Two strong looking men bump into each other running from opposite directions. The one from left, Nyane, wearing agbada without shorts and just one shoe on the left leg, falls and starts wailing as if he has been caught by some monsters, the one from right, Takyi who nearly fell, shouts at him in anger but stands when he sees his colluder.)
TAKYI: Ei Boss, sorry. I … I was …was (heavily panting) just coming to your house. Have you heard the news?
NYANE: I don’t know if it is news or slander, a trap or inducer. But is it true? I was in Sokoto when news reached me. (Holds his buttocks and frowns to show he has a running stomach) I have to go again before I bombshit myself on top of my woes. (Runs off backstage as Takyi stands with his ears to the wall.)
TAKYI: Boss, take am easy o, with the way you’re going, your intestines might leave your body before you get the full story.
NYANE: (Shouting from behind) Bush boy! Whaaaaat are you implying? (pushing loudly). Do you think I am the only one in trouble if thiiiiiis happens to be true?
TAKYI: No boss, I go five times already in just two minutes. My nyash dey pepper me like an angry woman’s pepper soup wey she dey use for trap.
NYANE: Wheeeeeere are the rest? (the last three words coming out in a rush as he pushes like a woman pushing at the maternity ward)
TAKYI: I believe say they no know o. I have some paddy bi in Pistol Fm, na im told me that trouble don’t gas.
NYANE: (Emerging from behind obviously done) If this is true then we’re all doomed. That wizard might have gotten us fair and square or is threatening us. (Kneels down) Oh ya Allah! Please let this be a warning and I will never stray again.
TAKYI: (Cutting him short) You mean say you no go collect bribe again?
NYANE: (Getting up and slapping him) Foolish boy! I no go collect appreciation again. How many times have I told you never talk about bribe. That sounds so offensive.
TAKYI: Sorry o boss. Na slip of tongue now. (Silence as they both stand shivering, each pacing up and down for 5 seconds) Boss, I know where they got me. Ibi that money they gave me make I help that boy get selection for the National Team and the lizard meat. That deal wey no work no. The way I happy myself when that thousand Ghana touched my hand! Chai! I don’t die!
NYANE: You are lucky. I don’t even want to think about what they captured and what they they they…( holds his stomach and rear and rushes backstage)
TAKYI: Boss again? You for take am easy o. If you continue like this na shit you go become, you no go get any to throw away. There must be something you can do now. You know say you know many people for this country now. You be big man. Make you call some of them to kill that man for us la!
NYANE: Donnnnn’t be foooooolish! Do you think it is easy to kill a human being let alone that ghost? (Emerges from backstage)
TAKYI: Then make you call the Don now. The mafia for this country, Agya Pio.
NYANE: (Thinks for a while) This is the best thing you’ve ever said since I’ve known you. Let me call him.
(Four men and a lady rush from door right, they break abruptly causing three of them to fall and the other caught by TAKYI, as the lady falls into the arms of Nyane. They are all sweating profusely)
I know why you’re all this way. Don’t worry. I am calling Agya Pio. (Phone to his left ear)
Yes please. All is not well o.
You heard? I trust you.
Boss, as for this one, please help me. This embarrassment will kill my political ambitions and render me a public disgrace.
Please, I will do anything you ask me to if you’re able to help me with this.
Yes please. Yes boss, yes, I get it. Thank you! God bless you Boss!!!”
(Some heave sighs of relief, some kneel with their hands in the air in thanksgiving but Annor stands with no reaction)
TAKYI: Annor, what is the matter, don’t you trust Agya Pio?
ANNOR: I think Agya might not be able to do anything. Have you forgotten a ghost has no flesh? If a ghost has no flesh, how do you catch him, let alone kill him? He also has an alibi. Anybody can claim to be him.
NYANE: (Flaring up) What is most scary is you! Look at how you’re standing there like a wicked ancestor spewing your pessimism around us. Bad luck chap! (Leaves in anger as they all watch his feet, few burst into laughter when he gets out of sight as some run after him leaving Annor on stage)
ANNOR: Me, I am just worried about the Grinding Football Association. Where will I earn my keep if it falls into a mess? ( Leaves stage like a zombie)
(All the members sit in front of a television watching Agya Pio with rapt attention)
AGYA: (With a very loud voice) It is not right! Dogs love bones, cats love meat and humans are fallible. How then can you use meat to bait a cat, bones to bait a dog and expect a normal human being to brave this horrendous temptation? I say it is not right. It is illegal! The whole system must be scrapped! The Myth must be brought to book for seducing people into corruption!!!
MENSAH: Agya! Aren’t you going too far? Seducing people into corruption? Even the word you used shows your hobby! In this country which is struggling to develop, don’t we need people like the myth to look, discover and uncover the rot that has bedevilled this nation? The cancer that is spreading to kill this nation? As lizards lie prostrate, who can see who suffers from belly ache? Until all the “ese proye” are pulled out, this mouth of a country must chew with caution…
AGYA: You see a Grinding man? It is only a mad man who refuses a good thing in his home!!! Hold it!!! Hold it!!! You need human beings!!! And if you see someone’s beard on fire, be sure to fetch water close to yours because even if you have no beard, you surely do have hair!!! It is only stupid people who say stupid things. Who seduces people and calls it rape? Don’t you know that can be slander?
MENSAH: No, I don’t understand. Agya, are you insinuating the watchman is corrupt because he induces people to be corrupt? In your dictionary what is integrity?
AGYA: You’re not my English teacher so don’t think of questioning me. My question is, who authenticates the work of the watchman as true and without blemish? Who watches the watchman? Remember the popular saying that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely?
