the announcer educates on the ways HIV spread from infected person to another, David’s father ignores him calling him old-fashioned. They go at the Sheraton and David’s father picks girls at their presence. We are told that David is a Makerere University reject, he influences Atwoki to take beer and he fees nice. From that point he begins reflecting on Edda. At the end Edda gets hold of Atwoki.

Chapter 8
Vicky and Aliganyira Visits the witchdoctor.
Aliganyira and Vicky are eating supper when her husband suggests that they should go to visit the witch doctor in Kihina to find out why they don’t get a child 10 years since they got married. At first she refuses, but due to the pressure from her husband she agrees. The pressure was coming from his folks especially his mother that if Vicky is unproductive he should throw her out and bring in a replacement. They leave in the midnight. Finally they reach the witchdoctors house. They find six sick people laid down on the floor. Two were very thin and had lashes. When their turn comes Aliganyira and Vicky are asked whether they want a boy or a girl. They prefer a boy. He tells them that to make one boy costs 1 million or else they go home. The witchdoctor uses a small sharp knife to prick Vicky’s stomach and tattoo it with his wizardly doze. Vicky remembers the TV programme she had watched on AIDS which warned on the danger of sharing sharp instruments. Vicky was desperate and in need of a baby but now she was receiving something else.

Chapter 9
The death of Adyeri and Sickness of Amoti.
Adyeri has passed away. His drinking mates say a lot about him. They even have a discussion on whether the bazungu (whitemen) are also dying of HIV/AIDS. They talk about the origin of AIDS. Some say it originated from Zaire through green monkeys, some say it was brought bybakombozi soldiers from Tanzania during the Idd Amin war. One said that the virus was manufactured in the genetic laboratory in California. They concluded that the problem with AIDS is not where it came from but rather where it is going. That is to say “it is going to finish Uganda”
Back in Katumba Abooki is alone nursing her sick mother. He has sent several messages to Atwoki but he is tied up to Edda and is rarely seen. She decides to go to Kasese to seek financial assistance from Vicky only to find her as sick as her dying mother. Nevertheless, Vicky advices her not to go for money because it will kill her. Then Vicky gives her enough money to help her. Then a man named John becomes her best friend in need who helps her in taking care of the sick mother. One day he invites her to his house. He offers her a coke and when she goes out for a short call he drops a valium tablet in her glass of coke. She becomes drunk and wakes up in the morning and finds herself naked on John’s bed.

Chapter 10
Abooki’s frustration sends her for test.
Abooki is frustrated and confused. She thinks of having got HIV or unwanted pregnancy. She gets thinner and thinner until her mother is shocked. One night she gets the idea of going to Virika hospital for blood test. She meets Dr. Jonathan who counsels her on the precautions to take when contacting the victims. She narrates the story of why she suspects to have acquired the virus. Then he takes her blood sample and asks her to come for results after two weeks. The results are good and she takes a pregnancy test which also proves nil.  She is happy for that then Jonathan gives her a post-test counselling. In the process the two fall in love for each other.
Atwoki comes back suddenly and finds that his mother has already died. He is sick. His friend David, David’s mother and their house girl are also sick. David’s father has perished already. Vicky and Atwoki go to visit uncle Araali at Kitangwenda, Ilunga village. Uncle welcomes them warmly and tells Atwoki, “My son... my dear son... welcome home, East or West, home is best...”


Title of the Book
Passed like a shadow” is a symbolic title. It represents most of the events that take place in the novel. It can be viewed in the following light.
(i)           It is a representation of human life capitalizing the need to do good things that will be left behind as a beautiful memory of you when you are gone. Living a worthless life on earth that leaves no any memorable mark is to Bernard Mapalala the same as having passed on this earth like a shadow. It is like you never existed because no one will remember you. You become like a shadow that vanishes away when the sun disappears in the clouds. Look at the following song sung by pupils of Kinyamasika Primary school on parents’ day; pg 22
What have I done in this world?
What memories shall I live when I’m gone?
If memories I shall leave are only those…
Of having eaten and drunk;
I shall be ashamed; there is no honour in that;
And remembering you for the debts you leave behind;
It is curses which precede you on your journey;
Many people who die in anonymity;
They die in anonymity because the glorious thing they did were eating, drinking and sleeping.
Then they crown their glory with death, a deed which is not hard even for the young on a breast.
That is having passed on this earth like a shadow….
(ii)            It also presents Adyeri’s family that suffered a tragedy of AIDS pandemic and passed from the scene of life like a shadow leaving behind only one family member (Abooki) who is HIV free.
(iii)          It also represents the fact that AIDS pandemic has invaded the whole of Uganda and washes people away in large numbers and within a very short time. This is compared to the shadow that disappears quickly when the sun disappears in the clouds. Refer to how the following people pass away in a short time; Adyeri’s family, David’s family, Aliganyira’s family, Birungi etc.
(iv)          Apart from these families the whole society in Uganda and Tanzania AIDS is killing people so quickly. Most people have acquired the disease unawares and ignorantly spread it unknowingly. The whole community is passing away like a shadow.

Ø  He is the father of Abooki and Atwoki and a husband to Amoti and caregiver to Vicky.
Ø  He is an ex-headmaster of St. Leos High school; he loses his job as a result of a financial scandal for the money he steals to build a house for Birungi at Burungu.
Ø  He is a heavy drunkard and greedy.  He becomes a hopeless heavy drunkard after losing the job. He also sets high bride price that makes Vicky’s marriage to Akena impossible
Ø  He is hot tempered. He is extremely hot-tempered and treats his family in as a dictator. He beats his wife and children often over just slight mistakes.
Ø  He is an irresponsible father. He fails to provide for the family. Due to his drinking habit he fails to foot the food bills in the house. That’s why uncle Araali comes and finds children with no food and foots the food bills.
Ø  He is a reputed womanizer and a distinguished sex-maniac. He engages in extramarital affairs with his concubines who eventually make him acquire the dreadful AIDS pandemic. He is deserted by his family and goes to get shelter to Birungi’s home but she throws him away.
Ø  He is a victim of HIV/AIDS. He remains hopeless and dies miserably of the disease passing like a shadow.
Ø  He is not worthy being emulated.

