What Makes Amma Darko’s Novel, Faceless, a Satire?

Reading Time: 2 minutes


Here is a quick look at the objects of criticism in the novel, Faceless. These are the aspects which contribute to making Amma Darko’s novel, Faceless a satire.

Amma Darko’s novel, Faceless, is a satire. She uses her characters, settings and themes to expose the wrongs in the Ghanaian society as a way of calling for urgent reforms.

Here is a comprehensive look at aspects of society which are criticized in the novel, Faceless by Amma Darko.

1. The Police Station

The police station where members of MUTE have gone in connection with Baby T’s death is representative of ineffective state institutions.

We are told that the officer in charge simply files away the postmortem report “just in case something comes up requiring further reference to it.”

  1. The inspector is surprised that the members of the NGO, MUTE, are interested in the death of a common street girl (Baby T). In a dismissive tone, he tells Kabria, “Bodies of street children are found at all kinds of places at all sorts of times.”
  2. The physical state of the police station is a testament to the hopeless and helpless state of governance in this society. Here are some examples:
  • broken windows
  • leaking sewerage
  • cracked walls
  • peeling painting
  • pathetic-looking Confidential File Cabinet with a missing handle and a gaping hole in place of a lock
  • dead telephone
  • it cannot even boast of a “tattered Tico” (very cheap vehicle)
  • Simply put, the resources needed to fight crime are not there to be used – one can therefore only sympathize with the unhelpful attitude of the police inspector and his like.

2. A Diseased Society

The symbolic setting of the novel, Sodom and Gomorrah, says it all. It is in places like this in the big towns and cities that all forms of social evils are perpetrated. Child prostitution, drug peddling and abuse, pick-pocketing, and violent unspeakable crimes like murder are a common phenomenon among the neglected children of the street.

3. Loveless Homes

The homes portrayed in the novel are mostly devoid of parental love and care. Thus, they can only produce unstable families, wayward children and vulnerable street children.

  • As the children confide in a reporter from a private FM Station, they wish their fathers showed love to their mothers so they, in turn, would smile at them. They wish to be hugged, even if dirty and smelly.

4. Morally Depraved Adult/Parents

Examples are

  • Kpakpo
  • Onko
  • Kwei
  • Mama Abidjan
  • Maami Broni

5. Uncontrolled Procreation Coupled with Parental Neglect

Many children in the novel are deprived of adequate parental love and care. Men like Kwei are portrayed as irresponsible adults who cannot control their sexual urge. Thus they end up bearing children they are not equipped enough to look after.


Amma Darko’s novel, Faceless, is a clarion call on society to take urgent action to make the home and family strong and healthy place for children. It is only then that the family can perform its primary function of preparing children and the youth well enough for their future responsibilities.

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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