Author: Severine N. Ndunguru
Setting: Tanzania and Sweden
Publisher: Mkuki na NyotaYear: 2004
Spared is a thriller. The story unfolds as two Tanzanian officials, Tom and Chris, discuss about an approaching official mission to Sweden. While in Sweden, Tom hangs out with Linda, the daughter of a Swedish multi-millionaire. The two are abducted by the thugs, but later Tom is set free. To rescue Linda, Chris tries and pleases two sharp-shooters hidden in Abisko National Parkand in control of powerful telescopic rifles.
The story reveals how Tanzanian officials betray the majority of Tanzanians by working for the interests of European imperialists; and use their positions to accumulate wealth. Indeed this is unforgettable story, well crafted, well written and pleasure to read.
Talking about a character we talk about a person in a story. Characters in this novel, Spared are not real but are there to demonstrate different roles played by different people in our society. Through the characters found in this novel, the author, S.N. Ndunguru has succeeded to uncover different evils done by some leaders to whom we gave our trust and let them represent us in different governmental issues.
Together with Chris Mayesa and Tom Nyirenda who are the main characters, this novel incorporates many other characters who to their parts they have contributed successfully to make the entire thing.
Some of these characters can be described as follows:
Chris Mayesa (Chris)
He is the principal of the Institute of Land Development (ILD) and the former professor at the University of Dar es Salaam.
Chris is a brave and lucky man who believes in power of prayers whenever he is in a risky mission. Prayers make him rescue Linda from the hands of abductors at Abisko National Park; and also prayers makes him spared miraculously from bomb blast at Ngindo Hotel.
Chris represents the group of people who feel pity when their friends are in difficulty situations; and who are ready to sacrifice their lives so as to save their friends from difficulty situations.
Tom Nyirenda (Tom)
He is the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Lands and Environment and the former commissioner of mines, the position which he later reclaims after the mission in Sweden. He is also the chairman of the Institute of Land Development (ILD) Board Meeting.
Tom represents the corrupt leaders who work for the interests of European imperialists; and who use their positions to accumulate as much wealth as possible while the majority they lead are living in extreme poverty.
He is the Minister of Lands and Environment and the former student of Chris Mayesa at the University of Dar es Salaam. He later loses his position as the Minister of Lands and environment and become an ordinary ‘tax bubu’ driver although he regards himself as a tour operator, a title which carried a little more esteem.
He collaborates with Van Meer and Claus Schuller to bomb down Ngindo Hotel, the act which led the three of them to face life sentence in prison.
Msokonde represents the corrupt leaders who misuse their power by making different decisions unlawful so as to favor their friends.
Professor David Chambakare
He is a political refugee from Kondowe to Tanzania who works as a Chief Academic Officer at the Institute of Land Development (ILD); and the competent professor in mathematics department. His marital life and different political dangers he had gone through in Kondowe led him to the heavy drinking habit so as to reduce frustration. Chambakare lost his wife, Tsala in the hands of Mr. Mwampakati, one among the top officials of the ruling party – Kondowe People’s Party (KPP). He also lost his job as a professor at the University of Kondowe; and he sent to prison after being known to the authority that he is organizing a movement to overthrow the government.
She is the wife of Prof. David Chambakare. Tsala betrayed her husband, Prof. Chambakare by eloping with Mr. Mwampakati, one among the top officials of KPP.
Tsala represents the women in the society who are not faithful to their husbands.
He is one of the top officials of Kondowe ruling party, KPP. He eloped with Tsala, Chambakare’s wife when Chambakare was in prison.
Mr. Martin Wickman
He is a well known Swedish multi-millionaire who owns mining companies in Africa as well as in South America. Mr. Wickman uses Tom as a commissioner of mines to acquire and control mining companies in Tanzania.
Mr. Martin Wickman represents some European imperialists who use corrupt leaders to exploit wealth in developing countries.