Ø  The wife of Adyeri and a mother of Abooki and Atwoki.
Ø  She is a responsible and caring mother. Despite Adyeri being a heavy drunkard and a womanizer, she remains stable and takes care of the children. Despite all her weaknesses, Amoti has a positive side. She manages to take a good care of her children even after family separation. We are told that until they reach High school, Atwoki and Abooki have never engaged in sexual affairs.
Ø  She is jealous. We are told that Amoti does not want Vicky to marry Akena because of jealousy. As a result she puts an obstacle that Akena is a Munyamahanga (a man from another tribe). Also she is jealous of the wife of the rich shopkeeper.
Ø  She is a tribalist. She denies Vicky to marry a man from another tribe calling him a Munyamahanga.
Ø  She is revengeful and unforgiving. She turns away from her husband at a time of disaster. Even when she is pleaded to forgive him she is so reluctant and believes that it should be a lesson to him.
Ø  She’s suspected to be unfaithful in her marriage. We are told that she loves going to Kinyamasika in the mornings possibly she has an extramarital affair. Pg 18
Ø  She is superstitious. Amoti believes that the sickness of her husband is due to witchcraft. She says that her husband has been bewitched by Birungi.
Ø  She is a gossiper. Amoti and Abwoli are seen gossiping against the wife of a rich shopkeeper. In page 3 the author says,
Of course, she had spent more than one hour just gossiping against the wife of the rich shopkeeper whom she intensively hated and was jealous of. They had laughed and laughed with Abwoli, who was her best friend.”
Ø  She is a victim of HIV/AIDS. She is also wiped away from the scene by the pandemic which she contracted from her husband and passes away like a shadow.
Ø  In some cases she is not worthy being emulated but in others, yes.

Ø  The son of Adyeri who suffers poor upbringing from his heavily drinking father.
Ø   He is a handsome and famous football star. He is nicknamed “Fort Portal Bullet” when he is in high school. He plays for the national team and scores a goal which makes the president reward him.
Ø  He builds his mother a house. He makes a lot of money and manages to build a house for his mother at Katumba near Kachwamba. Pg 25
Ø  He is easily forgiving unlike his mother. He forgives his father when he is brought home by his fans at a time when Adyeri was seriously sick.
Ø  He is a victim of peer pressure. He is influenced by his friend David in Kampala and begins chasing girls. Following his behaviour he gets HIV from his girlfriend {Edda} and is soon to die of AIDS.
Ø  He has a changing behaviour. At first we are told he is so disciplined and faithful. But later he changes and becomes a reputed womanizer like his daddy.
Ø  He is a betrayer/traitor. He betrays his sister and his mother. When his mother is sick he does not provide  any financial help to the extent that Abooki has to go to Vicky for financial support and relies on the support given by John which later turn out to be a trap
Ø  She is a daughter of Adyeri and Amoti
Ø  She is a good adviser. She advises Atwoki to be careful when in Kampala lest he dies.
Ø  She is a faithful and disciplined girl. she managed to remain virgin until she reached high school.
Ø  She unexpectedly falls into a trap of a hypocrite known as John who tricks her and sleeps with her out of her consent.
Ø  She is caring and loving. She takes care of her sick mother and brother. Although Atwoki deserted her when he was in the hall of fame, she never revenged when he needed her help.
Ø  She falls in love with Dr. Jonathan. After confirming that she is HIV and pregnancy free, the two fall in love and start honourable relationship.
Ø  She is forgiving. She easily forgives her brother Atwoki when he comes back from Kampala despite neglecting her in his better days.

Ø  She is an Orphan and Adyeri’s niece who lives with him after her mother’s death. She is not given good parental care.
Ø  She exiles herself from home and meets Akena who wants to marry her. But the issue is complicated by her uncle who demands high bride price.
Ø  She is exploited by Adyeri’s family. We are told she went to Bundibugyo to pick tea in the plantation but the money was prepaid to Amoti who used it to pay the school fees for her children and Vicky got nothing from her seat.
Ø  She becomes a prostitute temporarily. She decides to go for commercial sex as a result of the influence from her friends Tusiime and Kunihira.
Ø  She marries Aliganyira but they are not blessed with a child. Her husband pressurizes her to go to the witchdoctor where she gets HIV/AIDS. She becomes a victim and dies of the same.
Ø  She has no stand. She leaves Akena because of the complications made by her caretakers, she engages in prostitution following the advice from her friends and she agrees to go to the witchdoctor despite her knowledge of the potential dangers involved.
Ø  She is a good advisor. She advises Abooki not to go for money. It’s better she gets married to a beggar provided they love each other.

Ø  He’s a son of a rich and important man both in government and Kabaka’s Council in Kampala.
Ø  He is Atwoki’s friend and a university dropout (reject). He is the one who invites Atwoki to Kampala and influences him negatively.
Ø  He is a womanizer like his father. The author says he was his father’s perfect replica. He influences Atwoki to start hunting for girls.
Ø  He gets HIV/AIDS and spreads it intentionally.
Ø  He is a bad advisor. He advises Atwoki by misleading him. He says for instance “Look Atwoki, if you can’t change the world, allow the world to change you” pg 33.
Ø  He dresses expensively and his greatest hobby is to chat with girls.
Ø  He is not worthy being emulated.

Ø  She’s Adyeri’s concubine who lives in Burungu.
Ø  She is very beautiful with attractive hair. She manages to get hold of Adyeri despite all the defences he put.
Ø  She is a prostitute and exploiter of men. She exploits Adyeri who steals the school funds to build her a house and sells his  plot of land to finance her shop.
Ø  She is a former secretary of Adyeri when he was the headmaster of St. Leos High school.
Ø   She is ignorant of the disease called slim/AIDS and spreads it unawares.
Ø  She is a betrayer. She betrays Adyeri by throwing him out when he needed her help while they spent good time together. She takes another boyfriend just the second day who takes over Adyeri’s place

The setting of the book is specifically Uganda though in a broader and general sense it represents the whole of Africa. Furthermore down the line the setting can be subdivided into Urban and rural settings.
Rural Setting.
The rural setting occupies the most part of the book and is evident in the following ways/scenarios:
i.              Witchdoctors in Kahina- this is common in rural areas.
ii.            Spouse beating- this is also common in rural than in urban areas. Eg Adyeri beating Amoti.
iii.          Uncle Araali is living in the village (Ihunga) where they are using bicycles as means of transport.
iv.          Names of Villages like Karambi, Bundibugyo, Kalimba, Burungu etc also sum up the rural setting.
Urban setting
i.              People like Akena own a garage. This is common in town.
ii.            The mentioning of urban centres like Kampala city, towns like Kamwenge, Pallisa, Kachwamba, Kasese etc.
iii.          Presence of restaurants, bars are common in town.
iv.          Prostitution (commercial sex) is also a feature of urban setting.

Other settings
Ø  There are also school setting which is not clear whether in town or village. Eg St. Leos High School, St. Maria Goretti, Kyebambe Girls Sec School, Kinyamasika Primary school etc
Ø  Hospital setting where Abooki goes for test.

