Drama; Summary of Let me die alone by John.K. Kargbo and past questions; This play is necessary for students who are sitting for the following examinations and should be studied so as to stand a chance of passing the exams. JAMB, WAEC, NECO, GCE.
PLOT SUMMARY (Drama; Summary of Let me die alone by John.K. Kargbo and past questions)
“Let Me Die Alone” by John K. Kargbo is a three-act, seven-scene play. The piece depicts the frequency of betrayal in a traditional African society. The drama begins with Senehun in Gbanya’s bedroom, with Sande drumming offstage. Gbanya, the Mende Chiefdom’s monarch, appears to be in desperate need of love play with his wife, Yoko, preventing her from joining the company of other Sande ladies, a cult women dancer. Gbanya begs her to stay with him and attend to his emotional needs, but just as they are about to force Yoko to bed, they are abruptly interrupted by a forceful knocking offstage. Governor Row, the British colonial representative, will be visiting tomorrow, according to a word from the Governor delivered through the messenger. Gbanya felt something horrible would happen to him in light of the news because the Governor had never before visited. He agreed that it might be connected to the guys he gave John Caulker to fight against his brother George, which further fuels his anxieties and breaks his heart.
The fact that Yoko, a perceptive lady, could tell that her husband was troubled and that he confirmed it when he confided in her about his uneasiness over the repeated visits from his ancestors in his dreams pleading with him to join them, caused him to feel anxious. He added that he had a dream in which the governor had humiliated him in front of his supporters.
Yoko first tries to talk him out of getting stuck in his gloomy thoughts. She later reminds him of his commitment to leave the throne to her when he passes away after observing his resistance to her advice. Gbanya fiercely disagrees with such a setup, claiming that Mende Land is in a state of anarchy and disorder and needs a man to put things right.
We meet Musa and Lamboi in scene two of Act 1. They both appear to be officials in Gbanya’s government. In order to assassinate Gbanya, Lamboi, who is fixated on becoming the chief, enlists the help of Musa, the seer, and the medicine man. Musa initially rejects Lamboi’s wicked demands. Later, when Lamboi threatens to divulge his secret of human sacrifices, he agrees to assist.
Despite the fact that his wife, Yoko, believes differently and tells Gbanya to prepare for war as he greets the Governor, Gbanya is getting ready to receive his nemesis, the governor, with a lot of gifts. Lamboi believes it is unnecessary to give the governor such a large amount of gifts, but Gbanya is adamant.
Dr. Rowe, the predicted Colonial Governor, shows up and publicly humiliates Gbanya for siding with one of the white brothers against the other. He saw it as a clear violation of his commands that there be no more fighting. The governor humiliates Gbanya despite his continued denial of the charge by ordering his soldiers to flog him with a whip and fining him fifty pounds in the equivalent of cattle and grains. when the governor’s staff departs. In an effort to make Gbanya feel better, Lamboi and Musa used this situation as an opportunity to poison him. Gbanya quickly realizes that he has been poisoned even while he is in the latter stages of dying. Before he passes away, he orders Yoko to take over the chiefdom and curses his assassins.
As he attempts to establish himself as the new head, Lamboi tries to talk Yoko out of the plan. But skeptic Yoko disagrees with the declaration because she believes the pair killed Gbanya. She resolves to take on the role of leader and join the Poro cult, which would prevent her from having children.
Act two begins with Jilo getting ready to prepare food for her husband Ndapi. Her lover, Lasana, seems to be having an affair with her. Here, we see Jilo’s betrayal of Ndapi as she engages in extramarital affairs with Lansana inside their marital home, narrowly avoiding being discovered by her husband and Iavalie who had entered but were preoccupied with conversations about the mysterious death of Chief Gbanya and the expansionist war that Yoko was about to start.
Lansana and Jilo come out of the hut and decide to meet up somewhere safer while Ndapi and Lavelie depart the stage to plan how to prevent Yoko from starting a war.
When Ndapi comes back, he is shown to be a man who abuses women and mistreats his wife since he won’t stop hurting Jilo while they are talking. A guard eventually arrives and begs him not to hit his wife since it would damage his self-esteem. The chiefdom’s relocation from Senehun to Moyamba is revealed by Jilo.
The next scene shows Yoko in all her regal glory in her palace in Moyamba. As a result of her dependence on the Governor and the growth of her chiefdom, Yoko’s influence has rapidly increased.
The location of her government seat also changes, moving from Senehun to Moyamba. Yoko also expresses a sense of unease and worry about being murdered by people who oppose her taking the throne. She seeks the presence of Jeneba, the daughter of Ndapi whom she had raised as her own, and states that she would rather be a mother than a queen since she misses the joy of motherhood.
