A Short Play Titled
ACT 1 SCENE 1
ALL THESE WOULD BE SPOKEN IN IGBO ACCENT
THE PLAY OPENS WITH A WAR-LIKE SONG IN IGBO LANGUAGE. A GROUP OF ABOUT 3 IGBO PEOPLE (BOTH MALE AND FEMALE) COME ON STAGE TO MEET A MAN ALREADY SITTED ON STAGE.
LEADER: Ndi Igbo kwenu!
LEADER: Kwezunu ooo!
LEADER: Ndi Igbo m’ekele unu oo. The matter at hand is a serious one. Like our people say a toad does not run around in the day time for nothing. It is either something is pursuing it or it is pursuing something.
1ST PERSON: True, very true.
2ND PERSON: The urgency of the call brought us all out of our farmlands and shops by this time of the day. So what is the actual problem?
LEADER: Good! Good!! Very Good!!! (To the audience) Did you just hear him? He said they are just coming from their farmlands and shops. What does that mean to you? It means the average Igbo man is very hardworking.
1ST PERSON: Izuokwu! True! Like me I am an importer and exporter. My containers di na high sea. They would arrive and time soon.
3RD PERSON: I am a cassava farmer. I am a farmer; I am proud of what I do. All the akpo fufu you eat, is from my cassava farm.
2ND SPEAKER: Me nko? I am a manufacturer. I can make anything that obodo oyibo can make from wrist watches to motor spear parts, infact the car itself I can make it.
LEADER: Igbo kwenu!
LEADER: (Smiling broadly) You have all spoken well. You have spoken my mind. Now go and prepare for war.
All (Shocked). For war?
LEADER : Yes, for war. Because we are going to have a showdown with our other brothers. We are going to show them that we are greater than them and so we ought to rule this country. At the sound of the gong, come out and fight. And fight for our rights (They move out leaving only the leader on stage. A bong is raised and the leader leaves too)
SCENE 2 Hausa
ALL THESE WOULD BE SPOKEN IN HAUSA ACCENT.
HAUSA MUSIC IS PLAYED AND THEY DO A SHORT DANCE WHILE THE OTHERS WATCH. AFTER THE DANCE, THERE IS AN APPLAUSE AND THEN THE LEADER BEGINS TO SPEAK.
LEADER: Please, please, don’t stop the music. Let us dance. Let us eat and be merry …
1ST PERSON: But why fa? What is the merriment for?
LEADER: Can’t you see? The time has come! The opportunity we’ve been waiting for is here. In a few days time we would be having a showdown with our other brothers.
2ND PERSON: A showdown?
LEADER: Yes, of course. A showdown. I mean a fight.
3RD PERSON: If we are going to have a fight with our other brother, they why are we eating and drinking instead of preparing for war?
LEADER: We are merrying because this is the opportunity we have been waiting for. On that day, we will tell them of our food variety like onions, watermelon, rice, and yam. We will give them very many other reasons why we must remain in power. As for preparing of war, don’t worry, after all we control the armed forces of this Nation. At the sound of the whistle, all the solders would turn out enmass and obey the clarion call.
1st SPEAKER: So let the party continue!
ALL: Yes, let the party continue!
2ND SPEAKER: Kai! Yarinya, me I must dance with you fa (loud laughter from all) (The music comes on again. They dance and leave the stage).
SCENE 3 –Yoruba
ALL LINES SPOKEN WOULD BE DONE IN YORUBA ACCENT.
THERE IS A LOUD MUSIC GOING ON A MALE AND A FEMALE DANCING EXCITEDLY. SHORTLY AFTERWARDS TWO OTHER MALES WALK IN.
LEADER: (Walks in briskly. With a loud voice) Stop! Stop!! Stop the music!!! I say stop the music immediately (the music stops and there is dead silence).
THE 2 DANCES: (Postrates) Ekaro! Ekale!
LEADER: (Walks past them): It is only a mad person that sees his roof on fire and goes to dance and make merry.
THE 2 DANCES: Emabinu, ejoor..
LEADER: This is no time for Owambe or wild parties. This is a time to think. In a few days time we will be meeting with other brothers and no one knows what to expect. Instead of thinking you are here dancing. (He immediately begins to sing a party song in Yoruba and dance, other on stage are tempted to laugh and they giggle).
LEADER: (Stops dancing and looks at them): I see you like Owambe, free food, free drinks but sorry, this is no time for that. Go home and think. You are all intellectuals. Some of you here are professors, legal practitioners, occupying high positions in government.
3RD PERSON: But what exactly do we think about?
LEADER: (Looks disdainfully at him and ignores him) Go home! Put on your thinking cap. For in a few days we will be meeting with our other brothers and our mother. We must table our course before them and make them see reasons why we must rule this nation. We are intellectuals and we must take charge. Now go! Go, all of you (They exit).