The novel is very rich in its style.
a.       Point of view. The writer has used all the three persons. However 3rd person is the dominant one. This is to say the author narrates the story.
b.      There is also frequent use of dialogue among characters. Eg the conversation between Adyeri and Amoti when Vicky comes with Akena.
I have told you that Vicky has come with a visitor”
“A visitor”
“Yes a visitor”
“Is the visitor tall or short?” Asked Adyeri....
c.       Also there is the use of monologue / soliloquyA speech in a play or movie in which a character who is alone speaks his thoughts aloud.
Look at Adyeri in pg 15 “this visitor has really caught us when we are dead broke” he lamented to himself. “What a pity”... I wish I was a rich man or millionaire...”
d.      There is the use of songs as in pg 15. Adyeri sings when drunk;
God bless Uganda Ohoo
Forward Uganda forward
Bravery, honesty, peace ...”
Another song is sung by Kinyamasika Primary Pupils on parents’ day. Pg 22
e.       The novel has also used a flashback style. Pg 22 Adyeri’s background. “The story was that he had this lady called Birungi .....” the narrator tells the story of why Adyeri was sacked in from his job as a Headmaster and eventually became a heavy drunkard. Then in pg 24 Adyeri reflects his past “A film rewinded Adyeri’s mind about the other partners he had had at the local drinking club. He had become some sort of a maniac and was picking women at random whenever he was drunk...”

The language used is simple, straightforward and easy to understand. Moreover the novelist has employed many idioms, sayings and literary devices as we are going to look very closely.
Ø  The man will die like a dog. Pg 27
Ø  But don’t worry, Vicky men are like buses you miss one today another comes tomorrow. Pg 16
Ø  She walked to him as fearless as a lioness. Pg 3.
Ø  The new disease was spreading like bush fire in the whole of Uganda. Pg 24
Ø  Uwi-uwi- the sound of crying. Pg 4
Ø  Ha ha ah! – Sound of laughing. Pg 7
Reiteration. To repeat something that you have already said usually to emphasize.
Ø  I really regret... I really regret I have married a pig. A pig. A pig I have married a pig mawe! Pg 3
Ø  Uncle Araali, Uncle Araali has come pg 14
Ø  Knock, knock, knock, knock. Pg 27
Ø  Hurry, hurry, pg 14.
Ø  I have married a pig. Pg 3
Ø  For them marriage is just business. Pg 17
Ø  Money will kill you. pg 42
Understatement- a statement that makes something seem less important.
Ø  You must be the most poorly dressed girl in Fort Portal’. Pg 18
Barbarism – using more than one languages.
Ø  The novelist has used a lot of words from other languages other than English. E.g., bazungu/muzungu, bakombozi, munyamahanga, matoke, waragi, oburo
Ø  Pig = a useless man
Ø  Slim= AIDS

Sayings and Idioms
Ø  Like father like son” pg 39.
Ø  “East or West home is Best” 49
Ø  “In fact marriage is an institution for blind” pg 17.
Ø  “Building castles in the air” pg 19
Ø  “To hook a big fish” pg 19
Ø  “To add salt to the wound...” pg 23
Ø  “Exchanging hot potatoes with Adyeri” pg 23


The main theme in this book seems to be AIDS pandemic nicknamed ‘slim’. Most of all other themes seem to be revolving around building up the main theme.

Ø  AIDS pandemic is a disease that has invaded the society and spreads like a bush fire, sweeping people in large numbers. However, the author shows that it spreads rapidly because of people’s ignorance and superstitious beliefs that the traditional society is caught up with. Even the title of the book itself seems to suggest that a lot of people; young and old, children and parents, women and men, poor and rich perish miserably and within a very short span of time.
Ø  A lot of people/characters have fallen victims of the pandemic. These include; Adyeri, Amoti, Atwoki, Vicky, Aliganyira, Birungi, David, His father, mother and their house girl. The author reveals some of the incidents that expose them to the pandemic.
Ø  Moreover, the author gives education on HIV/AIDS: on transmission he uses the TV announcer to educate the society that; AIDS is transmitted from one infected person to another through exchange of certain body fluids (semen, blood, vaginal secretions). This exchange stems from immoral activities such as fornication, sodomy, intravenous drug abuse etc. On prevention he uses Dr. Jonathan to educate the society that the 100% guaranteed protection against AIDS is abstinence for unmarried people, mutual love and loyalty among the married couples, premarital and extramarital sex should be discouraged at all costs. 

Promiscuity is a situation of someone having many sexual partners who are not legally married to him/her. Infidelity is a situation of having other partners than your wife. This is a situation that Adyeri found himself included in. He has a concubine called Birungi beside his own wife. He also sleeps with a lot of women that he picks in the streets. He couldn’t even identify whoever might have infected him with the disease.
“A film rewinded Adyeri’s mind about the other partners he had had at the local drinking club. He had become some sort of a maniac and was picking women at random whenever he was drunk...”
Then he infects his wife and they both die of the disease. Apart from Adyeri other characters who are infidel or promiscuous include the following;
Ø  David is promiscuous; he picks girls at random and gets the disease as a result of this behaviour.
Ø  David’s father is both infidel and promiscuous; he’s married but he picks girls at the bar and in the streets and even his own house-girl. 
Ø  Birungi is promiscuous as we are told that she had other men apart from Adyeri.
Ø  Muzungu (Tusiime’s boyfriend) is infidel and we are told that he is married but visits Tusiime secretly. Pg 19
Ø  Aliganyira is also sex maniac because we are told he had married and divorced 2 wives and now has got married to Vicky. Pg 35
Ø  All big people who could help Abooki demanded body pleasure before they could do anything. This is a sign of promosquity.
Ø  John also is promiscuous because he drugged Abooki and slept with her without her consent.

ü  This is a situation of doing sex for sale or in other words it is a commercial sex. We are told that one of the chief reasons for this behaviour seems to be poverty. The young girls who involve in this dangerous behaviour are motivated by the fact that they want to meet their basic needs and cope up with their peers.
ü  Tusiime and Kunihira are a case in point. As they get involved in this and are capable of handling their lives they don’t care about the dangers associated with it. This makes them capable of influencing Vicky who comes from a disadvantaged background/ family. Vicky also becomes a prostitute and foots the bills in Adyeri’s family. This activity is also dangerous as it may expose the person to AIDS pandemic.
ü  Birungi is also a prostitute as she exploits Adyeri the throws him out and takes another boyfriend just the next day
ü  Edda is also a prostitute as she exploits Atwoki and makes his loose his control in life.

Peer pressure implies the influence one gets from his/her friends, age mates, colleagues, or family folks on different decisions. In the novel the following people have fallen victims of the peer pressure.
Ø  Adyeri falls a prey to Birungi seductive approaches. He squandered the school funds to build a house for her in Burungu. This results to his dismissal from his job.
Ø  Vicky also becomes a victim of the peer pressure from her friends Tusiime and Kunihira and begins to engage in prostitution. They say to her “you must be the most poorly dressed girl in Fort Portal” pg 18
Ø  Atwoki is influenced by David, when in Kampala. He introduces Atwoki to beer drinking and girls and even finances their affairs. This makes Atwoki to become bold with girls and leads him to get HIV/AIDS.
Ø  The pressure from Aliganyira’s relatives exposes both Vicky and Aliganyira to the disease. They go to the witch doctor in search for a baby but as the witch doctor makes small cuts on Vicky’s skin he infects her with HIV. The author says; in pg 36
So much pressure had been mounting from his folks, especially from his mother. They said that if she is unproductive, then he should throw her out and bring in a replacement”

Ø  Most people in this novel seem to be ignorant. They are not only ignorant about the disease but also don’t know the ways the disease spreads. In pg 27 the author says something about Amoti;
“All in all, she was ignorant about the real disease her husband was suffering from, neither was she aware that herself was already infected with the same virus, healthy though she was.”
·         In the same page he shows the Amoti associated her husband’s illness with witchcraft. “Whatever it is, your father has been bewitched”
Ø  Vicky’s husband takes her to the witch doctor in order to get a baby, instead she gets HIV.
Ø  The victims of slim are taken to witchdoctors with a belief that they have been bewitched.

