The Blood of A Stranger - Dele Charley Chapter by Chapter Summary
Read Online African Drama: The Blood of A Stranger by Dele Charley Comprehensive Analysis and Chapter by Chapter Summary of Background, Plot Account, Settings, Theme, Major Events and their Significance, Major Characters, Minor Characters, Language and Style for JAMB UTME, NECO and WAEC Literature Students.

BACKGROUND

The Blood of a Stranger By Dele Charley - The Blood of a stranger is an African drama written by a Sierra-LeoMan playwright, Raymond Dele Charley. The play is set in Sierra Leone during the colonial period. It reveals the exploration and exploitation of Africa by the European. Sierra Leone is a very small country of 27,92S square miles situated in the west coast of Africa. It is bounded on the west and south-west by the Atlantic ocean, on the north-west, north and no.- east by the sister republic of Guinea and on the east and south-ast by the republic of Liberia. The country derives its name from the Freetown peninsula mountain as seen and described by a Portuguese sailor called Pedro da Cintra. The name meaning to mountain came into existence in 1462. Sierra Lyoa gradually changed to Sierra Leone due to British influence. In 1787, a British philanthropist founded the province of Freedom which later became a British Crown Colony in 1808. The British colonial authorities later declared the hinterland (now known as provinces) a British protectorate in 1896.
There are about 17 ethnic communities and three language groupings in the country -the Mande group, the Mel group and others. In traditional rural settings throughout the country, the household is the basic social unit. It comprises of a man, his wife/wives, children and relatives. The household is under the charge of a man. Headship succession of household is passed from the father to the eldest son.

After independence in Sierra Leone there was a growing concern on cultural revival because of the effects of colonization on the peoples culture. Studies were embarked upon on colonial influences on West African nations. The economic structure of these nations were also given due attention and viewed against the level of materialism displayed by public office-holders. eyebrows were raised against the exploitative tendencies and unbridled ambition of African leaders for splendor and opulence.

The Western influences on the culture of Sierra Leone were of particular concern because of the regrettable legacy of colonialism which was demeaning rather than ennobling Sierra Leone. From the sixties, African writers produced works to depict the qualities of traditional African society. The purpose was to restore pride M the peoples heritage culturally emasculated by the colonialists. They are of the opinion that the worth of African culture should not be taken for granted. It is against this broad background that the Sierra Leonean playwright Dele Charley wrote The Blood of a Stranger to contextualize the cultural and economic rape of his country by white men and the noble resistance of his people in the face of internal betrayals and external persistence to steal their diamonds and tribal homeland. The effort is to essentially destroy the myth of white superiority over black people.

In addition, Sierra Leone has a rich cultural heritage. Creative and performance art is growing among the people, especially the youths. The storytelling tradition here is very rich and lively. Famous storytellers travel the length of the country practicing their trade. They attract huge audiences and earn a living from their trade. Attempts have been made to document Sierra Leonean traditional songs, riddles, proverbs and short stones. The promotion of Sierra Leonean culture as demonstrated in traditional rural settings are now recorded in novels, drama, music and art. The writing of The Blood of a Stranger is a product of this general cultural and creative renaissance. Its success as a typical reflection of the history and character of Sierra Leone perhaps qualified it to be chosen as the country, drama entry for FESTAL 77 in Nigeria, where it was adjudged the best drama entry. The Blood of a Stranger is about the fraudulent activities of a white colonialist exploiter who, showing tremendous disregard for the peoples customs and traditions, wishes to corrupt them with petty gifts, seduce their women, and steal their diamond wealth. It is a compelling spectacle on the stage and also an engaging drama to read. Apart from being a very gripping drama, the play vividly exhibit., aspects of Sierra Leonean history and culture.

PLOT ACCOUNT

Maligu, the Chief advisor to King Santigi Marto V, declares that an unidentified white man would be their village guest soon, as written to him in a letter sent by his brother rom the city.

He seeks and finds the cooperation of Soko, the priest of the village shrine, to prophesy that the land should welcome this guest. This manipulated prophecy is against the exist, spiritual ordinance of the community not to accept visitors, which has been observed since the war in the land.

It is a difficult insurrection for the people to accept. To them, strangers represent illness, disease and aggression. However, because Solo is the ordained priest of the village that has always interceded between them and heir forefathers, the people have no reason to question or doubt his divination, their forefathers must have sent this vision. hey prepare therefore to welcome the visitor. Kindo, chief warrior and son of the king, eels otherwise and senses something is wrong because of the strange alliance between Soko and Maligu on this news.

Knowing that the two are fraudulent and dishonest, Kindo becomes suspicious of Soko, claim that he received the vision to admit the stranger into Mando land. The white man, symbolically called Whitehead, arrives and shows little or no respect for the culture and traditions of the land. Kindo forces him to order and a d of discord between them is sown. Whitehead soon takes Malign into confidence hat his true motive of coming is the diamonds on their land. He has given the King a false impression he is in their land to cultivate a tobacco tams, build a school and help he village from the proceeds of the tobacco tams. Indeed, his actual purpose is to have the farmers unsuspectingly harvest the diamonds for him.

SETTING

The Blood of a Stranger is set in a fictional village (Marv.) in Sierra Leone in the early days of the colony and centres on the unavoidable conflict between traditional preservation and the modernizing presence of the British colonizers.

THEME

COLONIALIST ARROGANCE AND EXPLOITATION:  

Whitehead comes to Mandoland with a blatant air of superiority which is why after two rays of arrival in the land he refuses to pay homage to King Santigi until Kindo forces him. This is reflective of colonial arrogance in history. Even though the real colonial mission is to exploit, they still engage the owner of the land in service labour to advance that interest and also expect to accord him honour and respect This is portrayed in the play with Whitehead engaging the people to pick the diamond pebbles for him for pittance. It is also a show of colonial arrogance that makes Whitehead introduce gin spirit drink in place of the people, local drink mampama which is congenial with their stem, whereas Whitehead's drink intoxicates and makes animals of the people.

PATRIOTISM AND RESISTANCE TO OPPRESSION: 

The patriotic zeal of Kindo saves Mando Kingdom from the hands of Whitehead. When whitehead refuses to accord King Santigi his deserved respect, it is Kindo who restores it by putting him where he truly belongs - beneath the king, feet. Kindo constantly monitors Maligu and Solo when he suspects they are in league with Whitehead. He also interrogates Whitehead on why he choose Mandoland and not another place. When whitehead gets the people drunk and the women become sexually provocative, it is Kindo that also calls Whitehead and Maligu to order. Kindo it is that also unveils the brand design to steal Mando, diamond wealth. In the end, Kindo does not only resist oppression, he stamps it out by killing Whitehead.

GREED AND AMBITION: 

The theme of greed and ambition runs through the play. The key characters in this are whitehead, Maligu and Soko. The three, sole ambition is to get rich. Whitehead comes to Mandoland with dubious intent to cart the people's diamond wealth away and become extremely rich. The other two connive with him to carry out his intention and also get rich in the process. Greed sets in when they begin to distrust one another and hatching plans to eliminate each other for greater advantage on the diamond wealth. The three want Kindo out of the way for them to succeed in the first place. Kindo also recognizes it when he tells Maligu to pray for greed and ambition not to destroy him. Whitehead also wants Parker and Soko lulled as they do not exactly fit into his plan beyond using them to achieve his aim. When Maligu stands the chance to save whitehead from death in the hands of Kindo, he betrays him and simply thank him for the diamond wealth that now apparently belongs to him alone.

UNCRITICAL ADHERENCE TO CULTURE: 

The king, rigid adherence to tradition in the face of irrevocable change is a major theme in this play. It may seem a little red, even disappointing, that the King will hastily banish his own son without regard for the motive behind Kindo, behavior, especially since Kindo remains morally impeccable through out the play. Perhaps, one could relate the king, cultural rigidity at juncture in the play to the fact that Whitehead has introduced him to hallucinatory drugs, although the link between the two events is not convincingly made in the play. A more convincing explanation may lie in the playwright's consistent critiqe of the uncritical adherence to culture, as if cultures are static, not dynamic. That is to say, that while the play seems to esteem tradition, it also challenges the audience to examine the values behind traditional beliefs, especially here common sense changes are needed with the changing times. For instance, Kindo, like Maligu, knows that the priest does not honour the traditions of the land, even though he is supposed to be the protector of it Solo has built a hut in the forest where he enjoys a comfortable bed instead of sleeping in the rustic shrine a night. Ignorant of his fact, the people of Mandoland, including the king, hold the shrine in veneration. Maligu would of course use the knowledge of Solo's deception to blackmail him into divining the entrance of a white stranger into the land, thus further contravening the law of the land.

