IN KING’s HOUSE
(Enter Eze Obika, Ugo Eze and Ezenna)
EZE OBIKA: In front of my Chiefs, I was shamefully embarrassed. My daughter is having an affair with an outcast. Ugo Eze my princess is in love with a slave.
UGO EZE: What? An outcast! Hmm, over my dead body! (She turns her right arm round her head and snapped her fingers) Tuffia!
EZE OBIKA: Please tell me, where did I go wrong? Was it not my bid to ensure her qualitative education that I sent her abroad? Was she taught to disobey customs and traditions? Why will Kachi deliberately want to put me in shame? Why would she want to put a blot on the escutcheon? God knows that I will deal with her for this shame.
No matter the wrongs they do, we don’t hit the ones we love, but once out of ten, we hit them with bitterness and tender apologies later. And for him, he will regret ever knowing that name Kachi.
UGO EZE: How they stain my precious treasure with their filth, still they live. They ought to die away with their shameful sin.
EZE OBIKA: Even death can not flush away the shame the sinner may die but the sin lives, hence – “oh princess Kachi? She was the lover of that outcast that was slain” Pity my mind for the heart-breaking message my ears would bring.
It’s so true; ‘the evil that men do lives after them”
UGO EZE: Oh, God mercy, if we see Kachi, we see the late outcast. Obum and Abuchi must pay for their incompetence. I blame them for everything.
EZE OBIKA: (He calls) Obum! Obum! Abuchi! (Answering)
(Enter Obum and Abuchi).
Body guards are bought to safeguard their boss. Give safety advice to him. Take his payment for the job and receive his punches for him. Implore eagle’s eyes over him and fight his traitors. Before me are just-called body guards, who failed in virtually all their code of conduct. They take payment for no job and leave the punches for the boss, employing a worm’s eyes instead of an eagle’s. Of what use are they if they know not their job. Relief is just the best thing to do. Just go home; it’s too late to change, but it’s better to change.
OBUM: What about loyalty your highness?
EZE OBIKA: Loyalty to whom?
OBUM: Our boss, your highness.
EZE OBIKA: And who is a boss? A boss is an employer of labour. A boss is one who pays his labourer for their Job. Tell me, where is your loyalty to your boss? Like a treasure, I gave to you for security purpose, like a fool you broke my treasure and tell me about loyalty? Get out of my sight you fools
(Enters Kachi as Obum and Abuchi leaves)
ABUCHI: (To Kachi on the door) you have a pure heart don’t let them infect it. It has been great meeting you and it pains to miss you. But I will guard you for free. Goodbye.
KACHI: Abuchi, what is this about?
(Exit Abuchi and Obum)
Papa, what about Abuchi and Obum?
EZE OBIKA: (Angrily) Kachi, where are you coming from? (Kachi stares at every one without answer, Eze Obika stands up in Anger towards her). Are you deaf? Where are you coming from?
KACHI: (She is scared) A friend’s place
EZE OBIKA: The outcast? (No answer) Answer me now! The outcast right? (He slaps her cheek)
KACHI: (She rubs her cheek) Eze You! (She cries)
EZE OBIKA: Eze, you know? Eze how dare you. Eze, you should be wiser. Oh my God! I’m disappointed in you.
UGO EZE: Ezenna, well, I don’t have anything to tell you now.
EZE OBIKA: To think that I heard from my Chief and that it is all over the village (slaps her Again on the other cheek)
KACHI: (Crying) why, why is the slap for loving an outcast so brutal?
Again I ask why, am I odd for loving an outcast? Still I ask why we must tears for loving them. My love for him comes with bunch of hatred for me yet there is no dilemma. Without delay, it must be him. Papa, Mama, my beloved Ezenna what is my crime? I fell in love with an outcast? It’s not my fault; I am intoxicated with love; blame it on love, because I’m his captive, tied so tightly around his prison bed. Enslaved to do his job; love and make merry for him. Yet I love this captivity, because I love the reason. But one question, if answered I will be rescued. Why is my heart an outcast? It is not a trait neither is a birthmark. Tell me and I shall be loosed. Papas tell me the answer of freedom. He would never know. Mamas tell me, do you know? No, no, mama cannot know. And my beloved Eze, He does not. Only the evil that men do lives after them. Yet the evil they know not and they call him outcast
The outcast himself knows not the reason. And Muna is as innocent as a babe,
born the same way I was, two arms and legs, two eyes and ears. Only to be called an outcast. What about the words of jean Jacques Rousseau “Men are born free and equal”. You may take your love away from me, his heart has too many of it to share. You may slap pains into me but you can’t slap out my feelings. You all conspire against me but with only him, I’m a victor. He has kissed courage and strength into me. Alas, I can give my life for the fight.
