Discuss the thematic preoccupation of the play – The Blood of a Stranger.
THEME OF DECEIT/FALSEHOOD
The play, The Blood of a Stranger examines the issue of deceit. Maligu, Soko and Whitehead are central to this game of deceit. First and foremost, Maligu deceives Soko, the king and the people c 1sndo to believe that a white stranger is coming to make their lives better. He deceives them to believe that Whitehead is coming to establish a tobacco farm that will employ their people and pay them money. He deceives Soko, the Priest, to tell lies about the coming of the Whiteman and because of the perceived wealth, the Priest tells lies to his people against his gods, yet no one sees the letter.
Soko, the Priest, makes the people believe that he sleeps in the cave according to custom. This is deceptive because he sleeps in his cosy hut in the forest at night and sneaks into the village cave early in the morning to avoid prying eyes. On the other hand whitehead deceives Maligu, Soko, the king and indeed the people of Mando. He tells them of a tobacco farm but in its place, he gives them gin, hard drugs and tobacco which makes them go wild, while his real motive is to exploit the diamond in Mando.
THEME OF EXPLOITATION
The mission of Whitehead in Mando is not for the establishment of any tobacco farm hut to exploit the rich diamond deposit in the village. Mr Whitehead uses Maligu, the king’s special adviser to tell the people of his intention to est1j a tobacco farm. According toh1nLlc2Yt people pay them part of the money he make while the rest will be sent to his own country It is obvious that Mr Whitehead has no intention of paying them well rather he will use them and dump them. When the king asks for the fulfillment of his promise he simply tells the king to tell his people to work hard.
Mr. Whitehead opens up to Maligu to say that he has come for diamond business. Since the people know little or nothing about diamonds, Whitehead exploits their ignorance to his own advantage. He gives them gin, hard drugs and tobacco and these make the people go wild. He even orders Maligu and Soko to bring Wara, Kindo’s woman to him for his sexual satisfaction. Finally, Soko exploits the people’s ignorance to tell lies, about where he sleeps and about the coming of the white man.
THEME OF CONFLICT
The news of the coming of a stranger during the week of peace in Mando does not seem right. Maligu, the king’s adviser, knows this and so convinces Soko who initially disagrees but succumbs to pressure to hide from his own inadequacies. When this information gets to the people, Kindo, the Chief warrior and son of the king refuses. Kindo’s opposition even to refuse drinking from the same cup with the king does not appeal to Maligu. The white man tends to introduce a division in Mando. The source of this cultural conflict stems from the introduction of gin, hard drug and tobacco. These make the people drunk and wild and they indulge in obscene things.
Maligu makes Whitehead see Kindo as a threat to sojourn in Mando. They even arrange Wara for Whitehead. However; Wars manages to escape. Meanwhile, the issue of marriage between Wara and Kindo cannot take place unless she first becomes pregnant for him.
The culture of Mando requires the sacrifice of a virgin but contrary to their custom, Whitehead suggests the sacrifice of a goat. Besides, Parker kills Soko, perhaps or threatening to withdraw from the illicit transaction. Kindo on the other hand, kills Parker. Whitehead, seeing this as an opportunity to get rid of Kindo, advises the king to banish Kindo. In anger, Kindo kills Whitehead and is banished.