CULTURE CLASH AND EROSION OF CUSTOMS: 

Western values and African values come headed for collision in this play. When whitehead refuses to pay respect to King Santigi, Kindo teaches him how to do it and by it is done. It is not Whitehead, culture to bow before a King but he is made to bow to the ground before King Santigi. Smoking of pipe hard drug intake and drinking of hard spirits are not African way of life but Whitehead introduces them and Kindo condemns them; he upholds mampama their local drink. Solo also erodes custom by not sleeping in his cave as required by his spiritual office as the chief priest of the land. Santigi and whitehead also contest animal sacrifice in place of human sacrifice. The King extols the rationale behind human sacrifice to secure peace. Whitehead suggests a goat instead but is occasioned not to meddle into what he does not understand.

POLITICAL SOCIAL AND SPIRITUAL DECADENCE: 

 The corrupt leadership of the priest of the sacred shrine and the chief adviser to the King. Maligu, parodies the colonial legacy of political, social and spiritual decadence in Sierra Leone, the country. Over all, as tragic as the play is (seemingly tragic for Kindo), here is moral retribution in the end when Whitehead is given a taste of his own ommendation- he is sac..ed rather than Wara. Thus, the evil plotter becomes the Sacrificial Iamb of atonement and gives hope for our flawed humanity.

THE EVILS OF AFRICAN COLONIAL ENCOUNTER WITH THE WEST: 

 The play successfully demonstrates the evils of the African colonial encounter with the west, without presenting the colonized as mere victims. Kindo represents a major obstacle to Whitehead plan matching him wit for wit and always a step ahead of him. He disciplines Whitehead for not accord deserved respect to King Santigi and eventually kills him for his evil role in their land.

IRONY OF CULTURE: 

It is a cultural irony that the culture Whitehead disregards by introducing the people to alcohol, tobacco, and hard core hallucinatory drugs, he also finds in it a substance to manipulate the culture by relying on key traditional beliefs that favor his ominous plot. For example, he seizes on the decree of death for anyone who kills in peacetime, so as trap Kindo. He also describes diamonds as evil stones that should be handed over to him in a land purification ritual he trumps up. ;

MORAL DECADENCE AND CORRUPTION: 

Some characters in the play fail moral tests Whitehead for instance attempts to rape a country virgin, Kindo woman, Wara. The attempted rape of this country virgin in the play symbolizes the rape of the country, natural resources that the colonial government is essentially after. It should be emphasized too that Whitehead's deft manipulation of Mando society is aided and abetted by the corrupt priest of the shrine Solo, and the chief assistant to the king, Maligu, who are .ping to gain personal wealth by assisting whitehead. Their ignorance of Whitehead, true motive - he wants diamonds, whereas hey think he is there to grow tobacco - is reminiscent of the general exploitative track of colonial history in Africa. While beads, tobacco and cloths were among the initial innocent exchange in a barter of gores for palm oil and other products between Europeans and Africans, it did not take long before Africans themselves became the battered goods of c.ice by Europeans (the slave trade), who used corrupt local leaders o accomplish their scheme.

JUSTICE ALWAYS WINS OUT AGAINST OPPRESSION:

The white man symbolizes Britain's rape of Sierra Leonean natural resources. In this play, he Sierra Leonean people are presented not only as victimized, but also as complicit in he exploitation of their own people. Through the gifts of 'strange tobacco,. alcohol, whitehead takes advantage of the drugged natives and exploits their resources. With he help of Malign and Solo, Whitehead also tries to rape Kindo, woman, Wara, but in he end his elaborate plans fail. Dele-Chadey clearly makes the point that justice would always find its course irrespective of the oppressive grand design to scuttle justice

MAJOR EVENTS AND SIGNIFICANCE

LETTER ANNOUNCING THE ARRIVAL OF A WHITE STRANGER

A. Maligu suddenly appears in front of the Priest's cave and almost bumps into Soko, the priest, which startles him.
B. Maligu announces that his brother sent him a letter which says a stranger is coming to Mandoland. And this stranger is a white man.
C Soko takes this white man to be a Baliha who is neither a black or a white man. Soko acknowledges Maligu's wisdom but Maligu is modest enough to also observe that Soko's wisdom overshadows his own in many ways. Soko is however eager to know why Maligu has come to inform him about the letter.

SIGNIFICANCE

Maligu came to Soko because he acknowledges his importance in their community. As the priest, he is an opinion leader and also believed to be the messenger of the spirits.

If Maligu must succeed in carrying out his brother, instructions contained in the letter, he figures he would require the support of Soko.

Since Soko's wisdom is linked to the spirits, and spirits are the guiding ordinances of the people, the plot Maligu wants to execute with the white man would be believed without many question.

MALIGU PERSUADES AND BLACKMAILS SOKO TO PARTAKE IN HIS DUBIOUS PLAN

Maligu ask Soko if he wants to become rich or wants to die a poor man, a servant of the king. But to Soko, a priest has great honour and is not necessarily a servant of the king. Maligu reminds him that he lives on the sacrifices they make to the spirits of their forebears. Even though it is customary, Maligu does not see any honour for a priest to be hunted like prey by the chief of the warriors; and a priest who will starve if there are no scarifices.

Soko claims it is his destiny and that is the way the priest should live just like his forefathers before him. Maligu quickly points out to him that it is now a dying custom because the priest has no son to succeed him as custom demands; not even his chief attendant can be a substitute because Soko's blood does not flow in him.

Soko still argues that it is his destiny but Maligu asks, "is your destiny to die poor and unhappy?"
Soko educates him that he does not seek happiness for himself but the common good of the people.

Maligu becomes critical of his anti-customary practices, especially for deceiving the people that he sleeps in the cave as custom demands, whereas he has a nice warm but in the bush where he sneaks into every night. Maligu also draws his attention to the keen watchful eyes of Kindo, the chief warrior and the king's son, who spies on everyone including Maligu and Soko. This obviously does not make them happy.

Maligu capitalizes on that to reveal more acts of the priest and his attendants that are against the customs: the use of the harvest harmony rite to steal food and animals. Soko sincerely reveals that no priest has ever sincerely kept the custom even though the priest is supposed to sleep on the cold hard floor of the cave as atonement for the sins of his people.

SIGNIFICANCE

A Soko needs to be convinced and enlisted into Maligu-White man's scheme.

B As Soko is proving difficult, Maligu blackmails him into submission; that way Soko would be committed.

C Corrupt and unethical practices associated with priesthood in Mandoland are revealed; Soko the chief custodian is implicated.

D Soko's admittance to some of these allegations indicate that he has already been failing in his responsibilities to his calling, therefore to further engage in a dubious pact with Maligu does not really make any difference.

THE MISSING OF THE WHITE MAN IS REVEALED AND SOKO IS ENLISTED INTO THE GAME PLAN.

A Maligu drops the bombshell that the stranger is to live with them and Soko is curious and worried that this white stranger is a farmer who is coming this far to come and establish a tobacco farm in Mandoland. He is told that the tobacco will be for export and part of the earnings shall be kept in their land to pay for the services of his farm workers.

B "How shall I become rich then?" (p. 23) Soko wants to know. The long letter from Maligu's brother says they shall become rich if they assist the white man.

C. Since almost everyone is a farmer in Mandoland, the feasibility of the tobacco farm project is further called to question by Soko. Maligu then rolls out his plan on how to make this work.

D The voice of Soko is a vital key to the game plan. His voice is the "voice of unearthly wisdom. It is the voice of the spirits of our forefathers. You divine the fate of the land,  the people kneel with hope in obeisance when you perform your weird incantations and  rites, they believe everything that you say and do."

E Soko is to summon the people and tell them that he sees a stranger approaching and he must be received because the spirit of our forefathers say that harm will befall us if we drive him away. Maligu will handle the rest.

F Soko is concerned about going against the tenets of his calling as a priest and the customs of his people.

SIGNIFICANCE

A Cleverly, Maligu drops the key issues to his game plan by instalments, while engaging and sustaining Soko's interest at the same time.

B That the white man would stay with them is certainly not customary but now Soko has to devise an explanation to the kingdom that would make the white man's stay agreeable.

C Soko's voice is the key to use to open up the people's submissive will.

D Soko ties the repercussion of not accepting the white man on injury to the people's
welfare knowing that no one would like to jeopardize his or her welfare.

E Even though Soko is eager to get rich by bringing false messages from the spirits, his
conscience still pricks him. In all we do, our conscience remains the best guide.

KINDO AND WARA IN EMOTIONAL TANGLE AND BANTER KINDO REVEALS A SECRET HE CAN READ AND WRITE HE SENSES TROUBLE

A It is night and Kindo drags Wara, his girlfriend, to the foot of the shrine which is supposed to be reserved for only the priest and his attendants.

B Wara is scared and wants them to leave but Kindo insists they remain there believing the priest is not in the cave. Wara thinks otherwise because of the ray of light coming out of the cave.

C Kindo reveals that Soko does not stay in the cave/shrine as custom demands; Wara suggests they go into the forest but Kindo refuses because farmers would see them. Besides, all his men are all over the place keeping vigil on the land for her safety.

