CHARACTERS IN THE PLAY
Jomo —— A young man of about 26 years old with a good university
degree. He is unemployed and lives in squalor.
Bob —— About the same age or a bit younger and lives in the same house
with Jomo. He is not as educated as Jomo.
Rosetta —— An exceptionally pretty girl of about 19 years old with very little
education. She lives with the two young men and satisfies their
Police —— A young half-literate Police officer with low rank. He is about 30
A one-scene play. This play opens in a veranda where a pretty girl is seen seated. A young man enters bearing a file jacket and looking worn out.
Rosetta: (stands to embrace the young man, smiling) Jomo baby, you don come back?
This one you look like person wey don catch yellow fever, wetin de shelleh?
Jomo: (flops on a low bench) Rosetta, I’m fed up with the whole bloody deception.
Could you imagine that those hypocritical buffoons masquerading as
technocrats in the civil service…
Rosetta: Hey—he—hei! Take sofri sofri de nack your grammar. I don tell you before
say me, I no sabi book reach your level; after my papa and mama die when I
dey primary four, I stop school. You suppose take time to de break this thing
down small small for me. You know say you be my special, fine boy no stain.
Jomo: Rosetta cut the joke! I’m serious here. I feel like strangling one of those lying
Rosetta: (laughs) Jomo my baby, I de feel you any time you dey this kain mood. E de
turn me on. (shifts closer to him and begins to fiddle with his shirt buttons)
You know say we never do since two days now. Make you no complain today
again say you no de get yourself because if you tryam me I no go gree.
Jomo: (stays her hand) Rosetta I’m not in the mood now. Can’t you get it? I’ve been
defrauded once again b once again by this criminal government. We were
twenty thousand unemployed graduates and each of us bought the civil service
form with a non refundable fee of one thousand naira. Men! That was twenty
million naira stolen from jobless youths by the government. Yes. It was a fraud
because there was no test, no interview, no refund, and no recruitment of any
kind. My dear, you can see for yourself that I’m not in the mood for what you’re
Rosetta: But you know say body nobi wood. How una go just leave me like that for two
days without say make you help me even change engine oil. Just take your own
eyes checkam now. E good? If nobi say una sabi handle woman for bed eh, I
for don pack commot from this place.
Jomo: (irritated) Where’s Bob?
Rosetta: E dey for inside chamber. You wan kuma?
Jomo: Yes. In fact, I feel like smoking out my life now. But I’ve not had any food
since this afternoon.
Rosetta: E get small garri wey dey inside, but sugar no dey.
Jomo: Sugar… Haba! Did you say sugar? Who talks about sugar these days; please,go
and bring the garri. I’m famished. I simply need something down my system.
(Rosetta goes into the house. Sound of running feet is heard and immediately Bob appears)
Bob: (shouts) Ekelebeee!
Jomo: (jumps from his seat) Where are they? What do they want here?
Bob: Na only one person but na pure ekelebe. E show for him face; in fact, all over
Jomo: (releases a sigh of disappointment) So he is not even in uniform?
Bob: I no need uniform to recognize ekelebe any time I see am. Even if say I close my
eyes I fit smell Ekelebe ten miles away. Abeg remove everything wey fit cause
trouble. Me, I don disappear the Indo wey I de enjoy for inside chamber.
(Bob enters inside while Jomo sits back again. A smartly dressed man walks in
and flashes an ID.)
Police: (raises his voices) Police. We get information say una de store Indian hemp for
this place. I get warrant to search this place.
Jomo: (unruffled gets up from his seat and moves towards the Police officer.) Mister
Police man or whatever you claim you are, I’m not afraid of you neither is
anybody in this republic afraid of any ekelebe. We don’t ever trespass into your
territory. Why have you chosen to disturb us? This is the republic of Kolumbia!
Here we are free of the oppressive criminal system that pays your salary.
(Rosetta enters with the garri tied up in cellophane tissue inside a tray containing a jug of water, a spoon and a plate. She sees the Policeman and freezes in her tracks. The Policeman stares at her in shameless lust.)
Rosetta: Hei! Ekelebeee.
Jomo: (Showing irritation) Bring that tray here. Why do you all fidget like chicks
harraaed by a marauding kite each time you come in contact with these
Rosetta: (bows, puts down the tray and begins to clap) Oh Jomo baby, my honey, I
dobaleh for you. Just de gee am to them. You no get photocopy. Ekelebe you
hear that one? This na my main Gee; you hear that ogbonge grammar wey
him take describe una work? In fact, ekelebe I no fear you again. (she picks up
the tray once again and places it before Jomo) This one na your appetizer my
lord. Abi you go still kuma the Indo wey you bin talk before?
Jomo: Why do you waste your time asking the obvious? You know too well that
Indoseed is my blood tonic. Bring me my usual.
Rosetta: For this place? Before this ekelebe?
Jomo: Look here Rosetta, if you try to cross examine me again eh, I will starve you
of sex for one week. And I mean every word of it. You know you can’t bear it.
Rosetta: (visibly frightened) Sorry!
(Rosetta rushes out of the room. Jomo pulls the tray closer and begins to prepare his meal)
Police: (moves closer) Wetin be that?
