THE BLACK WIDOW (Scene VI-VII)

Posted: February 12, 2014 in DRAMA

by Tim Nwaobilo

CAST

Adanma- Widow
Silas- Widow’s husband
Ikenna- Widow’s brother-in-law
Chinyere- Silas’ cousin (village women leader)
Kelechi- Widow’s mother
Roberts- Doctor

CONTINUATION…

Scene VI

(Someone sweeps with a broom as Adanma hums a song to herself.)

ADANMA: My dear, when you are done with sweeping the room, go and sweep the kitchen for me. (Adanma continues humming.)

(There is a soft knock on the door.)

ADANMA: Who could be knocking on my door this morning? It’s too early.

(A Knock on door again; and she shuffles to open the door…Ikenna walks in)

ADANMA: Ikenna, good morning. How was your night?

IKENNA: It was fine.

ADANMA: What brings you to my house so early? I hope all is well.

IKENNA: All is well.

ADANMA: Please come in and sit down. (Calling out to unknown person) Who is there? Please bring some water for your uncle.

IKENNA: Adanma, I can see you are looking good.

ADANMA: Is that so? I thank God.

(Glass clicks on stool; Ikenna pours himself a glass of water; drinks it and drops the glass back on stool with audible sound.)

ADANMA: How is your wife? I hope she is better now.

IKENNA: I didn’t come to discuss about my family. I came to talk about my late brother, your husband.

ADANMA: And what about him?

IKENNA: You know that since my brother died, I haven’t come to see you and your children in this house.

ADANMA: Yes. And what does that have to do with my husband.

IKENNA: I have come to demand that you vacate this house as you are not from this village. You don’t belong here. My late brother just went and married you to bear children for him. Now that he is no more, you can leave.

ADANMA: What do you mean?

IKENNA: Yes, you can leave. You have served your purpose and have overstayed your welcome.

ADANMA: How can you tell me to leave my late husband’s house? Who will then own it?

IKENNA: I will, of course. As the next in line after your husband, after his death, I automatically own everything he had.

ADANMA: Says who?

IKENNA: Says tradition. Even his own portion of the land our father left behind for us will now be mine.

ADANMA: No! You can’t do this. I will not leave this house and you will not have my husband’s land. Infact, you will not have anything he left behind. I am his wife so whatever he left behind belongs to me and the children.

IKENNA: (sarcastically mimicking Adanma) I am his wife and whatever he left behind belongs to me and the children. Do you know that if you refuse, I will report you to the village head? Then, not only will you relinquish all he has in this village to me, but you will be fined heavily. Plus, you will be disgraced.

ADANMA: Village head?

IKENNA: (snickers degradingly) Just look at your face, like that of a chick who has just lost its mother.

ADANMA: (lamenting) Silas, my husband, why did you leave me to suffer like this in the hands of these evil people. Since your death, I have not known peace. This people want to kill me. They won’t stop until I’m dead. Why? (Addressing Ikenna) You are wicked. You can report me to your so-called useless village head, but I won’t concede any of my husband’s possessions to you or anybody. It is over my dead body that you will take over my husband’s house. You hear me? You gold-digger! So after all my late husband did for you and your family, you can be this heartless to me? Remember when your son was to enter secondary school and you didn’t have the money to enrol him; you came running to my husband like a mad man. He helped you out and I even persuaded him to give you more than you asked for. I—

IKENNA: (cuts in loudly) Woman, will you shut up!

ADANMA: I won’t shut up. Or is it when your last child was sick and at the point of death? Who did you come running to? (Answers own question) Silas. My late husband and I have been very good to you; and yet you have the guts to come and ask me to leave my husband’s house. It is a pity. (Starts crying)

IKENNA: (quietly) Adanma, look, there may be something in it for you. If you don’t want to leave the village, you can live with me.

ADANMA: What?! Abomination! Impossible!

IKENNA: No, it is not an abomination. Instead, refusing to follow tradition is the abomination. Do you know what will happen to you if you refuse to leave your husband’s house? You will only suffer more pain and shame.

