Son of the Tortoise, ACT III

ACT III, SCENE I Ogazi is walking alone, bearing a small special pot securely in her hands. OHAKA who has been walking behind her quickly interjects her. OHAKA: There will be more special pots coming


Ogazi is walking alone, bearing a small special pot securely in her hands. OHAKA who has been walking behind her quickly interjects her.

OHAKA: There will be more special pots coming from me to keep that your body ready for our marriage.

OGAZI: Ohaka, I have something to do.

OHAKA: You cannot hinder your own luck from the gods. Marrying me is what all your friends and mates desire even every maiden I have ever come across speak of my leopard footsteps.

OGAZI: Well, go and stay busy killing more leopards.

OHAKA: You know I am much more than that!

OGAZI: I do not see you.

OHAKA: (Trying to pat her shoulder, She moves away.) Your stubborness is nothing close to what a rabbit can do.

OGAZI: (Swelling angrily, she sets the pot on the ground) I will rather dance in the shrine for the rest of my life than marry you. (She spits into her open palm and slaps the ground. Ohaka gapes in shock while she walks away.)




Akarah village has OKORGBULE and his friend AGWOR chanting a coming victory the following nights.

AGWOR: Are your wives happy with it?

OKORGBULE: Hah! Are you asking? I married the best women in Akarah.

AGWOR: May their wrappers never loose in the village square.

OKORGBULE: May their wrappers never loose in the village square.

TOGETHER: Oweeeeh!

(Mankor walks in with calabashes of food, greeting again and smiling. She disappears when she had settled the whole meal on a wide wood in between the two friends.)

AGWOR: They have no other choice but to be happy in this your compound, meat is plenty.

They laugh voraciously.

OKORGBULE: Agwor my freind!

AGWOR: That is me till our ancestors sees us. So which of your wives is coming to carry the tubers of yam tomorrow?

OKORGBULE: Mankor! She has more strength these days. Looks like Obim is pregnant.

AGWOR: Are you telling me that you know or you do not know.

OKORGBULE; Till today, tortoise has not told the other animals about all he ate in grandmother’s hut during the famine. Haah!

They laugh heartily again.




Across the rivers separating lands, Nvamini gather to discuss their journey to Afia.

KING DOGO: Nvamini irieeee!

PEOPLE: Eh hei!

KING DOGO: Words will climb on themeselves today. My people, I have ears but you have more ears. I have called a few of you to come and not only discuss the cooked fish before us but also to hear what Kalama has said.

(Every eye move to KALAMA standing behind one of the sitting elders. His face shows resilience.)

POWU: (Clears his throat) Kalama, the old boy! The biggest fish of Nvamini, when the rivers are roaring, we call you. Please what are you saying to your people? Are we going to Afia now or when?

KALAMA: My king, I greet you.

(King Dogo raises his large rafia fan towards him)

KALAMA: My elders and my people I greet you all.

PEOPLE: Eh hei!

KALAMA: We must go to Afia, yes we will but that is after the land beside the boundary between we and Rekwe becomes my own.

(The people grumple and whisper at the same time, LAWAL, the king’s son takes a bold rise.)

LAWAL: Or what will happen? Spite a king in his hut and you might be forgiven but spite him in front of his people, then you have cooked yourself  a challenge.

KALAMA: If you have swam many rivers, then break the broom of challenge.

LAWAL: Look around, all there is to see are men that will be more than…

KALAMA: More than what, more than who? Who amongst you will not like to have that dried land in this village of pythons and water.

(Lawal jumps towards Kalama and they begin to struggle, the people begin to cheer)

KALAMA: The spirit of the rivers take my body, let the slippery fishes clothe me, clothe me.

LAWAL: You are a liar and a loser! You are not inside any water, you will crash the earth today.

Lawal easily threw him on the wet earth in front of the meeting hut, the people take their share of wild laughs, some begin to compose songs.




OLUMBA has arrived to answer ARCHI’S call. They sit in the large hut of gathering well positioned in his compound as the oldest man of the village.

OLUMBA: Nnam, I greet you again.

ARCHI: You are welcome my son.

OLUMBA: I hope your people are healthy.

ARCHI: Well, we have seen the day and we will still another day.

OLUMBA: Oweeeh!

ARCHI: And your own household, how many sons have Ngoh given you now? Five or seven?

OLUMBA: (Laughs uncontrollably) The Ngoh I married just yesterday or another one? Hah! Nnam, your words are interesting. The gods have given us a son and they will bless us with more.

ARCHI: Eziokwu! That is our prayer. (Clears his throat) So why did I call you? I called you like a father calls his own son or as many people will put it, I called you the call of greatness. I know you must have heard the word from King Ishi.


ARCHI: And I am sure you know the amount of oil in osuku palm fruits.

OLUMBA: Yes, osuku bleeds more oil than any other palm fruits.

ARCHI: Owei! You know the words, your father did not fail. So, my son, what are yous plans? You have shown the power in you to your people and the gods are with you, shall you go ahead and present yourself to Afia?

(Olumba looks at the ground for a while.)

OLUMBA: Nnam, it is like Eni, the elephant will not pass the market road today.

They both laugh shortly.

OLUMBA: I can not carry that basket Nnam, I can not. I am peacefully living with Ngoh in my homestead, another wife can come whenever the gods want it but now, another man can journey to Afia for us.

ARCHI: Have they killed a leopard like you did?

OLUMBA: Hmmmm.




On the tenth leap while climbing a palm tree without a fibre rope, Ejike absent-mindedly rests the full weight of one leg on a rottening chopped branch, he crashes to the ground like a wounded eagle. His wail and groan fill the lonely farm. His mind queitly begins to settle on what decays his strength.

EJIKE: (To himself) I don’t know if it is to move back or not. What is this weakness in my head. Hah! Ogwueru, just why is this man full of evil, see the trouble he has caused me now. If I break my waist, what legs will I use to go and marry Ogazi?………… What did my mouth say or do I hear strange voices? Ogazi, marry Ogazi, Ogazi, marry Ogazi. Eeeerhm, what has Ogwueru given me to eat, the thought of this princess marriage is really breaking my bones………I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know……..Ogwueru to marry Ogazi, no! The gods must not let it happen………….. I do not just want her in his compound. Hah! What must I do?…………….. I don’t know! Think like a man, be wise like the tortoise, what will alivor, the tortoise do if he was the one. Chei! ……what will tortoise do? What will I do?………………………………aaargh! my back.

A black farm ant had dugged its fangs into him, Ejike gets hold of his matchet and begins to head home.


Son of the Tortoise, ACT IV

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