Comprehensive Synopsis and Evaluation of Alex Agyei Agyiri’s Unexpected Joy at Dawn

Comprehensive Synopsis and Evaluation of Alex Agyei Agyiri's Unexpected Joy at Dawn
Comprehensive Synopsis and Evaluation of Alex Agyei Agyiri's Unexpected Joy at Dawn

Comprehensive Synopsis and Evaluation of Alex Agyei Agyiri’s Unexpected Joy at Dawn

The novel Unexpected Joy at Dawn tells the tale of two long-lost siblings, Mama Olu Orojo and Nii Moses Tackie, who were split up by political events and are currently residents of Ghana and Nigeria, respectively. Before the 1969 Alien Expulsion, their ancestors had immigrated to Ghana from Nigeria and had resided there for many years. Since Nii Moses Tackie was still a baby, he was unable to make the dangerous trek from Ghana to Nigeria. He was therefore given to a neighbor who was friendly to look after.

Mama Olu Orojo, who was around eight years old at the time, was the only one who made it through the journey unscathed; her parents perished en route and were interred beside numerous other tragic travelers. Several years had gone by the time the book starts, and Mama Orojo is now a prosperous businesswoman in Lagos. She runs a candy business and a construction company. Along with being a devoted Christian, she attends Amen Kristi, where she frequently preaches alongside Ibuk, a friend and fellow churchgoer. However, she has not yet tied the knot and has no family of her own, so her life is far from perfect. Although she thinks her brother Nii is still alive in Ghana, she has also not seen him. She decides to travel to Ghana to look for him.

Nii is now employed as an accountant at Expense Bank in Accra, Ghana, after growing up. He is married to Massa, a 22-year-old who becomes ill early in the book and passes away while Nii is escorting her to a spiritual place called God beyond Science. The panic economic policies implemented by Ghana’s revolutionary government have caused immense suffering for its people, including Nii. Even though Nii works as an assistant manager at the bank, he still needs to supplement his income by working as a part-time secondary school teacher since he cannot afford a nice apartment.

Comprehensive Synopsis and Evaluation of Alex Agyei Agyiri’s Unexpected Joy at Dawn

In addition to taking the 50 cedi notes out of circulation, the Ghanaian government blocked the bank accounts of anyone possessing more than $50,000 in them. People can only take money out of the accounts with the Attorney General’s approval, which they can only obtain after they have explained how they made every penny.

Additionally, because banks are primarily focused on making a profit and cannot afford to waste time on initiatives that do not have rapid turnover and significant profit margins, it is challenging for business owners to obtain loans to finance innovative and creative ventures like Aaron Larshibi’s Ant Hill Bricks project. Right now, the majority of Ghanaians have little choice but to leave the country for one of its neighboring nations, where there are greater economic prospects. When Massa eventually passes away, Nii takes this action. When Aaron Larshibi’s loan application is denied by Expense Bank and he is criticized by government officials for his creative building concepts, he too takes the same action. The Chairman of the Suru Contribution Scheme took the same action after embezzling the funds that the market women had contributed.

Adventures abound during Mama Orojo’s trips to Ghana in pursuit of her brother Nii. She is first duped by a man she meets on the aircraft. After charging her 2000 cedis for a phony gold ring, he vanishes. The man goes by Tally O and is referred to as I-put-it-to-me in the criminal community. A corporal at the police station follows Mama after she reports the fraud and offers to assist her in purchasing real gold. He brings Mama to the Beyeeman building complex, where she meets Joe Boye, a businessman and nice and giving gold dealer. Joe’s gang is known as the Daga Gang, and it includes Tally O, the proprietor of the Beyeeman Restaurant, and other individuals. Joe is an illegal gold miner. Naturally, the only reason their gold mining is illegal is that the government hasn’t yet regularized and regulated the industry for private enterprises.