She is the daughter of the Swedish multi-millionaire, Martin Wickman. She is also the chairperson of Wickman’s company meetings.
Linda was kidnapped with Tom by the people who betrayed by her father, Mr. Wickman; but she later rescued by Chris.
Hon. Shedrick Yalomba
He is the Member of Parliament representing Uyanja in Mbinga district who later appointed to be the Minister of Lands, Water and Minerals. He is very vocal Member of Parliament before he becomes a minister and he probably given the ministry so as to silence him from his continuous criticism to the government.
He is Wickman’s Land Surveyor who helped Mr. Wickman to open gold mines in Lukalasi and Mpepo.
He collaborates with Goran Frisk and Peter Lindberg to kidnap Linda Wickman so as to make Mr.
Wickman pay for the betrayal he made to them by throwing them out of the company.
He is a South African Businessman. He collaborated with Peter Msokonde and Claus Schuller to bomb Ngindo hotel so that for the immediate future the Ngindo Island might be abandoned as a dangerous place, thus leaving room for them to try and acquire it easily.
Corruption is an act of being dishonest in operations which affect interests of the public.
Corruption also includes exploitation of power for personal gain.
In the novel, Tom is seen as corrupt because he makes decisions in the government without considering the welfare of the majority he leads. This can be clearly shown when he gives mining contracts to the Wickmans for his personal gains.
Hon Peter Msokonde is also corrupt as he uses his power to influence his subordinates issue land tittles to his friends while he knows quite well that the plots are either in open spaces in city master plan or are already issued to other people. As he says, “Don’t mind what they say about double allocation. Give him a plot and we can advise the President to revoke the other man’s title….” (Page 79) Also he is corrupt because he wants to sell illegally Ngindo Island to his friend, Van Meer.
Mr. Oswald Mkangama is also corrupt because he accepts the offer by Tom and therefore he persuades the President to favor Tom and make him a commissioner of mines.
Betrayal may simply means “going against promise”. It may also refers to harm or being unfaithful to a country or another person by helping an enemy or giving information that is confidential. In this novel we see betrayal in the following ways:
Betrayal committed by Tom Nyirenda to his country, Tanzania, by working for the interest of European imperialist, Martin Wickman for his own benefit. We see how Tom betrays his country by signing fake mining contracts with Mr. Wickman the thing which enables Mr. Wickman to acquire mining companies in Tanzania especially gold mines at Mpepo and Lukalasi in Mbinga district; and ruby mines at Matombo and Mahenge in Morogoro and Ulanga districts. Also Tom betrays his country as he uses public funds to travel to Sweden to finalize his connections with Wickman.
Betrayal also had shown by Tsala to her huband Chambakare when she left him and elopes with Mwampakati the thing which frustrates Mr. Chambakare and make him drink heavily.
Claus Schuller also betrayed his colleagues Msokonde and Meer when he revealed their bombing mission and mentioned their names to the police officers.
Mr. Martin Wickman also betrayed workers, the land surveyor, Gustav Hanson and mining engineers, Peter Lindberg and Goran Frisk by buying their shares and throw them out of the company. This thing makes them angry; and they abducts Linda so as to make Mr. Wickman pay.
Nepotism is favoritism shown by somebody in power to relatives and friends, especially in appointing them to good positions or by giving them some privileges whether they deserve or not. In the novel, the appointment of Peter Msokonde and Shedrick Yalomba as ministers has some sort of favoritism because they both lacked qualities of being ministers; and instead Shedrick Yalomba is appointed in order to silence him form his continuous criticism to the government; and Peter Msokonde is appointed simply because he had been noticed by ruling party bosses as a political activist among University students. Msokonde’s appointment does not regard either his age, education or his experience.
Also we see how Msokonde orders his subordinates to give plots to his friends although they do not deserve. We can see this when Msokonde orders Tom by saying, “Ensure he gets the plot. He’s my close friend….” (Page 79)
In the novel also we see how Mr. Oswald Mkangama favors Tom by persuading the President to post Tom as a commissioner of mines simply because Tom had promised to
include Mr. Mkangama in the board of Wickman’s company.
