MUTE: The Significance of MUTE in Darko’s Faceless

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This tutorial is all about the significance of MUTE in Faceless.

The name MUTE which refers to a non-governmental organization in Faceless, a novel by Amma Darko, may look like an acronym or abbreviation but it is not one.


MUTE actually stands for what it is in English – silence.

The following are the key points you need to remember as you prepare for a test question in your WASSCE, JAMB or any other school examination.

The founding of MUTE

Dina is the name of the founder and boss of MUTE, the NGO

The motivation behind the founding of MUTE is this: While in the process of doing her final year research at university, Dina tried, without success, to obtain the kind of information she needed in the regular libraries around.

Dina’s frustrating experience made her see the need to establish a unique type of library where information which was not purely academic in nature could be stored and accessed.

This is what gave birth to MUTE – Dina’s “Alternative Library” with a “documentation centre” attached.

Issues that MUTE deals with

MUTE’s work is largely related to three core issues

  • Social issues
  • Gender issues – one of its major projects is the one on a mentally-ill pregnant woman.
  • Child issues

How MUTE obtains its information on the issues it deals with

The sources of information available to the staff of MUTE are varied. Here are the most important ones.







Telephone calls – anonymous and otherwise

Observations by members and staff at MUTE


Composition of the staff of MUTE


Four hardworking women do all the work at MUTE. They are

  • Dina, the boss – unmarried
  • Kabria – married and mother of three
  • Vickie – unmarried
  • Aggie

The atmosphere at MUTE is a very friendly one.

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Dina is able to relate effectively on a personal level with each of her employees. She has created an accommodating environment where each one of these four women feels wanted, engaged, motivated and at home.

This explains why, in spite of the relatively low pay, Kabria is happy to continue working with MUTE.

Problems MUTE faces in its work

The people at MUTE do not always have an easy ride when it comes to getting the kind of information they want.

Members of the community are very suspicious of the motives behind their work. That is why the owner of the blue rasta kiosk (behind which Baby T’s lifeless body was found) is initially reluctant to divulge any information to the staff of MUTE.
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Another show of hostility MUTE suffers is when someone delivers a shit parcel to the organization when it begins to investigate Baby T’s death and her true identity.

“… Dina also read the sender’s name with a smile even though it read rather curiously, ‘Abraham Lincoln’. With the contents described rather oddly as ‘Sample Cotton (for experiment)’.”

The significance of MUTE in Faceless

Note the following points about the role MUTE plays in Amma Darko’s Faceless

  • MUTE, an all-female organization greatly advances the theme of feminism in the novel, Faceless.

MUTE demonstrates how women can impact society positively if given the chance. Whether they have decided to ignore the male gender and stay single (as is the case with Dina) or to persevere in challenging marital conditions (like Kabria), these career women at MUTE have proven that they are capable of contributing their quota to national development.

  • MUTE’s work enables the reader to come to terms with the social problems in the Ghanaian society.

Amma Darko uses MUTE to develop her themes of sexual violence against the feminine gender in general.

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Victims of sexual abuse that MUTE helps to identify include under-aged girls like Baby T and mentally ill women.

Another social problem that comes to the fore through MUTE’s work is parental neglect.

  • Thirdly, it is MUTE that makes it possible for the reader to realize with shock the state of disrepair and ineffectiveness of many state institutions such as the police station. Through MUTE, the theme of failed government institutions is developed.
  • MUTE’s activities help to identify the ultimate result of these problems – the street child phenomenon.

MUTE contributes to the development of the plot of Faceless.

The eventful meeting between Kabria and Fofo at the Agbogbloshie market sets the stage for an unprecedented investigation into the murder of a street girl who doubled as a child prostitute – Baby T.

As MUTE, with the active support of Sylv Po’s Harvest FM, digs deep into the social problems that end up ruining the lives of girls like Baby T and Fofo, the novel moves quickly to a climax. The interview with Poison, the Street Lord is one of the significant stages of the plot.

And at the end of it all, thanks to MUTE, girls like Fofo get the chance they rightly deserve to prepare for a future of responsible adulthood.

Thus, MUTE, a non-governmental organization has largely succeeded where government institutions have woefully failed.

The relative success of MUTE, despite all the challenges it encounters, shows the key role such private institutions can play in the nation-building effort.

Thank you.


Ralph spends his day working as an online entrepreneur and e-learning strategist. As a digital publishing trainer/consultant, he has developed exceptional skills in SEO-content writing. He writes extensively on lifelong learning and personal development issues. Ralph is the CEO of RN Digital Media Ent - a digital publishing & content marketing services platform he founded in 2017.

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