Chapter by Chapter Summary of Gabriel Okara’s “The Voice”

This post focuses on the chapter by chapter summary of Gabriel Okara's The Voice. The novel begins with the introduction of Okolo.

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The Voice
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This post focuses on the chapter by chapter summary of Gabriel Okara’s The Voice.

The Voice by Gabriel Okara is divided into twelve chapters. In other posts, we have given the plot summary, memorable quotes, themes, and characterisation of the novel.

In this particular post, we are going to do a chapter to chapter summary of Gabriel Okara’s The Voice.

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Chapter 1 Summary

The Voice begins with the introduction of the protagonist, Okolo. The events here take place in the village of Amatu.

Okolo is an educated man and is described as a man with “no chest.” He tries to be different from the people around him. He goes in search of ‘it’ (the truth).

In his quest for ’it,’ he becomes a threat to the elders and the people of the community. Chief

Izongo sends messages, summoning Okolo. However, Okolo escapes and is sheltered by Tuere, a lady who has been excommunicated as she was accused of witchcraft.

Chapter 2 Summary

The quest to capture Okolo continues in chapter two of the novel. He hides in Tuere’s house. He eventually comes out when Chief Izongo threatens to burn her house. Okolo is carried away by the Chief’s men.

He wakes up to find himself tied up in his house. After a series of meetings, the elders decide that Okolo should leave the town to avoid infecting the insides of others.

He meets with one of the wise elders, Tebeowei. They discuss about his plans after his departure. Okolo decides to leave for Solanga. However, Tebeowei tells him that he will meet many people like Chief Izongo.

Okolo sleeps off and wakes up to the smell of yam and fish. Tuere comes to his aid with food. She explains to him her reason for supporting him.

Okolo’s friends, Benitu and Tudou are then sent by the Chief to remind him to leave town.

Chapter 3 Summary

In Chapter three, Okolo departs for Solanga in an engine-powered canoe. The passengers are unlucky as it is rainy season at this time.

There is a heavy downpour and a young girl named Ebiere joins Okolo in his raincoat. She eventually falls asleep on his laps. This causes a bout of fight with her mother-in-law who strongly believes that Okolo touched the girl. This misunderstanding causes issues. It also leads to a disagreement between the mother-in-law, the Whiteman’s cook and the engine man.

Okolo helps settle this by advising the engine man to ignore certain things and avoid letting what people say spoil his ‘inside.’

Summary of Gabriel Okara's The Voice
Summary of The Voice

Chapter 4 Summary

In Amatu, Chief Izongo hosts a party to celebrate Okolo’s departure. The people drink palm wine, dance and make merry. Tuere is informed about the event by a cripple passing by.

Chapter 5 Summary

Okolo arrives at Solanga and does not meet a welcoming atmosphere. He is approached by a man who asks if he is Okolo.

The man urges him to follow him and he does so. He is dragged and put in a dark room. This shows that he is not accepted in Solanga.

Okolo wakes up to find himself in complete darkness. He begins to walk through the town and meets a constable to help him out. The constable is of no help to Okolo as he eventually abandons him.

Okolo continues walking and meets the owner of an eatery. He is served food and coaxed to join their group. When he refuses, he is taken to the “big one.”

“The big one” also suggests that Okolo seeks psychiatric help. Okolo decides to return home as he is not welcome in Solanga.

Chapter 6 Summary

The day marks the celebration of seven days since Okolo’s departure. Two of Chief Izongo’s men are seen discussing.

One of them believes that the money shared by the chief is blood money. He also believes that Okolo was treated wrongly.

Tuere overhears their conversation and tells the cripple how Okolo’s seed has grown in the young boy, Tiri, the son of Bumo.

Chapter 7 Summary

Here, the celebration of Okolo’s departure continues. The Chief and his fellow elders hail themselves with different titles such as “bad waterside”, “pepper”, “fire.”

Chapter 8 Summary

The mother-in-law from the canoe is fully convinced that Okolo touched her daughter-in-law, Ebiere. She hosts a meeting and forces her to swear that nothing happened between her and Okolo.

Ebiere’s brother is offended by this act and believes that his sister should not be treated in such a manner.

The mother-in-law gives her son some money to find Okolo for him to swear that Ebiere spoke the truth.

Chapter 9 Summary

This chapter begins with Okolo being in a pensive mood. He is seen reminiscing about his childhood memories.

While at it, he is interrupted by the mother-in-law who accuses him of being a mad man.

He is sent home on a canoe the following day. He is also made to swear that he didn’t touch the girl’s body.

Chapter 10 Summary

Okolo boards a very tight canoe and heads back for Amatu. He thinks about how the people’s “insides” work.

Chapter 11 Summary

The celebration of Okolo’s departure is still going on. Tuere and the cripple, Ukule discuss and hope that Okolo returns.

As this is going on, Okolo arrives. He narrates his experience at Solanga and tells Tuere how he was not welcomed there as well.

He decides to meet Chief Izongo. Ukule advises him against it as the people were all drunk and could make a rash decision. He ignores him and goes to meet the people.

Chapter 12 Summary

After Chief Izongo consults with his elders. Okolo is forced to leave town again but he refuses.

Consequently, Okolo is tied to the boat, together with Tuere and drowned.

Before they are killed, the two tell Ukule, the cripple, to pass on the tale of their experience.


What can you draw out for this chapter by chapter summary of Gabriel Okara’s The Voice? Please, let us know in the comment section. You can also check out our other posts on The Voice.

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