PEOPLE IN THE MUSICAL DRAMA
1ST, 2ND, 3RD ELDERS
SINGERS AND DANCERS
AT THE FORE-COURT OF THE PALACE. A NEW KING HAS BEEN ENSTOOLED WITH PUMP AND PAGEANTRY. VARIOUS SONGS AND DANCES HERALD THE ATMOSPHERE. THE CHOIR/QUARTET/DUET ETC SING THE METHODIST HYMN NUMBERED, TWO (2) LED BY THE MASTER ACCORDIONIST.
1. All people that on earth do dwell
Sing to the Lord with cheerful voice
Him serve with mirth, His praise forth tell
Come ye before him and rejoice
2. The Lord ye know is God indeed;
Without our aid, he did us make
We are his folk, he doth us feed
And for his sheep doth us take
3. For why? The Lord our God is good;
His mercy is forever sure;
His truth at all time firmly stood
And shall from age to age endure…
THE SONG THEN MOVES INTO DISTANCE AND TWO WOMEN APPEAR ON STAGE CARRYING POT TO THE STREAM TO FETCH WATER.
The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice…The Lord has answered our prayer, a new king he has given us…
My sister, thou sayest, but I have my own reservations, though, you know…
Like I have mine too… anyway, what are your reservations about this our new king?.
He is too young; don’t you think so? So immature, no, undeveloped to rule. Kingship in our society should be for the aged and the wise, not toddlers. (THEY LAUGH)
But…it does not always follow that way. Sometimes young people who become kings and rulers perform creditably well to the astonishment of all and sundry.
But not this king! From the look of things, he is very naïve. He does not have the quality which will anchor him to stand solidly before an errant group. I wonder how he is going to stand before a large crowd and say…(ANACTS IT) My people…my people…with his feeble voice. (CHUCKLES)
My sister. It is too early to pronounce judgment on the new king. Let us give him some time to prove his worth or otherwise…
When? I ask. You don’t have to forget that we need major developments in this town. We should have well trained and experience leaders. I swear, the new king doesn’t have the capacity to deliver the goods. He is too young. Empty headed…
Hei, my friend be very careful with the way you talk about our king. He is our King whether we like it or not. Let me tell you. God has never committed any error for creating a royal family… Days are gone when one has to grow cemetery flowers on his head, before they get leadership positions in our society. And, the cheek of it. We call them ELDERS. The Modern people, instead of deep thoughts, we have also accepted the slogan; elders of the church, elders of so so and so political party, elders of the school…the M.B.A syndrome…
What is M.B.A?
Me Baaha Akye (THEY LAUGH)
They say brains lie in the elders head and it must stay like that…
You are lost. There are so many brainless elders in our communities and they must be chased out as Bob Marley said “Chase those crazy bald heads out of town” (SINGS AND LEAVES)
(TO THE AUDIENCE) Dear Ladies and Gentlemen, tell me. Is it an abomination to assess and scrutinize a new person who has been asked to lead you? We shall crucible them before we accept them with both hands. Our kingship is not for small…small boys… (LEAVES SHARPLY)
AT THE KING’S CHAMBER, HE IS SLEEPING AND ANGELS SINGING THE METHODIST HYMN NUMBERED 215. AFTER A BRIEF PERIOD, THE KING’S DREAM REVEALS HIS SPIRIT LEAVING HIM SLOWLY. HIS IMAGE STANDS BEFORE THE ALMIGHTY GOD WHO IS SEATED ON HIS THRONE WHILST ANGELS ARE HOVERING ABOUT HIM.
The strife is over the battle is done
Now the victor’s triumph won
Now be the song of praise begun
My son, what brings you here at this hour when my command has laid all living souls to rest and awake at my command through the male fowl?
Lord God, thou hast showed unto thy servant, David my father great mercy.
His royal mercies endure forever. Holy is his name…
Onim nea eye ma me, Onim nea eye ma wo…Domfo Nyame Onim nea eye, Onim nea eye e ma wo.