Mama purchases gold from Joe and quickly departs for Nigeria, missing the opportunity to meet Nii. As Nii is taking Massa to the spiritual home on his last day of annual leave from the bank, it is actually by pure accident that Mama misses him. Joe, Mama, and the corporal arrive at the Beyes Restaurant for dinner at this same moment. However, because Mama is unaware that her brother works there, their meeting is canceled. Nii is also unaware of his sister’s appearance after all those years.

A few weeks later, Mama arrives to Ghana to find that Nii has already departed for Nigeria. This time, she plans to purchase more gold and diamonds. She has discovered that the gold industry is extremely profitable. Although Joe appears to be a trustworthy business partner, he has already started to harbor romantic impulses for Mama. Mama is the one he plans to marry. Mama had learned that Nii is employed by an Accra bank from the village. Joe, who is acquainted with Nii, brings Mama to the bank, where they encounter the manager, who informs Mama that Nii is out of the office and cannot be reached. In addition, he delivers Mama an odd letter from a Koforidua hospital concerning a body that Nii must have left there.

After leaving Massa’s body at the hospital, Nii departed for Nigeria with the intention of finding Mama. It is requested that a messenger bring Mama and Joe to Nii’s residence. When Mama learns that Nii resides in a seedy part of town, she is astounded. Although Nii is nowhere to be found, his neighbors claim that he and his wife Massa resided there up until a few days ago, when they departed for a place where God exists outside the realm of science.

Joe and Mama go to the hospital where Massa’s body was left. Massa’s body is found and brought back to Sampa, Massa’s hamlet, for burial. Joe is finally able to pop the question to Mama not long after the funeral. Mama agrees to Joe’s marriage proposal right away. After that, they proceed to God beyond Science, where they learn that, among other things, Nii had mentioned that he was heading to Nigeria. Mama hopes to find her brother when she returns to Nigeria. Joe was going to attend the marriage rites with her later.

Nii and Aaron are going through hell in Nigeria in the meantime. At the border, all of their money and possessions were seized from them. Eventually, they are transferred to the Illere area to work on Officer Paleo’s farm in Miliki after being apprehended by the immigration officer. Nii does not possess any documentation and does not speak any Nigerian language, hence it is impossible to verify his claim to be of Nigerian descent.

When Nii insists on being identified as Nigerian, Paleo takes his identity card and other documents. They will now be performing various tasks on Paleo’s farm in Illere. According to Paleo, this is preferable to sending them to a jail that is already overflowing with undocumented immigrants. Nii, Aaron, and Abbey are forced to work as slaves for Paleo until Nii can save up enough cash to search for his sister, who he finds out stays in the Ijase neighborhood of Lagos from a man named Tom Monday.

Comprehensive Synopsis and Evaluation of Alex Agyei Agyiri’s Unexpected Joy at Dawn

Nii has a brief but turbulent relationship with Marshak, a Ghanaian woman who lives in Nigeria as a prostitute. But Nii lets the ghost of Massa get in the way of his friendship with Marshak. Unfortunately, Marshak dies at the conclusion of the relationship; it is unclear if she committed herself or had an abortion. Nii departs from Illere with Aaron, Abbey, and the money Marshak gives him in order to locate his sister, Mama. At the bus stop, they run into the gracious Kwaku (KK), who assists them in paying their fare. After arriving in Lagos, they spend the night with other immigrants at a wooden complex in Ngoni, a seedy part of the city that used to be home to Ghanaian immigrant laborers but is now used as a rest stop before heading across the border. However, the house caught fire that night, so they had to relocate quickly.

Shortly after Nii and the others leave the wooden hut at Ngoni, the soldiers capture them and bring them to Hajj Camp, where illegal immigrants are detained until the time comes for them to leave the country. There, Nii meets Linda, the typist who works for his bank in Accra. Linda had asked Nii to have an affair with her in exchange for Nii pretending to be her husband in order to help her obtain a visa so she could travel to the UK to see her spouse.

