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Opinions of Monday, 18 November 2013

Columnist: Appiah-Adjei, Daniel

“Death on trial” @ legon

Life has summoned Death before Oboadee, the Maker of all things complaining about his (Death’s) brutalities and unforgiving spirit. Is this not awesome and wonderful? The time for the “Trial” has come.
In this play, Daniel Appiah-Adjei, the playwright dramatizes the Myth of the people of Bodomase, a village near Kumawu in the Ashanti region where it is alleged that, a man called Dwenti fought, defeated and captured Death’s Mortal Box (Owuo Apakan). This led to non-incidence of deaths and births for Three (3) years in the vicinity, until he (Dwenti) was forced to send back the box to its owner, Death. Is death a curse or blessing to mankind?
LIFE
Oboadee, it is on record that you created me first before all others. I live with man the very day and time he touches the earth and wails his infant scream. It is through my guidance that makes him see, talk, laugh and weep. I live with people quite long before my brother; Death lays his icy hands on them. It is the natural law so I don’t complain. But these days, my brother has secured a bad name for himself. On the farm paths, they talk about him, at the river-side, they are talking about him. In the church they preach about him, at all gatherings, it is him they are talking about. I am seriously concerned about it. But Oboadee, it seems he deserves the accusations. He overlaps too much. He exercises his brutal killings anyhow; he kills people at all ages, adults and children without a tinge of mercy. I am worried, that is why I have summoned him before your throne so that your Supreme Highness commands him to a halt.
But does Death agree with Life in this instance? Can Death really defend himself? Why do characters in the play, such as; Accident, Filth, and Infectious disease, point accusing fingers at Man, as the one who kills himself. Does man contribute to his untimely death? Death on Trial provides the challenge.
This is a Ghanaian play on another level of appreciation by a playwright of the new generation in Ghana. It adds up to a number of other plays he has written, which have always challenged and left the audiences to wonder, finding answers to topical and relevant issues affecting humankind.
Not quite long ago, one of his plays, The Tears of Lucifer caught the attention of the University community. In the play, the son of Lucifer, Kenta repents from his “wicked” behavior and joins the Christians in the Great Interest Church, only to be whipped and dragged out of the church because of his visible horns, which classify him as the son of Lucifer. Does man always see outwardly? Hmm
In March, 2011, he came up with another sensational play entitled, Atobra, which pricked the conscience of those who are always borrowing, especially, developing countries from developed countries and the sanctions and conditions attached to the loans... Ato in Akan means to buy and Obra means, Life. Atobra, (having bought life). Presently, he is working on three other plays, including; The Royal Revenge, on chieftaincy disputes, The Final Touch, on evil effects of war, and The Fools in Paradise, a comedy which deals with serious domestic issues.
From Thursday, 21st to Saturday, 23rd November, 2013, Daniel Appiah-Adjei’s, Death on Trial comes on live at the Efua Sutherland Drama Studio, University of Ghana, Legon, at 7.00 pm. each night. A host of wonderful Cast and Crew have been lined up for the show. Let us troop to the drama Studio to see how death defends himself…and also, taste what the playwright calls … Theatre of Symbols
By His Grace, I shall be back.