Because most people are unable to afford basic needs, they use any other possible means to meet their needs. Some of these methods are not good because they are likely to expose someone to the possibility of getting HIV. Poverty is portrayed in the following scenarios.
Ø  Vicky, Tusiime and Kunihira are forced to engage in prostitution in order to meet their basic needs including food and clothing.
Ø  Abooki falls prey to John’s trap because of her poor condition at home and John offers financial support. She responds to his invitation knowing that if she refuses she might as well lose the financial support. This makes her lose her virginity.
Ø  Due to poor condition at home, Atwoki is forced to move from home to Kampala. He goes to live with his friend David who comes from a rich family where he is influenced to city life and eventually gets HIV.
Ø  Adyeri’s family is so poor to the extent that sometimes the visitor (uncle Araali) foots the food bills in the house.
Ø  Poverty is also evident among the government officers. Aliganyira laments in pg 36.
These hungry government officers...they are simply professional beggars. I wonder why they think I can finance them all the time...”
Ø  Poverty also makes people trust that witch doctors can make them rich; as thus they go to witchdoctors in search for richness as Aliganyira tells Vicky. Pg  37
“This man is very powerful...he has very powerful juju. His charms have made people rich”


Family conflicts also play a major and significant role in exposing both parents and children to the chances of getting infected with disease. Let’s look at the following family conflicts.
Ø  The conflict between Adyeri and Amoti makes them separated. This forces Adyeri to remain with his concubines where he acquires the infection.
Ø  Atwoki is forced to move from home due to constant conflicts with Daddy and poor upbringing. He acquires the disease in exile.
Ø  A conflict between Vicky and her husband’s relatives forces her to visit the witchdoctor in search for a baby, instead she gets HIV. Talking about Vicky the author says:
“She felt very much threatened by his relatives who were always eyeing his great wealth.”


Ø  Abooki suffers intrapersonal conflict after being raped by John. She wonders whether she has contacted HIV or Pregnancy. As a solution she goes for blood test which confirms that she is HIV and Pregnancy free.
Ø  Vicky also suffers intrapersonal conflict first when living with her uncle who mistreats her. She runs away from home to get comfort somewhere else. Also she suffers intrapersonal conflict when she marries Aliganyira and fails to get a child. She is worried if her husband will throw her out and bring in a replacement. As a result she goes to the witchdoctor in search for a baby but she gets HIV.


It is generally said “Like father like son”. Parents play a big role in the future behaviour of their children. Parents ought to be good role models to their children or else they will become bad models. If it happens that they shape their children in a negative way, it may increase their chance of getting HIV as in the following cases from the novel.

Ø  David’s father influenced David negatively by giving him too much freedom. He also goes to the bars with his father, drinks beer and picks girls without any reprimand from the parent.
Ø  Atwoki also experiences poor upbringing from his heavily drinking and sex maniac father. He eventually picks up his father’s behaviour and exposes himself to HIV.
Ø  The jealousy of Amoti influences Vicky to engage in prostitution and later finds a husband as a way of getting her basic needs. This makes Vicky acquire the disease.
Ø  However, Amoti’s influence on Abooki is a positive one. She takes good care of her and we are told that Abooki was a much disciplined girl.
Women occupy different positions in different societies. Some authors portray women in a positive way while others portray their negative aspects or both. In this novel, women occupy the following positions;
a.    Women as portrayed as tools for pleasure by men.
Most men use women just to satisfy their sexual desires. The following examples illustrate the point. Abooki by John, Edda by Atwoki, Birungi by Adyeri, David with his father were using a lot of women and girls for the same reason. This increases their chance of getting HIV.
b.    Women are portrayed as prostitutes.
In the novel we see some women/girls engaging in commercial sex as a solution to poverty. These include; Vicky, Kunihira and Tusiime.
c.    Women are portrayed as weak and have no say.
A woman is shown as a weak vessel that men can manipulate the way they wish. Amoti receives constant beating from her husband. Also Vicky is denied the chance of marrying Akena by her uncle because of bride price which she has no say about.
d.    Women are portrayed as superstitious.
Women also believe in witchcraft. Amoti believes that the sickness of her husband is due to witchcraft. She says that her husband has been bewitched by Birungi.
e.    A woman is portrayed a jealous person.
We are told that Amoti does not want Vicky to marry Akena because of jealousy. As a result she puts an obstacle that Akena is a Munyamahanga (a man from another tribe). Also she is jealous of the wife of the rich shopkeeper.
f.     Women are portrayed as gossipers.
Amoti and Abwoli are seen gossiping against the wife of a rich shopkeeper. In page 3 the author says,
Of course, she had spent more than one hour just gossiping against the wife of the rich shopkeeper whom she intensively hated and was jealous of. They had laughed and laughed with Abwoli, who was her best friend.”
g.    Women are portrayed as parents and caretakers.
Despite all her weaknesses, Amoti has a positive side. She manages to take a good care of her children even after family separation. We are told that until they reach High school, Atwoki and Abooki have never engaged in sexual affairs.

h.    A woman is portrayed as a betrayer.
We are told that Adyeri loses his job because of the financial scandal that he squandered the school funds to build Birungi a house and sells his plot of land to open a shop for her. Yet when he is sick she throws him away.
i.     As a good advisor. Vicky advised Abooki not to go after money it will kill her, Abooki advised Atwoki to be careful when he was going to Kampala.
j.     As a responsible person. Amoti takes all the family responsibilities while Adyeri is enjoying life with his concubines. Abooki alsotakes care of her sick mother while Atwoki is enjoying the city life with girls.

Sometimes the position one has in the society or his financial status may influence or expose him to the risk of getting HIV/AIDS. The following examples from the novel are cases in point.
Ø  Adyeri (The headmaster) is trapped by Birungi (his secretary) because of her seductive approaches.
Ø  Atwoki falls under Edda’s control because he is a famous football star and many girls are hunting him.
Ø  David’s father uses his money and position to trap girls.
Ø  David also uses his Daddy’s money and wealth to win girls’ love and exposes himself to HIV infection.
Ø  John uses his money to finance Abooki and uses that loophole to rape her.
Ø  Aliganyira marries and divorces two wives and forces Vicky to visit the witch doctor since he is rich and Vicky agrees simply because refusing could mean divorce and go back to hand-to-mouth kind of life she had before she hooked him.

