Thursday, 3 July 2014

Alapata Apata by Wole Soyinka

Alapata Apata, Wole Soyinka’s most recent play since King Baabu, published in 2011 is another strong political satire on the contemporary Nigerian situation. The theme of the play which centers on the corruption of power – a vice not only pertaining to Nigeria, but is a universal phenomenon, demonstrates the case of official misuse of resources for personal enrichment.

Alaba, the lead character is a semi-illiterate, exceptionally skilled butcher who, wishing to retire in peace is suddenly and unceremoniously saddled with the huge task of protecting the rights of the underclass. Much of the conflict in the play revolves around the rock beside Alaba’s abode on which he has chosen to spend most of his time. The rock representing the abundance of resources is a metaphor for resource control in Nigeria by the ruling elite. The play also highlights issues like political ‘godfatherism’, ‘militocracy’, sycophancy, and cultural alienation gnawing at the fabric of our existence.