Nii also meets with the Chairman of the Suru Contributory Scheme, who is currently having a hard time going back to Ghana due to the massive debt he incurred there after wasting the Suru funds. Nii and Linda are forced to organize a protest revolution because to the harsh conditions at the camp. In addition to making a stirring speech that touches on pan-Africanism, patriotism, self-love, and human dignity, Nii uses his blood to inscribe his protesting words on a poster. When it’s said that a soldier attempted to woo a pregnant camper, there’s a riot.

Nii takes advantage of the chance to escape the camp with other immigrants. After obtaining her visa in Nigeria, Linda moves toward the airport with the intention of departing. She had at last located a Nigerian man to fill the part that Nii had declined to take on back in Ghana due to morality, honesty, and love for Massa. Nii and Aaron leave for the city in the hopes of making it to Ijase so they can carry on looking for Mama. In the meantime, the Suru Chairman has killed himself outside the camp.

Right now, Mama and Joe are in Nigeria getting ready to tie the knot. The church council is adamantly against the marriage, presumably because to Joe’s Ghanaian nationality and lack of Amen Kristi membership. They even suggest that Mama wed Tom Monday, even if his proposal was made too late. However, Mama is willing to wed Joe even without the church’s approval. She considers their objections to her marriage to Joe to be in opposition to church doctrine and teachings. Nevertheless, the church chairman gives up and accepts the union after Mama saves his life during the Sahm Brotherhood incident at Egba. Sadly, Ibuk perishes in this uprising.

Nii and Aaron attempt to get employment at a construction site in Ijase, not realizing that it is Mama’s property. Aaron sustains injuries when a wall that is still being built falls on him. The two think of dying in the midst of desperation, starvation, and poverty. Aaron perishes when he jumps from the partially constructed building they were sleeping in to escape an advancing mob that views Nii and Aaron as thieves. In the end, Mama is shown to be one of the mafia members. Here, Mama suddenly reunites with her brother, who has been missing for a long time. This scenario embodies the novel’s title.

Scene of the Unexpected Joy of Alex Agyei-Agyiri at Dawn

Unexpected Joy at Dawn rotates between Nigeria and Ghana in terms of spatial location. Lagos, Illere, Ibadan, and Ijase are just a few of the Nigerian geographical names mentioned in the book. The majority of the narrative is then set in Western Nigeria, which at the time contained Nigeria’s capital city. The names of some Ghanaian locations in the book are Accra, the city; Sampa, Massa’s grave; and Awisa, Mama’s meeting site with her childhood friend and schoolmate, Bela Akaumah (Cola Cola). Gomoa Dago is the location of God beyond Science. It is known that Makola is a location that occurs in both Ghana and Nigeria. The early 1980s are the novel’s temporal context. The expulsion of Ghanaians from Nigeria is the first event in the novel. According to history, this happened in 1983.

Comprehensive Synopsis and Evaluation of Alex Agyei Agyiri’s Unexpected Joy at Dawn

Language and Style in Unexpected Joy at Dawn by Alex Agyei-Agyiri

The book uses an omniscient point of view, or modified third person narrative approach, in which the story is primarily told via the perspective of a non-character narrator. In addition to details about the story’s happenings, the narrator occasionally shares insights into the characters’ thinking. However, because there is opportunity for character interaction through speech, the narration slightly deviates from the conventional third person approach or omniscient point of view. This type of narration is also known as third person objective point of view since the reader is allowed to evaluate the characters based solely on their statements and create his own conclusions about them, with the narrator typically making little comments. This is where objectivity becomes relevant. The reader is given the option to not solely rely on the narrator’s subjective information when this approach is used.

Comprehensive Synopsis and Evaluation of Alex Agyei Agyiri’s Unexpected Joy at Dawn

The writing style of Unexpected Joy at Dawn is modern English. The language fits the genre it serves since it is normatively prosaic and novelistic. Additionally, it is understandable to the averagely educated individual. In addition, the novelist uses proverbs, pidgin, and a few regional idioms and expressions to provide some local flavor and color to the story. Idem uses pidgin when he says, “Omo Ghana no go go ooo,” about Nii (p. 50). Terms like “damfo,” which refers to a particular kind of bus in Lagos, and “ekaroo!” contribute to the novel’s local flavor.” (a Western Nigerian way of extending a welcome) and “aplanke” (a Lagos bus conductor). Additionally, there are epigrammatic expressions such as “The first order of security is caution” (60). The Manager of Expense Bank is addressing the irresponsible Clerk and Driver for transferring funds without implementing the required security protocols. The story also employs the epigrammatic phrase, “We keep our heads because we know where to plant our feet.”