D Kindo reveals to Wara that before the war started he went on many tours with his mother, a singer, and her dancing girls. At some points, they spent five years in a big city which afforded him the opportunity to enlist in school. He also met with other people who taught him many other things.

E Wara does not believe him but believes more in the enlightened knowledge of Maligu. This does not go down well with Kindo and he threatens to beat her.

F "Beat me if you want, I am your woman. Do anything you want with me" is Wara's response.
G Kindo says he does not trust Maligu. Wara observes that he does not trust anyone not even the king, his own father. Kindo claims he is more concerned about the people's welfare.

H Kindo feels something strange in the air. Wara hopes there will not be another war. Still in the heat of passion Kindo wants to drag Wara into the cave; she resists still, Kindo insinuates that Maligu is in love with her but says it is not her business to notice.

J Wara threatens not to be Kindo's woman again if he goes into the cave and Kindo insinuates that Maligu is in love with her but says it is not her business to notice.

K Wara asks, "Is it because you distrust me you do not take me to your room in the palace?
Is that why you have not yet made me your wife?" Kindo says custom demands that the chief of the warrior will only marry when the woman is with child for him. Even though Wara believes the king would not frown at that, Kindo insists that the customs is the custom; the king cannot break the custom.

L Kindo is still anxious to have Wara — "Wara, the night slips away stealthily while we talk Let us go over there. The ground is flat you can spread your lappa."

M Suddenly Soko emerges from the cave and Kindo quickly drags Wara into the shadows. They wonder why Soko has been in the cave that hour and comes out summoning the people with his going. Something must be wrong; Wara is afraid and wants them to return home but Kindo still wants something.

N "No! We go into the bush! If you do not want to go, I shall carry you" - he lifts her and goes off offstage with her, ignoring her cries of protest and desperate struggle.

SIGNIFICANCE

A Kindo takes Wara to the cave, a sacred site, because of his fore knowledge that Soko does not often sleep there as required. The implication is that when the custodian of a tradition violates it, others would follow suit.

B Since Maligu's knowledge and wisdom accord him so much respect among the people, even Wara, Kindo tries to soar up his own profile too before too before his woman by revealing that he too can read and write.

C We see conflict of passion clash in Kindo. His desire to have Wara by all means clashes with his function as a warrior.

D Kindo's care for his people is a show of patriotism and commitment for the wellbeing of his community.

E In spite of his affection for Wara, Kindo is also custom-conscious and careful not to go against the lore of the land.

F Similarly, Wara is very mindful of the spiritual sanctity of the land. That is why she keeps insisting that they must not go into the cave, a sacred site.

SOKO SUMMONS A COMMUNAL MEETING TO TELL THE PEOPLE ABOUT THE EXPECTED STRANGER

A Four men bring in the priest's sacrifice-stone. A round of drumming greets King Santigi as he enters the arena.

B Soko offers the king and Maligu drinks in a horn, they drink but Kindo refuses to drink

C Soko invokes the spirits of their forefathers to grant them understanding. King Santigi adds his voice: "We give you blood so that you can give us more peace. Accept this sacrifice!" At the end of the ritual process, Soko reveals that a stranger comes to the land, if they want peace, they should treat him well and throw more blood - "the blood of a virgin, born in another place."

D King Santigi orders Maligu and Kindo to prepare to receive the stranger but Kindo opposes the decision because they have not received any stranger since their last war. Strangers bring bad luck and sickness; the spirits have warned through the same priest that they must not allow strangers on the land.

E Arguments on this ensue among the three of them; Kindo is suspicious of Maligu.

F Maligu reveals that the expected stranger is a white farmer who is coming to plant tobacco.

G Santigi wants the stranger admitted but Kindo still kicks against it and demands to see the letter Maligu received from his brother on the expected white stranger. Maligu gets to know for the first time that Kindocan read too.

H Santigi gives the final command to prepare to receive the stranger but Kindo obeys reluctantly and still feels tht Maligu is not to be trusted. Santigi and Kindo go out.

SIGNIFICANCE

A The coming together of the people signifies oneness of purpose in their deeds and actions.

B Kindo's refusal to drink from the horn casts doubt on the true intentions of the priest for the ritual.

C Soko begins to detail out false instructions from the spirits and this in a way also marks the beginning of value depreciation in Mandoland.

D The belief of King Santigi in spiritual matters and the sanctity of their traditional system propel him to stand by Soko against Kindo's opposition.

E Maligu is rattled to know that Kindo can read because his secret transaction with the white man can now easily be detected.

F Kindo continues to doubt the sincerity of Maligu because he relies more on his own
instinct to smell trouble than surface reality.

SOKO AND MALIGU REVIEW PLANS AND STRATEGIES

A Soko wonders why Maligu had to tell the king about the letter,just as Maligu is surprised :
about the virgin sacrifice proposed by Soko. It was Soko's grandfather who last performed virgin sacrifice.

B Soko did "to make it sweet" but how sweet would that be if the king orders the sacrifice?

C Soko has it all worked out. Plans to sacrifice Wara, Kindo's woman, who is a non- indigene of the land.

D To touch Kindo's girl is to attract fire to burn oneself, Maligu reasons but Soko has his plan for doing so - to weaken Kindo. He however plans to substitute Wara with another sacrificial being.

E Maligujust realizes that Soko is greedier than he thought.

SIGNIFICANCE

A Soko and Maligu demonstrate ingenuity to pull through their dubious intentions. Proposing human sacrifice would certainly make people believe that truly the spirits are speaking through Soko.

B Wara is a stranger in Mandoland and in love with Kindo, the apparent opposition to Maligu-Soko scheme, so she fits perfectly into their plan to destabilize Kindo.

C Even though Wara is not to be sacrificed, the blood of a stranger is required and thriving irony in the play begins to manifest here.

D By the same token, another irony begins to play out as Soko that was so difficult to be persuaded about the deal is now the one creating probable ritual injunctions to perfect their swindling design.

KINDO AND WARA ON CONFLICT OF ATTENTION AND CONFESSION OF COMMITMENT

A Kindo is deep in thought when Wara comes in but he detests it.

B Wara accuses him of not having feelings, not even for himself but the pain of the people, like a hen protecting its chickens, but unfortunately the people do not feel the same for him.

C Kindo as the heir-apparent to the throne of Mandoland cares for the safety of innocent people and children but does not seem to care much about Wara. She is forced to ask, "don't you feel anything for me, Kindo?"

D Kindo's heart rather beats faster for the safety of his people and not for Wara; but to him Wara is also part of the people therefore his concern for the people also embraces her.

E According to tradition, Wara, a stranger, should not be at the shrine but she risks all because of her love for Kindo. She hates being called a stranger because her father is from these parts. Kindo reminds her that her mother was a slave but she argues that she was not born a slave.

F Wara asks if the priest will still perform the virgin sacrifice. Kindo does not know but feels the king may order it. He encourages her to be strong and avoid following him all over the place because he is a warrior. He is also a man, wara observes.

G Wara wants to ascertain whether Kindo loves her or not.

H Maligu enters and finds them both; he admonishes Kindo that the King would not be pleased to learn that he brings a woman, a stranger for that matter, into the shrine.

I Maligu and Soko strategize further

SIGNIFICANCE

A Kindo is entrapped by emotional turmoil and the safety of his people. His mind is obviously crowded and needs time and privacy to figure things out, but Wara does not give him that space.

B Wara is also concerned and needs to know Kindo's true feelings for her if there is any at all. Wara's circumstance of birth is the major barrier to the full consummation of her love affair with Kindo.

C Taking unimaginable risks just to be with Kindo confirms how genuine and firm her love for Kindo is.

D Wara asks if the virgin sacrifice would still be performed because it dawns on her that she may be used as a sacrificial tool since she is a stranger, even though it is a reality she hates to admit. It further confirms her sensitivity to spiritual matters.

E Maligu and Soko are not leaving anything to chance, that is why they review and restrategize their plans all the time.

THE KING AND HIS PEOPLE WAIT FOR THE WHITE MAN WHO FAILS TO SHOW UP

A At the palace, the people await the arrival of the white stranger. Kindo tells the king that Maligu has gone to call him. The king observes that there is tension between the two.

B King Santigi advises Kindo to take a wife; a woman eligible to live with him and give him children.

C Maligu returns looking confused to announce that the white man couldn't come but would do so tomorrow. According to the right hand man of the stranger, he is tired after his long journey to Mandoland.

D Kindo would not take kindly to this insolence and disrespect. Maligu pleads with the king to caution Kindo from taking a rash action so that the white man's plan to make the people rich is not jeopardized.

E Kindo refutes the claim that they are poor and require redemption. All previous options explored by their forefathers to make the land rich failed because there was no peace among the people. He insists that they must find peace among themselves before they can live at peace with strangers. Patience is the key; they have been at war for so long to the extent that they do not know who to trust. King Santigi considers these words of a wise elder.

