Obstacles to Prestige

Reginald C Ofodile

The play portrays the fortunes - and misfortunes - of Miriam. A young woman in 1920s Eastern Nigeria, she escapes from home and goes to Onitsha, a bustling town by the river Niger. It is an exciting, transitional world. Miriam encounters startling acts of kindness - a strange man, Ike, takes her home and gives her food and shelter - a strange woman, Ma Lizzy, nurses her through illness and provides her with a home.

Yet the first source of solace gives her a traumatic experience, and with the second, she knows almost incredible treachery.

The play unfolds against a background of commerce, religion and gossip. Miriam, ambitious and industrious, gets herself admitted into a choice Academy. She duly emerges, poised and accomplished. Destitute at the beginning of the play, she becomes the richest woman in her community.

The community considers any single young woman immoral. Miriamís boyfriend Johnny, although satisfactory, doesnít propose. Miriamís hints to him fail.

Ma Lizzy and Ike, Miriamís first acquaintances in Onitsha, slander Miriam. The slurs reach Johnny. Miriam faces a tremendous trial, one that seems likely to destroy her. She doesnít realise her dream, yet achieves a feat which earns her the communityís acclamation. View extract.

8 adults

1 hr 35 mins

New North Road

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