Additional linguistic and stylistic elements found in the text include the quest or journey motif, irony, dark humor, prefigurement or foreshadowing, paradox, and the use of symbols or characters as symbols.

Symbolism in Dawn’s Unexpected Joy

The narrative uses a few characters and events as symbols. The unity of African tribes—the central tenet of pan-Africanism—is symbolized by the marriages of Massa and Nii as well as Mama and Joe. We find that it is more advantageous to acknowledge the necessity of interdependence and fully utilize it, as Joe notes regarding his reunion with Mama and the pooling of their resources. The aliens’ dispersal at the Katamanto market and the market’s eventual collapse serve as a metaphor for Ghana’s economy’s collapse.

Comprehensive Synopsis and Evaluation of Alex Agyei Agyiri’s Unexpected Joy at Dawn


Irony is also used throughout the book in a variety of ways. Ironically, Nii is declared and treated as an alien in Nigeria, the country he considers home. Nobody genuinely discriminates against or mistreats Nii while they are in Ghana, despite the fact that some Ghanaians react angrily to news in the newspapers about the mistreatment of their fellow countrymen in Nigeria. Ironically, the man who deceives Mama on her initial flight to Ghana is a part of the mining organization that Mama would eventually purchase real gold from.

The man who buys her real gold actually splits the money he makes from his scam with the man who would eventually marry her. The fact that Nii and Aaron are seeking sanctuary from the harassment of immigration officials in Mama’s house—which they are actually looking for without recognizing it—also presents a situational irony. It is also ironic that Paleo, who consistently makes Nii’s life miserable and denies him his rights as a Nigerian, would have his own child saved by Mama, Nii’s sister.

Utilizing the Journey/Quest motif

The travel or quest element appears frequently in the story. There are travels on a local and global scale that are both aimed toward reunions. Mama makes two trips from Lagos to Accra. In an attempt to meet up with her brother again, she travels further on the second occasion—from Accra to Koforidua, from Koforidua to Sampa, and finally back to Accra. Nii, for his part, travels by vehicle over several international boundaries in search of his family, the Orojos, from Ghana to Nigeria. He travels between Lagos and Illere in Nigeria and back to Lagos. Like all quests, this one ends when the goal has been reached after much suffering, heartbreak, and perseverance. A sister and brother are reunited.

Comprehensive Synopsis and Evaluation of Alex Agyei Agyiri’s Unexpected Joy at Dawn

Themes in the text

Conflict and Identity Crisis

Failure on the part of the leadership frequently leads to conflict in any community; in Unexpected Joy at Dawn, the author describes a typical scenario of a failed state. Ghana is portrayed by the author as a nation experiencing tremendous economic turmoil. The revolutionary government’s callous political and economic policies are to blame for this. The government is implementing many outdated policies in an attempt to stop corruption and restore order to the system.

These include forcing foreign nationals to leave their homes, killing people who are seen as government enemies and seizing their property, militarizing the marketplaces, and taking away people’s money by removing the “fifty-cedi denomination from circulation” (p. 24). For example, Marshak’s father was executed for being “a reactionary and a saboteur” (p. 154), and his belongings were then taken. The political and economic upheavals claim the lives of numerous traders, including Auntie Joe.

