The Trope of Death in Ahmed Yerima’s Mojagbe
Solomon Olusayo Olaniyan and Ayo Kehinde
Abstract: Contemporary African nations are plagued with hegemonic, despotic, and unchallengeable leadership which is a major bane of meaningful development and growth to the black race in general. People often groan under such myopic leadership. In solving leadership crisis, which is like a deadly disease, Ahmed Yerima in his play metaphorically suggests death as a lasting panacea. Employing the postcolonial concept of hegemony as the theoretical framework, the study investigates the trope of death in Yerima’s Mojagbe with a view to exploring the representations of the deathly reign of Oba (King) Mojagbe and a foreshadowing of the “death” of such dictatorial leadership as Mojagbe’s in contemporary postcolonial nations. In order to liberate people from the hegemony of the absolute anarchical monarch, Death is consulted to put an end to the kingship of Oba Mojagbe. The collective effort of the Yeye who represent the judiciary paves way for the termination of Mojagbe’s autocratic reign. Expounding the trope of death in Mojagbe, Yerima deploys proverbs, incantations/chants, code-mixing, and code-switching. The study therefore establishes Yerima’s commitment to his polity by depicting one major problem bedeviling the milieu – leadership crisis.
Keywords: Mojagbe, Ahmed Yerima, Representations of Death, Post-independence Nigerian Leadership, Hegemony
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Published in September 2020