Setting/Background of the play

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Setting/Background of the play

Let Me Die Alone is a historical-based play that mirrors the life and times of a legendary woman in Sierra Leone known as Madam Yoko, who lived between 1847 to 1906. She was originally called Soma but changed her name to Yomo at her Sande Initiation Ceremony during which time she became known for her graceful dancing. She was a leader of Mende people in Sierra Leone-combination Advantageous lineage, shrewd marriage choices and the power accorded her from the secret Sande society. Yoko became a leader of considerable influence.

Her determination and urge to govern her people came to fruition when her third husband, Gbanya was murdered by Lamboi, that is, Yoko’s brother, because of his inordinate ambition and greed. Following Gbanya’s death, Yoko became the chief of Senehun and was recognized officially as Queen of Senehun. She died in 1906 after experiencing untold betrayal at the hands of her people, and she is said to have committed suicide by poisoning herself.
THEME OF BETRAYAL: This is probably the most prevalent theme in the play. It plays a significant im in the plot development of the play. Both Lamboi and Musa betray the community and some prominent characters. Lusting for power, Lamboi recruits the services of Musa, the chief priest to help with his plan to unseat Gbanya permanently from his throne, in order to prevent him from appointing Yoko as his next successor.
Musa could have chosen not to comply but he had skeletons in the cupboard; things he would not want the public to get wind of. He has offered human sacrifices severally in exchange for prosperity and longevity. He has long betrayed his good office with his indulgence in human rituals all in the name of seeking the goodies of life.
When the opportunity presents itself, the duo betray Gbanya by appearing to relieve him of the lowly humiliation Dr Rowe subjected him to. They poison him, and Lamboi attempts to usurp his throne. Thus, they betray an unsuspecting Gbanya who had trusted them with his life, and taken them as allies.

Again, they betray Yoko, Gbanya’s successor. Rather than perform their advisory and priestly duties, Lamboi and Musa choose to mislead the villagers about Yoko. They kill Jeneba, mutilate her and bury her body. However, they cajole the villagers to believe that Yoko has buried the poor girl’s body alive so she could receive favours from the colonial governor. This betrayal and the humiliation that follows largely influence Yoko’s suicide.

In a nutshell, Musa and Lamboi betray Gbanya, Yoko and their public offices in their lust for power.

Literature PADI
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