Act Two Scene 1
The Last Pre-Election Sitting that Selected Barrow
SOOTHSAYER: Tonight, we mutilate reason and reinvent ignorance. Brazenly, we charge at commonsense with daggers of tribe and serenade missteps with pomp and timbrel. To poor choices we sing madrigals and to genuine prosperity requiems. For our sensuous ballads aren’t sung to the deserving while we begrudge them their merit. To cronyism we fiddle, with abandon, and to fairness we bid a diabolical adieu. From superstition we draft our constitution and from poisonous occult, our ideology. And like Jammeh, we look the other way whenever equity calls.
MAI FATTY: Soothsayer, blissfully open the ceremony, O druid! Like a jamboree, perfume the air with sweet verbals. Lest we forget, charge to our accounts of superfluity whatever brings forth unravished damsels. Irrigate from our responsibility that which swiftly affords glitter–of high abodes, of sweet maidens of chastity, of linen of purple and ill-gotten drachma. (He throws gold coins and foreign bank notes to Soothsayer amidst boisterous cheer)
SOOTHSAYER: That’s what I do, Noble Mai!
MAI FATTY: Then do it!
SOOTHSAYER: Welcome to the infection of good with evil, O children of Gambia. Welcome to the confluence of chance and greed at the valley of ineptitude. Welcome to the triumph of inefficacy over fair selection! Welcome to the remanufacture of truth of convenience at the expense of the wise, the just, and the God-conscious! And rise, O thou that issued from reckless choice of Fatoumata Tambajang!
FATOUMATA TAMABAJANG: (Grandiosely delighted) Veritable soothsayer! Thy tongue speaketh to sensuous ears and leaves them too sucrosed. And all hail him that bears his name, our choice of measure! His isn’t of elaborate academics, but tribal measurement. His isn’t of a whit of resolute poise or potential, but the command of lunatic preponderance–numbers that only understand ethnic messaging.
(Enter Halifa Sallah. He dons a dull khaftan and simple shoes–his hair glistens with the grey of wisdom. He’s offered a high chair, next to Tambajang. But he politely settles on a wooden stool, next to a freelance reporter)
SOOTHSAYER: (Aside) Here comes the sage and seer. He that bears seeds of Gambia’s prosperous harvest. In his mind resides what can genuinely change Africa and Gambia. Alack! To sound his trumpet too much at this gathering is a financial suicide–one to take away the keys to a new car, bricks and glamor. Alack! Bribed minds see not! For I’m, tonight, too intoxicated with greed as to respond to reason.
BARROW: All hail Halifa!
FATOUMATA TAMBAJANG: All hail him! But to a lesser extent.
MAI FATTY: (Soliloquy) Of all men ever created, I envy him most. If the clouds could agree with the skies, a most covetous inscription in the heavens shall be his fall from the grace he commands. I shall be the Brutus to invent devises for that fall.
FATOUMATA TAMBAJANG: (With a smirk) Halifa! I convey to thee news that seizes hearts to inject melancholy–news that disappoints poise and arrests aspiration. For Great Adama Barrow is flag-bearer in thy stead!
MAI FATTY: Let melancholy spread then! Let grief embrace its accretion! Let silence rape powerless consent! Soothsayer? Can I hear a poem? Treat our senses to subtle expression, I pray.
SOOTHSAYER: A modern virgin is sworn to loathe rape
Sadly retrieved from a philanderer’s tape
A damsel, with that beauty too uncanny
Woefully pleads with a crowd too many
O crowd, she beseeches with hands up,
Please, show not this video on whatsapp
O crowd! Heartless crowd! Malign me not
At home till I haplessly rest my head to rot
MAI FATTY: Now that kills his intellect and buries its significance. We sit to cherish what blatantly invades our vision this hour. A virgin really loathes its rapist.
HALIFA: (Clears his throat) Let Microsoft invent for me to write Africa’s problems with my tears. Let Google design me a platform of hygienic phraseology and sanitary lexicon to address minds of Gambia’s rise. To he who seeks refuge in metaphors tonight, let him come out. Like a gaboon viper and its venom, his charges are brisk. But like a whore, his nighty prices conflict his days’. He may commission a soothsayer to his carpals, and the rest of the coalition to his emesis. I’m neither a gaboon viper, nor a nightly or daylight whore. I’m a humble Halifa with Gambia at heart. My conscience feeds from the country’s unity, my smile from its prosperity. If it’s Barrow that shall oar us to that shore of unity, I shall be the first to rally behind him. O coalition! Be different from Jammeh and his ways. If his strengths were steeped in marabouts and dark occult, ours shall be of knowledge and critical thought-processing. Mark these sincere counsels of mine.
ACT TWO Scene 2
(After scary counting delays on election night, Barrow begins sweeping polls; Newspaper headlines the next day report: “BARROW DEFEATS AFRICA’S NEBUCHADNEZZAR.” Somewhere in the Greater Banjul area days later, a messenger enters the meeting of Coalition members)
MESSENGER: Ousainou Darboe, Sanneh, and many others are freed!
(Moments later, Darboe arrives)
OUSAINOU DARBOE: Yo! I’m Ousainou Darboe! I’m gangster! I’m here to break the coalition y’all worked so hard to create. If any of y’all disagrees, I’ll blow y’all head off!
(Few Months later)
OUSAINOU DARBOE: ‘Matter O’fact, UDP is a big’ass majority party. Even bigger than Earth and Jupiter combined. So, y’all little rat parties go your way!
To be continued, Insha Allaah!
“That these thoughts might inspire many a reader. And from thenceforth might rise those to change Africa. If not, Gambia. Or if not, one of its muddy streets.” Gambiano