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Author Name: Emmanuel Kwache
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Sown to the Winds?: A PLAY
Author: Emmanuel Kwache | September 15, 2008



Apart from Freelance Writing, for a very long time, I have taken to reading and reviewing all categories of books- whether Best Sellers like The New York Times Best Seller. BUSH AT WAR BY BOB WOODWARD, an update on the war with Iraq , FREEDOM, FROM FEAR: with subtitle of overcoming worry and anxiety, a Christian Book By Neil T. Anderson and Rich Miller: A Guide to the Corporate Machiavelli: By V, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People By Stephen R. Corey, Testimonies of Senator Mahmud Waziri: Wale Ojo- Lanre: a politically inclined Book and many others; but when I laid my hands on A play SOWN TO THE WINDS?: by my own class mate in the University, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, from 1980 to 1983 by himself, I was titillated, excited, and feel fulfilled. That is not all, as he holds master and Doctorate Degrees in Theatre Arts from the University of Ibadan . I have never doubted the capacity of Dr. Agbo Emmanuel Ogo-chi, as he is now called; since we met in the university in 1980. He was always sober, calm, cool and collected. Besides, when others were cruising in the campus attending all sorts of parties and other carousing gatherings, he was either in the Kashim Ibrahim Library (KIL) or he was attending one prayer meeting or the other; or sitting in discussion group or writing private researches on his own. Today the result is a PhD. and several plays and poems amongst, which apart from SOWN TO THE WIND? Are Desire of the hawk, Seasons of Dearth and several more published poem in International Journals. To the play SOWN TO THE WIND?: is a 29-page play currently in circulation, published by Stirling-Horden Publishers (Nig.) ltd. Gaat Building 110-112 Oyo Road, Orogun, Off University of Ibadan, 2nd Gate- Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria. This play won Best Play Award in the year 1996 NYSC Director-General Drama/Dance competition at its premier production. The play is an indictment of our society, which is plagued with an obsession for quick wealth and flamboyant living. That is not all, as it mirrors, how the society is taken by cheats in cassock and religious charlatans, ritual killers, cultic fraternities in a bid to get materialism without sweating for it. The play is dedicated to: �Those with clean hands and good name, to whom money is not the most important things in life-if there is any�. It is a one �Act play with six scenes and the cast is made up in order of appearance:- 1. Story teller 2. 1st mourner (woman) 3. 2nd mourner (woman), mother of deceased child 4. 3rd mourner )woman) 5. Olawale, the Ijapa (a cuning youth eager to make quick wealth) 6. 1st man � Villager 7. 2nd man - -Villager 8. 3rd man � Villager 9. Rashida � Olawale�s grandmother, mother of Duro 10. Badamosi � Olawale�s grandfather 11. Foluso � Rashida�s neighbour and friend 12. herbalist 13. Durojaye � Olewale�s father 14. Fumilola � Olawale�s mother 15. Ayodele � Duro�s in-law 16. Arewa � Olawale�s sister 17. others, who act as villagers, singers and drummers Scene I of this play SOWN TO THE WIND?: by Agbo Emmanuel Ogo-Ochi, goes back revealing our cherished past, where hard work, commitment to farming and ability to stand on one�s own was. All throughout, there was usage of mime, music, dancing, light; unless one was able to read Drama and participated in stage theatre and understanding of lighting, including sharp imagination and intellectual property and prosperity, you will not appreciate this opening thoroughly. The storyteller plays a major role just as the principal actor, Olawale as they are constantly in the beam of the light. The story as disclosed by the storyteller could have also been entitled The Story of Olawale: The Lazy One: but SOWN TO THE WINDS.? Generalizes the pervading illness, moral decadence, inordinate quest for wealth and the breakdown of social order. The introduction introduces Olawale, the spoilt child who has taken after his parents� unwieldy desire for money. The author humorously details Olawale�s description as spoilt by the pillow-hands of his parents; in other words connotatively his sleeping indolence, never wanting to work, just life the Book of Proverbs in the Holy Bible says; any youth- that loves sleep will come to poverty. Here is this book, it goes beyond to destruction, disaster, tragedy and death for Olawale. Scene II shifts to a village where mourners are seen weeping over their dead. As the mourners continue kneeing up to the stage, Olawale is seen down stage thinking about the request of the Herbalist to present parts of a human being so that he can make him rich and he wonders, gallivants, malingers through the paths of the next village. He hears the mourners and immediately, transforms himself into a �Devil� as a �Priest�. He speaks in tongues as the modern �Pastors� do even like the Pentecostal Churches do. This kind of deceit is not only aligned to pastors and �Ministers of God� as other categories of members of the society businessmen, politicians, philanthropists follow the same route of deception and other categories of Evil men. As Satan does in the Bible, when he tempted Jesus Christ, the Lord, there is semblance of Scriptural quotations, which shows versed the Author is in the Scriptures, for example �Silver or gold I have none, but that I have, I give unto you�. Like the fickle minded always do, when Olawale; the Ipaja, lazy yet greedy went into his acts and pretended to be spokesman of the gods one mourner immediately agreed, that he felt �holiness�. When Olawale stepped into the compound. Ignorance has been our bane. And we, when one is not ready to read; how can one learn and know and become knowledgeable and have wisdom to decipher the truth and the false? The third mourner even went on to say to �the Priest� Olawale �teach us anything, tell us we shall obey�, even, when the first man shouted and said, �leave him to go, Liar, rogue. And like it is with today�s Nigeria , some persisted and insisted to listen. The magnificence of this book is that it does not single out one faith as amongst the things the fraudster, the tragic hero brings out from his bag of divination items on stage are a hone-like object with features glued to it, a divination bead, huge as the Bible and Koran� Therefore greed, gluttony, inordinate ambition for money is not confined to one religion alone. Someone amongst the villagers identifies Olawale, even when he wore a robe and a chain like a priest. But the craze for �miracle� swept them off their feet, until he went off with the corpse. Just like other modern day Pastors in the name of �seed money� and �tithes� exploit, extract and milk our Church goers and Christians. One Miss. Dogo Janet, a Corper who is currently serving in Akwa Ibom State with reference Number AK/06/A/253 and NYSC/FPB/06/0231 who is interested in Literature and voracious reader, an indigene of Gwagwalada Area Council, Federal Capital Territory agrees that the Play is a masterpiece. Right there on page 7, it tells that is all our generation lives for; signs and wonders: Quips Olawale after he has deceptively taken the corpse for his fetish damnable act. Scene III, captures the Herbalist and Olawale at the shrine. Even before Olawale steps into the shrine with the corps, it is revealed to the Herbalist, that it will not succeed as he says, �Welcome my son; welcome to your shame and death�. The elements too disagree as on the stage, there is thundering and lightening, crashing across the skies. It is abominable and signs of ominous things to come later. The gods demanded for fresh blood, and not a corpse. And in addition, he had to commit incest with his blood sister; which is Arewa as we later learn. It was not shown whether Olawale did kill and bring a fresh, blood but at the tail end, we learn he impregnated his sister. Scene IV projects the two old persons, Rashida, the grandmother of Olawale and Badamosi, the grandfather of same decrying the decadence we are talking about. While the play is about a serious issue, moral decadence and more of a prophecy of the End time, this scene is put in a hilarious from that you cannot help to laugh; as the two here Rashida and Badamosi put across their serious views in proverbs and parables. Contradictedly, what they are crying about is what is happening under their nose. The best of it all is that such a way of writing a stage play which can be put and transformed on a celluloid by experts and professional film makers engages a person throughout the duration of play. At this point in this treatise and review of SOWN TO THE WIND?: by a class mate, Dr. Agbo Emmanuel Ogo-Ochi, who is currently Director of Administration and P.A of the Director �General, National Youth Service Corps Scheme, I remember with nostalgia our lecturers for the enormous skills and dexterity imparted in us in script writing, directing, production, lighting, acting, costumes. Such vivid names like Michael Etherton, Dr. Brian Crow, Dr. Steve Abah and one other Ghanaian forgotten his name at this moment for their tireless perseverance to sit us up and endure, in rain, in shine, we were always at the Drama Village in ABU Zaria. The fruit is this wonderful play, which is this Best seller-any day, anytime by Emma Ochi as we fondly called him then. So the play describes everything we are facing; the lack of fear of God. There is evidence to acquire wealth by any means, armed robbery, killing for ritualism or even prostitution as pointed on page 13 of The Book: SOWN TO THE WIND?: as Osame becomes the latest victim of HIV/AIDS when she was deported from Italy. Her mother contributed as reported by the author �took the gold coated road as taught by her mother�. Rashida, Olawale�s grandmother on page 14 is quoted