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My Grandfather’s Family (Emile KAHOUN, Yadéga High School)

My own grandfather had nine wives of whom two were his favourite and of these two he preferred one to the other. This created complications but further difficulty arose. The discrimination my grandfather showed between his wives also extended to children.
Among my uncles, sons of my grandfather, there were trouble and rivalry. When a goal, cow or sheep was killed, the sons of favourite wives would receive bigger pieces than the rest.
There were three of my grandfather’s wives he liked noticeably less than the rest and treated them accordingly. Their children suffered the same way. One of these three had a son who was her only child and the others had two sons each. The one with one son was treated worst of all and eventually she ran away and went to Nairobi where she had a difficult life. Her son too ran away from home. He went to a mission school. There, he became a Christian and became educated….He was then quite happy. When the sons of the disliked wives heard of their half-brother’s adventure, they too ran and joined him at the mission school.
The two sons of the third disliked wife did not go away. Instead they built their mother a hut about two miles away from their grandfather’s they were tough, strong young men and I could not understand why they were so disliked. They worked hard and became healthy .Other people in the neighbourhood liked and respected them, which embarassed grandfather considerably as his disfavour was known. He would then invite them on important occasions, but they would never go to him. They were happy with their own independent way.
The sons who were favoured at home were given every opportunity and assistance. They disliked their three half-brothers who had gone to a mission school. They were however less critical when they speak of the two half-brothers who were successful and were living separately with their mother.

From Child of two words MUGO GATHERU


Choose the correct answer

1) My grandfather liked better…..

a) all his wives
b) one of his favourite wives
c) his wife who had only one son
d) none of his wives

2) My uncles were rivals because my grandfather…

a) didn’t love them equally
b) preferred none of them
c) didn’t care about them
d) Was interested in cows, goats and sheeps.

3) The best parts of meat were given to…..

a) grandfather himself
b) the two favourite wives’ children
c) The disliked wives’children
d) The younger children

4) One of the grandfather’s wives left because...

a) she had only one child
b) she was well-treated
c) she was ill-treated
d) she liked another man

5) The first disliked wife’s son

a) stayed at home
b) ran away from school
c) had a difficult life
d) joined the missionaries

6) The three disliked wives had….

a) two children
b) three children
c) five children
d) nine children

7) Grandfather was embarassed because….

a) people in the neighbourhood disliked his sons
b) the neighbours liked the sons he disliked
c) all his wives had their own houses
d) he was afraid

8) My half-brother is….

a) my mother-in-law’s son
b) my uncle’s son
c) my father’s brother
d) my step-mother’s son


1) Did grandfather treat his wives the same way? Why ? (2-3 lines) 2pts
2) Why did the neighbours liked the third disliked wife’s sons? (2-3 lines) 2pts
3) What are the advantages and disadvantages of a large family? (8-10 lines) 6pts


A- Select the letter that is in front of the correct answer. (2pts)

1) Your book is different……..mine
a) Of
b) from
c) with
d) for

2) I’d like ………….all my questions
a) that you answer
b) you answered
c) you to answer
d) you’ll answer.

3) They didn’t buy……….cows
a) not
b) any
c) some
d) no

4) I………to my uncle’s seven day ago
a) go
b) am going
c)shall go
d) went

B) Put the following sentences into the indirect speech

5) « We are playing football », he told me.
6) « My son is building a house », the woman said.

C) Turn the sentences into the passive

7) This man can repair your motorcycle.
8) Somebody told the pupils to wait outside.


1) Les enfants quittèrent leurs parents.
2) C’est le pire des grands-pères du village.
3) Tu aurais dû épouser une seule femme.
4) Que ces jeunes gens sont forts!

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