A play focuses on gender inequality, kidnapping, and rape in Africa.
The work begins with a conversation between Abade, a “top public servant,” and his “homemaker” wife, Ladaba. The opening lines indicate the level of patriarchal dominance in the household, with Abade castigating his wife for not having his breakfast ready. As the play progresses, Abade’s staggering cruelty and misogyny are revealed. In a conversation with Aliyah, a friend and neighbor, Ladaba confides that Abade attacked and raped her when she refused to have sex. Ladaba then discovers that her husband also raped their maid, Sarafa. Ladaba approaches a female lawyer, but in a male-dominated society, the odds are stacked against Abade's being prosecuted. The play also introduces Danlade and Tanmu, a married couple who met at medical school and respect each other as equals. Their lives are turned upside down when their daughter, Asa, is kidnapped and held for ransom. A third narrative deals with Dansibe, “a true African who believes the measure of a man is determined by the number of seeds his loins bring forth.” Agbere, one of his three wives, is confronted with the fact that she is “one big baby factory.” The play draws attention to issues of violence and inequality in Africa but does not establish a specific sense of place. A passing reference to the “UAC” (United Africa Company) of Nigeria suggests a possible location, but that country is never mentioned directly. Brisibe-Dorgu (Love So Pure, 2019, etc.) possesses the ability to shock her audience by writing frank conversations about taboo subjects. Dansibe and his friend Ledi witness a man with AIDS being beaten by a gang on the street. Ledi reveals: “That pathetic man’s idea of a cure” for his AIDS “is the blood of a virgin!” and goes on to say, “This man goes about raping little girls aged no more than six years!” Despite the playwright's never pulling her punches, the work has its failings. Her writing often lacks consistency. For instance, Kamo, a security guard, “appears dead” but a few lines later “will be alright.” A strong editor is also needed (“helter shelter”; “LAdaba”; “clean your.?”). Still, this disturbing play draws powerful attention to urgent human rights issues and succeeds in delivering an important message.
A flawed but brutally truthful drama about Africa.