Sometimes dialogue and violence will fail us because our claims are wrong.
Hate me more, slap me more. The more you hate, the more I call for more love,
The more you slap, the more I run for refuge.
EZE OBIKA: A wise man changes his mind sometimes, a fool never.
KACHI: Oh yes! You know it’s a fool that never changes
EZE OBIKA: Kachi it’s over, because you cannot leave this vicinity again. You cease to see him from this moment.
KACHI: Love, would always find his way. He is unstoppable. Burn in hell this tradition of outcast, its unfair. I’m too noble to give in to it.
(Eze Obika comes close to hit her as Ugo Eze and Ezenna stop him.)
UGO EZE: (To the king) Igwe its ok, leave her.
EZENNA: (To Kachi) Kachi, we mean well for you.
We love you very much. Please make us happy again.
KACHI: And be sad? Leave me alone!
EZE OBIKA: There is none so deaf as those who would not hear.
(He calls his guards) Ebube! Emele!
(Enter Ebube and Emela)
I don’t want this girl to leave her room. She must be in her room from this moment. Now!
(Ebube and Emele drags Kachi into her room and locks her up)
KACHI: (As she is dragged she shouts) you don’t know, out of sight is not out of mind. For all the time I do not see him the fire in my heart would burn with brighter blue flames because as I ponder in loneliness my blood fuels my love.
(Exit Ebube, Emele and Kachi)
UGO EZE: Is this ordinary love? It’s a clear Charm
Alas the influence for him against us. Oh my God, I am finished.
Please send a heavy rain upon her, to wash all the dirt on her and make her clean. Purge her with hyssop and the charms would cease its evil manipulation
Save my only daughter from this type of love, because this love type is insanity.
EZE OBIKA: Muna, you are so unlucky because the love you got is so wicked and would kill you. You welcomed an evil love; you should be ready to receive the pains that travel with it.
(At about 1: am, every body is fast asleep Ezenna opens the door for Kachi and tells her to run away)
EZENNA: (1:00am Ezenna opens Kachi’s door)
(To Kachi who is crying) Shh……… Go, go away.
KACHI: (crying) why? Why are you doing this?
EZENNA: Nobody in this world and the next would love you the way I do. It pains to see you in pains. If only, I would be hearing from you, I will be fine. It’s just to know that you still live. Run away, wipe your tears and give me your angel smile again. Your pains are mine. Go now.
KACHI: (She hugs him) I’m sorry for all this. I would keep you posted. You set me free. Thank you. Good bye sweet brother.
EZENNA: The gate is open, I got the gateman drunk. Goodbye. May God keep you for me. It would be a lasting pain if I loss you. Stay safe, stay fine and stay alive for me. It cost me happiness to make you happy. Good bye
NEXT MORNING IN EZE OBIKA’S HOUSE
(Enter Ebube, Emele, Ugo Eze and Ezenna)
EBUBE: Your highness, we woke up this morning and met the princess’ door open. She’s gone
EMELE: Your highness, some one opened the door for her. It’s strange. There is a Judas in the house.
EZENNA: And what is that suppose to mean?
EMELE: Sorry Sir,
UGO EZE: You must be jokin! It’s a joke right?
EBUBE: I’m sorry your highness
(Ugo Eze rushes to the princess’ room and comes out angry)
(Exits Ugo Eze)
(Re- enters Ugo Eze)
UGO EZE: How do you mean? Who amongst you opened the door for her? Who!
EBUBE: Your highness believe us, we don’t have our hands in this.