SCENE 4 –South South
THE LEADER IS SITTED AND A MESSENGER RUSHES.
MESSENGER: Greetings to you my lord. I have come with a very important message
LEADER: Then speak and stop panting like a fish which has been removed from the water.
MESSENGER: The white men have come again. They have come with government people to explore our land.
LEADER: Are you sure?
MESSENGER: Yes, my lord. Very sure.
LEADER: Then go! Go and call our people and we shall table the matter before them. (Messenger exits in a hurry).
LEADER: (To the audience): Can you see? Can you see? This is why we go to the creeks. This is why we fight the government because all they do is to explore and exploit us. They pollute our lands and waters but don’t worry they shall hear from us soon. (Three others walk in).
A LADY: (from the group) Eleme waweyoweeee!
LEADER: Welcome my people and thank you for your quick and prompt response to my sudden call.
1ST MALE: My lord, thank you for your call. Your call was timely. You see, in this life it is either you call something or something calls you; what is important is that there must be a call. With due respect my lord, if you hadn’t called us, we would have called you because what our eyes have seen, our mouth must speak it.
LEADER: And what have those eye of yours seen?
1ST MALE: We saw some government people and and a whiteman. We couldn’t hear what they were saying but they were pointing (demonstrates), taking picture, shacam, schacam, shacam (demonstrates all the while). And what does this suggest to you?
ANOTHER: They have come to explore our land.
A WOMAN: (Wails) Heey! Heey! Our farm lands are not safe anymore.
A MALE: Our fishes in the river would die and then I would be out of business.
ANOTHER MALE: Asa wana!
ANOTHER MALE: Asa wana!!!
ANOTHER MALE: My lord, should we go? Should we fight? We are ready to fight
LEADER: (Goes to him and touches him): Calm down! Calm down!! Your blood is hot and it is not good to react in this state because you will make mistakes
A MALE: Then do we just sit and fold our arm and watch the exploitation continue?
LEADER: Clam down my brother in the struggle. We are on top of the situation. In a few days we will be having a general meeting with our other brothers and of course our mother will be present too we shall table our matter. Go my people, go in peace. I shall bring you words soon. (A song is raised as they leave).
Act 3 Scene 1
A WOMAN COMES ON STAGE. SHE IS DRESSED IN A FLOWING GREEN AND WHITE GOWN. SHE IS WAILING. SHE WAILS IN AS MANY NIGERIAN LANGUAGES AS SHE CAN REMEMBER
WOMAN: Oh! Oh!! Oh!!! E wooo! yeelee Obari oo! Tamuoo eee! Jesu! kai minini!!
My children are fighting. They are killing themselves. They want to tear me apart. (The voices of the leaders of the four ethnic groups can be heard. They are quarreling loudly)
WOMAN: Oh! Where do I hide? (Makes to hide) where do I hide for safety? No, I must stand. I must speak sense into them. My people perish for lack of knowledge. (They all come and meet her on stage).
1ST PERSON: Oh thank goodness our mother is here.
2ND PERSON: Mother, you are here early
3RD PERSON: Mother, I greet you
MOTHER: Now, we are all here, let us table our grievances for a way forward
IGBO: (After greeting the audience in Igbo language) Aha m bu Echi dieme. Yes, my is Echi dieme. I am an igbo man people of our region are hardworking. We are farmers. We are also industrialists. We can make everything and indeed anything that people from obodo oyibo can make. Therefore, we are better and should rule nation.
HAUSA MAN: Sannu nku! Sannu my people Kail wahali! Can’t you see with your eyes? The people from my region are great. W are rich in food, variety of food like suya, tuwoshikafa, watermelon, yam, cattle, just name it. We are born to rule and so must continue t rule whether you like it or not.
YORUBA: (Prostrates) Ekaro! I greet everyone; I’m not here to talk too much. In my region, we are rich in culture. Our culture has survived throughout the ages. We are ageater and better and should rule. That’s all!
SOUTH SOUTH: I maybe the last but certainly not the least. It is our vast natural resources from our region that feed the whole nation. Allow us to rule or we will take it by force. (They all begin to drag their mother from different angles. When it is as if the south is loosing, he brings out a weapon from under his shirt and all freeze in amazement and shock. A song is raised by primary one pupil. The sing the song twice and defreeze).
MOTHER: Enough! Enough!! Stop this at once!!! You all are one. God has made us to compliment each other. Stop the fighting lay down your arms and pride and let’s work together to achieve our goals. (They move to hug each other. A song is raised).
Written by Angel Perfecta Eze.
Copyright © by Angel Perfecta Eze.