Ndapi drags his wife Jilo to the bar before Chief Yoko and accuses her of adultery with a member of Yoko’s household, Lansana, who is already running to Taiama, as Yoko gets ready for a conference with the elders in the wake of a message from the Governor’s arrival being announced by a guard. Due to her displeasure with Jilo and Lansana’s abominable deed, Yoko immediately sends two soldiers to get him. Musa and Lamboi are continuing with their plan to kill Yoko and seize the throne while this is going on.
They are in awe of Yoko’s ability to successfully run the chiefdom’s affairs and her diplomatic skill in keeping a cordial relationship with the Governor. They make the decision to murder Jeneba and agitate the populace against her (Yoko).
Yoko then gets ready to make a formal visit to the Governor’s residence. But before she embarks on her voyage, news of Jeneba’s kidnapping was brought to her attention, and she immediately ordered a search to find out what happened to Jeneba before she returned.
Musa and Lamboi begin their evil scheme in the meantime. By offering human sacrifices to win the Governor’s favor, they assassinate Jeneba and persuade the populace that Yoko is the terrible culprit. The village’s Sande women, Jilo, and especially the child’s father, Ndapi, had their minds poisoned by them.
Yoko is referred to as “witch,” “murderer,” and other unprintable terms when she first arrives. Yoko is perplexed by the public’s abrupt shift in opinion of her. When Ndapi challenges her claim to the crown, she becomes even more perplexed. She immediately understands why she had been accused of burying Jeneba alive in order to maintain her position of authority and win the Governor’s favor. She frantically claims innocence and disavows any involvement in Jeneba’s disappearance.
Ndapi won’t pay attention to any of these. Instead, he blames her inability to have children for her heartlessness. For the queen’s benefit, her dead body is discovered mangled, with her heart and intimate area severed.
Everyone understands that Yoko has been falsely accused as a result of this finding. Ndapi, in particular, makes an effort to atone for the humiliation he caused her to endure. Yoko declares that she will get to the bottom of the issue at the Poro Bush.
Her careful inquiry leads her to the conclusion that Lamboi and Musa are responsible for Jeneba’s passing. The Gbeni’s retribution will cause their noses to decay, cataracts to marry their eyeballs, leprosy to eat their fingers, and elephantiasis to attach to their legs, as Yoko warns Ndapi when he tries to pursue them.
The governor’s envoy arrives at the Poro Bush as these events are taking place to deliver a message to Queen Yoko. The messenger, a Poro man, was initially prevented from accessing the shrine by the guards but was later allowed after the queen confirmed that he is also a member of the Poro society. He informs Yoko in his message that the Governor has ordered her to give up all of her captured lands.
This infuriated the queen, who considers it to be the final straw. She asks Lavalie to bring back some herbs that were brought to the queen by a guard. Musu creates the mixture. At the same time, Yoko turns to the messenger and complains about the boundary markings. She claims that after giving the Governor her undivided loyalty and years of work, she felt humiliated by the Governor’s clear reward. When Yoko recognizes she has been overcome by despair, she ignores Ndapi and Jilo’s apologies and rejects the messenger. She also recalls her husband’s warning that “behind every set of white teeth there lurks an evil planning mind.” Musu gave it to her after noticing it was poisoned and wanting to drink it first, but the queen objected and said, “LET ME DIE ALONE.” Despite everyone’s pleadings, she poisons herself and tells the entire chiefdom not to weep because she didn’t bring a kid into the world. She collapses and passes away.
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THEMES (Drama; Summary of Let me die alone by John.K. Kargbo and past questions)
THEME OF HUMAN SACRIFICE: Lamboi was able to enlist Musa, the top priest, in his plot to kill Gbanya because Musa participates in human sacrifice, which he then uses as leverage in negotiations. Through Lamboi, we discovered that he frequently sacrifices children in order to flourish, be well, and live a long time. Additionally, the play clearly illustrates human sacrifice through Jeneba’s brutal killing and dismemberment.
THEME OF OBSESSION FOR POWER: Lamboi’s obsession with obtaining the throne and power drove him to take any and all measures necessary to make it happen. This is demonstrated when Lamboi went to the seer and healer Musa to plot against Gbanya; nevertheless, Musa’s rejection further demonstrates that Lamboi would not accept a no for an answer. To persuade the seer to assist him in carrying out his nefarious plans, he continued to blackmail him. In his eagerness to succeed as chief, he kills another chief, encourages the killing of Jeneba, an innocent kid, and even leaves the Senehun people with the false notion that the Queen had buried her alive.
