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CONTRIBUTORS

Akinlabi Peter
Amanda Sington-Williams
A M Gatward
Ayat Ghanem
Bobby Parker
Chuma Nwokolo, Jr.
Dike Okoro
E C Osondu
Katie Metcalfe
Laura Solomon
Mandy Pannett
Michael Larrain
Oge Anyahuru
Terri Ochiagha
Uzor Maxim Uzoatu

 

drama


The Strange Behaviour of Bronze by Chuma Nwokolo, Jr.

 

SCENE FOUR

 

Six masked soldiers from Chief Ezama’s bodyguard enter, march past briskly from right to left, and exit, chanting. Enter ANENE and NKOMA, wearing the same red loin cloth of Carcasus with a band of leopard skin in a sash across from shoulder to waist. They wear leather sandals, they are streaked in war paint and wield the goatskin-covered wooden shields and spears of Chief Ezama’s bodyguard. They wear small, horned masks that cover only their eyes, leaving their mouths open to view. They march in front of a lowered curtain, or between the stage and audience. They have a symbiotic speech pattern, the one twin seamlessly completing the other’s sentences. They move slowly, rehearsing a primer, a word a step,

 

ANENE. Azu

 

NKOMA. Fish. Odu -

 

ANENE. Tail. Dibia

 

NKOMA. Doctor. Wata

 

ANENE. …(pause) Wata… (They stop. They take off masks. They ponder for thirty seconds) …that’s another word gone. Forty-three left.

 

NKOMA. It will come back to us.

 

ANENE. We always say that, but

 

NKOMA. It never does. (Puts on mask. Beat) They bury him today

 

ANENE. If the trader told the truth and he is truly dead. (Beat) Forty-three left.

 

NKOMA. Eventually, we will forget them all.

 

ANENE. We won’t.

 

NKOMA. We will.

 

ANENE. We won’t.

 

NKOMA. (takes off mask) Egwu.

 

ANENE. Fear. Ndu

 

NKOMA. Life. Wata

 

ANENE. … (pause) house…no! Wata

 

NKOMA. … it’s really gone. Forty-three left. By the time we’re fifty, we’d have lost all the words.

 

ANENE. We won’t.

 

NKOMA. We will.

 

ANENE. (dons mask) Maybe we should have gone with him, but

 

NKOMA. It was just too early, too

 

ANENE. Far, too

 

NKOMA. Dangerous. He was just too

 

ANENE. Late. (Takes off mask) Too

 

NKOMA. Arrogant. Yet, with him we would have learnt

 

ANENE. all the words of the dialect.

 

NKOMA. (dreamy) And with him we’d have poured libation,

 

ANENE. upon land that actually holds our ancestors

 

NKOMA. (dons mask) But our wives

 

ANENE. They won’t go. Will they? (Fierce whistle O.S. Don’s mask.)

 

NKOMA. They won’t. Oge (They march off, chanting in time)

 

ANENE. Time. Afa

 

NKOMA. Name. Wata

 

ANENE. … Wata

 

NKOMA. … Wata

 

EXIT.

 

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OCTOBER INDEX
EDITOR'S NOTE
DRAMA
ESSAYS & REVIEWS
FICTION
POETRY
COMPETITIONS


Chuma Nwokolo Jr. is a lawyer and writer, author of Diaries of a Dead African and publisher of African Writing Magazine. He was Oxford Ashmolean Museum's Writer-in-Residence for 2005-2007. He Lives in the UK.

Website: nwokolo.com


 


 

 

 

 

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