According, as he walked before you in truth and in righteousness…
He is the great provider, the giver of life…
You have kept for him great kindness and I am his son you have asked to sit on his throne. You have made me King. There are a thousand and one great men in this town. But instead, you have made me the King.
He is the Alpha and Omega. (Ahyease ne awie). None understands His ways.
I am but a little child. I know not how to go out and come in…
He will lead you…
You have given me a great people that cannot be numbered nor can be counted in multitude. My Lord, please give therefore your servant who is standing before you, an understanding heart to judge your people that, I may discern between good and bad, that, I will be able to judge this so great people.
(CLEARING HIS THROAT; ANGELS SING METHODIST HYMN NUMBERED 760)
1. Master speak Thy servant heareth
Waiting for Thy gracious word.
Longing for thy voice that cheereth
Master let it now be heard
I am listening, Lord for thee
What hast Thou to say to me?
2. Master speak and make me ready
When Thy voice is truly heard
With obedience glad and steady
Still to follow every word
I am listening, Lord to thee
Master speak! O! speak to me!
My son. Because you have not asked for yourself long life, riches, life of your enemies but asked for yourself understanding to discern judgment, I have given you a wise and understanding heart so that there wouldn’t be anyone like you.
He is the great Provider.
I have also given you that which you did not ask for. Both riches and honour and if you walk on my ways as your father did, to keep my statute and my commandments, I will lengthen your days on earth.
He has said it and it shall come to pass
Thank you my Lord and.
You may go my son.
ETHEREAL SOUND. GOD AND THE ANGELS DISAPPEAR. THE SPIRIT OF THE NEW KING GOES BACK TO THE SLEEPING IMAGE. DANCE CHOREOGRAPHY IS PERFORMED VERY BRIEFLY…
LIGHTS FADE OFF
AT THE MATERNITY WARD. SEVERAL VOICES ARE HEARD. BACKSTAGE
I shall never allow you to take my child from my hands. You can never have my baby…
Careless woman…you should hand over my baby to me. Yours is dead…
Hei! You ladies!. Have I not asked you to keep quiet? You are disturbing other patients in this maternity home. Now, get out! Out with your troubles…I say out!
TWO WOMEN EMERGE FROM THE BLOCK WITH THE INSCRIPTION “EASY LABOUR WARD” EACH HOLDING A WRAPPED BABY FOLLOWED BY THE MIDWIFE. AT THE SAME TIME, THE TWO GOSSIPS HAVE BEEN LURKING ABOUT TRYING TO KNOW WHAT HAS BEEN GOING ON.
Madam Midwife, what is happening in your block that people are shouting on top of their voices like that?
And you? What are you doing here at this time of the night?
Erm… we are here to find out what has been causing the noise in your block. You see, we are very concerned about this town so we don’t sleep
Truly. We provide security both physical and spiritual in this township…
Thank you security women. But this is not one of your jobs
Don’t say that. It is our job! If it is not our job, then whose job is it? Please, let us know for we deserve to know…
We are going to the New King…Yes he must hear this…
At this time of dawn? It is too early, the New King will not be up by now…
Let them go! After all a king should not be sleeping at this time of the morning.
I have told them to exercise some patience but they don’t seem to listen to me.
I say, let them go. We shall follow them. Ei…Ei…Ei what could be the matter? They are very angry. My sister, why don’t you join me to go and call the elders of the land, especially those who protested the kingship of the New king to come and be witnesses? The New King should be able to settle the matter between them. If he cannot do that, we shall all see the mistake we have made.
THEY LEAVE TALKING AND SHOUTING.
LIGHT FADES AND ZOOM ONTO THE NEW KING’S CHAMBER. HE IS PRAYING AND THE METHODIST HYMN NUMBERED 99 IS HEARD.
