IJATAHA by Oghenevize Umukoro

After reading three works from Oghenevize, I discovered that his style of writing is very unique. It is a difficult Job trying to predict his works because his stories don’t always end the way readers might presume it end. So my advice to you is don’t try to predict his work while reading because you’ll be disappointed, just keep a ‘tabula rasa’ mind.

Ijahata is a satirical play that portrays the ordeals of locals in the Niger Delta region and Nigeria as a nation. The collapse of communism, the inevitable taste for greed, and intoxication of power. A king like many others brag about the wrong of other leaders and eventually does the same thing when power is given.

Short summary

Onwara, the older son of a king wittingly removed his Father from the throne and became king in spite of the fact that his younger brother was chosen as heir to the throne by his father.

He sought to rule better than his father who was believed to be wicked. He returned lands taken by his father to their owners and killed his own son for the crime of theft.

In the era where civilization was peeking its head through the Window, king Onwara initially refused the activities of the white men but allowed them on a second thought when he visited a neighbouring village to see the king living in a well decorated brick house and not mud like his.

He accepted the good of oil drilling andl the evils of it for the profit of a more expensive life. Fishes died, farmlands were destroyed with black oils and water was contaminated.

Oghenevize made use of Allusion in the last part of the play. Just like David in the bible, the king, Onwara stripped a poor man Kuduho of his land because it was the main hub of oil in the village and got him arrested for interfering by plotting against him. He got married to his daughter Omote who came to plead on behalf of her father.

Onwara: (to one of his chiefs) “you told me your eyes are everywhere in this kingdom. How come you never set your eyes on a beautiful girl like her, this Kuduho’s daughter.”

Also like the Biblical story of king Sisera, he was killed by a woman. The daughter of Kuduho whom he found attractive, poisoned him to his death.

About the author

The playwright, Oghenevize Umukoro is a scholar, writer and Theatre Director. He began his tertiary education at the university of Benin , Benin city, where he obtained a bachelor of Art’s in Theatre Arts. He also obtained a Master in Theatre arts and communication management Degrees at Delta state University, Abraka. Oghenevize also obtained a post Graduate Diploma in Education from University of port-Hacourt.

Other Books by the Author

The Beggars

Princess Elona

Feast for the dead etc.

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