saying in scene IV. �Anyway, I thank my God, my only grandson and daughter will not dream of such a life� . but Foluso � Rashida�s neighbour and friend gave the bad news, she was not expecting �well if you must know, Olawale, your grandson steals corpse for money, Continuously through out the play as in scene V, after light fades out- there is always a song, a dirge; normally or a a certain music depicting what type of action could follow, is it laughter, tragedy, or something different, something else on stage- the music provides for changes that take place backstage and allows rooms for costume change and if it is one character that is used for improvisation if one happens to be absent in case of happenstance. So, as in the same setting in scene II, now the 2nd man in scene II who identified Durojaye�s son goes for the bag he (Olawale) left and gave an instruction not to be touched and when it was opened, were found stones and pebbles. Scene VI which is the last scene shows Chief Durojaye�s house, well furnished, Olawale�s father, was at home with Funmilola his wife, as Rashida � Chief�s mother and Olawale�s groundmother crash in. The first of the Author�s dexterity in writing is shown here as it shown fabulous wealth background of the central character, their insensitivity � to even Chief�s parents, who still go to farm and to have left their son, their scion, their own became a wayward unto destruction and death. They talk of being informed by their parent before a visit. As the mother (Rashida) tells Chief Durojaye, what has befallen his son and Ayodele � his in-law brings in his daughter (Arewa) pregnant, and impregnanted by her sibling brother, Olawele in the name of making more money � he pounced on the wife as if she is to blame. But his Mama lays the blame at his feet. �Does the farmer plant yams and reap cassava?� Mama Rashida continues �you planted the seeds of sorrow, now, you reap the fruit of tears.� The sophistication of his parents must have given, Olawale the �will�, �courage� and �influence� to deceive the villagers and pretended as a prophet to steal their corpse. Again, the fabulous wealth of his parents, which probably, he wasn�t given access to it, propelled him to go beyond redemption; to go into ritualism to have his own. Either way you see it the society is bad and moral decadence has set in, parents no longer have time for family values and homes. Olawale himself concludes the language we were ever taught was the language of wealth, quick money, and quick fame we were born for wealth, we sleep wealth, we dream wealth, eat wealth; we live for wealth and will die for wealth. To make it quick, for that is all I was taught.� Additionally, �At a point in time, at the cross-road of life, a man needs a hand, a voice to show the way, a hand to tend the wild tendrils of life to the shores of a better tomorrow, for a better yield, there was no such hands, no voice to show the way�. That is the specific indictment for parents. In the overall, the narration at the tail � end quietens the mood of the many likely watching audience to breakdown sobbing as Olawale breaks down, says Take me away! There is usage of emotionalism and involving the audience totally rapt attention. I wish to commend Dr. Agbo Emmanuel Ogo-Ochi for this �A� job, especially the adaptation of Yoruba in the utilization of the songs. Though he actually credited the members of the 1996/97 Oyo State NYSC Theatre Troupe who premiered the play in and acknowledged the songs which were composed under the leadership of Funsho Adeleye � but is not easy to use such songs in a play in between scenes that has a complete English language. Moreso, Agbo Emmanuel Ogo-Ochi, was born to the family of Mr. And Mrs. Amos Ogo-Ochi of Ibilla-Alukpo, Ibilla- Igede, Oju Local Government Area of Benue State and not a Yoruba by pedigree or birth. It may be interesting to know also that Dr. Agbo Emmanuel Ogo-Ochi, the Author attended Wesley Trans, Ibilla-Igede and Methodist Primary School , Jos. He also attended Sarduana Science and Technology, Makurdi and later to Ahmadu Ballo University , Zaria , where we met and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Drama. He won the Kwara State Honours Award in 1984 for championing the establishment of NYSC Theatre Group with emphasis on the utilization of Theatre Community Development. He was offered automatic employment by both the National Youth Service Corps Scheme and Kwara State Government. He currently works with the NYSC Headquarters. He is a playwright, Theatre Director and a poet. SOWN TO THE WINDS? I suggest and recommend that this play can be taught to final year student in Secondary School to prepare their minds for incisive Writing, Performing Arts, Drama and Theatre and appreciate the art of writing, while it can be taught to 200 and 300 Level students in the University as a critique. What a wonderful job! What a magnificent piece!

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