As a result, there has been a dramatic drop in productive economic activity, extreme poverty, and a large migration of professionals, scholars, traders, and anybody else who can manage to leave the country for its neighbors, particularly Ivory Coast and Nigeria. The men work in petty occupations that barely allow them to put three square meals on their tables, while others live in extreme poverty. Some of the women, like Marshak and Akosua, are prostitutes. Because there are so many Ghanaians living in Nigeria, the country’s government is also urged to implement the “Ghana must go” policy. Fraud and criminality seem to be the only ways to survive in Agyei-Agyiri’s Ghana due to the state failing. Nii, an assistant bank manager, and Aaron, a PhD candidate in soil science, languish in Nigeria, while Joe and others of similar mind make a fortune through the illicit extraction of gold and diamonds.

But the author also uses xenophobia—a severe, excessive fear and hatred of foreigners—to illustrate the tension between Nigeria and Ghana. By illustrating the suffering and pain that the characters endure as a result of this offensive policy, the author examines xenophobia. Whereas xenophobia in certain nations can result in an unacceptable outburst of residents against foreigners, xenophobia in Ghana, the home of Alex Agyei-Agyiri, is a government policy that demands that foreigners leave the nation.

Fifteen years later, same strategy is also implemented against Ghanaians in Nigeria, resulting in the iconic “Ghana must go” slogan. The two main protagonists, Mama Orojo and Moses Nii Tackie, show the terrible effects of this policy in graphic detail. Firstly, back home in Ghana, where he was raised and still works, Nii is filled with terror at the thought of not being able to move to Nigeria with his family. As his wife Massa notes, “You were talking about immigrants the previous day— in your sleep— and now you have done the same, adding “blackness” and “stripes,” the fear and anxiety of being deported are still very much present in him. What are you going to do next?Nii experiences more worry due to the bank manager’s constant threats, saying, “If I had my way, I’d sack ait aliens here” (p. 37). Nii is still unknown in Ghana because of his African heritage, Ghanaian name, upbringing, and loyalty to the Ga tribe. Maybe for this reason, Nii chooses to go back to Nigeria as soon as his wife Massa passes away. Nii’s return to Nigeria occurs at the same time that the country’s administration adopts xenophobia as a policy, with a focus on Ghanaians.

Comprehensive Synopsis and Evaluation of Alex Agyei Agyiri’s Unexpected Joy at Dawn

Paradoxically, in his purported nation of origin, Nii is likewise viewed as an outsider. Even his Yoruba tribal mark cannot save him or validate him because he is unable to speak any of the Nigerian languages. He endures a variety of cruel treatment up until he meets his sister. He is also denied pay at a construction company, pursued, and in pain all because he is perceived as an alien.

Although he is fortunate to live, Aaron, his closest buddy and comrade, perishes in one of the crazed attempts to harass aliens. The state of the foreigners at the camp also gives a graphic impression of their state. Many of them live in desperation and despair, while some perish from starvation and agony. A family that is being torn apart by xenophobia experiences unhappiness and desolation, which can be explained by Mama’s intense need to make contact with a living relative.

She visits Ghana twice in quest of Nii because, despite her close relationship with her church mates, her need persists. Mama’s only surviving relative is Nii; she lost her parents on a harrowing voyage back to Nigeria due to the unexpected evacuation of the foreigners in Ghana. It takes fifteen long years, yet in an extremely unexpected way, they cross paths once more. The novel’s title makes reference to their joyous, unplanned reunion. Another example of the detrimental effects of xenophobia is the collapse of the Kantamanto market. Due to the xenophobic stance, all of the traders from around the continent who used to come together to make the market thrive have now left, leaving it in ruins. This also contributes to Ghana’s current economic crisis at the time.

Comprehensive Synopsis and Evaluation of Alex Agyei Agyiri’s Unexpected Joy at Dawn

One of the main topics in Alex Agyei Agyiri’s Unexpected Joy at Dawn is identity problem. Despite having Nigerian ancestry, Moses Nii Tackie was raised and born in Ghana. His name is Ghanaian. He was born and raised in Ghana. There, he has completed his university studies as well. He is therefore a citizen by birth and meets the requirements to be a Ghanaian citizen. Due to his tribal markings, he is not recognized as a citizen of Ghana. Thus, he is just as foreign as any other Nigerian or immigrant in Ghana, the country of his origin and Mama Orojo’s “second home.”

