This tutorial will describe how Maa Tsuru met Kpakpo and the details of the first meeting between Maa Tsuru and Kpakpo in Faceless . We shall also take a close look at the significance of this first meeting and the subsequent relationship between Maa Tsuru and Kpakpo that grows out of it.
You can find this incident of how Maa Tsuru met Kpakpo in Chapter Fifteen of Amma Darko’s novel, Faceless.
I will now show you how the relationship between Maa Tsuru and Kpakpo began.
Also, I will give you some key points on the significance of this first meeting between Kpakpo and Maa Tsuru.
How Maa Tsuru and Kpakpo Met
On this fateful day, Maa Tsuru is returning from a house where she had gone to collect dirty clothes for washing.
As we have observed in another tutorial, Maa Tsuru does not have a permanent or regular job. So she does odd jobs to take care of herself and her four children.
Unlike on previous occasions, Maa Tsuru, on her way back home, decides to give an ear to a man who had tried several times in the past to attract her attention.
This is the man called Nii Kpakpo.
Kpakpo smooth-talks Maa Tsuru into a mistake of a relationship
Kpakpo turns out to be the typical con-man who deceives women like Maa Tsuru and takes advantage of their gullibility as well as their desperation to bring a man into their lonely lives.
Here are the key points that Kpakpo, a perennial jobless loafer, uses to deceive and win over Maa Tsuru’s love and trust.
- According to Kpakpo, up until recently, he had been working with the aluminium smelter factory at Tema. He says some Americans and Europeans have come to carry out repair works on the factory and that he will be recalled as soon as they are done.
“… as soon as they finish, they will call us all back. Then I, Nii Kpakpo, will be able to take good care of you.”
This turns out to be a big lie.
- Kpakpo, an almost homeless fraudster, convinces Maa Tsuru not to pay him a visit in his house.
He argues that his family will definitely reject Maa Tsuru since she is widely believed to be a cursed woman.
Then Kpakpo comes up with an instant solution. He will rather be visiting Maa Tsuru in her house.
The Beginning of the Relationship Between Kpakpo and Maa Tsuru
Consequently, Kpakpo begins regular visits to Maa Tsuru’s house. He goes there mostly in the afternoon. This is the most convenient time for both of them because Maa Tsuru’s four children she bore with Kwei are always out at this time. They go out to engage in various activities to bring money home to assist their mother take care of the fatherless family.
The two older boys will be out to the seaside and fish market while Baby T and Fofo are out on the streets.
Thus, Kpakpo takes advantage of Maa Tsuru’s desperate situation to come into, and go out of her life, as and when he pleases.
On each occasion, Kpakpo has free food to consume at Maa Tsuru and her children’s expense.
The significance of the relationship between Maa Tsuru and Kpakpo
Let’s begin by looking at the effects of the relationship between Maa Tsuru and Kpakpo
The relationship between Maa Tsuru and Kpakpo has brought nothing but suffering, confusion and a break-up in Maa Tsuru’s family.
- First of all, Maa Tsuru’s relationship with Kpakpo forces her four children out of their home.
The two older boys are the first to move out; never to return or be seen again. It is clear that they can no longer tolerate the noise and moans they hear every night as Kpakpo makes love to Maa Tsuru under their nose.
In no time, the remaining two children, Baby T and Fofo, are equally compelled by circumstances to go out to work and live on the street.
- At a very young age, Baby T suffers sexual violence at the hands of Kpakpo and Onko. Then Baby T is sold into prostitution.
- Clearly, it is this relationship between Kpakpo and Maa Tsuru that will bring about Baby T’s untimely death.
- Moreover, Maa Tsuru suffers physically and emotionally as Kpakpo abandons her to single-handedly take care of their two young sons.
Maa Tsuru’s relationship with Kpakpo results in a strained relationship between her and her older children – Fofo in particular.
The contribution of the relationship between Maa Tsuru and Kpakpo to the develpment of the themes in Faceless
The themes in the novel Faceless that come up in the course of the relationship between Kpakpo and Maa Tsuru include the following:
- The theme of superstition
- Sexual violence against women and young girls in the Ghanaian society
- Irresponsible parenting or the theme of parental neglect
Characters in Faceless
Here are the key attributes of the character of Maa Tsuru that we see in this incident.
- Maa Tsuru is desperate to have a man – any man – in her life.
This is due to the fact that traditionally, a Ghanaian woman who has passed a certain age and is still without a man loses the respect of the entire society.
The speed with which Maa Tsuru believes Kpakpo’s lies, only to find out the truth later, is mind-boggling. This goes to show how some women can easily allow themselves to be misled and used by crooked male characters like Kpakpo.
It is also important to note that Maa Tsuru, even after knowing the facts about Kpakpo’s dubious character, refuses to get out of their relationship. No wonder, Fofo never forgives Maa Tsuru for this display of lack of judgment.
Kpakpo as a Villain in the Novel, Faceless
Here are some features of Kpakpo’s character that come to the fore in his first meeting with Maa Tsuru. These same characteristic features of Kpakpo hardly change throughout the novel.
- Thus Kpakpo, unlike Fofo, looks more like a mono-dimensional (or flat) character.
- Kpakpo is a trickster
- Nii Kpakpo is a lazy man. He is not interested in working to earn a living let alone take care of his two sons with Maa Tsuru.
- The man Kpakpo is unemployed. His only means of survival is the use of deception to defraud his unsuspecting victims who approach him to ask for a room to rent.
- Kpakpo is an irresponsible father.
- Nii Kpakpo is largely responsible for all the troubles that Maa Tsuru and her children have to endure in the novel, Faceless.
How the Relationship Between Maa Tsuru and Kpakpo Contributes to the Development of the Plot of Faceless
As we have seen, the main plot of Faceless is all about the death of Baby T. It is also and MUTE’s subsequent investigations (with the active support of Sylv Po’s Harvest FM).
All the troubles that Baby T and Fofo (and even Maa Tsuru herself) have to go through are a direct consequence of Kpakpo’s entry into their lives.
In other words, Kpakpo is largely responsible for Maa Tsuru and her children’s troubles in Faceless.
Kpakpo remains a central figure throughout the pages of Faceless.
Henceforth, Kpakpo’s presence or absence from Maa Tsuru’s life will continue to dictate the direction of this moving story.
For instance, Kpakpo is the one who initiates sexual violence against Baby T. He creates the motivation for Onko to emulate him and do much worse to the girl.
Also, Kpakpo is the architect of Baby T’s departure from her home into child prostitution.
Again, it is this same Kpakpo who shows Onko Baby T’s whereabouts when the latter desperately looks for Baby T’s pubic hair for a sacrifice. The sacrifice is on the orders of a jujuman.
Onko must perform this ritual in order to nullify a curse (he attracted by having sexual intercourse with Baby T, the daughter of a cursed woman) on his welding business. This is what unfortunately brings about Baby T’s death.
Finally, in the absence of Kpakpo, Fofo easily takes away the smallish man’s clothes to disguise herself as a boy in an attempt to rob a shopper (Kabria) in the Agbogbloshie Market.
The chance encounter between Kabria and Fofo, following this attempted robbery incident, will culminate in the resolution of the plot of Faceless.
This then is how important Kpakpo and his relationship with Maa Tsuru are in the development of the plot of Amma Darko’s Faceless.