UGO EZE: Believe who? Oh, oh an angel of love came and opened the door for her. Is that what you are implying? Look the two of you, wherever you sent my daughter, get her back for me or else, your lives would go for it. Ebube how could you, how have you become so loose in your job? Eh… you better look for her before Igwe comes back home.
(Enters Eze Obika)
(To the king) Igwe come, come and hear what I just heard. (To Ebube and Emele) Go on, tell him what you just told me or rather wait, seeing is believing. Igwe, come with me. (She takes him to Kachi’s room.)
EZE OBIKA: (In Kachi’s room) Ugo Eze, where is Kachi
UGO EZE: Igwe, come, follow me (She takes him back to the sitting room)
My king, ask Ebube and Emele that question.
EZE OBIKA: Ebube, where is my daughter?
EBUNE: Your highness she’s gone.
EZE OBIKA: Gone? You can’t be serious and you dare not play pranks with me. You are better gone with her.
EMELE: Your highness, I and Ebube woke up this morning and met the door open.
EZE OBIKA: Oh, guards sleep? You sleep? Look you two; if you don’t tell me what happened to my princess, I would personally kill you. Your reason is as flimsy as gauze.
EBUBE: Your highness, there is always one truth against many lies and what I just told you is the one truth. Believe me.
EZE OBIKA: If not you who, my family? You are very stupid for such indirect accusation. By the way, where is Okon. Ezenna, go and get me Okon (Exits Eze)
EBUBE: Your highness, Okon was drunk last night. He slept with the gates wide open.
EZE OBIKA: What?
(Enters Ezenna with Okon)
(To Okon) Okon, my princess cannot climb over the fence of this house because, it is very very high. Neither can she pass through it, she is not a magician. Now tell me, why did you flout my order and opened the gate for her?
OKON: (Speaks pigeon english) Your highness, I no open gate for am oh
Your highness, I beg, devil use me yester night. I drunk, I drunk sete I come sleep. I come leave the gate open. Yeh! I don die.
EZE OBIKA: (Pigeon english) you don die. You never see death self because by the time I am through with the three of you, you would speak the truth. God! Why is everybody here so daft? Guards sleep deep. Gatemen turned to drunk, what becomes of security?
UGO EZE: Look oh! You people must find my precious daughter for me oh! You must find my daughter. That door can’t just open, someone must have opened it. You don’t know how funny it will sound to relate Kachi’s case to that of Paul and Silas. Or is it the same Holy Ghost? Eh! Eh!
EZE OBIKA: I will give you only fourteen days to get my daughter. If you fail, if you fail, let’s leaves it till then. Now you all get out of my house.
EBUBE, EMELE and OKON: Sorry sir,
EZE OBIKA: Get out!
(Exit Ebube, Emele & Okon)
UGO EZE: Igwe, something must be done. You must do something.
EZE OBIKA: He has dared the lion; he should expect its fierce anger. For his deeds, I breathe fire in the anger with abnormal heart beat, troubled mind and restless soul. He has treated me so bad. I would make him pay so dearly.
IN THE HOSPITAL
(Enter Mama Amaka, Uju)
(Uju lies on the sick bed sleeping while Mama Amaka sits beside her.)
MAMA AMAKA: (Whispering)
Friend, when times like this befall you, you may curse God, you may regret to have ever lived. You may curse the day you were born into this wicked inhuman-human world. Every single thing happens for a reason. If only you understand the mystery power of real life your problem is but common. After all Job did not course God. Its life we are living you know? Sometimes it’s good, some other times it’s bad. Sometimes we cry, some other times we laugh merrily. Sometimes we make friends, some other times they are lost. Sometimes we win, some other times we lose, sometime it rains, some other times it shines. Sometimes we live, some other times we die. There is never an every time in life. My friends it is just sometimes and some other times. I pray you understand and wipe away your sorrows life is but programmed therefore, nothing should be new to us. So long as we live, there must be pains and gains (Uju grumbles)
Uju, Uju it’s me, Uju its mama Amaka wake up with your senses.
UJU: (She wakes up with her senses and tries to move but the chains on her arms and legs. she cries).