Although Nii Tackie’s tribal markings indicate that he is of Nigerian origin, his mannerisms, accent, and incapacity to speak any of the indigenous languages of Nigeria disprove his Ghanaian heritage. Nii Tackie moved to Nigeria in the hopes of being welcomed there. Instead of being accepted, he is treated the same as any other foreigner and forced into modern slavery in order to avoid going to jail. The strange thing about this is that neither nation recognizes Nii Tackie as a citizen. He is regarded as Nigerian in Ghana. He is regarded as a Ghanaian in Nigeria. He is, in theory, a citizen of both Ghana and Nigeria, having been born in Ghana and having Nigerian heritage.

Pan-Africanist Movement

The concept of pan-Africanism is a central theme in Unexpected Joy at Dawn, and it is closely tied to the story’s xenophobic controversy. A worldwide movement known as pan-Africanism seeks to promote and deepen the sense of unity among individuals of African heritage. In this narrative, Alex Agyei-Agyiri presents the pan-Africanist philosophy as the solution to the mutual mistrust that exists among many African nations. The xenophobic mentality on the continent is fueled by mistrust and fear among African nations.

As a result, the author suggests a pan-Africanist worldview that will promote continental unity and guarantee that Africans will be welcomed into the spirit of African brotherhood in addition to encouraging them to reside wherever on the continent they desire. Massa, a former student member of the African Unity Club, is a representation of this attitude. “We are Africans, and where one finds peace, there is one’s home also,” asserts Massa (p. 38). By stating that Africa is the home of all Africans, the author is expressing a viewpoint that was highly influential to the pan-African movement in the early 20th century.

Comprehensive Synopsis and Evaluation of Alex Agyei Agyiri’s Unexpected Joy at Dawn

For this reason, Massa is described by Nii as “a revived Marcus Garvey,” someone that Nkrumah would have cherished to have in his cabinet. You may remember that the two main proponents of pan-Africanism were Marcus Garvey of Jamaica and Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana. The high level of economic activity in the Kantamanto market is sustained by traders from across the continent thanks to the unifying power of pan-Africanism. The result of these endeavors is a thriving economy in Ghana.

This is short-lived, as a new government expels the aliens and loses sight of pan-African thought. The immediate result of this move is the collapse of the Kantamanto market and the decline of an earlier thriving economy. Therefore, the marriage proposal between Mama Orojo and Joe serves as an example of how different African nations may work together, as the author illustrates. It is a suggestion for bolstering the spirit of pan-Africanism. Joe’s recommendation to Mama on page 182, “we can combine our resources, gold money and oil money,” is clearly an allusion to Ghana’s enormous gold reserve and Nigeria’s abundant oil wealth. It serves to highlight how interdependent African nations are and how important it is for them to pool their resources in order to support the continent’s robust economic growth. This proposal is blatantly an appeal to revive the spirit of Pan-Africanism.

Comprehensive Synopsis and Evaluation of Alex Agyei Agyiri’s Unexpected Joy at Dawn


The idea of love is portrayed in Unexpected Joy at Dawn. The work delves deeply into the topic of love, encompassing filial, conjugal, and romantic love. In addition, the concepts of unrequited and reciprocal love are examined. In the book, Mama is portrayed as being motivated by filial love to find Nii. In an attempt to find her brother, she makes the long journey from Lagos, Nigeria to Accra, Ghana. When she doesn’t see her the second time, she leaves Accra and makes her way to Koforidua in an attempt to find her brother’s final connection. Her demeanor and remarks during the course of the search demonstrate her deep care for him.

For example, she imagines the anguish her brother might be going through when she finds out that Nii traveled to Nigeria during a period that corresponds with Nigeria’s decree for the expulsion of aliens. She sobs uncontrollably in her feet and won’t stop thinking and worrying. Thankfully, Mama’s efforts to convey her love for Nii are not in vain because the two meet by chance at a critical juncture in Nii’s life. A conjugal love exists as well between Nii and Massa. This couple’s love is shown as the ideal kind. It is love that upholds the “for better or worse” pledge made during marriage.

