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Detailed Analysis Of Unexpected Joy at Dawn by Alex Agyei-Agyiri

Detailed Analysis Of Unexpected Joy at Dawn by Alex Agyei-Agyiri; This prose is necessary for students who are sitting for the following examinations and should be studied to stand a chance of passing the exams. JAMB, WAEC, NECO, GCE.

Summary Of Unexpected Joy At Dawn

“Unexpected Joy at Dawn” by Alex Agyei-Agyiri is set in Ghana and Nigeria. Nii Moses and Mama Orojo, two siblings, are the main characters in the novel. When the Shehu Shagari administration deported Ghanaians from Nigeria in 1983. Nii, who was born in Ghana but is of Nigerian descent, was left behind by his parents when they made the difficult trek to Nigeria after Ghana’s Aliens Compliance Order of 1969 declared all residents of the country without the necessary documentation to be aliens.

To mirror the names of his adoptive parents, his name was changed. After fourteen years of struggling in Ghana—doing various jobs, living in slums while being an assistant manager at a bank, being unable to bury his wife, and being pursued by market women for alleged “fraud”—he decided to travel to Nigeria in quest of his ancestors. Additionally, he worried about being branded an outsider because of the escalating hostilities between Ghanaians and Nigerians as a direct result of Ghanaians’ plight in Nigeria. Thus, one requires more than just being black or having a name to qualify for citizenship or a visa.

Nii realized that tribal markings, skin color, and a name alone do not also make someone a Nigerian after completing the perilous voyage that was riddled with danger, deaths, bribes, swindles, and gun-point robberies. More is needed, and he is lacking the most in terms of speaking a Nigerian language, speaking like a Nigerian, and dressing like a Nigerian. Nii was exposed, and now he hears the phrase “omo Ghana abi” everywhere he goes. He went from working as a slave on a cassava farm to living in slums, and deportation camps, and finally working as a construction worker. He was eventually identified as an armed robber, and that was the turning point in his life.

Mama Orojo had also traveled to Ghana in pursuit of her brother at the same time that Nii Moses Tackie was dealing with all of this. When all attempts to reunite with him failed, she fell in love with a gold dealer named Joe who was a client of Expense Bank, where Nii had previously held the position of Assistant Manager. They first became aware of the severity of the issue—including the burial of Nii’s wife, Massa—while searching for Nii.

Later, Mama and her new beau travel back to Nigeria together. Nii is currently leading a very challenging life in Nigeria that is less akin to a life of servitude.

Finally, when Nii and his companion Aaron Tsuru had escaped from a deportation camp and were hiding in an unfinished structure, he and his mother crossed paths under very peculiar circumstances. They were mistaken for armed robbers by the populace. He attempted to flee with Aaron, but Aaron was killed in the attempt, and just as Nii was considering his options,

Nii is spotted by Mama Orojo and Joe, her boyfriend, and a gold trader, which results in an unexpected Joy at Dawn.


Themes In The Prose Unexpected Joy At Dawn


One of the most important themes of Unexpected Joy at Dawn is xenophobia.

According to the eighth edition of the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, xenophobia is “a great hate or fear of individuals from other countries.

In the text, both the governments and citizens of Nigeria and Ghana express discomfort with foreign nationals living in their countries. The bank manager of Expense Bank has no qualms about expressing his distaste for Nii Tackie, whom he perceives as a Nigerian who is residing off of Ghana’s money. He even goes so far as to claim that if given the opportunity, he would cheerfully fire all of the “aliens” employed by the bank.

Though unfulfilled, the bank manager’s request is already underway outside the building. Nigerians residing in Ghana are already receiving abuse from Ghanaians. Newspaper accounts from an immigration officer who reportedly said this when checking Mama Orojo’s luggage at the airport on her route to Accra and Nii Tackie’s instantaneous realization of his tribal markings also support this.

Expulsion of foreigners from Nigeria also occurs, primarily Ghanaians. Before the alienation policy was implemented, it was obvious that the Ghanaians were doing well in Nigeria. They work for banks, educational institutions, and building firms. But as soon as the new immigration law is put into place, their Nigerian employers stealthily gather and destroy their resident permits.


The idea of Unexpected Joy at Dawn is the separation of two siblings and the attempts made by both parties to bring them back together.

The alienation policy in Ghana causes Nii Tackie to be cut off from his family at a very young age.

Because of this, it takes him fifteen years to find his sister, Mama Orojo, in an unexpected setting.

In addition, Massa’s passing separates Nii Tackie and Massa.


In this text, Nii Tackie and Massa represent the ideal couple. They love each other so deeply that they already comprehend one another.

For instance, Nii Tackie is aware that Massa is lying when she downplays her agony and merely intends for him to feel relieved. Despite being ill, Massa also recognizes Nii Tackie’s awareness of his tribal markings right away.