Other themes include;

Ø Irresponsibility,
Adyeri is an irresponsible father and leader. As a leader he failed to do anything for which to be remembered for. As a father he fails to provide for the family basic needs. Due to his drinking habit he fails to foot the food bills in the house. That’s why uncle Araali comes and finds children with no food and foots the food bills. He also fails to take good care of his niece and leaves her to get engaged in prostitutions and he doesn’t care.
Ø Tribalism,
Amoti has a spirit of tribalism. She denies Vicky to marry Akena saying he’s a man from another tribe calling him a Munyamahanga.
Ø Bride price,
Bride price is a stumbling block for African youths to get married to their loved ones. Parents and caregivers usually complicate the matter by setting high bride price beyond the youths’ financial ability. For Adyeri, as long as the bride price is settled it doesn’t matter who/what marries Vicky whether it is a person, cow or a donkey. The greed of parents has led to loss of humanity.
15 heads of cattle. 8 goats
50,000/= shillings for buying back cloth.
15,000/= shillings for buying Daddy’s walking stick and
2 jerry cans of beer. At the end, the meeting ends without a consensus between the two parties. (Adyeri’s side and Akena’s side)

Ø Wife battering/spouse beating.
Adyeri is a hot tempered husband who beats his wife just for a slight mistake. This is not good as it may lead to family conflict and hatred among the married couples. As a result it leads to family separations as in Adyeri’s family. This is a bad custom but it is common among African societies.

Ø  Stigmatization.
ü  This is the act of treating somebody in a way that makes them feel that they are very bad or unimportant because of some circumstances like disability, diseases etc.
ü  An AIDS victim narrates on the TV how his friends have run away from him, even his relatives detest him.
ü  But also Adyeri is stigmatized when he attends a parents’ day at Kinyamasika Primary. Nobody chats with him. Amoti also treats her husband with stigma not knowing that she is also suffering from the same tragedy.
ü  It is not good to stigmatize people with HIV but we can interact with them while taking the necessary precautions.

Ø  The influence of the mass media,
Like fire, the mass media can be a good servant or a bad master depending on how they are used. The mass media have a great influence on people’s behaviour. David’s family seems to be affected by improper use of the media. They watch television film which is a romantic tale full of sexual scenes and enjoy. Atwoki is given a room in the visitors’ quarters which is full of pictures of half-naked women and pornographic magazines. This in part contributed to moral pollution that Atwoki became in the future.
Ø  Betrayal
Birungi betrays Adyeri but throwing him out at the time when he needed her help. We are told that Adyeri loses his job because of the financial scandal that he squandered the school finds to build Birungi a house and sold his plot of land to open a shop for her at Mugusu Trading Centre. Yet when he is sick she throws him away.
Atwoki betrays his sister Abooki and his uncle Araali for neglecting them when he was in the hall of fame.

a)      It is important to spread HIV/AIDS education to people about its infection, transmission, prevention and treatment. Many people seem to get the disease unawares and spread it unknowingly.
b)      Multiple sexual partners increase the chance of getting HIV/AIDS.
c)      People should be careful in choosing friends and selecting the advice from friends. Peer pressure seems to have a strong influence in personal transformation.
d)      Family conflicts and poor upbringing create a detrimental future for the children.
e)      Spouse beating is an outdated culture as it may lead to family separation.
f)       People should do good things when still alive so that they can be remembered for good when they are gone lest they pass like a shadow.
g)      We should use the mass media fruitfully for getting valuable information and education.
h)      It is not good to treat HIV victims with social stigma.

Ø The book is relevant in any African society as it clearly depicts some common issues that are prevalent in African context. Issues like; AIDS pandemic, Superstition, Ignorance, Infidelity, Family conflicts.
Ø The influence of peer pressure especially among the youngsters is also common.
Ø Bride price and the related complications are common in African societies.
Ø Stigmatisation of HIV/AIDS victims, Irresponsibility and Betrayal among members of the society are common phenomena in Africa.


YEAR: 2006


Atwoki - Son of Adyeri

Adyeri – Father of Atwoki and Abooki

Vicky – An orphan

Amoti – Wife of Adyeri

Abooki – Daughter of Adyeri and Atwoki is sister

Aluganyira – Vicky’s husband


ADYERI: Is an educated man who reached the level of being the head of the school. Became famous one married with a good reputation in his society however later he changed to be alcoholic, womanizer took his secretary (and squared)

- Use the money to entertain Birungi (Secretary) Picked women from bar and slept with them.

- He used to mistreat his family after being drunkard; he beats his wife and uses a lot of abusive language “Have Married a Pig”. He also demanded a respect from his children while he did not deserve, he demanded delicious food while he did not leave enough money to buy such a delicious food for his family.


Vicky Atwoki’s cousin brings a man called Akena Opoto from Pallisa who owns a garage but coming from another tribe she wants to introduce him as her husband. “He is the man who wants to marry me.”

The book tried to reveal the way Vicky is treated in her uncle’s family. She is chased away by her uncles and found nowhere to go as a result she made a decision to find a husband who would make her life comfortable.

Her mother dead before telling Vicky who is her father therefore Adyeri’s wife is Lamenting to be given a burden i.e. Caring Vicky.

Akena is rejected by Adyeri's wife that he is Munyamuhanga means a man from another tribe she said (Amoti). A person from another tribe cannot marry Vicky especially the tribe from north.

Adyeri is against Amoti’s view, to Adyeri something important is dowries and not anything else “I don’t care who married Vicky. Whether is a person or a con or a donkey all I want is dowry.”

Adyeri analyzing the dowries as he said is head cattle, including 3 bulls, but marriage negotiation fail dowry, then Vicky is completely disappointed and she wishes in other were alive because her uncle’s wife is no help but she is jealous of her.


The Author “reveals” to us the talent of Atwoki that when he is at primary school a little Atwoki is very good at football, it is ambition is to be prominent person as exemplified his argument he has with his age mate. The behavior of his father drinking much is hurting him when is mentioned any other person.

The Author reveals that Atwoki’s father is irresponsible person. This happened when Atwoki’s under pays visit to Atwoki home and kind home has got no food.

Araali (Atwoki’s uncle) is a best friend of children as always tries to show true love to them “Uncle Araali drew out a box of biscuits to them.”


“What are you thinking Vicky?”
In this chapter Vicky is persuaded by her friend “Tusiime and Kunihira to find herself a man to look after her.

“Why didn’t you run a way with the man”……… ……

Kunihira is complaining that the parents they have considered marriage as a business. Since when one wants to marry, parents tend to put some conditions that can hinder smooth running of marriage process………… They demand a lot and put impossible condition”. Kunihira is also complaining that too much demanding of this things have become the reason to why people get marriage without official marriage.

The author tries to show that, friends or peer group can change the behavior of a person example because of some advice or influence given to Vicky by her friends she started to use cosmetics, she also started to attend disco but all in all she did all this so as to attract men

As a result from started to find Vicky “Men started chasing her up the way flies chasing rotting meat”

Vicky behavior is completely changing as she is going with sugar daddy being some money where sometimes she managed the budget and later Vick went for good with a man from Kassese.


