The novel starts with the birth of a baby girl. This child is the fast girl child in the homestead of not just a chief but a great chief called Odero Gogni who had covered himself in considerable glory for siring twenty one sons. The naming rite worries everyone because no name suits her spirit and she cries for a very long time.
A name is eventually found for her but for the ‘noise’, she is nicknamed Akoko which means the noisy one. It is this name that sticks throughout the development of the novel.
Akoko grows both in age and stature and she is well trained in the ways of chik(the traditions and norms that govern the community). We are told she is physically strong and a beauty to behold so that by the time she reaches marriageable age, so many suitors are after her and the great chief…
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