Joe and Mama Orojo fall under different types of lovers in the book. Their connection belies the antagonistic connections between their two nations. It has been renovated with the love that the two nations lack.

Mama Orojo is willing to give up her esteemed status in the neighborhood of Corpus Kristi and risk being excommunicated from Amen Kristi in order to marry Joe because their love is that powerful.

Idem and Wachuc belong to different groups of lovers. One may perceive a woman’s affection and cares for her husband through Idem’s nagging.


Through the sick Massa, the narrator extols the virtues of pan-Africanism. In addition to being a true Pan-African, she also inspires those around her to put aside their prejudices against other races and nations.

This is shown by the way she frowns at Nii Tackie’s intention to travel to Lagos and by the way she comforts him verbally once he realizes that his tribal markings make him an outsider in Ghana.

Pan-Africanism is personified by Massa. Despite all difficulties, she clings to the conviction that everywhere (in Africa) where one finds peace is one’s home and believes in the shared brotherhood and collectiveness of Africa.

She does not, therefore, accept the existence of ethnic and national divisions. She sees us first and foremost as Africans.

Her nation, Ghana, and Nigeria all close their eyes to this light.


Both nations experience insecurity.

As you recall, we investigated the religious assault on the Amen Kristi Christian mission team that resulted in the loss of several lives and property.

There is yet another indication that Nigeria is insecure. There are frequently reported robberies in the Ijase village where Mama Orojo resides. As people are robbed of their possessions, people are slain.

The vigilantes’ strategy for dealing with robbery “suspects” is hinted at in Chapter 15 (Part 2). Suspects are burned after being wrapped in car tires and tied. This alone is a manifestation of violence and lawlessness.

Bullets shooting on Accra streets in a likely conflict between a group of armed robbers fighting among themselves over some booty, or the security forces collecting up some thugs, are two other ways the narrator illustrates the concept of insecurity in the book’s opening chapter.

It is clear from Nii Tackie’s response to this incident and the usage of the phrase “again” that gang battles, police raids, and general instability are now regular in Ghana.


The demise of Kantamanto Market, which served as a hub for individuals of all nationalities and racial backgrounds, portends the demise of Ghanaian society’s welcoming attitude toward outsiders. The rotting body at Korle Lagoon and the ill Massa with a deathly halo about her are more symbols of Ghana’s decline as a sick nation.

The text contains a number of deaths.

To begin with, we see the deaths of Massa, the fat woman at Makola Market, Marshak, who commits suicide, Ibuk, and several others who die in religious violence caused by Sahm, Tally O, who is brutally murdered in the mines, and Aaron, who dies at the end of the book.


In Chapter 2 (Part 1) of the narrative, during Mama Orojo and Ibuk’s evangelical campaign in Illere, Nigeria, the reader first gets a glimpse of religious intolerance.

The Sahm brotherhood dislikes preaching to their people and does not want any of their people to be involved in the preaching, which makes it clear that many of the people they preach to show little interest.

Tom Monday is particularly concerned about the intolerance and radicalism of his daughter’s religion, which he relates to her union with a member of the Sahm, a political-religious fraternity.

In Chapter 13 (Part 2), while members of the Amen Kristi Church are on an evangelical mission in Egba, religious persecution reaches its height. It comes to a violent conclusion.

The narrator hinted at this alleged violence earlier in Chapter 19 (Part 1); to put it mildly, the intention was to “halt the Amen Kristi’s missionary mission” by elements that were intimidated by the expanding Christianity.

Ibuk, Paleo’s wife, and other victims of the violence die, while others are injured and priceless property is destroyed. It is committed by Sahm Brotherhood members.

Characters In The Text Unexpected Joy At Dawn

Moses Nii Tackie

He recently graduated from college, majored in accounting, and now works as an assistant manager at the Expense Bank. He was born in Ghana because all documents include his Ghanaian name, but if he were to run a tribe, the three tribal marks on his cheek would identify him as a Nigerian.

He is married to Massa, and the situations in the book show him to be a devoted, devoted, and caring spouse. For instance, he rejected Linda’s advances for sex despite her throwing herself at him.

After the Ghanaian government ordered all foreigners to leave the country fifteen years prior, Nii was split up from his family, who later returned to Nigeria. His sister, Mama Orojo, is the last living relative; his parents both passed away while traveling to Nigeria.

Although he lives in dread in Ghana due to his double identity, he decides to go back to Nigeria to reconnect with his sister after his sick wife, Massa, passed away while they were traveling to receive spiritual healing.

Nii is a similarly diligent young guy who works odd jobs to offset the impact on his assistant manager’s income of the difficult economic reality he must face. Even when he crosses into Nigeria, he takes on numerous menial jobs to support himself.