Adyeri is invited to Kanyamasika as the one of teachers started at that school the time it was starting.

The song that was sung by pupils of standard five touched Adyeri and gave a friction of his whole life.

One of the Adyeri’s life was that he was a drunkard person, a womanizer therefore however he was employed still he had nothing, he lived in a poor life.

Example: A part from Atwok’s mother Adyeri had another woman called Birungi she was a secretary when Adyeri the time when he was the head master at ST. LUIS high school.

This made Adyeri to acquire a disease that was called a (slim) AIDS as he was found asleep.


Atwoki and Abooki are living with their mother at Katumba in a home built by Atwoki while still a High School Student at St. Luis. Atwoki gets the money from rewards and gifts given to him by the president following the classic goals he scored in the Africa Cup of Nations. He was the national team striker while a school boy. The two Atwoki and Abooki have completed high school and they are at home.

Amoti informs her children about the news of their father’s sickness back at Kachwamba. The children have not been aware since there has been no communication between them and their father, Adyeri for several years. Though Adyeri know about his son’s fame as football star in Uganda, he has sworn never to beg or ask for any financial assistance from him.

Amoti informs the children about the broken relationship between Birungi and their father. Atwoki feels sorry for the father especially on the disease but the mother claims that has been the right time for Adyeri. An elderly woman comes to Amoti’s house to plead with her in order to have mercy on the husband who in a pathetic sight back at Kachwamba. Amoti refuses to heed this request and instead she advice the woman to go and tell concubine Birungi that Amoti is very bitter with the husband such that she not ready to forgive him.

Adyeri is brought by a group of people to his children and wife. He is very thin and barely recognizable. In fact he is stinking because of the sores all over his body. He is brought on a stretcher to one of the rooms in their house. The people who bring him are football fans who know Atwoki so well.

They have found it wise to bring the dying father despite the poor family history. They are sorry for those decisions to bring him there as they suspect it will remind them the family wounds. Atwoki accepts his father back despite the strong objection from his mother, Amoti. All that the children can do is weep uncontrollably what has be fallen their father. They really pity him.


Atwoki pays a visit to his friend, David, who lives in Kampala. While in Kampala Atwoki is introduced to a girl called Edda whom they meet in a restaurant. Everybody in the restaurant knows Atwoki as a football star nicknamed “the foot portal Bullet,” while at the restaurant, girls keep eying Atwoki. Some even sit directly opposite to him in a very provocative careless posture. It is revealed in this chapter that by the time Atwoki goes to Kampala; he is twenty two years but has never slept with a girl all his life. His sister Abooki has always warned him against girl even back at portal frontal.

During his stay in Kampala, Atwoki falls in love with Edda as a result of the peer pressure and the environmental influence at David’s home. David’s father, being rich and in the governmental influence at David’s with all the luxuries they need. Despite the information made available it about AIDS over the radio, TV, and magazines, David’s father never seems to care. He attends bar and picks girls together with his son, David, who a university drop out. Atwoki is provided with a room at David’s home where he sleeps with Edda during his stay in Kampala. David assures him that the girl is healthy and free from AIDS judging from her appearance. “Eventually the foot portal Bullet” falls a prey to girls.


Vicky and her husband, Aluganyira, go to a witch doctor at night. Their aim of visiting the witch doctor is to get a charm which makes them have a child. Aluganyira had married twice and divorced before he married Vicky. His former wives have given birth to two children each. They are now being taken care of by Vicky, as their step mother.

Aluganyira is a rich man and therefore, needs more children with Vicky. Vicky does not welcome the idea of visiting witch doctors but the pressure and anxiety to have a child makes her agree with the husband’s plan to make her to the witch doctor. At the doctors place they find six people lying on the Floor. Two of them are very thin and have rashes all over the bodies. At the corridor there are five other customers, probably AIDS victims must have been among the witch doctor patients.

The witch doctor makes pricks on Vicky stomach and tattoos it. He uses the same knife on the other patients who are probably infected AIDS. Vicky fails to object to the situation because she is desperately in need of a baby. Instead they receive something else, AIDS from the infected knife of the witch doctor. Victims must have been among the witch doctor.


Adyeri passes away and people mourn him bitterly, especially his drinking mates. Everyone knows the causes of Adyeri death. Judging from his love for ladies, they know he has swell died of AIDS (slim) probably infected by one of his concubines in the streets.

It revealed that Adyeri’s wife, Amoti, is also sick and the only hope is in the children. However, the Foot portal Bullet is rumored to have changed and become a reputed womanizer in Kampala. They say he has taken after his father and would probably die the same death because AIDS never discriminates people on the basis of race, age, wealth or education. The drunkards are wondering where the disease come from such that they are afraid it will wipe the whole of Uganda.

After his father’s burial, Atwoki goes back to Kampala leaving behind his sick mother under the care of Abooki. Atwoki neglects his mother and sister, Abooki back at home without enough money while the mother is sick, Football fans who are frequent Kampala say, he is tied to a lady with whom he is living. Despite his mother lamentation, Atwoki does not respond to the call of his sister. This makes their mother very bitter and complains a lot.

Abooki boards a bus to Kassese in order to see Vicky so that she (Vicky) may help in the financial situation; she is shocked by the health of her cousin and the husband. They are very thin, weak and they look old. Vicky confesses to her cousin, Abooki that she is an AIDS victim, therefore she as no hopes of living long. Vicky counsels her cousin by teaching her never to step hunting money. She says money will kill her. Then Vicky regrets for her past life.

Back at their home, Abooki continues nursing her sick mother. A boy, called John, from a rich family uses to visit them frequently. The boy helps her so much during her mother’s sickness. The boy having created trust in her invites her to visits her to his home where he play a trick. John drops a Valium tablet in her glass when Abooki goes for a short call. She drinks the contents in the following days when she finds herself in John’s bed naked minus her virginity. Abooki is so warned that he may be able to have inquired AIDS or unwanted pregnancy with the loss of her virginity to the cruet, John.


Abooki blames herself for honoring the appointment to visit John’s home she feels as if her life is over a as she is sure her mother will die soon leaving her under no one’s care as Atwoki has seemingly neglected them forever, Abooki becomes thin from the worries about her health. She has concurred to have been a victim of the virus following what John did to her.

Abooki goes for pure-blood test. She receives concerning by a councilor called Jonathan before the test. Jonathan informs her he ways through with the virus is spreads from one person to another. After narrating her story to Jonathan, the test is carried out in which both the HIV test and pregnant test results are negative. Abooki is very happy now that she is lucky to have acquired neither AIDS nor pregnancy.

Jonathan warns her to be extra careful now that she has contracted no AIDS. He says that the only hundred percent protections guaranteed from acquiring the virus is abstinence for un married people mutual love and loyalty among couples. The two Jonathan and Abooki seem to have fallen in love after this exercise.

