Reviewer: Henshaw Ita
Book Title: Your Domestic Duty
Author: Ohwojevwe Ese Ganiyu
Publisher: Sam Iroanusi Publication
The first captivating part of the work is its cover page artistry. A relatively young woman straps two children to her back before a man who presumably is her husband, suggestive of a daily routine posture for making a request. At the background is a shack-like structure situated at an obvious remote environment; depicting a kind of poverty ridden life.
It is a piece of dramatic creation wrapped in classical lirerary devices and techniques that make the whole work substantially distinct, and worth mentioning. The play also employs the classical concept of the unity of time and place. It is structured in three days, with the actions told in the morning, afternoon and night of each day and a clear departure from comtemporary, modern style whose structure adopts the conventional acts and scenes.
The plot of the play chooses and focuses on the typical conflict one finds in families across the African environment. The story develops with the conflict between Mr and Mrs Makanjuola. An Arch Angel appears to him and tells him to be wary of the abandonment of family responsibilties and marital duties Makanjuola feels is ocassioned by poverty. The disregard makes his wife engage in a game of distrust and paves way for (his) consequent patronage of the traditional herbal wizard who is eventually killed.
The family of Iya Risi and Baba Risi also strengthens the thematic preoccupation of abandonement of marital responsibilities. At first, Baba Risi sarcastically mimics his wife’s ‘domestic duty demands’ but later becomes suspicious of Iya Risi and then plants ‘magun’ on her.
The writer’s language use swerving between neologism and local grammatical and ungrammatical expressions (‘askorishingly’, ‘let us play Aluwe oja gota’, ‘magun akpata’ and the like) though helps readers decipher the academic attainment of the characters, it presents him as an advocate of Nigerian English.
Ganiyu’s writing style isn’t conventional but it really affords him the privilege to present his story in the manner that will make you relish every word and action.