F Kindo instructs Sima and Biko (guards) to take some men and go and bring the white man before the king. They are to drag him if he resists. He further warns Maligu that he would be considered to be a traitor if he in any way makes the white man feel being begged.

G Soko also cautions, but Kindo wants to know if the spirits want them to grant the white man the right to dishonour their custom.

H Santigi is surprised at Soko and Maligu.

I Kindo in irritation moves to Wara who wants to know what Kindo would do to the white man when they bring him; he appeals to Wara not to lose faith in him by asking too many questions. He reminds her that he senses something evil in the air. She also appeals to him not to do anything rash.

SIGNIFICANCE

A Everyone wants to meet with the white stranger and also to hear him state his mission to Mandoland

B There is disappointment in the air as he could not come with Maligu.

C Kindo sees this as an affront on Mando royalty and the customs of the people.

D Maligu and Soko realize as much but are hamstrung by their ulterior motives.

E Kindo's decision to deal with whitehead and his right hand man is taken to justify his position as the chief warrior of the town and ardent defender of their customs and traditions.

F Already, Kindo is very suspicious of Maligu and therefore eager to find out what is behind this apparent confusion.

G Maligu cannot match the toughness of Kindo in this matter because he has soiled his hands

H Santigi is surprised at both Soko and Maligu because they who should uphold their customs are the ones making excuses for the white man.

WHITE MAN BROUGHT IN FORCEFULLY AND HUMILIATED

A The white man sleeping on a stool and his right hand man, Parker, are brought in.

B Kindo interrogates Parker on why he has not come to pay respect to the King of Mando since they arrived two days earlier. As a black man our customs are homogenous to a great degree - it is customary in Africa to greet the owner of the house one visits. For doing otherwise, Kindo directs his guards to strip and whip him.

C Maligu and Soko plead but the king would also not listen; he leaves the area keeping Kindo in charge.

D Whitehead wakes up amidst all of this and wonders how he got to the palace. While trying to assert his supremacy, before his very eyes, his right hand man is whipped forty— two times as he is forty two years old. Parker makes too much noise and Kindo orders his men to stop.

E Maligu tries to stop Kindo and he gets a very stern warning from Kindo not to stand in his way.

F Kindo tells Whitehead to kiss the ground in front of his feet; he quickly accepts to cooperate, but reluctant to kiss the ground. As the guards are about to whip him he hurriedly kneels and bows down his forehead touching the ground. Kindo stamps his face into the ground with his foot.

G Whitehead is told to return tomorrow morning like a sorry man to present himself to the king and also kiss the ground before the king as he has been taught.

SIGNIFICANCE

A Bringing Whitehead and Parker before the king is an assertion of authority and a bid to restore the dignity of Mando royalty which the white stranger tries to undermine.

B In Africa, there is cultural homogeneity and universals. That Parker pretends not to know and also appropriately guide his master portrays him as a cultural sell-out who must be taught useful lessons.

C The king refusing to heed Maligu and Soko's plea and leaving the arena is a loud statement that distances him from deliberate insults and insolence. It is also an endorsement for Kindo's disciplinary action against Whitehead and Parker

D Parker is whipped to correct his insensitivity to African cultural norms which his actions undermine.

E Whitehead is made to kiss the ground before Kindo to restore the pride and dignity of Mando throne and people.

F Kindo stamps Whitehead's face to drive home the point that in a foreign land every stranger must act under the control of the people's way of life and respect their customs.

G Suffering this level of humiliation in the hands of Kindo and not the king, suggests that the royalty Whitehead tries to deride is still far more superior to him than he imagined.

MALIGU APOLOGIZES TO WHITE MAN FOR HIS MALTREATMENT AND THEY FURTHER STRATEGIZE

A Maligu and Parker help Whitehead up and dust him up. Maligu apologizes for how Whitehead is treated by Kindo.

B Maligu had promised to handle Kindo but Whitehead gets totally betrayed by that assurance. Maligu promises to work harder at it, but in the meantime he has won Soko over on their game plan.

C Whitehead does not trust the witchdoctor. He however gives Maligu money to buy gifts of clothes for the wives of his recruited men, and hard refined drinks better than mampama, their local drink He is to purchase many smoking pipes in addition.

D Whitehead leaves and Maligu prays for him and his children because of the money.

SIGNIFICANCE

A It now drawns on Whitehead that Kindo is a major obstacle to contend with and Maligu has come work to do.

B Money is given as an incentive to get more commitment from Maligu.

C Hard drinks and tobacco are to be served to subdue the consciousness of the people to the reality of Whitehead's grand design to use the people to exploit their natural wealth to him.

D It is a travesty that Maligu who is revered and respected as a man of wisdom in the community can so badly crumble under the influence of money.

WHITE MAN GETS THE VILLAGERS DRUNK TO SUBDUE THEIR CONSCIOUSNESS KINDO INTERROGATES WHITEHEAD AND ACCUSES HIM OF EVIL DOING

A Whitehead recruits men to work for him in his purported farm, brings them gifts and gets them drunk to win their support.

B They get exhilarated in their drunken state singing and dancing; they pay respect to Whitehead as they praise him.

C Whitehead still worries about Kindo even though things appear to be going their way. Maligu urges him not to worry.

D Whitehead demands to see Was. He is told she is Kindo's woman and that would be trouble and difficult. He insists because he has bought Maligu- "I must be able to get anything I want or I shall demand my money back"Maligu agrees to comply and Whitehead wants her that very night at all cost.

E Kindo arrives to find his people in a drunken stupor and he is unhappy.

F Kindo demands to know why Whitehead came to Mandoland and not elsewhere to cultivate his purported tobacco plantation. He claims it is because of the good soil.

G Kindo also finds out that the men have been given harder substances other than tobacco.

I. Whitehead shifts the blame on Maligu. Infuriated, Kindo goes out to search for Maligu.

SIGNIFICANCE

A The whole of this sequence established the exploitative mission of the white stranger.

B He is after the people's natural wealth of diamonds and also recruits them to carry out the 'harvest'.

C He gets them drunk to reduce critical opposition; their singing and dancing is also ironical because if they know Whitehead's real mission and what they stand to lose they would be agitated to deal with him instead of singing and dancing.

D Paying respect to Whitehead is also submissive and in their drunken state they are now well open for unmitigated exploitation.

E Whitehead is not only out to exploit their natural resources but also their women that is why he insists on having Wara.

F Money becomes a vital tool of negotiation here with all its evil tendencies. With money, Whitehead believes he has the world at his feet.

G
Kindo is unhappy because he knows the implications of hard drug to the human system and stable
reasoning.

H Kindo knows that there is more to Whitehead's choice of Mandoland than meets the eye, which is why he continues to probe him.

MALIGU AND SOKO ABDUCT WARA FOR WHITEHEAD

A Maligu and Sokoe come in to report to Whitehead that they have abducted Wara to his compound, even though she gave them some trouble.

B Whitehead wonders why she should be taken to his compound with no one to watch over her. He is assured that Parker is at home to do just that.

C He leaves immediately and instructs Maligu and Soko to come later for Wara.

D Maligu and Soko agree to bring Wara to the cave when Whitehead is finished with her and reveal to her that the spirits want her as sacrifice.

E They resume singing again.

SIGNIFICANCE

A The abduction of Wara for Whitehead is a symbolic mortgage of Mando's collective destiny. Wara, a woman is the source of life and regeneration. Besides she is Kindo's woman, the heir apparent to Mando throne.

B The role of Maligu and Soko here signifies that a stranger cannot succeed in exploiting a people without internal collaborators.

C
If Wara is violated by Whitehead would she still be suitable for the virgin sacrifice? Certainly not. Maligu and Soko's plan to deceive her out of town anticipates that fact even though there is no truth in the entire ritual design.

KINDO CHALLENGES MALIGU FOR AIDING AND ABETTING WHITEHEAD TO BREAK THEIR CUSTOMS WHITEHEADS TOBACCO MAKES ANIMALS OF THE PEOPLE

A Kindo returns to find Maligu and queries him for giving gin drink and evil smelling tobacco (most likely Indian hemp) to his people. He says Mr Whitehead sent him to get them for the men to make them happy.

B Kindo observes that the tobacco is not ordinary tobacco and it appears the White man is in their land to make trouble. Maligu admits that Mr Whitehead actually told them that the tobacco is a very strong one but that it is good for calming down the nerves.

C The so-called tobacco makes animals of the people; their eyes are red, the women are throwing themselves on men everywhere and running naked, like children.

D Kindo concludes that Whitehead is evil and he is anxious that the King does not find out about the unruly behaviour of the people under the influence of the hard drug.

E
Soko keeps saying they are obeying the spirits that directed them to receive the white man well and Maligu's claim that the tobacco makes the people happy. Kindo educates them that before the white man introduced the tobacco and gin drink, the people had happiness. He asks, "Because Whitehead is a big stranger, he must break the custom?" Kindo leaves to look for Wara.

