Thematic concerns In Betrayal in the City - Hoplessness / Disillusionment

To be disillusioned is to be disappointed when you realize that something is not as good as you had expected to a point of completing losing hope and giving up.

The masses in Kafira are disillusioned by the state of affairs in their country. Mosese says that they had waited for the kingdom for years, then it was said it had come but it was all an illusion. He wonders how many people had set eyes on that kingdom and what colour it is. According to Mosese it was better while they waited for the Kingdom because then they had hope, now they have nothing to look forward to. He feels that they have killed the past and are busy killing the future. He says in the past, they had celebrations once a year and they had a reason to celebrate, but now there is nothing to celebrate about. People are busy shedding blood everywhere. (pg 27-28)

The masses have resigned to their fate after realizing the futility of fighting the government. As the students protest in the streets, people shout at them and beggars tell them they are wasting their time. (pg 33) Regina feels that Jusper and those others protesting against the government are easting time and that no good will come out of their struggle with the government. She feels that they are fighting stones. (pg 34)

Doga and Nina have lost hope in life after their son; Adika is shot dead during the university riots. Their son Jusper seems to have lost his mind after his brother’s death and is currently considered as good as ‘dead.’ Nina concludes that the authorities have robbed them all they had and blinded them.

After Kabito’s murder, Tumbo and Nicodemo realize that their tenures as government officials hang in the balance. Tumbo says, “We have no choice, like caged animals, we move but only inside the cage.” (pg 62) He says the elimination of citizens has become so rampant that one is not sure of seeing the next day.

Jere argues with Askari over the issue of freedom. He tells him that the outside of his cell may be well the inside of another, which implies there is no freedom in Kafira and even those who think they
are free are not.

Jusper bemoans the fact that Regina too has been affected by the street disease, that is giving up. It is even pointed out that the beggars in the streets laugh at the university students because they believe that they could achieve nothing for Kafira.

  • Betrayal in the City by Francis Imbuga

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