In this tutorial on the character and role of Kabria in Amma Darko’s Faceless, we will delve into the following major points.
I trust that you will pay close attention to these aspects of the character called Kabria in the novel, Faceless.
Below are your key points to bear in mind as you do an analysis of Kabria’s character.
- Kabria as a woman, a mother and a wife
- Kabria as a career woman
- Kabria’s relationship with her troublesome car, Creamy.
- Kabria as an individual
- How Kabria compares and contrasts with Maa Tsuru in Faceless.
Please note: I shall be referring to the above likely-question point as I discuss the others.
- Kabria’s role in the development of the themes and plot of the novel.
Now, let’s take these points, one after the other, and show how they relate to the character and role of Kabria in Faceless.
Kabria as a woman, a mother and a wife
Amma Darko presents Kabria as one of those regular educated Ghanaian women you are sure to meet on a typical day.
Kabria is married and lives with her husband, Adade, in a relatively stable family setting.This is unlike MaaTsuru who has to endure problematic relationships with men throughout the novel.
Like many Ghanaian women of her category, Kabria’s daily activities seem to have been clearly defined.
Kabria wakes up early in the morning to take care of the needs of her husband and children. She then proceeds to work, after dropping off her three children at their school.
After work, Kabria gets back to pick the children and then hurries home to take care of her evening chores.
She regularly visits the vegetable market at Agbogbloshie. It is on one of these occasions that Kabria nearly gets robbed by Fofo.
Kabria is, therefore, a dutiful wife and a compassionate mother.
She considers the troubles her children and Adade, her husband, give her as part of a woman’s lot. Kabria carries her cross gallantly but not without occasional concerns about her role vis-a-vis that of her husband.
Kabria as a career woman
In contrast to Maa Tsuru, Kabria is a career woman. She works with a non-governmental organization called MUTE.
At MUTE, Kabria comes across as a key player among her colleagues. She is the one who does much of the leg work. She documents important reports. In fact, one may even think Kabria, and not Dina, is the founder and boss at MUTE.
Thus Kabria is devoted to her work, despite the meagre salary she receives. She enjoys the flexibility the job offers her, the relaxed atmosphere at the office and the fact that it gives her enough space to take good care of Obea, Essie and Ottu, her three young children.
Kabria’s relationship with Creamy
Kabria has a personal car, at least. Maa Tsuru cannot even dream about that.
I have said much about Creamy and its role in the life of Kabria, in particular, and in the novel as a whole, elsewhere.
Please click here to learn more about Creamy.
All I will add here is that Kabria has a close relationship with Creamy. She even spends more time with Creamy than she does with Adade, her absentee husband.
There are times when Kabria is tempted to treat this old and tired vehicle of hers as if it were a human being. She wonders if it has a soul or is just the piece of rusted steel that it is.
So emotionally attached has Kabria become to Creamy that she cannot easily get rid of its creamy colour.
Kabria as an individual.
As an individual, Kabria has the following qualities
- Kabria is a compassionatd and kind-hearted individual. This is shown in the incident where she rescues Fofo from imminent mob action.
She regards Fofo as one more girl-child of Obea’s type – just that Fofo has probably not had the same privileges her daughter , Obea so easily takes for granted.
The motherly love and care Kabria lavishes on Fofo, thereafter, speaks volumes about her compassionate nature.
- Kabria is a very cool-headed individual. She even has quite a good sense of humour. Despite always being under pressure, especially at home, Kabria is able to take things as cooly as possible.
Kabria’s encounters with the supposedly blind woman, then Ms Sleek and also the furious motorist, never make her lose her cool.
At the MUTE office too, Kabria is always in very high spirits, whether Creamy has given her a bad day or not.
Kabria’s role in Faceless
Kabria’s actions, utterances and experiences in Faceless help to enhance the theme of feminism in the novel.
Kabria’s role is a typical educated Ghanaian woman’s role. This is just one example of the many women out there who have to juggle eternally between their roles as mothers, wives and career women while their husbands practically go to sleep.
Amma Darko uses Kabria to place before the eyes of society, the difficulties that many Ghanaian and African women face. Can’t the men have a change of heart and assist with part of these traditional female roles? This is the one-million-dollar question the novelist appears to be asking.
Apart from the issue of women’s roles in society, Kabria, through her work at MUTE, helps to expose the horrible conditions of unfortunate girls who, through no fault of theirs, find themselves in the streets of god-forsaken places like Sodom and Gomorrah.
If only more Kabrias could be there for the countless Fofos in Accra and elsewhere!
This brings us to our final point.
Kabria contributes significantly to the development of the plot of Faceless.
Kabria’s decisive act of bravery that saves Fofo from the hands of an enraged mob marks a pivotal moment in the novel.
As she gets to know whom, in reality, the “boy” she has just rescued is, Kabria sets in motion a process to come to the aid of Fofo and others like her. It is this process that will co-opt the help of the influential media station, Harvest FM, to uncover the true identity of the murdered Baby T.
It is this investigation into the murder and identity of Baby T that will expose, to our consternation, the myriad of problems in this Ghanaian society.
Kabria and her people at MUTE provide society with a glimmer of hope for its abandoned and vulnerable female children.
Is Kabria a realistic character?
What a question!
Well, here is my answer.
To a very large extent, yes.
It is my considered opinion that Kabria represents a lot of hardworking, educated Ghanaian women.
However, not all women in her category suffer those burdens that are the making of Adade, her husband.
Many women can boast of husbands who are more considerate in their dealings with their wives.