SIGNIFICANCE

A Kindo remains a formidable opposition to Maligu, Soko and Whitehead's dubious plan, even though he is not fully aware yet.

B Whitehead's tobacco making animals of the people suggests the colonial masters' estimation of the worth of the black man.

C The tobacco calming the nerves is also designed to calm the agitating spirit of the people against dehumanization and exploitation.

D Kindo concludes Whitehead is evil because it is certainty not with noble intention that he would get his people drunk and high on hard drugs.

E Kindo draws a critical parallel between what the spirits are claimed to have instructed and Mando's custom to deflate the argument of Soko that he is only obeying the spirits.

F The happiness of black people does not depend on fleeting values of drinking and smoking but is rather anchored on agelong culture and customs of the people.

WARA ESCAPES AFTER BITING WHITEHEAD ON THE JAW

A Parker runs in almost out of breath to report that Wara got away and Whitehead wants to see Maligu and Soko. Maligu and Soko are surprised at this news because they tied her hands and feet and put a cloth in her mouth.

B Parker informs them that Whitehead took her into room and removed all the fetters around her and then she became unruly. She is forced to take some gin drink and inhale some tobacco and becomes quiet for a while before she goes hysteric, screaming, bites Whitehead and runs out of the compound.

C Maligu quickly organizes a search party for Wara because if Kindo finds her first and discovers what has happened it would mean serious trouble for all of them.

D Wara runs in and narrates her ordeal in the hands of Whitehead and Parker, concludes too that the white man is evil. She asks for Kindo but Soko advises her not to because it is the will of the spirit.

He advises her to leave town immediately so that she is not used for the impending human sacrifice.
Wara leaves to the next village where the grandfather has a wife.

E Maligu arrives still agitated having not found Wara. Soko confirms he has talked her into leaving town. Maligu is worried that she may run her mouth on what she has gone through and if Kindo finds out, Whitehead may be expelled from their land and that may also mean the end of their source of extra and easy income.

F Whitehead enters unseen to hear their conversation. He assures them of more money only if they effectively do his bidding. He proposes that Soko uses a goat in place of Wara if she is not found for the sacrifice. He invites them to his compound the next morning to detail out his next plan to them. He wants to get rid of Kindo before Kindo throws him away from the town.

G Soko becomes jittery and wants to back out, he does not trust Whitehead and sees him as an evil man,just as Parker does not trust Maligu.

SIGNIFICANCE

A Whitehead's inability to defile Wara is victory for African integrity and cultural values.

B Wara's escape from Whitehead undefiled is an escape from forced servitude.

C The fight Wara put up to gain her freedom similarly signifies that freedom must be fought no matter the cost.

D The search for Wara is the search for honour and integrity which Maligu and Soko do not
possess at this point in time. Getting her is to prevent her from reporting what they did to her.

E The evil that money represents continues to manifest as Whitehead now takes full charge of the plan giving orders which Maligu and Soko must carry out because of money.

F Where money is involved trust is sacrificed. Whitehead does not trust Soko, he does not trust Whitehead too;just as Maligu and Parker do not trust each other. It is a circle of distrust.

G Soko is jittery because he is actually working against himself and against the spirits he is appointed to serve for the progress of their homeland.

WHITEHEAD AND PARKER IN THE PALACE TO SEEK ROYAL ENDORSEMENT FOR THEIR FARM PROJECT

A Whitehead and Parker are in the palace to see King Santigi. They prostrate as he enters. Whitehead and the King disagree on human sacrifice; he suggests the use of an animal instead. Santigi cautions him not to probe their customs if he wants to live with them.

B The king is however impressed about the development projects Whitehead plans to execute in his community, especially the school which would enable his people to learn how to read and write. Whitehead reminds him that that would only materialize if the people work very hard on his tobacco farm project - tobacco is money, and money is required to build the school and recruit teachers; he implores him to talk to his people to be very hardworking on the farm.

C The king leaves to speak to his people to cooperate with the farm project. Whitehead seizes the opportunity to send Parker out to be left alone with Maligu. He then reveals his true mission, which is diamond business. The tobacco business is just a decoy.

D Whitehead also strategizes on how to get rid of Kindo taking advantage of customary provisions of the land. Maligu is crucial to the plan that must not fail.

E King Santigi returns to inform Whitehead that the people are very happy with him; they sing with his name and request for more tobacco which sounds strange to the king.

F Whitehead inducts the king into tobacco smoking, apparently the evil tobacco as the king begins to hallucinate, seeing women and children washing in the stream; he retires calling his wife, Sirah.

G Whitehead quickly gives Maligu a pouch of his evil tobacco to give to the king's wife to continuously stuff into the king's smoking pipe. Maligu is also to ensure the people have more gin drinks and tobacco to get them drunk and becloud their consciousness to the false sacrifice Maligu has been detailed to perform.

SIGNIFICANCE

A This is the first time the king and Whitehead are meeting face to face and both engage
in cultural contestation. The white man argues against human sacrifice and the king tries to validate it. This is to emphasize colonial arrogance that believes African customs are inferior to theirs. King Santigi revisits and dumps Whitehead on the corridor of ignorance.

B Their unanimity on developmental projects shows that Africans are not against genuine progress and that they can identify with such noble intentions, even though Whitehead is not sincere.

C Hard work on the part of the people on the project is a condition to what the community will get in return. The king takes an immediate step to address his people on this. Only a proactive leader who is progressive in intentions and deeds would do this.

D Whitehead's strategy to nail Kindo using the people's custom is a master stroke. It reminds us to of the indirect rule system the colonial master introduced in many African countries. They use what is already customary in place to propel their exploitative intentions.

E The seduction of the king into pipe smoking is the height of Whitehead‘s deception. This is a major victory for Whitehead because all the subsequent judgements of the king are given under the influence of the evil tobacco.

THE STAGE IS SET FOR A FALSE VIRGIN SACRIFICE AND A RAGE OF DEATHS ENSUES

A It is the day of the sacrifice and the entire community gathers at the shrine. The king is seated with Whitehead beside him looking confused.

B A masked priest approaches for the sacrifice of another covered being imagined to be the sacrificial virgin. Kindo arrives in time to halt the ritual process.

C Kindo reveals that Parker killed Soko and he killed Parker and that under the mask is Maligu. Whitehead and Maligu insist that Kindo be banished as custom demands for killing Parker in peacetime.

D Kindo is banished amidst genuine protestations. The king refuses to listen to him. Before leaving, Kindo addresses his people to unveil the evil perpetuated by Maligu and Whitehead on Mandoland to justify why he killed to save the people from this evil.

E. Kindo orders his men to seize Whitehead and be taken to the sacrificial stone. As he advances towards him, Whitehead cries for help from Maligu and the king but Maligu denies and betrays him. Whitehead, a stranger, is killed; he totters towards Maligu and falls down on top of Parker's body.

F Kindo promises to return to claim the throne when his father dies. He seeks his father's blessing before going but he is denied and disowned as unclean. He leaves followed by his men.

SIGNIFICANCE

A The community gathers to witness the sacrifice as a communal endorsement for its efficacy.

B The mask is supposed to mediate between the people and the spirits but only God knows the being behind any mask Similarly, the working of the human mind is concealed to all mortals, only God can decipher.

C Kindo's appearance changes the course of the script designed by Whitehead and aided by Maligu.
Despite his revelations of the evil deeds of Whitehead and Maligu he is still banished. Even though the king claims he is strictly abiding by their custom, he remains rigid probably because he is now acting under the influence of hard tobacco that he now smokes.

D The underlying irony of this play manifests by the killing of Whitehead. Wara's blood is the stranger's blood initially intended for the sacrifice, little did those hatching the plans know that their own blood would go with the plot. Whitehead is also a stranger, though not a female virgin but indeed a virgin to African ideals and therefore a perfect substitute.

E Whitehead's unintended sacrificial death is also a fitting atonement for all the evils he unleashed on the Mando community. In a sense, he declared war on the people and the war consumed him. In that sense, human sacrifice can manifest differently not necessarily through an organized ritual process; the wanton killings that occur during Western perpetuated wars can be regarded as a form of human sacrifice too. The Mando human sacrifice was intended to secure lasting peace, and wars are also generally fought to secure peace. The objective is all the same.

F Maligu's survival signifies the superior nature of native intelligence over Western intelligence. As the repository of Mando's traditional values, Maligu's survival also means that the cultural norms of the people shall stand the test of time.

G Maligu's death would have also blotted out the truth from coming to light some day; definitely in days to come Kindo and Maligu would come before the court of conscience and that of the people to bear testimonies to their individual roles in the survival of Mandoland. This is why Kindo spares Maligu and leaves a challenge on the ground to return to claim his birthright even if Maligu is installed king after his father.