In question, hypocrisy is the act of pretending to have some moral standards or beliefs that you do not really have.
In the novel, Spared, Tom is hypocrite as he pretends to serve the government while he is actually works for the interests of European imperialist; and also he is there to enrich himself with the posts entrusted to him.
Peter Msokonde is also hypocrite as he pretends to feel sorry for the removal of Tom from the Ministry of Lands and Environment while he is the one who told the President to punish Tom for what he did in Sweden.
Tsala Chambakare is also hypocrite as she pretends to love her husband David Chambakare while she is eloping with Mr. Mwampakati.
We can define the term exploitation as the practice of taking selfish or unfair advantage of a person or situation, usually for personal gain and without paying proper benefit for it.
Martin Wickman is seen as an exploiter since he exploits the people who work for him. We see how he exploits Gregesen by using his man power without raising his salary; also we see how Mr. Wickman exploits Gustav and his colleagues in his mining companies, the thing which makes them decide to kidnap Linda so as to get their due.
We see also how Mr. Wickman takes advantage of poverty in the country to exploit the available resources, especially in Tanzania.
Love can be defined as the feeling of tender affection for somebody such as a close relative or friend, or for something such as a place, an ideal, or even to an animal. When showing love one may be sincere (true) or insincere (hypocritical).
In this novel we can see both sincere and insincere love.
Sincere love is shown by Chris Mayesa when he is ready to sacrifice his life so as to save life of his friends. We can see how Chris sacrifices his life so as to rescue Linda from the hands of abductors at Abisko National Park. Also we can see how Chris fights with all his heart so as to save the life of his friend, Tom when he was attacked by lung cancer. In this novel, Spared we can see how Chris feels sympathy and sorrow for the misfortune of others; something which makes him act out of love and compassion.
Sincere love is also shown by Prof. David Chambakare to his wife Tsala as he forgives her and forgets all the pain she caused to him; and agrees to take her as his wife again.
Insincere love in this novel has shown by Tsala Chambakare to her husband David Chambakare as she leaves him alone and elopes with another man, Mwampakati.
Also insincere love is shown by Tom Nyirenda as he betrays his country by pretending to serve the government while he is actually working for the interest of the European imperialists; and enrich himself.
Shortly, belief refers to a vague idea in which some confidence is placed. In this novel we see how Chris places his confidence in prayers especially when he is in a risky mission. Chris prays to his God to protect him and make him strong before and when he is about to rescue Linda from the hands of abductors by reciting Psalm 121 “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills…. from whence
comes my help? My help cometh from the Lord who made heaven and earth”……. “The Lord shall
preserve thee from all evils; he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in form this time forth, and even for evermore.” (Page 51) Prayer makes Chris strong and successful to every mission he commits.
Patriotism is simply means love of country and willingness to sacrifice for it. One is considered to be a patriot as he is a proud supporter or defender of his/her country and its way of life.
In the novel we see how Prof. David Chambakare fight with all his heart so as to make sure his country, Kondowe is having a democratically installed government. We see how Chambakare passes through different political dangers by organizing a movement to overthrow the dictatorial government in Kondowe the thing which makes him sent to prison, loose his job and his wife. Chambakare is doing all these out of love for his country. On other side of the coin we see how Tanzanian leaders lack patriotism and use their positions for their own gain.
If you like you may refer sacrifice as an act of giving up of something valuable (even life) for somebody or something else considered being of more value or importance.