Jomo: (laughs in bafflement) You people in uniformed professions can not cease to
amaze me with your daftness. Any way, I’ll indulge you. This is garri. This
one is water. And this is sugar. They are the ingredients for the preparation of
a special diet; the diet of the short-changed, the underdogs… the wretched of
the earth. Now let me ask you Mr Police officer, after having been to the
university and graduated with a good honours, am I supposed to still belong to
the garri-smoking class of the society? My dear, take my advice for your own
good, and stay away from this Kolumbia. In this republic we smoke our garri
with Indian hemp or marijuana or weed or joint or kaya or indoseed or
weewee or igbo or goof or whatever else you choose to call it.
Police: All of you wey de live here you be bad citizens.
Jomo: Yes. Mr Policeman, I poured grains of Indian hemp into my garri in order to
prepare the spirit for the main meal that follows afterwards at the chamber.
What is wrong with that?
Police: (returns his ID card to his pocket, pulls out a short gun and hand-cuffs) My
friend, na him be say you don fall law. You are under arrest. Carry your
hands put behind your back and make you no try anything foolish.
Bob: Ah—ah! Ekelebeee … ekelebeee. This place na Kolumbia now. (Jomo stands
and puts his two hands behind his back. The Policeman handcuffs his wrists.)
Jomo wetin be that now? Do vum! Make you no allow that ekelebe put that
thing for your hands.
Jomo: Why not? It won’t be for long. Just arrange and give him formula two.
Bob: (laughs long and loud) Then na formula two e go get. (exits)
(Rosetta appears. The Policeman is seen looking at her lastingly. She fixes him a seductive smile and suddenly loses balance and falls. She screams in pain and the Policeman rushes over to help her.)
Police: Baby you wound?
Rosetta: (in pains) Yes ekelebe I wound for leg. Please help me hold this place. Holam
Police: (eager to please) No worry baby, I go do any thing to help you.
Rosetta: You know say Ino fit trust you because you be ekelebe.
Police: Baby just forget say I be police. You suppose begin de trust me because as I
see you enter this room I don begin love you well well. I even fit love you pass
Rosetta: (laughs) Just like that? Ekelebe where your hand de go? Thief e don do
commot your hand. Shift… shift now!
Police: Sorry, I no mean to annoy you.
Rosetta: (smiles) Okay ekelebe come and sit here. (indicates a place very close to her,
Police obeys.) You say you love me?
Rosetta: (laughs again and slips her hand around his neck.) Make my boy friend no
hear you say that.
Police: (quickly looks around) Sorry but I no know say…
Rosetta: (laughs) Okay you think say I never reach to have boy friend? (she opens his
shirt buttons and begins to play with the hairs on his chest) Now tell me
ekelebe, why you and your people still de take bribr upon all the big salary
dem de pay una these days?
Police: Nobi my fault. For our family alone, we get six people wey don finish school
but no job. Na me be the only person wey get job for my house. Every mouth,
every belle, Papa, Mama, brother, and sister; all na from this my salary we de
feed. Why I no go chop bribe; you wan make we die?
Rosetta: Ekelebe you wan make we enter inside?
Police: Ehn… Yes … But what about… (looks around furtively)
Rosetta: My boy friends? (laughs) I no get lover. All na my friends and I fit do wetin I
like with anybody. You look like good person, ekelebe.
Police: Yes, I be good person.
Rosetta: But why you put that kain hand-cuff for my guy hand? If to say na those your
brothers wey never get job dem chain like that you go happy? Or you fit take
juju swear say you no de smoke indoseed?
Police: To say the truth, I de smoke atimes. But at least I be officer now. Although if
you wan make I remove the hand-cuff I go remove am one time because of
Rosetta: Where e dey for constitution say ekelebe get license to smoke indoseed? As
you wey get job de chop indoseed just imagine person like Jomo wey don
finish University, get powerful result yet e never get job. I no wan make you
disturb us for this Kolumbia again if you wan make two of us be friends.
Police: I swear I no go disturb una again.
(Jomo laughs out in mockery)
Rosetta: But any time you wan smoke indoseed, you fit come here, je-je smoke your
indo, do me fine and go. Now if you still wan follow me inside, quickly
remove that hand-cuff from my bobo.
Police: Thank you. (goes to Jomo) Bros please I dey sorry, make you forgive me.
(removes the hand-cuffs)
Rosetta: Give me the handcuffs. (He gives her) And your gun. (He gives her. Jomo
laughs.) Your prisoner dey laugh at you.
Police: Make im laugh, me I no care. Please any other thing?
Rosetta: Yes. Just two more things. (raises her voice and calls Bob.) Bob! Bobby…
please bring some indo. (turns to Police) Ekelebe just make you give me all the
money you get for pocket. ( Policeman obeys)
Bob: (comes out with the stuff) Rossy see am.
Rosetta: Thank you. Please help me give ekelebe some. ( turns to Police.) Ekelebe time
don reach for you to prove say you love me; chop some indoseeds. (Police
obeys reluctantly and afterwards follows her inside.)
Jomo: Ekelebe please enjoy yourself very well. (laughs more) This is incredible.
Bob: The power of formula two.
(Two of them burst into fresh laughter as they exi.)