GUERRILLA POST by OBARI GOMBA
‘My grandmother always prayed let a storm not visit a hut, else broomsticks will fly in the wind and blind the sun itself.’
I finished reading this drama during my flight to Abuja from Yola for the Nigerian Law School 1st term Christmas Break last month. It was a humorous but thought-provoking play.
***Description/ Spoiler Alert
It follows the story of three friends who are poets and run a poetry blog, Guerrilla Post. Kafka, Best and Pake decide to host a poetry reading for Kafka’s newly released erotic poems collection. The reading goes askew when two men in the audience disrupt it. Kafka is arrested later that night and charged with treason my Supon Maden. While his fiance and friends enlist the help of Prof Mante and Rosa to speak with Supon Maden. The story unfolds to show there is more to the false arrest. It would seem Supon Maden believes the erotic poem’s manuscript was evidence of an affair with his wife Rosa. Everything quickly escalates as the blog is hacked to plant treasonable posts, guns are acquired and the drama ends bloody.
The consistent plot twists and reveals were exciting. Bold characters who critiqued the Nigerian political reality and were persecuted for it. I really like Prof Mante, Best, Kafka the main character. The book had strong female characters who were intelligent, walked away from domestic violence, worked and actively influenced the plot( both positively and unknowingly negatively). Pake was one of my favourite characters.
The bits of poetry were enjoyable. Each Scene began with a quote from one of the characters words. I didn’t like that rape was a feature which added no plot value nor admonished the perpetrators in the drama. This makes me remember (not in her exact words) what Lara Kareem said about Nigerian male writers and how they add rape to their books for the sensational power play and not for social justice even helpful lessons.
The themes of sex and power, police brutality, creative writing, political persecution, institutionalised corruption, domestic abuse, sexual violence, drug abuse, the effect of war on terrorism, cybersafety, problems creatives and writers face–made it a bold, honest, thought-provoking read. I didn’t like the abrupt end. It felt like an action film’s last scene without the ambulance door victory chat. But I feel this was also a metaphor for how the villain and hero’s crossed paths end. I’ll give it 3.5 fireworks and highly recommend it.
I talk about it in my Bookie Life Update video on my booktube channel.
Obari Gomba(PhD) is an award-winning poet and writer. This play is 98 pages and has been premiered at The Crab, an iconic theatre of the University of Port-Harcourt on 13th December 2017. Its published in Nigeria 2018 by Narrative Landscape Press.