The pair perseveres through extreme hardship, showing love and compassion, being true and committed to one another, working hard to withstand temptation. Mama and Joe’s relationship meets the description of a romantic and mutually loving relationship, but Nii’s inability to take Massa from the mortuary and perform the proper funeral rites would have made their love seem flawless. They both really and profoundly love one another. Mama and Joe’s love for one another serves as a wonderful example of true love is about making sacrifices for the benefit of the other.

In order to marry Mama, Joe gives up his lucrative but illegal company. He also decides to move to Nigeria after her. Comparably, Mama refuses to follow the Amen Kristi Church council and insists on marrying a foreigner rather than a person from her ethnic community. Both marry and lead contented lives together. On the other hand, Nii shatters Marshak’s sincere and passionate love for her. She ends her life as a result of this rejection, demonstrating Marshak’s true need for love and her turn to prostitution as a coping mechanism.

Intolerance towards religion

The Theme of Religious Intolerance in Unexpected Joy at Dawn touches, to some extent, on the propensity of religious adherents, particularly zealots or the so-called pious, to take on superior airs, perceive others as ungodly and unrighteous, and treat them with contempt. The earliest criticism of this tendency can be found in Tom Monday’s comments regarding his daughter and her somewhat fanatical son-in-law, who happens to be the daughter’s spouse.

He feels that he is the one who indoctrinated his wife to the point where she is intolerance of the religious beliefs of others. Later in the narrative, members of the Sahm Brotherhood and the Amen Kristi Church engage in a violent religious riot that results in the deaths of multiple people, including Ibuk. Many more get severe injuries, and millions of naira’s worth of property is destroyed.



The author’s portrayal of insecurity in both countries is the central theme of Unexpected Joy at Dawn. There’s further evidence of Nigerian insecurity. There are frequent robbery cases in the Ijase neighborhood, where Mama Orojo resides. As their possessions are taken, people are slain. The narrator gives us a hint of the vigilantes’ strategy for dealing with the “suspect” in robberies in Chapter 15 (Part 2). Suspects are wrapped in car tires and set on fire. This alone demonstrates violence and lawlessness.

The narrator also introduces the topic of insecurity in the first chapter, describing gunfire on Accra streets during a possible shootout between a group of armed robbers squabbling over loot, or between security officers apprehending some criminals. It is clear from Nii Tackie’s response to this incident—which included using the word “again”—that gang battles, police raids, and general instability have all become the norm in Ghana.

Comprehensive Synopsis and Evaluation of Alex Agyei Agyiri’s Unexpected Joy at Dawn


In Unexpected Joy at Dawn, the author uses Mama Orojo, who was eighteen at the time and had been estranged from her brother for almost fifteen years, to depict a reunion. Reunited with her brother, Mama Orojo, now in her thirties, is a successful and accomplished woman. She goes to Ghana in the course of the story to search for her brother. She learns about the gold industry while doing this, and she and Joe end up falling in love. She goes in pursuit of Nii Tackie with Joe’s assistance.

However, after learning that Ni Tackie had left for Nigeria, her investigation comes to a standstill. With no hope left, Mama Orojo goes to Nigeria. Nii Tackie goes to Nigeria in search of his sister after Massa’s death. He is entangled between Nigeria’s new immigration laws and the sprawling metropolis of Lagos. But at the crack of dawn, fate brings them back together in spite of all the odds.


NII TACKIE AKRONG NA BI: He serves as the narrative’s main character. Although Nii was born in Ghana, she is a Nigerian by blood. His full name is Nii Moses Orojo, but once his family returns to Nigeria, he is given a Ghanaian name and left in the care of a neighbor. He is an assistant manager at Expense Bank and a recent graduate of an accounting program.