THEME OF TREACHERY: One of the most pervasive themes of John K. Kargbo’s drama “Let Me Die Alone” is betrayal. The subject greatly advances the plot and highlights the play’s social importance, particularly to our contemporary African society. Musa, the seer, and the medicine man is someone Gbanya trusts, but Lamboi, who is not only his trusted warrior but also the brother of his dearest wife, Yoko, connives with someone who is thought to be the incorruptible loyalist to the crown. Musa poisoned Gbanya under the premise that the medication would lessen the pain he was experiencing from the strokes the Governor’s troops were giving him. These malevolent groups also deceived the community as a whole by inciting people to turn against Yoko for Jeneba’s disappearance and later death. They commit all of these heinous and devious things out of a desire for power.
In a similar vein, we observe how Yoko responded to Governor Rowe’s word on border demarcation in the play, which was not what she had anticipated as recompense for her obedient service to the colonial ruler. Without batting an eye, Rowe betrays her lengthy years of duty and loyalty.
THEME OF COLONIALISM AND COLONIALIST ARROGANCE: This theme is introduced right away in the play. When the message that the Governor is visiting Senehun arrived, Gbanya, who was ready to have a private moment with his loving wife, felt anxious.
Despite his conflicting emotions and fears that Governor Rowe could visit to humiliate him, we observed several preparations being made to welcome the Governor.
When the governor orders his soldiers to strip chief Gbanya for a beating upon arrival, it is a clear example of the Governor’s extreme conceit. Even as soon as he arrived, Gbanya tried to embrace him, but he cautioned him not to use his filthy hands on him.
However, the Governor is treating the traditional leader in a derogatory manner. Rowe’s treatment of the Gbanya people strongly evokes the arrogance and sense of self-righteous superiority that colonial authorities exuded.
The colonial master also demonstrates her supremacy by casually stripping Yoko of her freshly gained domains. You may recall that before Yoko begins her conquest of new regions, she diligently consults the governor. Despite the fact that she stays within bounds, the governor nonetheless strips her of her territories. This demonstrates how colonial administrators treated Africans and their leaders as an afterthought.
CHARACTERS (Drama; Summary of Let me die alone by John.K. Kargbo and past questions)
Gbanya: He serves as Mendeland’s chief at the play’s outset. He practices polygamy. He breaks his word that he will name Yoko as his successor. The colonial governor humiliates him for supporting one white brother in a conflict involving only white people. His dependable servants Lamboi and Musa eventually poison him. He hands over his reign to Yoko while he is dying.
Yoko: She is one of the many spouses that Gbanya has. She is an infertile woman. She is the favorite wife and heir apparent of Gbanya. When she takes office as chief, the capital moves from Senehun Village to Moyamba Village. With the governor’s approval, she also grows her chiefdom.
She is duped by Lamboi and Musa, who told her followers she killed Jeneba to gain Dr. Rowe’s favor. As a result, her people shame and degrade her. After solving the riddle in the Poro Bush, she later commits suicide.
Lamboi: In the play, he is one of the two conspirators. He is the mastermind behind Gbanya and Jeneba’s demise. He accuses Yoko of murdering Jeneba, who had thwarted his ambition to ascend to the throne. When his secret is revealed, he runs away.
Musa: Musa is Mendeland’s chief priest. He helps Lamboi take over as chief by killing Gbanya and Jeneba alongside Lamboi. He covertly participates in a variety of human sacrifices in order to prolong his life and thrive. When Yoko learns of his toxic actions in Poro Bush, he departs.
Ndapi: He is Mendeland’s top warrior, Jilo’s husband, and Jeneba’s father. He mistreats his spouse. Additionally, he makes fun of Yoko for the rumors that she killed his daughter. After discovering his daughter’s dismembered body, he subsequently apologizes to Yoko.
Jilo: She is the mother of Jeneba and the wife of Ndapi. She has cheated on her husband.
Jeneba: She is the child of Ndapi and Jilo. She visits the palace often. She is a foster kid of Yoko. Jeneba alerts Yoko to her parents’ abuse towards one another. She suffers an ignominious death at the hands of Lamboi and Musa.
QUESTIONS (Drama; Summary of Let me die alone by John.K. Kargbo and past questions)
1. What are the themes in the play?
2. Discuss the characters in the play
3. Discuss the theme of colonialism in the play
4. Discuss the theme of betrayal in the play
5. Is Let me die alone a tragedy? Explain