1. How sweet the name of Jesus sounds
In a believer’s ears
It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds
And drives away his fears
2. Dear Name! the rock on which I build
My shield and hiding place
My never failing treasury filled
With boundless stores of grace
3. Jesus my shepherd, brother friend
My prophet priest and King
My love, my life, my way, my end
Accept the praise I bring
THE WOMEN FOLLOWED BY THREE ELDERS AND THE OTHER WOMEN REACH THE KING’S PALACE. THE ELDERS QUARRELL AMONGST THEMSELVES
Agoo…agoo…is the King not in? Agoo…
Please, enter and sit down, the king will be with you in no time. (THEY SIT)
Here his Majesty comes. Old and young should rise
His Kingship is by divine, and will never end
He steps in the way of the Lord
Please, rise and welcome him.
THEY RISE AND THE NEW KING ENTERS. HE LOOKS AROUND AND SITS.
My dear elders and my people. What is the matter? I hear you have been fighting one another. Any problem?
King! The issue at stake beats our imagination. As elders of this court, we have treated many difficult cases but this one is really unsolvable. We have tossed the sides of the coin but cannot find the right answer. In fact, I will run out of words when, I personally decide to narrate the story. These are the women. Please, let us allow them to speak for themselves.
Well women…open your mouths.
OH! King, I shall not be able to say anything. The Midwife can tell the story better…
Well, Midwife. Can you open your mouth and tell this gathering what has been the problem?
Oh King! These women came to my maternity home both pregnant. When asked about their husbands they told me they are women about town and that no man was manning their affairs. By God’s guidance and mercy, they both gave birth almost the same time. Both babies were males and look very alike as if from the same father. I kept the children and their mothers in the home at separate rooms. Yesterday, one of these women unconsciously slept on her child, killing him instantly. Oh King! The big question here is “Whose baby is alive and whose baby is dead?”
Oh! My Lord… allow me to say that, this woman has stolen my child to replace her dead child. She is a well known baby thief…
My Lord, she is rather the thief. This live baby is mine.
My wise elders. Any comments? Any suggestions?
My Lord, we have deliberated on it for a very long time without any tangible solution. It is really above our intelligence. Indeed, we cannot make head or tail of the case. That is why you are our king. We cannot untie the knot, but you will have to do something about it.
Where are the babies? (THEY BRING THE BABY’S COT THAT CONTAINS THE TWO BABIES) Call me the executioner… (The executioner enters with a dance) Now, get me my sword. (The Executioner gives the sword to the new king). My elders, people and women herein gathered. It is very difficult to decide as to who among these women owns the live baby. We cannot answer, but Almighty God can;
Obetum aye, Obetum aye, Obetum aye ama meoo Obetum aye…w’aye ama mawie, w’aye ama mawie, W’aye ama mawie Nyame, W’aye ama mawie.
Executioner, take the children away. Struck your sharp sword into their feeble bodies and divide them into two parts. Give each of these women half of both the dead and the living child to settle the matter. That is my judgement.
Oh! Knowledgeable King. King of astuteness. Your mouth is full of wisdom. This decision is the best. You are second to none, King!
But King, that is murder…
Old man. Shut up! and let the wise king carry on with his judgement…
(AS THE EXECUTIONER CARRIES THE BABIES AWAY, SHE RUSHES TO THE KING. AS SHE GOES TO THE KING, PEOPLE PREVENT HER BUT SHE PURSUES) Oh1 King, please, do not kill the living baby in addition to the dead one. Please, hand over the baby to the other woman… let her take the baby. At least, that child should live. I cannot look on when an innocent child dies due to our carelessness.
I said it… I said it. I am vindicated…People of our land…did I not tell you. She has always been a baby thief. The living child is mine. Chief executioner. Let me have my baby now…(THE EXECUTIONER HANDS OVER THE LIVE BABY TO THE 1ST WOMAN)
(TO THE FIRST WOMAN) Madam, let me have that living baby.
Oh! Great King, look at the baby and look at my face. He is my blood. My own blood. (GIVES THE BABY TO THE KING)
This child is not the child of this 1stmother. He is rather the son of the other mother. The 1st mother is a great liar. She is a wicked woman. Take her away and punish her. The second mother has a strong feeling for her son a mother’s song.
Thank you great King. May God richly bless you and your judgments. Thank you.
I told you. Try and take time to make judgment. The New King is very wise…
Dedicated to Kofi Sarfo Kantanka Appiah-Adjei