Atwoki arrive home sick, just after the burial of his mother. The foot portal bullet has been completely disfigured by irritating skin burns and rashes all over his body. Atwoki acquired the disease in Kampala together with his friend David who has been trying to spread it to other girls. David’s father died earlier and now it is the mother and house girl who are on their death bed.

Abooki and Atwoki decide to visit their uncle Araali, who lived at Kitangwenda. They board a bus and drop at Kitangwenda from where Atwoki is to be carried on a bicycle for 20 kilometer to Thinga village, where their uncle says, uncle Araali welcomes them to his home where Atwoki decided to stay until the time of his death, since he knows that he will soon die as their parents and cousin died of AIDS. Only Abooki is spared in Adyeri’s family.




The title Passed like a Shadow is a symbolic title of a customer or experience of a family catastrophe, that attacked all the members of her Adyeri with HIV/AIDS and left only Abooki as it passed her like a shadow ever –since she was situated by the environment of acquiring the disease and also by being deceived by John who got her in bed unwillingly without using protection.

Hence the title Passed like a Shadow fulfills the author’s intentions into sending his message to the society or there is one to one corresponding of other title and content of the book.


The setting of the book is in Uganda after independence during the end of the Uganda and Tanzania war at the period of Iddi Amin rule in Uganda it was during this period where a lot of Uganda citizen dead of HIV/AIDS, popularly known as “SLIM” In the story “Passed like a Shadow” we see that the whole family of Adyer’s vanished off from the earth except only one number Abooki because of poor precaution on fighting against AIDS.


The novel has a straight forward narration as it is straight by portraying Atwoki and Abooki as the main character their relation to the family and the society at large. The first to forth chapters are narrating about Adyeri aggressive treatment towards his family as it is seen how he usually drink and end up beating his family as it seen how he usually drink and end up beating his family until his children and wife decided to run away from him.

Chapter 6-8 narrate about Atwoki’s success as they explain how he become a Uganda football star and how he managed to build the house from his mother and sister and lastly people bring their father to their cowries house as a victim of HIV / AIDS to die in their arms. Atwoki doesn’t learn from his daddy as he was old womanizer when he went to Kampala. To conclude they said, death finally catcher up with him and let the HIV/AIDS passed Abooki (his sister) like a shadow.


Adyeri is the father of Atwoki and Abooki. He was the former headmaster of St. Luis High school. He becomes a hopeless drunkard and womanizer after losing his job. He is a very irresponsible father and husband as provided by his failure to provide for the family. He resorts to beating his wife and children on any slight provocation, Causing fear and frustration to the family. He later becomes a victim of the AIDS pandemic in a lonely home when the wife and children cluster him. His concubine also throws him out after establishing that he is a victim of HIV/ AIDS. He drink’s and smokes heavily. Adyeri dies very miserably of the disease after suffering for a long time. He is a greedy man as portrayed on the bride price on Vicky’s marriage.

Is the wife of Adyeri and the mother of Atwoki and Abooki
- She is hot tempered
- She is portrayed as a jealous woman from the way we see her refusing Vicky’s man who is from another tribe
- She plays the rule of a caring mother
- She dies of the AIDS pandemic
- She is superstition and Ignorant. She always think of disease to be the result of witchcraft but not finesses

- Is the son of Adyeri
- He suffers from poor upbringing by his father
- He later become a famous football nick name “Foot portal bullet”
- He build house for his mother who has been separated from her father.
- He falls in love with a girl in Kampala despite his awareness of AIDS.

- Is Adyeri daughter
- Is a decent and disciplined girl
- She take care of her sick mother ,father and brother

- Adyeri niece and cousin of Atwoki and Abooki
- She is a victim of poor upbringing as seen by her mistreatment by her uncle and his wife.
- She goes into exile where she meets Akena but he frustrates her intention to marry him.
- She resorts to sell her body after that.
- Vicky seems to be aware of the diseases and its Causes unlike her husband Aluganyira.

- Is Adyeri’s concubine who lives at Burungu
- Is a prostitute and crud exploiter of man.
- She chases Adyeri away with the police when he needed how most.
- Adyeri’s former secretary when he was headmaster
- She is Ignorant of the disease called slim.

- Is the son of a rich and important man in Kampala
- He is Atwoki’s friend and a university reject
- He is a womanizer who influences Atwoki to start hunting for woman.
- He becomes a victim of AIDS pandemic disease
- His father died of AIDS having infected his moth

- Is a prostitute who hunts for men in town, she traps Atwoki
- She is cheap going as seen by how she kisses and hugs Atwoki

- Is a boy from a rich family
- He is merciless and exploitation
- He misuses Abooki to his pleasure

- Vicky’s husband, rich and ignorant exploiter
- he exploits women
- He is superstitious because he lives in charms and the power of which doctor.

- These are Vicky’s female friends
- They sell their bodies and exploit men
- They convince Vicky to be engaged in prostitution
- They are ignorant of the disease “slim”

- Uncle Araali is the brother of Adyeri who lives Ilunga village at Kitangwenda.
- He supports the family of his brother as seen by paying school fees
- He is a kind and loving man
- He welcomes Atwoki and Abooki when the farmer is sick


It is a technique or uniqueness of the writer’s say of writing a work of art. In “Passed like a shadow” the author used a creative technique as he used a simple language with the use of familiar language devices as he used the following in his form of language.

Hyperbole - Exaggeration beyond the Truth

1. Abook was in a nightmare : To mean she was in a deep thought (page 2)

2. Daddy gave him a classic slap to mean a heavy slap (page 3)

3. Amoti’s eyes nearly popped out: To mean the high surprising state, Amoti was in at the moment (p.9)

4. She told him breathlessly to show how exciting Abooki was (p.4)

5. The catastrophic that had been him to mean hard time(P.25)


The situation where by a comparison of two unlike things is made using words like, as or like.
1. She walked to wards him or fearless as a lioness (p.3)
2. He was humble as a dove (p.8)
3. His face was us him as a child(p.21)
4. She was a hard working as a donkey (P.14)

Are popular says made by the notion of people which are mostly conclude as the truth.
1. Life is not easily (p.9)
2. I have hit the jack pot (p.9)
3. Men are like a buses (p.6)
4. Like father like son (p.39)
5. East or west home is best (p. 19)

A metaphorical representation of an animal or inanimate object as having human attributes, attributes of form character feelings, behavior, and son as on. As the name implies a thing or ideas is treated as a person.
1. His eyes near heart (p.28)
2. Amoti’s eye nearly popped out (p.9)

Amoti don’t have a hard heart.(P.28)

It is an act of an author to create an imaginative picture in the mind of a reader.

The birds were really a wonderful sight (Pg 49) 
Due to her well shaped figure(Pg 19)      
With electricity speed (Pg 26)


Is the use of words in such a way that one thing stands for something else. For example, the cross stands for Christianity. In this novel, the following symbols have been used.