He marries Massa, a young Ghanaian woman, but their marriage is beset by misfortune. Nii is uniquely Nigerian due to his Yoruba tribal markings and the Orojo family name. Later, in the midst of unrest, Nii travels to Nigeria. He resists Linda’s sexual impulses, much like Joseph did in the Bible. Despite his hard work and extra hours worked to supplement his income, he still owes the bank money. Eventually, he and his sister are reunited, and at daybreak, they both experience surprising joy.

MAMA OROJO: Mama Olu Orojo is her full name. She is Nii’s lone surviving sister. She is significantly older than Nii, attractive, single, and in her early thirties. Mama is a sophisticated Yoruba woman. She is highly recognized as a devoted Christian missionary and businesswoman in her birthplace of Ijase. At the Mama Sansi Group of Companies, she serves as CEO. Mama is romantically involved with Joe Owuraku, a friend and customer of Nii at Expense Bank in Ghana.

JOE OWURAKU: Joe is a customer and a friend of Nii, who works as an assistant manager at Expense Bank. He is a businessman, but the bank has frozen his account since it contains more than 50,000 cedis. He has been told to obtain a clearance from the Attorney General’s office attesting to the fact that he obtained the money through legal channels. Joe gains significant money with hard effort and luck. Even though Joe was impoverished before his friend, Kuuku introduces him to Daga, an illicit gold and diamond mining operation. Through this enterprise, he becomes a multimillionaire and strengthens his bond with Mama Orojo.


AARON LARSHIBI: Nii’s friend number two. Aaron holds a PhD and a project management diploma. He was a lecturer at the University of Ghana, but when the nation’s economy falters, he turns to driving taxis to make ends meet. Later on, he founds the Ant Hill Brick Project Corporation. The bank’s management decides that his project is not worthy of a loan, thus they deny his application for financing to fund his Ant Hill project. As a result, he loses patience. He passes away while they are fleeing a neighborhood that ironically belongs to Nii’s sister, Mama Orojo, after he falls from an incomplete structure.

Comprehensive Synopsis and Evaluation of Alex Agyei Agyiri’s Unexpected Joy at Dawn

MASSA AWOSIKA: Nii’s ailing wife. She is a 22-year-old Ghanaian native from Sampa village. Despite being adopted, she seems to have forgotten the people who brought her up. After Massa passes away and her body is transported to the same village for burial, she doesn’t return to her hometown. Actually, the story opens with her terminal illness and her husband’s turmoil. Symbolically, Massa stands for the moral and political degradation of our society, and her waste, vomit, phlegm, and other bodily waste that Nii has to deal with on a daily basis symbolize a nation that is dying—that is, a nation that lacks the morality or decency to control the misdeeds of its residents.

IBUK: Ibuk is a devoted supporter of Amen Kristi and a close friend of Mama Orojo. After a few years __ of devoted work, she joins the church as an evangelist. When she is initiated into Amen Kristi, she indicates her acceptance of Christ by biting the foot of the cross rather than kissing it. In the midst of the Egba crusade, she perishes in a fire. The extremist religious group Sahm’s adherents cut her throat.

LINDA: She works at Expense Bank with Nii. She works as the bank’s typist. When Linda offers Nii the option to get intimate with her, Nii declines. Linda is prone to incontinence; she is carefree and unable to restrain her libido (sexual craving). She has not yet obtained a travel visa, but she intends to accompany her spouse to London. Bela Akuamah is Mama’s friend from school. In 1970, she used to be Mama’s head girl at the Presbyterian School. In the book, she goes by the name “queenmother.”

Tom Monday belongs to Amen Kristi. Through Mama and Ibuk’s evangelistic efforts, he joins the church. He is significant to the plot since it is via him that Nii learns that Mama is currently residing in Ijase. He claims to Nii that he looks like a woman he used to date. Even though Mama assures him she is already in love with Joe, he eventually falls in love with her.

PALEO: The Sahm followers set Paleo’s residence on fire. Paleo is an immigration officer. He is the father of Funmi, the infant that Mama pulls out of the flames. In the same fire catastrophe, he loses his wife.

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