Because the Nigerian government had asked all foreigners to leave the country when he arrived, he constantly struggled with his dual identity, and his inability to speak any Nigerian language causes him to always be mistaken for a Ghanaian.

In Agyei-“Unexpected Agyiri’s Joy at Dawn,” Nii is one of the main characters who connect the two parallel tales. His unintentional appearance before his sister while he was being sought as a suspect in a crime resolves the novel’s main conflict because he is a pivotal character.

Mama Orojo

Nii Moses Tackie’s only surviving relative is Mama Orojo. When the Ghanaian government ordered all foreigners to leave the nation, leaving Nii behind, she moved to Nigeria with their parents. Unfortunately, on the way to Nigeria, both parents passed away.

She is a beautiful single woman who had a terrible time adjusting to life in Nigeria after her parents died while traveling there. Despite all obstacles, she succeeds in starting her own firm, grows it into a successful construction business, and establishes a successful candy shop. She engages in the church’s evangelism effort and is a devout believer and active member of the Amen Kristi church.

Although Mama’s initial trip to Ghana to find her brother, Nii Moses Tackie, was unsuccessful, she did meet Joe Boye, who introduced her to the gold business and later became her husband. During the religious disturbance in Egba that the Sahm sect started, Mama showed her bravery by jumping from the burning house to save a newborn.

When Mama unexpectedly runs across her brother in her compound after traveling to Ghana twice in search of him, she is overjoyed.

 Joe Boye

Joe Boye, also known as Owura Ku, is a thirty-year-old father of two children from two different women whose families refused to support their legal union with him. Joe Boye is also known as Owura Ku. Joe has his share of adversity in life. First of all, Joe used to be a tailor apprentice in Oda. When his master closed the business, he left for the city and eventually joined forces with his friend Tally O to start an illegal gold mining operation. After about a month on the job, Joe was able to work independently of Billy, the person who first introduced him to the illegal mining business. A police corporal met him at his desk on the sixth level of the Beyeeman building and presented him to Mama Orojo.

Joe thereafter developed into a dependable companion for Mama, and it is admirable that he never wavered in his support of Mama during her visits to Ghana. He presents Mama with a gold ring as a proposal, which she gladly accepts.

Massa Awosika

She is Nii’s sickly wife, and her condition seems incurable. She is only 22 years old, yet she will be bedridden till she passes away as they travel to “God is beyond Science” for spiritual healing. Nii and Massa had a close friendship going back to their days in school, which explains why Nii stuck by her even after she passed away.

Being a devout follower of the Pan-Africanist concept, she strongly thinks that Africa is the homeland of all Africans. As a result, when she notices that her husband is anxious about the fate of foreigners in Ghana, she attempts to calm him down and encourages him to stay in Ghana.

Aaron Tsuru

Aaron is a talented young scientist who is the creator of the Ant Hill Brick. He is a former lecturer at the University of Ghana, where he was awarded a certificate of honor, and he holds a Ph.D. and a diploma in project management.

When he initially went to Expense Bank to get funding for his project, he ran across Nii. All of the proposals, meanwhile, didn’t adhere to the bank’s strict loan-awarding policy. Nii tries to assist, but the bank refuses to give him a loan. He departs from Ghana because of his anger with the bank.

Later, as they were attempting to enter Nigeria illegally, he ran across Nii again at the border.

As they flee from individuals who mistook Aaron and Nii for robbers, Aaron falls from the unfinished structure and perishes.


She is Mama Orojo’s pal. She regularly goes on evangelism missions with her mother and is a member of the Amen Kristi Church. She agrees with her mother’s choice to wed Joe, but she is unable to cast a ballot. In Lagos’ Egba during the religious unrest, she passed away.

Tom Monday

Tom, a resident in lllere and a widower, When Mama and lbuk went to his residence to preach to him, we ran into him. When he did ultimately propose to Mama, it was a little late because he secretly admires her. He was crucial to the story’s conclusion because it was he who told Nii that he appeared to have been friends with him and that his mother resides in Ijase.

Tally O

An intimate buddy of Tally O’Isjoe and a collaborator in their illegal gold mining enterprise. He also goes by the name Daga. Tally O is a seasoned criminal who has a history of being wanted by the police, although he frequently assumes other identities when committing crimes.

On their final illicit miming expedition, he met his end. Joe nearly died on this tragic trip as well, but it was a turning moment in his life that allowed him to start again, whereas Tally O was never given that chance.

Questions: Detailed Analysis Of Unexpected Joy at Dawn by Alex Agyei-Agyiri

1. What are the themes in Unexpected joy at dawn?

2. Discuss the theme of ‘death’ in the novel.

3. Write short notes on these characters;

  1. Moses Nii Tackie
  2. Massa Awosika
  3. Joe Boye

4. Discuss the themes in the novel.

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