Summary of Home Sweet Home in the Cockcrow

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Home sweet home is a story about the return of a young girl from the city to her village after completing university.

She was returning to teach in her village called Dukana, her sweet home. It was a remarkable day in her life since the villagers sung, danced and gave her an unforgettable welcome back home.

Author: Ken Saro-Wiwa

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Home Sweet Home Summary

The narrator’s village vehicle, “progres”, provided the fastest way to move in and out of the village.

The driver was a proud young man born in Dukana. He drove carelessly as the narrator sat on the front seat of the vehicle.

The people spoke highly of their village. They held on to their customs and traditions seriously and anyone who dared to speak against their village was going to have to face the wrath of its inhabitants.

Dukana had a poor layout of mostly mud houses covered with raffia palms or rusty iron sheets.

It takes a long time to build a house in Dukana. Sometimes buildings can be built gradually over a span of ten years.

The narrator was excited to finally arrive in Dukana to meet her happy mother. Characters like Duzia and Bom made her return more interesting due to their usual mannerisms and antics. She was also expecting to see Sira, her best friend. Sira had four children and was pregnant the last time she saw her.

When she finally reached her home, there were a number of villagers waiting to celebrate with her on her achievement. There was music, singing and dancing. This was a great bonding moment for the narrator as she joined in the celebrations.

Little by little, the celebrations ceased and everyone went to their homes. As the narrator was having dinner with her mother, her mother’s best friend, Waale, visited them.

Waale’s only daughter, Sira, was the narrator’s best friend.

The narrator wondered why Sira was not present since she arrived so she asked about her.

Waale did not give a definite answer but when Waale left them, the narrator’s mother told the truth about Sira.

The truth about Sira was that, she had given birth to twins but the twins had died. After this, Sira couldn’t stay in the village anymore so she went away across the river.

After the narrator had heard this news, she lay down on her bed feeling depressed.

Themes of Home Sweet Home

  • The main theme is that, there is no place like home no matter where you go. Even though the narrator had gone to the city and had new experiences, she was yearning to come back home and meet her people.
  • Another theme is that we should help our community with the skills and knowledge we acquire. The narrator was willing to contribute to the development of her village after her training.
  • We should not despise our roots. The narrator said good things about her village even though the place was underdeveloped. She accepted that her village was not as beautiful as the big city but she didn’t disrespect her people.

Mood of the Story

The story shows different moods in the beginning, middle and end of story.

  • Mood of expectations: Beginning
  • Mood of celebration: Middle
  • Mood sadness: End

Point of View

First person narrative



Literary Devices in the Story


  • She bore a precious and varied cargo of rice…
  • …the surrounding darkness swallowing them as they disappeared from Mama’s house…
  • …mostly stunted and crying for fertilizers.
  • We drove past sleepy little villages…


  • For you must understand that building a brick house in Dukana is the task of a life-time.
  • In the twinkling of an eye…


  • …..which stretched before us like the coated tongue of an ailing man.
  • …women pressed together on the wooden benches in the body of the lorry like fish hung on a string…..
  • he exhorted “progres” to move like a lady…
  • …Slinking into the night like a cat.


  • And arrogance is a deadly sin in Dukana
  • Its driver was a son of the soil….


  • …odd mud houses covered with rusty corrugated iron sheets and, much more rarely, a brick house, unplastered and unpainted, its windows boarded with planks or old news papers turned dull yellow.


  • “Progres” spluttered lazily down the long dirty road…
  • …whistling noisily the while
  • “Progres” has screeched to a stop.
  • …hooting of owls, the swooping and beeping of bats, the burping of toads…


  • Home is home


  • Had not Dukana fought, and won wars against neighbouring kingdoms?
  • And did the people need anyone to feed them?
  • There, that’s a darling. What would I do without you?


  • Oblivious of the power of “Progres”

Questions and Answers on home Sweet home

1. Who was Sira to the narrator?

2.Mention some characteristics of the bus driver.

3. Who was Duzia?

4. Building a brick house in Dukana is the task of a lifetime. Why?

5. What had happened to Sira while the narrator had been away?

6. Who is Waale and why did he/she look older than his/her years?

7. Identify three literary devices in this sentence.

“Progres” spluttered lazily down the long dirty road which stretched before us like the coated tongue of an ailing man.

8. What has happened for Dukana’s qualities to be diminished in the narrator’s eyes?

9. In the town of Dukana, what did it mean to disagree?

10, What was the surprise waiting for the narrator when she got home?

11. What warning was written on the tailboard of the vehicle?

12. The narrator said St.Dominic was her alma mater. This means what?

13. Describe the road to Dukana.


George is interested in self-education, knowledge building and self expression through writing!

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This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Prexxie

    Name some of the items on the drivers car

    1. George

      Some of the items on the driver’s car are Yams, cassava, cargo of rice, cartons of soap and sugar, salt and beans.

  2. Caroline Donkor

    Identify three character traits of the following characters in home sweet home . Support your answer with two evidence from the story

  3. Caroline Donkor

    Identify three character traits of the following characters in home sweet home . Support your answer with two evidence from the story

    1. The bus driver

    2. The narrator

    3. The narrator’s mother

    1. George

      The bus driver was rude and inconsiderate.
      In the story, he rained insults on people who were not from his village.
      The narrator was an empathetic individual.
      This was evident when she showed concern on the whereabouts of her best friend, Sira.
      The narrator’s mother was a caring and a loving mother.
      This is true because the narrator made us aware that anytime she returned from the university, her mother would be waiting to welcome her.