THEME

COLONIALIST ARROGANCE AND EXPLOITATION

Whitehead comes to Mandoland with a blatant air of superiority which is why after two days of arrival in the land he refuses to pay homage to King Santigi until Kindo forces him. This is reflective of colonial arrogance in history. Even though the real colonial mission is to exploit, they still engage the owner of the land in service labour to advance that interest and also expect to accord him honour and respect. This is portrayed in the play with Whitehead engaging the people to pick the diamond pebbles for him for pittance. It is also a show of colonial arrogance that makes Whitehead introduce gin spirit drink in place of the people's local drink mampama which is congenial with their system, whereas Whitehead's drink intoxicates and makes animals of the people.

PATRIOTISM AND RESISTANCE TO OPPRESSION

The patriotic zeal of Kindo saves Mando Kingdom from the hands of Whitehead. When Whitehead refuses to accord King Santigi his deserved respect, it is Kindo who restores it by putting him where he truly belongs - beneath the king's feet. Kindo constantly monitors Maligu and Soko when he suspects they are in league with Whitehead. He also interrogates Whitehead on why he chose Mandoland and not another place. When Whitehead gets the people drunk and the women become sexually provocative, it is Kindo that also calls Whitehead and Maligu to order. Kindo it is that also unveils the grand design to steal Mando's diamond wealth. In the end, Kindo does not only resist oppression, he stamps it out by killing Whitehead.

GREED AND AMBITION

The theme of greed and ambition runs through the play. The key characters in this are Whitehead, Maligu and Soko. The three's sole ambition is to get rich. Whitehead comes to Mandoland with dubious intent to cart the people's diamond wealth away and become extremely rich. The other two connive with him to carry out his intention and also get rich in the process. Greed sets in when they begin to distrust one another and hatching plans to eliminate each other for greater advantage on the diamond wealth. The three want Kindo out of the way for them to succeed in the first place. Kindo also recognizes it when he tells Maligu to "pray for greed and ambition not to destroy" him. Whitehead also wants Parker and Soko killed as they do not exactly fit into his plan beyond using them to achieve his aim. When Maligu stands the chance to save Whitehead from death in the hands of Kindo, he betrays him and simply thank him for the diamond wealth that now apparently belongs to him alone.

UNCRITICAL ADHERENCE TO CULTURE

The king's rigid adherence to tradition in the face of irrevocable change is a major theme in this play. It may seem a little odd, even disappointing, that the king will hastily banish his own son without regard for the motive behind Kindo's behaviour, especially since Kindo remains morally impeccable throughout the play. Perhaps, one could relate the king's cultural rigidity at this juncture in the play to the fact that Whitehead has introduced him to hallucinatory drugs, although the link between the two events is not convincingly made in the play. A more convincing explanation may lie in the playwright's consistent critique of the uncritical adherence to culture, as if cultures are static, not dynamic. That is to say, that while the play seems to esteem tradition, it also challenges the audience to examine the values behind traditional beliefs, especially where common sense changes are needed with the changing times. For instance, Kindo, like Maligu, knows that the priest does not honour the traditions of the land, even though he is supposed to be the protector of it. Soko has built a hut in the forest where he enjoys a comfortable bed instead of sleeping in the rustic shrine at night. Ignorant of this fact, the people of Mandoland, including the king, hold the shrine in veneration. Maligu would of course use the knowledge of Soko's deception to blackmail him into "divining" the entrance of a white stranger into the land, thus further contravening the law of the land.

CULTURE CLASH AND EROSION OF CUSTOMS

Western values and African values come headed for collision in this play. When Whitehead refuses to pay respect to King Santigi, Kindo teaches him how to do it and why it is done. It is not Whitehead's culture to bow before a King but he is made to kiss the ground before King Santigi. Smoking of pipe, hard drug intake and drinking of hard spirits are not African way of life but Whitehead introduces them and Kindo condemns them; he upholds mampama their local drink Soko also erodes custom by not sleeping in his cave as required by his spiritual office as the chief priest of the land. Santigi and Whitehead also contest animal sacrifice in place of human sacrifice. The king extols the rationale behind human sacrifice to secure peace. Whitehead suggests a goat instead but is cautioned not to meddle into what he does not understand.

POLITICAL SOCIAL AND SPIRITUAL DECADENCE

The corrupt leadership of the priest of the sacred shrine and the chief adviser to the King. Maligu, parodies the colonial legacy of political, social and spiritual decadence in Sierra Leone, the country. Over all, as tragic as the play is (seemingly tragic for Kindo), there is moral retribution in the end when Whitehead is given a taste of his own recommendation- he is sacrificed rather than Wara. Thus, the evil plotter becomes the sacrificial lamb of atonement and gives hope for our flawed humanity.

THE EVILS OF AFRICAN COLONIAL ENCOUNTER WITH THE WEST

The play successfully demonstrates the evils of the African colonial encounter with the West, without presenting the colonized as mere victims. Kindo represents a major obstacle to Whitehead's plan matching him wit for wit and always a step ahead of him.

He disciplines Whitehead for not according deserved respect to King Santigi and eventually kills him for his evil role in their land.

IRONY OF CULTURE

It is a cultural irony that the culture Whitehead disregards by introducing the people to alcohol, tobacco, and hard core hallucinatory drugs, he also finds in it a substance to manipulate the culture by relying on key traditional beliefs that favour his ominous plot. For example, he seizes on the decree of death for anyone who kills in peacetime, so as to trap Kindo. He also describes diamonds as evil stones that should be handed over to hims in a land purification ritual he trumps up.

MORAL DECADENCE AND CORRUPTION

Some characters in the play fail moral tests. Whitehead for instance attempts to rape a country virgin, Kindo's woman, Wara. The attempted rape of this country virgin in the play symbolizes the rape of the country's natural resources that the colonial government is essentially after. It should be emphasized too that Whitehead's deft manipulation of Mando society is aided and abetted by the corrupt priest of the shrine, Soko, and the chief assistant to the king, Maligu, who are hoping to gain personal wealth by assisting Whitehead. Their ignorance of Whitehead's true motive - he wants diamonds, whereas they think he is there to grow tobacco — is reminiscent of the general exploitative track of colonial history in Africa. While beads, tobacco and cloths were among the initial innocent exchange in a barter of goods for palm oil and other products between Europeans and Africans, it did not take long before Africans themselves became the battered goods of choice by Europeans (the slave trade), who used corrupt local leaders to accomplish their scheme.

JUSTICE ALWAYS WINS OUT AGAINST OPPRESSION

The white man symbolizes Britain's rape of Sierra Leonean natural resources. In this play, the Sierra Leonean people are presented not only as victimized, but also as complicit in the exploitation of their own people. Through the gifts of "strange tobacco"and alcohol, Whitehead takes advantage of the drugged natives and exploits their resources. With the help of Maligu and Soko, Whitehead also tries to rape Kindo's woman, Wara, but in the end his elaborate plans fail. DeIe-Charley clearly makes the point that justice would always find its course irrespective of the oppressive grand design to scuttle justice.

MAJOR CHARACTERS

MALIGU

A The king's advisor
B He has lust for riches
C The king calls him "the wise one" because he is "drunk with his books"- well read and educated
D Soko charges him to make bigger trouble for Kindo and he does, not without acknowledging the wily nature of Kindo.
E Maligu is one who says everything he sees, an attitude Kindo doesn't like because it amounts to not having "backbone".
F He is greedy and has an overambitious personality.

SIGNIFICANCE

A Maligu uses his position as the king's advisor to corruptly plan the false story of prophecy from the gods.
B Blinded by his dubious desire to get rich quick, he undermines his culture and pride, and exposes his village to ridicule.
C Instead of using his wisdom positively for the advancement of his people, he unfortunately betrays the kingdom's trust in his wisdom.
D Maligu and Kindo are both at each other's throat "growling and tearing at each other", the king even notices this.
E His greed and over ambition almost get him destroyed, even though he is fully aware that making money fraudulently is dangerous. This is why Parker's opinion that Maligu "would do anything for money" has some merit.

SOKO

A The village shrine priest in league with Maligu to deceive the king and community with false prophecy in respect of the coming of a white man to Mandoland.
B Soko is false, full of deceit and treachery.
C He is a "sincere liar" and very greedy.
D Kindo being their biggest headache, he suggests Maligu make "bigger trouble" for him; he even jests that Maligu should be the hunter to catch the wily monkey - Kindo.
E Whitehead calls him funny witch doctor because of his queer disposition.
F He is a coward; despite his tough proposition on how to achieve their goal, he frets when it matters most: "I am not interested in getting money if there are too many dangers".
G To prevent him from backing out, Maligu blackmails him for telling lies to the community on the arrival of a white stranger.

