Summary and Analysis of Faceless by Ammah Dakor

Faceless by Ammah Dakor

by Kev


The novel centres on a young girl of fourteen years by name Fofo. She sleeps on an old cardboard at the Agbogbloshie market. For survival, Fofo got a job which is washing of carrot at the vegetable market in Agbogbloshie and she does this in the day time. In Sodom and Gomorrah were she stays, her life is watching adult movies and taking alcohol, in Sodom and Gomorrah, we see so many bad things going on and how the young ones on the street stand in queue when they want to use the toilet, Fofo always dream of living in a house with a roof, and a toilet, a dream shared by other children like her.

Poison tried raping Fofo and she escaped and ran to her friends place for refuge, she told Odarley her friend about her encounter with Poison and how she wants to meet her mother when she believed had some connection with the badly. On Fofo’s visit to the house she was told of her sister’s death, her mother pleaded to her to leave town for her safety.

Fofo disguised herself in order to hide away from Poison and at the gathering in the Agbogbloshie market, she tried stealing Mrs. Kabria’s purse and the angry mob tried beating her up but she was rescued by the same Mrs. Kabria and she later disclosed her female identity to her, she told Mrs. Kabria that the dead girl was her sister and she wants justice for the death of her sister.


The novel is set in Accra and mainly based in the street of Sodom and Gomorrah, Agbogbloshie market and the notorious slum. The events in the novel happen everywhere in Africa including Nigeria.


The writer tells the story of a young girl and her family, he tells to story of how the girl came about being a street girl.

It is about 14 years old Fofo who lives in a part of Accra named “Sodom and Gomorrah”, a place that is not good for a child who is growing up to leave in. Fofo vowed to see that justice is done for her sister’s death, she narrated her own part of the story to Kambira and she is being helped by the Mute Organization. Baby-T, Fofo’s sister was defiled by her to be step father Kpakpo who is a good-for-nothing and earns his keep by “dubious” means.

Fofo’s brothers left home when their mother brought in a new lover. When Baby-T was sexually abused by Kpakpo, she confided in Onko their family friend and he in-turn raped Baby-T. Baby-T was sold off into prostitution. Fofo’s with the help of the Mute Organization was helped in the investigation of her sister’s death.


Major Characters

  • Baby-T
  • Fofo
  • Maa Tsuru
  • Kpakpo
  • Kabria
  • Onko
  • Poison
  • Odarley

Fofo: She is the fourth child of Maa Tsuru. She is fourteen years old and she lives on the street. She dreams a lot and wishes many things, very intelligent and brave. When Poison tried raping her, she tactfully resisted his rape by not sleeping in the slump where she was meant to sleep. She is Baby-T’s junior sister and through her actions in the novel, we were able to figure out the circumstances surrounding Baby-T’s death. She disguised herself as a boy to escape from Poison and stole things for survival.

Baby-T: The dominant character in the novel is Baby-T, the story revolves on the death of Baby-T. She is Maa Tsuru’s third child and Fofo’s elder sister. She was disvirgined by her to be step father Kpakpo and later Onko whom she trusted slept with her also. She was sold into prostitution through Kpakpo’s gimmicks. Baby-T’s badly beaten and mutilated body was found behind a kiosk in Agbogbloshie market.

Maa Tsuru: She is mother of Fofo and Baby-T. She is said to be living in curse surrounding her birth. Her two lovers Ikwei and Kpakpo were absent fathers in the sense that they cared not about their family and children.

Kpakpo: He is Maa Tsuru’s dubious and jobless lover. He deceived Maa Tsuru and sold Baby-T into prostitution for his own gain. He also laid on bed with Baby-T thereby defiling her.

Kabira: She is a mother of three and works with MUTE Organization. She saved Fofo’s life from the angry mob when she attempted stealing her purse. It is with the help and that of MUTE that Fofo’s got justice for what happened to her sister Baby-T.

Onko: He lives in the same compound with Maa Tsuru. Onko gives generously and everybody in the compound loves him. Baby-T confided in him and he in return raped her. He bribed Maa Tsuru who kept quiet over the issue. He died by committing suicide after the death of Baby-T. His business suffered badly after he committed the rape incidence.

Poison: The badly that stays in Sodom and Gomorrah, he is called the street lord and he is the leader of a prostitution ring to which Baby-T was sold to. He once tried to rape Fofo, he also made series of call to the radio station saying the Baby-T is an Hausa girl, he did not want the real identity of Baby-T to be known by others.

Odarley: She is Fofo’s friend. She lives in the street like Fofo, she is been neglected and chased out of the house by her mother. Fofo confides in her.


  • Theme of superstitious
  • Theme of betrayal
  • Theme of dehumanisation
  • Theme of parental relationships
  • Theme of inequality
  • Theme of friendship

Theme of superstitious: The theme can be seen in the novel, Maa Tsuru is said to be born with curse, and everybody around her dispites her and also she is too fetish. When Baby-T died, white fowl was slaughtered to appease her spirit.

Theme of betrayal: This theme can be said to be among the dominant theme in the work, Kpakpo whom Maa Tsuru took as a lover, deceived Baby-T and slept with her. Fofo’s was betrayed by her mother who allowed her go into the street. Poison was betrayed by his stepfather who used to beat him with his belt.

Theme of dehumanisation: Poison molests and abuse all the women that he meets. Baby-T was abused by Onko and Kpakpo.  

Theme of parental relationships: Kabira is so close to her children that she brings out time for her children’s affairs. Fofo’s mother do not care about her children and she uses them as means of income.

Theme of inequality: Kabira is seen as an independent woman; she had her own job and maintains her own life while Fofo’s mother cannot survive without a man in her life.

Theme of friendship: Fofo and Odarley’s friendship helps them in the sense that they confide in each other. Dina and the rest of the MUTE group felt protective over Fofo and want to help her.

Other themes in the novel are

  • Theme of prostitution
  • Theme of poverty
  • Theme of violence


Literary Techniques

Satire: The author in the novel satirizes the environment and shows how most parents overlook the actions of their children.

Diction: The writer uses a simple language in his writing; his work is easy to understand.

Symbolism: Prostitution and street life is symbolic in the novel.

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