Mama Amaka, please take me home. I’m ok. It’s the heart of a widow for her only child. Please let’s go home.
MAMA AMAKA: (Calls the doctor) Doctor! Doctor! (Enters the doctor)
Doctor, unchain my friend. She is well. God is good.
DOCTOR: (Unchains her) sorry mama. God would touch your son’s heart and make him comeback home to you.
MAMA AMAKA: Amen.
(Exits Uju and Mama Amaka)
DOCTOR: The child is still a labor to the woman even after birth.
IN THE KING’S PALACE
(Enter Eze Obika, Chief Mba, Chief Ike, Chief Enyi and Chief Aham)
EZE OBIKA: The slaves who turn rebels for freedom sake are
better killed slowly. No matter where a fugitive goes, he is never far from the corps, though the corps may be far from him.
That boy, that slave I shall drown in a river of fire. I shall lay him on a bed of pins. Some times I still ask, why people deliberately want to be deviant?
They risk it all for the pleasure
(to Ebube) where are the boys?
EBUBE:They are outside.
EZE OBIKA: All right, tell them that I will be with them in a short time
CHIEF MBA: Igwe, what about the state?
CHIEF IKE: Ehem, what is in you Igwe?
EZE OBIKA: That boy has bitten more than he could chew therefore, he must vomit it.
CHIEF IKE: Too bad, because if he vomits it, he still has his normal dosage in him. That boy should not stay alive. He is now a shit on our costly cloths. What a shameful stain.
CHIEF ENYI: Igwe, I reason the same with Chief Ike. I mean what kind of effrontery has an outcast to befriend the royal daughter. That boy has no respect for us.
EZE OBIKA: Now the sun has shone at night, the stars and moon, the glories of night are gone. My Chiefs our night has gone, the sleep has gone, now we will be continuously awake. There is no every day again. There is only one infinite day. Alas we would Labor till we die. My Chiefs we deserve to sleep but how can we, when the moon and stars have disappeared, the only night bringer. But we will search for the moon and stars again so that we can sleep again. Let us address our men outside.
(They all go outside to meet the men)
THE MEN: (They bow as they greet the king) igwe!!!
EZE OBIKA: It shall be well with this entire people which I cherish into my heart. Though I wish it never happened but I’m not God. My people I am bleeding from the stab by a common man. My whole soul is on fire. God has blessed me with two lovely children. My lovely son Ezenna (touching Ezenna who stands on his right sides) (He sighs) and my most adorable gorgeous princess (He looks at his left side) she’s gone. My little girl is not standing on my left anymore. The outcast has gone with her. An outcast has stolen my princess. He has gone with our dignity and pride, leaving us fools and stupid. They call him Muna – they call him Munachiso Ofodili. My people love never works between a slave and a freeborn. The slave suffers it all. But she called it love. My people, Muna has disregarded and disrespected us. Good people are we going to sit down relaxed and take this insult?
THE MEN: No!!!
EZE OBIKA: Are we going to fold our arms and watch our ever gorgeous princess miss?
THE MEN: No!!!
EZE OBIKA: Then go – go out there and search for them. Bring back my daughter and as for Muna, bring me his head. He does not deserve to live. He will serve as a lesson for the entire outcast.
THE MEN: As you wish!
EZE OBIKA: Go and restore our night, the hour of sleeping. Bring back our moon and stars again (Exit young men)
CHIEF AHAM: Is love not a fool? A king could marry a slave.
But if it is a fool, let us deceive it.
Is love not stubborn, the case of Romeo and Juliet?
Still if love be stubborn, let us deal with it.
Is love not strange? A princess could run with an outcast.
Again, if love is strange, let us discard it.
Still I ask, is love not blind? If a woman can love a leper,
I suggest we mislead it.
EZE OBIKA: (To his Chiefs) enough of this love thing! It has put us through so much pain and left us to live everyday in the shame. Go home my Chiefs, it shall be well.
IN UGO’S HOUSE ISIEKE
Ugo’s house is a single bedroom. There three pots, one is on top of a stove, there is a wardrobe beside the door and a green rug covers the floor, there is a big foam on the floor and television and audio set too
(Enter Kachi, Ugo and Muna)
UGO: Muna, I haven’t heard from Cheta in a long time,
MUNA: Oh Chetachi is doing fine. He is a big boy now you know.