ADANMA: I will not leave this house for you and I will not live with you. Period.

IKENNA: Then I will be going. But when next I come, it may not be very pleasant.

ADANMA: Just go. Leave my house. Leave me alone.

IKENNA: I will go but I will be back.

ADANMA: (saying to herself) Why? Why me, oh why? (Starts sobbing)

…………………………………………………………………………………………..

Scene VII

(Church bell tolls, indicating a church environment; tolling continues)

ADANMA: (saying sorrowfully) So this is life? What is life even? Today you are happy and tomorrow you wish you hadn’t been born. Few weeks ago, I was happily married with plenty of joy, but now I am a widow. A forsaken widow. A widow beaten and abused by no one else but my husband’s own people: my people. How would I have ever imagined that such a time as this would come in my life? Because my husband is no more, these evil people have chosen to deal with me. What did I do wrong? Nothing, absolutely nothing. I didn’t steal anybody’s property. I didn’t insult anybody. I didn’t kill anybody. But yet they treat me with the devil’s heart. I am a widow, but is that my fault? They have dealt with me worse than they would do to a criminal. Just because I am a widow. Is it now a crime to be a widow? Eh, God! God, why! Why is this happening to me? I don’t deserve this; it is not fair. And they call it tradition. Tradition! What kind of tradition deprives its women of peace? What sort of tradition is that? These people and their tradition are inhuman. For how many months, God? I have slept on the ground even when I have a bed. All my hair has been shaved. I have been abused and manhandled. I have been deprived of food. I still stink from that awful thing they rubbed on my body. I even drank the…water…water…God!…water used to wash my husband’s corpse. Aargh! I have suffered. God, what is this? God you must judge this people: Chinyere and her women and all who supported them. God…judge them, judge all of them for me. They are wicked. Even Ikenna. He said I should come and live with him. Can you imagine? Me, to live with my husband’s brother. As a house-help or what? Aargh! God, even him too, judge him. So because I am a widow, I no longer have rights, eh? Am I no longer a human being? Widowhood is a curse. A curse, God. (A short pause, then in a more stable voice.) God, you have to help me. Save me from these devils. I have no one to run to. If I should leave here, where will I go to? My mother is ageing and cannot do much for me. Going with my children to stay with my relatives will be too much of a burden on them. But why should I leave anyway? I have a house here, and a business I’m doing. Why should I go anywhere? No, I will remain here and stand against all those devils. (Breaks down again) But see what they have turned me into: a black widow. Oh! no. I need your help, God. I need your help.

To be continued

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No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise without the written permission of the publishers.

Lyriversity — Liberty of Creativity

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Comments
  1. Anene Francis says:

    Agony of a widow aggravated by inhuman traditions. Sad… Very popular happenings we here and see. This play shows a mental picture of the widow for us to better understand the degree of suffering such go through. Thank God such traditions fueled by selfishness are now being increasingly dropped in areas where they are practised in Nigeria.
    Suggestion: An indication of where Ikenna mimiking Adanma stops, will help, to avoid confusion. E.g ‘(then continuing)’ or something like that.
    Nice work mr Tim… still subscribing

    • timnwaobilo says:

      Thanks Francis. The average African Widow has suffered immensely following the deaths of their parents. It is consoling however that this is gradually being faced out. Widows are no less humans.

      Thanks for your suggestion.

  2. Quite a touchy end. Adanma (though Imaginary) reflects the true image of an Africa widow in general, and an Ibo widow in particular.

    It’s only a shame that in this part of the world, widows are being subjected to all manner of inhuman molestations by her hubby’s kinsmen, under the guise of tradition. A tradition, often misquoted to oppress the helpless. A tradition that is been used to “christainize” evil. A tradition so blended and bended to serve the whims and caprices of men, whilst relegating the rights and privilleges of women to the gutters of gender inequality.

    Tims my man, have you observed keenly the paradise widowers in Africa enjoy during and after the wife’s funerals? They don’t pass through the hell their women contemporaries were being subjected to.

    Oh! God, help the hapless African women.

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