Madam Yoko Pawn Roles and Expansionist Travails in John K. Kargbo’s Let Me Die Alone is going to dissect some of the thematic interplay of character and actions in relation to the colonial African realities. Published in 1974, the African play ‘Let Me Die Alone’ clearly points out the irony of loyalty which is common to the colonial era of the Southern Province of Sierra Leone. From start to finish, it is a ballgame of power, such that portrays the gallery of lapdogs and wannabes in the colonial political atmosphere of Mende Kingdom. It also does not fail to expose the comeuppances of each obsequious or greedy action displayed through the characters in the historical play. All these and other conceptual understanding of John Kargbo’s Let Me Die Alone interest the focus of this article.
Madam Yoko Pawn Roles In John K. Kargbo’s Let Me Die Alone.
The glory of every colonial ‘storm trooping activity’ is the expansion of its control and the growth of its territorial strengths over any occupiable African space. Considering the self-destructive capabilities of this role if aided by Africans, it is ridiculously disturbing therefore to discover that Madam Yoko’s commitment to this major cause actually led to her end.
Mammie Yoko had from beginning been a very potentially courageous political wheel for her husband, Gbanya, the African chief/leader of the Kpo Mende people before he met with death in the hands of those who were found to be engrossed in the desire to rule the kingdom without him or his wife. As a result of many of this heroic display of courage, she came to the notice of Governor Samuel Rowe, a British imperial representative in the Province. How disappointing however that she could not ask questions about reasons why her husband was later subjected to public ridicule and shame, getting whipped and punished, despite the latter’s expansionist struggles for this glorified oppressor. Madam Yoko: pawn roles was eloquently when she could not learn from the experience of what befell her husband.
Isn’t this an unfortunate reveal that recognizes the mind-numbing opium which comes with the zeal or unnecessary longing for power? Taking for instance, those who ironically desire to lengthen the unnatural struggle of the imperial hand by willfully killing and framing up their own people–who like pawns had suffered unfortunate consequences for their faithful service. But do they learn? No! They rather tend to disregard the very obvious stakes and then never learn at all. Quite pitiable even to think that one of these murderous wannabees who proved themselves to be lethal weapons of the greed for power was Lamboi, a brother to Madam Yoko. And the other, Musa, a trusted priest, upon whom the whole people look for healing and help to their problems, also was found as pawn in the political chess arrangement of colonial intentions. This problem is, they couldn’t evaluate the mockery which welcomed Gbanya’s loyalty and fortitude in helping to grease the greed of British political ambition. They were too blind with greed themselves; they had to get rid of Gbanya anyway, so they could eventually further the mission of the foreigners’ rampage of their land.
Madam Yoko Expansionist Travails In John K. Kargbo’s Let Me Die Alone.
Madam Yoko’s commitment and show of courage was politically able to buy the British more towns and villages. The extended territories became pointable evidences of her gladiatorial skills which by role became useful to colonial will. Fame and wide acclaim for her strength and tenacity could not be tamed by her detractors. There were though dangerous ploys set against her with a purpose to pull her down in order to usher in a new crop of ‘pawned’ leadership, yet none of those political propagandist gimmicks had any serious scratch on her rising reputation! This observable invincibility compels the decision by Governor Rowe to cut down on her increasing influence, thenceforth her pride.
Thus, the result of the governor’s decision definitely brought the heroine of the play to her fatal end when she subsequently committed suicide in defense of her ego. Not only was she greatly astounded and came to grips of the colonial power’s game, but she was also disappointed to know that she had been watering dead flowers all the while she was thinking she was impressing the former. Despite the heroine’s decisive participation in the complex Poro rituals which were necessary if she must attempt to meet the demands of the ruling circumstance, the excruciating struggles in the face of internal enemies and rivals, and several other war engagements just to be a serving poodle to the selfish exploits of the colonial government, she was not at the appreciated with better positions; rather, the eventual reward was to humiliate her even in the face of her many adversaries who had expectantly waiting for her downfall.
Gbanya, though was not regretful of all his expansionist missions on behalf the British, was seen to always be a yes-person to the governor’s instructions as he was often fearful of Governor Rowe’s presence and could do anything to welcome the latter in his kingdom. He however broke some of Rowe’s warnings at a time when one would think he should for the sake of his people. Gbanya supplied armies in support of one of Rowe’s brothers who were at critical loggerheads within the Province. He did it to help one against the other. This speaks of how much he is loyal to the cause of the foreigners. Ironically, it was this loyalty combined with the aspiring loyalty of his own people that led to the death of the Chief of Mende kingdom.
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