Blossoms of the Savannah

Blossoms of the Savannah Imagery

Taiyo's surroundings

In Blossoms of the Savannah, author Ole Kulet employs varied and careful use of language to create images that register vividly in the reader's subconscious, creating a lasting impression. Kulet's exceptional choice of vocabulary is blended in a phenomenal way with descriptions of the setting. Imagery is used to create the literary mood and also plays a crucial role in building tension and in discerning the different events unfolding in the story. The first instance of imagery is brought into perception on the first page of the novel. In this particular scene, Kulet describes Taiyo's surroundings as she watches from the third floor of the building in which their flat was located:

"The rising sun shone on rooftops, giving them a yellowish tinge. Across the roads that crisscrossed the town, diminutive figures of men and women hurried briskly as they went to their places of work. Uniformed school children, rucksacks on their backs, jostled boisterously as they alighted from one matatu and boarded another" (p. 1).

Taiyo's Boyfriend Lenjirr

After their father is fired, Taiyo and Resian have to relocate to Nasila. The narrator introduces Lenjirr, Taiyo's boyfriend, in a descriptive way that creates an image of him in the reader's mind. Through this explicit description, the reader is able to visualize Lenjirr in a conceptual way.

"But the most painful to leave behind was her boyfriend Lenjirr, the lanky dark-haired, blunt-faced young man whose big languid brown eyes had always smiled at her warmly” (p. 3).

The Homecoming Party Dancers

The dancers that grace the occasion of Ole Kaelo's homecoming party are described in detail:

"A bevy of beautiful young women stepped forward; their necks bedecked with layer after layer of exquisite multicoloured bead ornaments. The lesos they wore over their shoulders fluttered in the windy afternoon air as they moved sedately, heads poised, chests heaving forwards and backward, knees bowing, voices raised melodiously, as they glided smoothly into an exciting traditional dance. Their light steps were sedate, their backs and shoulders held straight, and their heads haughty and graceful" (p. 42).


The description of Resian towards the end of the novel also builds a graphic image of her from the narrator's presentation of her. She is described as being "taller than the old woman, [and she] had long slender limbs and high firm breasts. She had a narrow waist that tapered down, swelling out to bulging hips. Her arms and legs were slender but shapely; she moved with a natural gait and pride" (p. 263).


Ole Kulet brings the reader's attention to the issue of violence in Blossoms of the Savannah in a way that is graphic in nature, a situation which compels the reader to visualize the event as it unfolds:

“He brought his right fist down in a powerful blow, lifting himself to his toes and putting the strength from his legs, back and arms behind his knuckles as they crushed into the man's nose and mouth” (p. 141).