MENSAH: Well, you have your questions. I will tell you this, none notifies feet when the ground becomes too hot. No honourable man dances strangely in public if there are no ant bites in his clothes. I will tell you today that being defensive and insinuating absurdities won’t stop this documentary from showing.
AGYA: I have given that Myth an ultimatum, to cancel the show or face exposure. I will expose his face, expose his corrupt deeds, and then zero down to his immoral acts!!! He should call it off by tomorrow or face my wrath!!!
(All of them (except Annor) jump in happiness congratulating themselves.)
MENSAH: Agya Pio, you’re not as monstrous as you think you are. You don’t scare some of us!!! You can do your worst!!! Remember, when you cut the head of a snake, all that will be left will be a rope. And every animal makes noise when its death beckons.
AGYA: See someone who is dishing out proverbs. It is true what they say, if a hole generates on an anthill every animal can enter. Okay but don’t say I didn’t warn you!!!
(The drunken cleaner comes in reciting a poem while cleaning)
SONKO: A storm is coming
No, a tsunami is coming
It will break egos
Break makers and break fakers
Stomachs are rolling
Teeth are gnashing
Eyes are teary
Because consciences are scattering
Heads will turn feet
Feet will …
NYANE: Why do we still have this foolish drunk here as a worker? TAKYI!!!
TAKYI: Boss, he does his work diligently!
GLORIA: Maybe he is even the Myth (All turn to look from her to him) I mean, someone told me he looks very ordinary and unkempt, sometimes he acts like a drunk and (All including Nyane run out, struggling to be the first to get out as Annor looks queerly at Sonko.
ANNOR: Quiet a fine poem you had there. Why don’t you compile them and stop drinking so everyone can take you seriously?
SONKO: There is prestige in minding one’s own business. I am what I am by choice.
ANNOR: Go on, with both the poem and the cleaning. I know you’re not him.
SONKO: I’ve lost interest in the first but will continue the second. You’re not the target audience.
(Sonko mops and exits as Annor exits like the robot he is)
TAKYI rushes into the house of Nyane, making the latter collapse into his sofa, the book he is reading flying onto the floor. His wife and children with Takyi sprinkle water on him, it doesn’t work, so they lift him into a barrel of water. He jerks into consciousness)
NYANE: Please forgive me. It was the work of the devil!!! I didn’t know it was a set up! I have learnt my lesson and will never repeat it again. I beg you forgive me. (Sobbing loudly)
Mrs. Nyane: Darling, stop this, you are not under arrest. Neither are you in front of the Parliamentary Select Committee. You are in your house.
CHILDREN: (All in chorus, two boys and a girl) Yes daddy, you’re home.
(Nyane looks around, sees it is true, jerks back into reality and attacks Takyi. Holding the collar of his shirt)
NYANE: You fool! You murderer!!! Why do you scare the living daylight out of me?
TAKYI: I wanted to tell you what is going on. It is a mess sir. (Struggling to breathe) if you can leave my shirt… (Leaves his shirt) The whole country is talking about us. In fact on the internet, they have a new name for you. Errrm errm
NYANE: Forget about the name, what are they saying?
TAKYI: They are calling us corrupt. They are saying you are a disappointment. In fact, the President of this nation has come out to call for your arrest. (Nyane’s legs begin to shake, his two wives hold and lead him to the sofa.) And the whole country is saying Agya Pio is arrogant, ignorant and rude and thinks he can buy his way through everything but he can’t. They will arrest you boss. It seems no matter what, that documentary will be shown. Anytime the advert starts, I get a fresh stomach ache sir. (crying) What shall we do sir?
(The whole house is in wailing, Nyane sheds silent tears as lights fade)
(Many people rush to sit in a well lit conference hall. The people are more than the chairs but some stand. The documentary starts with few national disasters as audience show varied emotions. Then it begins to show Nyane, bragging)
NYANE: (On screen) You don’t know the calibre of person I am. I am that I am in this country. Haven’t you Googled me before? Google vomits my information just as ATMs vomit monies of the rich. You have come to the right route. You have seen the bright light. The president is in my front pocket! The vice president is in my back pocket, all the parliamentarians are in my purse. There is nothing I can’t get for you even if you need slaves from this football outlet. Even human parts are not beyond boundaries.
(All the audience scream out in disgust as he is given money, he stashes it and scribbles something fast on paper and leaves. Gloria is seen romancing Takyi for a referee role. Whereas some cringe, one man sitting in front tries so hard to push his awakened snake down his trousers without success as few who notice look at him strangely. Annor declines the money and the whole audience clap for him. Some take the bribes in big polythene bags while others instruct their subordinates to take on their behalf. People leave the hall in tears and anger)
SECOND HALF OF EXTRA TIME
(Nyane is seen running from photographers into his mansion. Angry mob gather in front of Nyane’s house chanting for him to resign and for the law to take its course. An Imam sits in the hall advising him.)
IMAM: You need to take heart. Grinders will forget this in a matter of three weeks. This might be the work of Allah to direct you to a better path. You need to face the law and show remorse. Everyday is a lesson whether good or bad. Trust me, many people might be doing worst things than you but they jubilate in your misery. Today, a snake has suffered a bite, tomorrow, lions would be chased out of their caves with their rots. That is when rabbits would lose their reverence and vultures would thank their stars. What you see is not all that is, the future will show you the light mockery of your case and you shall laugh at the misery that threatens your life today. This country is a country of many comic satires. It is only fun when others are the actors. But I am glad it is a merry go round. Maybe one day, the rot will cease and we shall all live in the will of Allah!!! Allaaahu Akbar!!!
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © June 7, 2018
Photo Credit: Google Pics