Friday, March 18, 2016

The Plot of The Blood of a Stranger

The play, The Blood of a Stranger, discusses the trickery of the white men on the intelligence of the African people. Maligu the king’s adviser has just received a letter from his brother in the city about the coming of a Whiteman to Mandoland. Seeing a great opportunity in this visit, Maligu goes to Soko, the village priest, whom he tries to convince about the possibility of making money from the Whiteman’s visit. However, when the news reaches Santigi Mando V and his impetuous son, Kindo, it is met with suspicion because the land had in the past been forewarned of an impending danger if a stranger is accepted in the land. To Maligu and Soko, this will not help their plan. Therefore, Soko, being the priest, would have to cook up lies around the Whiteman’s coming to make the idea acceptable to the king. To this effect, Soko then divines that the oracle has indeed prophesied the coming of the stranger and that he must be warmly welcomed. To make it sound more convincing, he further states that the oracle has also offered that the blood of a virgin girl be spilled for sacrifice to ward off any evil as a result of the Whiteman’s visit.

Even though the king buys into the idea, Kindo remains unconvinced and suspicious of both Maligu and Soko. When the Whiteman, Whitehead, arrives, Kindo being the warrior and prince, orders that Whitehead and his Assistant, Parker, be duly punished for flagrantly disobeying the custom and tradition of the people – for not paying homage to the king at their arrival.

Later on in the play, Whitehead attempts a sexual abuse of Wara, Kindo’s fiancée, with the aid of Maligu and Parker. Afterwards, the inhabitants of Mandoland, men and women alike soon begin to behave in awkward and morally corrupt manners with the women lusting after men and the men becoming irredeemably irresponsible. No thanks to Whitehead’s gin and tobacco pipe – an instrument deplored by Whitehead on the people in order to strip them of their dignity and integrity. Surprisingly, even Santigi Mando V the king of Mandoland is not exempted from this great humiliation as he too ‘tests’ the tobacco pipe.

As the play progresses, Whitehead finally confides in Maligu about his true mission in Mandoland – he is in the land to steal the newly discovered diamonds. However, Whitehead does not seem to trust Soko and suggests that if worse comes to worse, he would be executed alongside Parker.   
Finally, the truth becomes bare. Wara who is supposed to be sacrificed escapes. Kindo is banished from the land for killing Parker – a development about which Maligu and Whitehead are very happy. Worried so passionately about the gullibility of the king and the plight of Whitehead, Kindo kills Whitehead and warns that Maligu too will meet his own waterloo soon.