SIGNIFICANCE

A Soko's voice is like the voice of the god as he mediates between the spirits and the people. His pronouncements are believed and that is why he is enlisted into Maligu and Whitehead's dubious scheme.
B His falsehood manifests in some ways, he for instance sleeps outside the cave where he is supposed to be as the chief priest of the village but makes the people believe that he does
C Even though he is co-opted by Maligu into the diamond scam, he now freely spins ideas on how their deceptive project would succeed. He suggests the virgin sacrifice to "make it sweet", tricks Wara out of town, sets fierce rivalry between Maligu and Kindo, etc.
D It is significant that Maligu and Kindo are the only two men standing at the end of the play, even though Kindo is banished, they are equally matched. Perphaps, Soko continues to fuel their rivalry hoping they would neutralize one another to give him better advantage in their diamond scam.
E As the whole scheme gets more complicated, his inner strength fails him. He has probably died many times before Parker kills him.
F Blackmail is used as a weapon of enlistment and also enticement. [

WARA

A In love with Kindo.
B A stranger in Mandoland too but has lived there long enough to detest being called stranger.
C She was not born in Mandoland, her mother was taken prisoner by one of Mando's
warriors during the war, her mother ran away after giving birth to her.
D Cautions Kindo from doing anything which will anger the spirits.
E She looks up to Kindo as a woman should look up to man, does not doubt him and never asks too many question.
F She is Kindo's only woman that is sexually assaulted by Whitehead. Maligu and Soko plot her abduction into a sack and then take to Whitehead's compound. She fortunately escapes.

SIGNIFICANCE

A For her love for Kindo, she is ready to risk anything to be with him, likes to follow him everywhere and Kindo is not comfortable with that as a warrior. Her love for Kindo is so intense that she refuses to leave with her grandfather to their homeland but remains in Mandoland in order to be with Kindo.
B In a way, her mother is seen as a slave of the Mando people. This reality poses a great threat to her relatioship with Kindo. This is why Kindo cannot take her to the palace.
C Even though she has absolute faith in Kindo, she is still very mindful of her integrity as a woman and also respects the customary norms of her society. This is one of the reasons she resists Kindo having herjust anywhere and pushes to be taken to the palace.
D Wara's steadfastness in preventing Whitehead from raping her is indicative of the resilience of the African space to Western plundering schemes.

KINDO

A He is son of the king and head of warriors of Mandoland; a hunter and heir-apparent to the throne of Mando.
B Kindo is an upright defender of Mandoland; he is willing to defend his culture and his people even his own hurt.
C He is very young and only a boy when he fought in his first war.
D Has very sensitive instincts, feels evil in the air easily - very sensitive to a crooked situation.
E An ambitious character, he is stubborn and also impatient; loves and protects the customs of his people.
F He is boastful and keeps a dossier on people.
G Also wily as a monkey; for him Whitehead is nothing but trouble that is out to erode the customs of his people but Kindo is resistant.
H He does not allow his woman business to interfere with the security of the people.
I. Unknown to many, he can read and write and probably privy to many secrets that people are not aware of, thus he poses a threat to Maligu and his ambitions.
J He can speak reasonably like a wise elder. He is rigid and unfeeling; more concerned for the safety of his people.
K He kills Parker, the white man's assistant and is consequently banished from the village. Kindo is not moved because he is a courageous character who has vowed to die a "warrior-king" and "always fight for the truth".
L The fraudulent activities of the British colonizers represented by a white stranger symbolically called Whitehead, is exposed in the play through the king's son, Kindo. Whitehead also dies in the hands of Kindo (pp. 18, 31, 33).

SIGNIFICANCE

A Kindo's role as head of warriors of Mandoland places a lot of responsibilities on him to defend the land both militarily and morally. Also as heir-apparent, he does all in his power to learn the ropes of leadership.
B Smart enough to see through Maligu and Soko's dubious plan to defraud the land and the people.
C His ambition and stubbornness are all character traits of a leader with a mission. He defends his vision for Mandoland stubbornly.
D His boastful and wily natures are defence devices to keep the opposition in effective
check When it matters, he will also handle situations with the wisdom of an elder, a point his father, the king, realizes with satisfaction.
E He also keeps the fact that he can read and write secret as a strategy to monitor Maligu's sincerity in Mando political and socio-economic affairs.
F His killing of Parker and Whitehead suggests the death of Western exploitation of African wealth and heritage.

SANTIGI MANDO V

A The King of Mandoland; father of Kindo.
B An upright man and a rigid observer of traditional laws and cultural norms.
C He is manipulated into admitting a stranger into his domain.
D His rigid sense ofjustice propels him to banish his son, Kindo, from his land for killing during peacetime.
E . He is gullible, smokes pipe because the white man says so; denounces his son for killing Parker.

SIGNIFICANCE

A As the paramount ruler of Mando kingdom he stands firm on the side ofjustice and cultural values of his people.
B His manipulation to admit Whitehead into his kingdom portrays the shortfall of effective leadership when the lieutenants are insincere. All the decisions Santigi takes are based on the assurances of Maligu and Soko.
C Not listening to Kindo most times is probably to prevent been accused of undermining his lieutenants for his son. He probably should have listened to Kindo too and make objective deductions.
D Santigi's rigid position most times is meant to signify how resolute a leader should be and defend the core values of his society no matter whose ox is gored.
E Every leader has his/her weaknesses. Santigi's main weakness is gullibility.

PARKER

A Andrew Samuel Stevenson Thomson—Parker, Esquire is an African who is the Secretary, Assistant, Interpreter, Adviser and the right hand man of Whitehead.
B Objects to be addressed without Mr title.
C Often serves as Whitehead's voice and solicitor advocate.
D He hates Maligu and does not trust him
E He gets into trouble with Kindo for encouraging the white man to undermine African traditional values and cultural practices; Kindo flogs him thoroughly.
F Whitehead schemes him into his plan to kill Soko, the chief priest; a sacrilegious act that earns him death too in the hands of Kindo.

SIGNIFICANCE

A Parker typifies the African who concedes superiorty to the whiteman on account of his skin colour. He also derives his importance from been associated with the white man.
B He insists to be addressed as Mr Parker as status symbol. It elevates him above his other local folks.
C He defends Whitehead often to curry his favour and to remain relevant in his scam project.
D He knows Maligu is very smart and has the attention of Whitehead most times as a result his relevance is being undermined. That is why he hates Maligu's guts.
E He is taught a lesson by Kindo for undermining African norms to assert the dignity of African traditional values. It is also a clear message to foreigners that those who aid and abet with them would not go unpunished.
F His death is the ultimate price he pays for his stupidity.

WHITEHEAD

A This is the arrowhead of the crisis in the play, very evil and a schemer. Whitehead is a crass, greedy, dictator who arrogantly believes he can deceive the entire land into granting him access to its diamonds.
B A white man and the stranger falsely prophesied to visit Mandoland.
C Lies to the king and his people that he is in Mandoland to cultivate tobacco.
D He uses petty gifts and hard drugs, tobacco and gin spirit drink; and not in good terms with Kindo because he opposes him.
E He achieves his plan by plotting Soko's death using Parker, and Kindo reacts by killing Parker which attracts his banishment from Mandoland.
F He dies in the hands of Kindo.

SIGNIFICANCE

A Whitehead typifies the plundering African riches and heritage.
B He comes to Mandoland with deceit and this is the character trait of all known colonial stories
C He pretends to cultivate a tobacco farm, a very lucrative crop, whereas his real intention is to unsuspectingly steal the people's diamonds cashing in on their ignorance.

D The gifts and drinks he offers are meant to subdue the people's consciousness and secure their cooperation.

E He detests the guts of Kindo because he sees through Whitehead's plan and therefore hatches a plan to murder Kindo by exploiting the traditional legal injunction of the land that no one must kill during peacetime.

F His death in the hands of Kindo marks the triumph of African values and resilience over Western exploitation.

MINOR CHARACTERS

BOKO

A Mando warrior who is very loyal to Kindo. Himself and Sima lead the arrest of Whitehead and bring him before Kindo.

SIMA

Another warrior of Mandoland.

IST MAN

Praises the white man when his people are under the influence of hard drug and gin spirit drink

LANGUAGE AND STYLE

LANGUAGE

Language use in The Blood of a Stranger is simple but compact and profound. To a large extent, language is used to also reflect characterization. For instance, King Santigi's language is elevated and laced with wisdom and sometimes proverbs. Let us look at this dialogue between him and Kindo his son:

KINDO: I do not like men who see everything and say everything they see. I do not like men who have no backbone.

SANTIGI: One day, you too will become an old man and you will have no backbone, like Maligu.

KINDO: I shall die a warrior-king, father. I shall always have my backbone. I shall always fight for truth, father.

SANTIGI: There are times when a warrior has to fight with his head and times when he has to fight with his mouth, Kindo. Only when you can do that would you be able to rule well. You are too impatient (55 — 56). What the king has simply told his son-warrior in simple but profound language is that human beings have phases of development, we cannot be strong all the time. Even then, the strength of a warrior is not all about physicality but intelligence and wit.

When Maligu pleads with the king to stop Kindo from dealing with Whitehead for his insolence, he replies:

SANTIGI: I speak only because I an not yet dead, Maligu. I sit on the throne for that same reason and because custom demands that. Kindo is almost your king. I am tired (64).