UGO: Does he know you are here?
MUNA: No it’s between me and you. Please don’t let a soul know.
UGO: You can count on me.
MUNA: (To Ugo) my friend please be sincere in your answer to this question. Did we do the right thing, running away far from home to be together in peace? Is it right? We sacrificed the joy of family because we have created a new family just the two of us. Is it right, true love is worth fighting for? Please Ugo tell me that we did the right thing.
UGO: Your mother needs you, I’m sure she will accept Kachi, your mother back there is missing you. Muna. You are all she’s got why you don’t…. (Muna Interrupt him)
MUNA: …. Enough! (He sighs)
Ugochukwu, do you think I’m happy every time I remember that my mother is all alone by herself? I’m not happy not knowing if my mother is in bad health. Ugochukwu I feel the pain for her whenever I remember that she does the man’s task alone. But I will feel sadder, if I don’t have Kachi. One must go but if she understands
UGO: Dear friend, don’t cry you did the right thing.
KACHI: My love, (she stutters) I’m –I’m pregnant
MUNA: (He looks at her dumb founded for a while) you – you’re pregnant? (He goes closer to her) God thanks for all. My love, I’m going to be a father! God is good. I want you to be strong ok. Let them all hate us. Let our father hate us for sharing our love. Let our mother hate us for the love we share. Let our family torment us. The thing that matters is that we are together. One new happy family and our unborn child would never be called an outcast. (He brings out an engagement ring to Kachi, as he kneels before her) be my wife. You’re all I ever wanted in life; marry me sweet one and we would live happily ever after.
KACHI: (She cries for joy and accepts the ring)
How I longed for a day to walk with my love to the alter. How long I dreamt him in a black suit, white glove and black shoes besides me while I wear a white gown that sweeps away pains from the ground; White veils covering my face how long. How I thought of answering “I do” in the alter before a reverend man of God. I will marry you Muna. I will be your lovely wedded wife for better for worse, in sickness or heart for richer for poorer. In trouble and in pains, outcast or no outcast until death does us apart.
(A knock at the door)
UGO: Yes whose there?
POST MAN: A postman
UGO: (He opens the door) yes?
POSTMAN: May I meet Princess Kachi Udodi; I have a letter to deliver to her.
UGO: (To Kachi) Princess, you have a letter.
(Kachi goes to meet the postman at the door)
POST MAN: Good afternoon Madam
KACHI: Good afternoon Sir,
POST MAN: (Giving her the letter] this letter is for you.
[Receiving the letter, the postman gives her a register to sign]
KACHI: Thanks and God bless you.
[kachi walks in and sits on the chair] Its from Ezenna, I miss him you know [She opens the letter and reads]
Though, I miss my little sister dearly but her happiness matters most to me. I know she’s happy over there. I wake up in the morning, no one to talk to, how I miss you but for your pen and paper contact, I’m happy too.
Kachi, I write to let you know that papa has declared you and Muna’s head wanted. Stay out and watch your back.
They are after you. I’m still missing you with love.
Your big brother,
Prince Ezenna Udodi.”
Oh m y God, This is going too too far.
Why is he this wicked? God! He is like the winter
MUNA: Kachi, what is it? What? [He collects the letter from her and reads]
Trouble! Trouble! Still, I won’t let you go for my head.
I can die for this love. Kachi don’t worry, God knows why. We would abstain from them and lay low for sometime, after which the order will die.
Our love is our crime, our separation our punishment, but
But we choose to be criminals and be declared wanted for our Love crime. I’ve no regret and fear being a wanted criminal. I will continue in this crime until I die.
KACHI: They are better taking my head first before yours because many heads may go for yours.
MUNA: It’s Ok we would just be careful and pray everyday to our God.
We would pursue our blissful love in sorrow. [He looks at Ugo] May be we should go and rent a house somewhere else.
Staying here is endangering Ugo’s life.
UGO: No! No! No! Stay here with me, you need me now. You can stay with me. No soldier will come in my house for you. Love is not a crime.