1. A big fish - means a rich man(pg 19)
2. Slim - HIV/AIDS.
3. I regret to have married a pig -Unsuccessful man
4. He is so green - Outdated people.

Code Switching. Chill - poor me (pg 2) Munyamahanga - Down and foreign can outcast who doesn't belong to the tribe of Batooro (pg 6) Juju - Magic power(Pg 37)



1. Aids Pandemic (Slim)

The main theme is passed like a shadow is the AIDS pandemic which has invaded the setting of the story in western Uganda. The disease, which is referred to as a slim, is wiping the population. Indiscriminately, the writes has revealed some of the practices and beliefs that speed up the spread of the disease among the people.

The generation is dying miserably of the disease before the right age. The title of the novel PASSED LIKE A SHADOW reflects on how the young and energetic men and women perish from AIDS (slim). Their life span lasts as short as that of a shadow. Man power and talents are worded by the disease. Before the talents are utilized fully, the people pass away like shadows.

The characters in the novel ,like Adyeri, Amoti, David, Vicky, David’s, father and mother, Aluganyira and Atwoki are example of the people who fall victim of the AIDS pandemic. The writer reveals the factors that exposed them to this tragedy as follows:

Aids Pandemic (Slim)
2. Position of Woman

This is the role of woman in the family.A woman is portrayed as a tool of pleasure for men. This is when David and his father pick different girls from the bar and restaurants because they think women are instrument of pleasure. Aliganyira divorces two women after having children with them and marries Vicky as the third wife. A woman is also portrayed as weak and cannot be involved in decision making .For example Aliganyira forces Vicky to visit witch doctor who could give them a charm forgetting children. Also the woman takes care of the home and give birth to the children.

3. The Influence of Power

The position that we hold in the society plays a very big role in the exposure to AIDS infections. The rich business people like Aliganyira and David's father use their position to influence young little girls into their trays using money and power.Atwoki falls a prey to the trap of Edda ,and the other girls in Kampala because he is a football star and famous.

4. Influence of Parents and Their Children

a) The jealous of Amoti influences Vicky's life style.Amoti has always been jealous of anything that concern Vicky,especially of the man who wanted to marry her.

b) Atwoki falls a victim to David's influence because of the poor life in their family.

c) David is exposed to infection because of very free, leisure and fair environment in their family.The tendency of David's father to pick girls and shares drinks with his son in the bar.This influences David so much.

d) The negligence and greed of Adyeri, Atwoki 's father exposes Vicky to infection.

5. Peer Pressure and Influence

This is the influence of age mates, friends and colleagues in making decisions. In the novel, the following people fall victims of peer pressure and influence . The pressure from relatives and her husband expose Vicky to further infection when she accepts the services from witch doctor so that she can have children. The witch doctor use the same knife he used to other patients who are probably victims of slim. Atwoki is influenced by his friend David who used to take him to girls and even finances their cost. This lead him to become an HIV victim. Vicky is also influenced with her friends Tusiime and Kunihira .She sell her body so that she can take care of herself.

6. Ignorance and Superstition

Ignorance is situation in which people are unaware of the vital information within their society. Most of people in the story are ignorant because they can not tell the truth about AIDS- people are not aware of the disease. Vicky's husband takes her to witchdoctor so that they could have a child. In process, she got infection of slim. Amoti associates her husband's sickness to witchcraft. She thinks that Birungi bewitches her husband, Adyeri. The victims of slim are taken to witchdoctors with the belief that they are victims of bewitching and evil spirits.

7. Family Conflicts

These are the misunderstanding within the family which lead to instability of the family.These conflicts play a big roles in the spread of AIDS (Slim) 1.Conflict lead Atwoki falls victim of the disease. 2.Amoki separates from her husband 3.Vicky get into prostitution when her uncle chases her from the house and also later refuses her fiance.

8. Promiscuity and Infidelity/Prostitution

This is a situation of some one having many sexual partners who are not married legally to him/her. Adyeri is promiscuous because he has a lover called Birungi,besides his wife . Apart from that he also has other lovers in the streets. Vicky had several men before she married Aliganyira. David and his father are promiscuous because they are pick girls from the streets.

Is a lesson we get after reading a work of art. In passed like a shadow is mostly concerned with the HIV/AIDS pandemic where we see people are negligent and ignorant of the disease as they practice promiscuity and infidelity/prostitution without precaution on protecting their health as a result they acquire the HIV virus

This is misunderstanding between a person and himself or a person and a group of people or a group of people and a certain group of people. In this book the conflicts are divided into two parts.

1. Personal Conflicts. Vicky going to the witch doctor unwilling since it as an order from her husband (pg 37) Amoti did not know what to do when he was brought to their home without her concent (pg 29)

2. Interpersonal conflicts. Vicky with her aunt because she always felt jealous of any success of hers (p 7) Vicky's uncle with Vicky's fiance(P 11) Atwoki and his age mates about his dreams.

Philosophy of the Writer

Philosophy of the writer is that HIV/AIDS is spread to people because of the ignorance and negligence of the people. Also the main cause of spreading HIV/AIDS is the sexual intercourse between two partners having unprotected sex.

Relevance of the Book. This book is relevant to the society as it brings a teaching message to the society of Uganda, Africa and the world wide which encounter the HIV/AIDS pandemic. It criticizing the society's way of life with its act of prostitution and infidelity at the same time it educates the society and lastly entertain the society by different songs in the book so as to bring up awareness.


1. Explain how the Author of the book have used characters to bring massage to the society

2. Parents are the agents to shape their children by using their parents are either good or bad.

1) Solution Qn. 1

Character is the agent which carries the message to the society. In the novels passed like a shadow which written by BERNARD MAPALALA and wreath for father Mayer which written by S.N. NDUNGURU the author of this book are try to use characters to bring message to the society.

The following are the characters from the book Passed like a Shadow which used to bring message to the society:

Adyeri is the head of the family not only but also is the head master of St. Luis high school. He becomes a hopeless drunkard and womanizer after losing his job so the message which brings from these characters to the society is irresponsibility. Irresponsibility shown by Adyeri who failed to provide for the family basic needs. As the book says “uncle pays visit. Atwoki’s home and find the home had gated no food.

Aluganyira is rich person, exploiter and Vicky's husband also he is superstitious because he believes in the power of witch doctor. The message which we get from this character is local beliefs. Local beliefs are the beliefs of existence of goods and the activities that are concerned with their being the worshiped. Shown when Aluganyira takes his wife to witch doctor in order to get child. As the book says “The witch doctor make prinks on Vicky stomach and tattoo’s it”

Abooki’s is Adyeri’s and Amoti’s daughter she is a kindness person is the message which we get from her.

This character is kindness. Kindness showed when Abooki’s is taking care of her sick mother, father and her brother. As the book says, “Abooki back at home without enough money while the mother is sick”.


  1. I like the analysis but more things should be added

  2. How can we differentiate between the message and themes potrayed by the characters by refereling to the answers of question number 1, which you have answered.