Apart from the heightened impact of this statement, there is grace and elegance in it. He simply tells him that Kindo is more or less the acting King waiting for him to die to be formally crowned. It is  also a polite way of telling Maligu to respect Kindo's views and also take instructions from him as the king to be, "Kindo is in charge" (64).

Kindo too as the heir-apparent, apart from his occasional rashness also speaks with wisdom and deep rooted imagery. After addressing Maligu amongst otherthings that "we must learn to know peace among ourselves before we live at peace with strangers", his father King Santigi acknowledges that "those are not the words of a warrior", Kindo.

Those are the words of a wise elder" (59). Kindo's exchange with Wara at the foot of the
cave is full of imagery. Hear him for instance, KINDO: I feel something strange in the air, Wara. The hunter sees with his eyes and ears and nose. He sees with his whole body. I smell trouble, Wara. It makes me restless. It makes me distrust everybody (30).

Maligu as the king's chief advisor and a wise man also speaks with dignity. His exchanges with Soko are often imbued with poetic images and wise sayings. Sokoespecially speaks the "language of the spirits' with proverbs and thought-provoking idioms. Hear Soko: "The monkey is wise. The leopard is strong. Their blood for Kings and great warriors" (36); "the dog dies with its dream in its belly. I will not die with my dream" (37); "We gave our blood for peace. We gave our lives for our children. But peace is like the moon. It stays not forever. The sun drives it away. A stranger comes to the land. If you want peace, treat him well. If you want peace throw more blood. The blood of a virgin, born in another place" (38). All of these few examples with his chants and incantations position him well as a priest that is well connected to the spirits he serves. Clearly, Soko's language also has ritual import when the occasion requires it as already demonstrated.

We also have the use of Creole Ianguage/pidgin language reserved for the poverty- sticken pool from which Whitehead draws his labourers. After getting them drunk, hear what one of them says:

TOWNSMAN: (Drunkenly) Leave my botchul, Kindo. Don't come near me. Leave my botchul. Chell him, Mista Waiched. He won choc hake my botchul. (He staggers to his feet and starts to dance.) Mista Waiched, dorobe, Mista Waiched, number one.

STYLE 

Style is distinctive form; a distinctive and identifiable form in an artistic medium such as literature. The Blood of a Stranger has linear plot structure and is very straight forward without any obvious complications.

It is simple and easy to follow and understand. Locales are differently situated in front of the priest's cave, the sacrifice stone arena in the shrine, the king's palace, Whitehead's house which we never see, a clearing somewhere for drinking and dancing.

These many locales for a linear plot may affect dramatic effectiveness as a theatre piece. The genre of the play is tragedy.

The tragic tone of the play is not roundly portrayed by the common features of tragedy of having a tragic hero that is superhuman who falls from grace to grass as a result of his tragic flaws

The tragic attributes of this play are emphasized by the coming of the white stranger that brought trouble to Mandoland, the priest betraying his calling to the detriment of his people, incurring the anger of the spirits against the land, the contrived ritual sacrifice of Whitehead as a retributive justice for his acts against Mando nation.

Besides, blood is a common word used in the play with symbolic and real imports Perhaps the real tragic figure in The Blood of a Stranger is Kindo who stands firmly to defend his land from social and moral desecration and plundering of their natural resources but gets banished from the very land he passionately defends.

He kills Whitehead because he does not want him "to plant more evil among the people" (102). At the point when all impediments, safe for Maligu who Kindo could also have taken care of anyway, that stand in the way of progress for Mandoland are cleared, Kindo that makes this possible is banished from the land. Kindo himself observes this travesty: "It is not strange who the greates protector of the custom should now be punished by the custom?" This futility of efforts is what makes The Blood of a Stranger an uncommon kind of tragedy. Another unique slant to the tragic hues is that Kindo goes into exile with full military compliments as all his warriors go with him as Mando custom stipulates.

He goes also as a satisfied warrior that quelled a major opposition in Whitehead. As such, Kindo's fall is not essentially from grace to grass, but from grace to graze land. It is also worth noting that even though the tragic nature of the play is not in doubt, it also wears the garg of satire in its underlying rendering. The play essentially parodies colonialism in Africa and how Africans fought back with dignity, using the Sierra Leonean experience.

There are however some dramatic devices the play wright uses to tell his story for general dramatic cohesion and relevance.

DRAMATIC DEVICES

IRONY

Dele Charley uses irony richly in the play for dramatic effectiveness. Maligu the most educated in the community and a wise one complains that Soko puts "too many obstacles on the way" and Soko replies that "the obstacles have been in the way all the time. I only warn you do not fall over them in your blindness" (24 - 25). It is ironical the wise one is perceived as blind. Indeed, Maligu is blind to the mischievous intentions of Whitehead until very much later in the play.

Another incidence of irony is when Soko chooses Wara, Kindo's woman, for virgin sacrifice, Maligu warns him that "Kindo is fire and he will burn you if you touch Wara" (45). It is ironical that in the end Soko is consumed by his own sacrificial fire.

King Santigi and Whitehead argue over the relevance of virgin sacrifice which he is not used to in his homeland. The king educates him that to "shed the blood of a stranger - just one life, not the blood of a goat" (87) as instructed by the spirits to secure peace for multitudes is not out of place. Whitehead then asks, "My man and l are strangers. Why did you not choose one of us?" (87). Here, Whitehead has foretold the future without knowing it, for he becomes the stranger whose blood is shed on the sacrifice stone, which is the highpoint of an ill-meditated ritual orgy. This is a very poignant irony in the play and this is probably what informs the title of the play too.

Kindo's banishment for killing Parker is another irony. This is a man who uses all his energy and wit to defend customs but ends up a victim of that which he protects. Kindo can only conclude that "Mando land is danger" (99).

SYMBOLISM AND ICONOGRAPHY

Symbolism is the use of something abstract to represent something concrete. It is the artistic method of revealing ideas or truths through the use of symbols; it seeks to evoke, rather than describe, ideas or feelings through the use of symbolic images. The most prominent and engaging symbol in the play is blood. Blood is projected as a symbol of wisdom and strength, life giver and sustenance, and peace.

Blood is a symbol of wisdom of widom and strength, for at the communal gathering at the shrine, Soko says "The monkey is wise. The leopard is strong. Their blood for kings and great warriors" (36).

The king and Maligu drink the blood as a symbolic emphasis of their great wisdom and strength. The king captures blood as life giver and sustenance, and symbol of peace this way;

SANTIGI: Spirits of kings! Spirits of warriors! Spirits on the mountain! Your blood flows to give us life. Your blood flows through our bodies. Your blood flowed to give us peace.

We give you blood so that you can give us more peace. (37) Soko adds that "We gave our blood for peace. We gave our lives for our children. . . If you want peace throw more blood. The blood of a virgin, born in another place"(38).

Blood as used in these contexts becomes a mediating channel between man and the spirits, and therefore a strong image of our existence as human beings. Of a truth, we all survive on blood, there is no life without blood. To secure peace, blood is often shed and this is the language the spirits of Mandoland seem to understand. Kindo wants peace for his land too and since he has no means of verifying he believes Soko that spirits ask for the blood of a virgin. The intended stranger virgin for the sacrifice, Wara, leaves the community and no other stranger in their midst but Whitehead. Kindo capitalizes on that to ask his men to take Whitehead to the sacrifice stone and calls on the spirits to accept him as a credible alternative:

KINDO: Spirits of our forefathers! Spirits on the mountain look down from your home up there and receive the blood, which you asked for through the mouth of your priest. There is no virgin in the land who is a stranger so receive the blood of a stranger who brought evil to the land (102).

In all of these, horn and sword become ritual tools and the icons of the quest for peace; sword for cutting sacrificial animals for blood and horn for drinking the blood (36 and 37), while drumming is used as a symbol of communal cohesion (26, 33, 36, 37, 55,94,97). We also have the symbolize use of dances to suggest the occupational sources of the presents the people bring to honour King Santigi, especially hunting, farming and fishing occupations (55).

INCANTATIONS MUSIC AND DANCE

The ritual colouration of this drama necessitates rich use of incantations and dance most especially. Even though we are not given the contents of the incantations, they are expected to be drawn from the cultural milieu of Sierra Leone and also have direct relevance to the dramatic context of utility. In the play, there is integrated use of these three artistic elements; incantations, drumming and dance occur concurrently most times. For instance, we are told that at the communal gathering at the shrine after some ritual Observances, "drumming starts again and Soko starts an incantation. He starts to dance and the attendants join him. At the end, he assumes trance—like pose"(37 — 38). By this, we can infer the functionality of these three elements of incantation, drumming and dance, which is to facilitate the transportation of the priest to a higher plane to commune with the spirits on behalf of the people. Besides these, we also have a group of men singing, dancing and drinking which expresses the social use of music and dance in Mandoland (71).