In the novel we see how Chris sacrifices his life so as to rescue Linda from the hands of abductors at Abisko National Park inSweden. Chris knows well that the assignment of rescuing Linda may cost his life; but accompanied by prayers he is ready to undertake the risk so as to arescue Linda;
as he says “I have made up my mind to carry out this assignment. I have an inner certitude that he who made heaven and earth will preserve me.” (Page 51)
Also we see how Prof. David Chambakare sacrifices his life as he endangers his life by organizing a movement to overthrow the dictatorial government in his country. Although his acts lead him to lose his job, his wife, send him to prison and later become a political refugee in Tanzania, someday Chambakare returns to Kondowe, and ensures that the democratic government is installed in Kondowe.
Conflict is a disagreement between people which leads to some sort of misunderstanding.
As we can see in this novel conflict occurs between the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Lands and Environment, Tom Nyirenda and his minister, Hon. Peter Msokonde as the result of their differences in interests.
Also there is conflict between Mr. Wickman and his workers, Gustav, Goran and Lindberg which resulted to the abduction of Linda.
We can see also political conflicts at Kondowe where David Chambakare had a quarrel with the authority, the thing which makes him become a political refugee in Tanzania.
Terrorism may simply refer to an act of using force in order to achieve a certain desired goal.
Terrorism may include bombing, kidnapping, and assassination.
In this novel terrorism is witnessed when Gustav and his colleagues force payment from Mr.
Wickman by kidnapping her daughter, Linda at Abisko National Park in Sweden.
Also terrorism is witnessed when Msokonde collaborated with Van Meer, the South African investor and Claus Schuller so as to bomb Ngindo Hotel in Ngindo Island.
The position of woman
The author of this novel has portrayed a woman in different ways as follows:
First, the author has described a woman as a good family keeper; as we can see how Susan treated her husband Tom; and how she took care of him when he was sick.
Second, the author has shown us the strength of woman on supervising different projects successfully; as we can see how Linda Wickman chaired Wickman’s Company meetings successfully; and through her good supervision, the company operates profitably.
Third, the author has portrayed a woman as weak creature who controlled by men. This can be clearly shown by Tsala Chambakare who is first married to Chambakare, and then to Mwampakati, then she comes back to Chambakare. This act of changing men shows us how Tsala lacks a stand and leave a room for men to control her life.
Use of Literary Devices in Spared
The major literary devices appeared in this novel are point of view, dialogue and
(i) Point of View
The author uses the first person point of view techniques in this novel, wherein the story is told by the narrator from his or her standpoint. For example, the following sentence in the story is built by the first person pronoun:
“I dutifully obeyed and re-entered the cabin. This, of course, was
a step I had not anticipated in the scenario I had committed to
memory” (p. 55).
The point of view manipulates the reader’s understanding of the narrative and determines the angle or perception of the unfolding story, and thus influences the tone under which the story takes place.
In this story dialogue is commonly used:
“Did you once tell me you taught him?” Tom asked.
“Yeah, for three years during his undergraduate Course”
“How did you rate him?” (p. 3).
“You say he called you by your first name?”
Tom asked incredulously.
“Yes, I was surprised beyond measure”
“And he said he was the one who gave me the money?”
“And he said you should say “Hallo” to me?”
“That is exactly what he said”
“Couldn’t you tell who he was from his voice?” (p. 62).
“His boss”, she said, “How did you like that?”
“Me being fondled by that while man”
“Which white man?” (p. 118).
The use of dialogue in this story help the reader to embrace the characters. Ndunguru uses a lot of dialogue at least in each chapter. For example on (p. 62) Tom Nyirenda narrates the story of his adventure to Chris so as to horrify him.
Exclamations such as Good Lord, no! (p. 26), are used by Chris when he narrates the story of the woman who is with Tom, and how she was kidnapped before him, so Peter worried that Tom might have died. More over “Good gracious!” on (p. 60) said by Chris to show sympathy to Tom that he is not praying. But due to problem he prayed. “Damn you!” on (p. 136) is used by Mr. Van Meer when lamenting to Claus after having caught at the airport for his terrorism against Tom and Chris’ hotel.
Exclamation words one used by the author impress the action which has happened, hence the reader’s interest is around.