The Convert: A Two-act Play

African Books Collective
Free sample

"This play tackles the theatrically attractive but ethically complex issue of Christian fundamentalism. Nyamnjoh, as a sociologist is well qualified to explore the social problems and psychological pressures which give rise to the born-again phenomenon, and the strong appeal of fundamentalist religion. The Convert, however is no schematic sociological tract. It deals with the conflicting imperatives in 21st century West Africa, which push ordinary people into extraordinary situations, and provides no easy solutions to the issues raised. Although the play revolves around the Ultimate Church of Christ and the four main characters affected by it, the audience is given a deftly sketched picture of a corrupt world beyond it, lacking in spiritual or community values. [..] The characterization. is remarkable for its avoidance of any obvious protagonist; the audience is allowed no clear character with whom to identify. The four main characters . have both virtues and flaws, each providing insights into ways the consumer-oriented materialism of modern life impacts upon African spirituality and community values." - David Kerr, Professor in Literature and Drama, University of Botswana "At the core of the implicit philosophy in Nyamnjoh's The Convert . is the theatrical manifesto that contemporary society has not only to liberate itself, and its productive powers from 'Pentecostal', freak religions and distortion, it also has to liberate these same productive capacities from their present prostration. There is a deep, engaging humanism that pervades The Convert, but it is a humanism emblematic, to speak analogously, of the Aeschylean variety." - Bate Besong, Africa Review of Books.
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Additional Information

Publisher
African Books Collective
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Published on
Dec 31, 2007
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Pages
64
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ISBN
9789956558032
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Language
English
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Genres
Drama / African
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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This humorous tale of the naïve and curious African student-cum-philosopher wandering between North and South, the rural and the urban, has been in gestation for a period of nearly two decades. With allusion to traditions of the philosophical novel and the picaresque, Nyamnjoh's protagonist travels from his African village to the sharply divided and socially cruel world of 1980s Britain. By casting aside his disillusion and the traps of servitude and victimhood, The Disillusioned African reveals his creative potential for curiosity and adventure. He brings a bird's eye view, always affectionate, gently mocking, to the cultural idiosyncrasies of the new world he encounters, which throws his own African culture, politics and socio-economic realities into light relief. Praise for The Disillusioned African 'Whatever the imagined future for Africa, this courageous book will certainly provide, for both its foreign readers and the young generation of Cameroonians, a provocative insight into the complex web of despair, frustration, paradox and hope . on the eve of the 21st century.' - Louise Cuming, Catholic University of Central Africa 'In his characteristically humorous style, Nyamnjoh portrays the various social ills in society and castigates the political elite he holds largely responsible.' - Piet Konings, African Studies Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands. 'Francis Nyamnjoh . has a particular way of saying very serious things in the most unserious manner. He entertains, and in the process he moralises, he teaches, he gives you lessons. learning experience and philosophy to give you a view of the dilemma of the African.' - Sammy Beban Chumbow, Professor of Linguistics, University of Yaounde I
Rock of God centres on a significant war that Nso fought with Bamoun in the 1880s, and which war resulted in a devastating defeat for the Bamouns. During this war, a major Nso combat rule was broken: the Sultan (king) of Bamoun was decapitated. Both local story tellers and historians have indicated that the Sultan was only supposed to be captured alive. The play explores some very compelling reasons for this violation. It mocks any attempt at categorization because the events involved are as historically relevant as they are anthropologically profound: as literarily dense as they are linguistically compelling. It surely stands on its own because it clearly combines concepts of docu-drama, morality play, classical theatre, historical drama, and much more. But beyond all else, it is great artistry that demonstrates the genius of experimentation.

"Rock of God revitalizes the Nso language, while the use of songs and dance, poetic praise chants and proverbs culturally enrich the play."

"JK Bannavti reinvents both legend and myth in the deconstruction of territorial expansionism between the Momban and Bamkov (Bamun and Nso). The play is a demonstration of the fact that leadership should at all times inspire confidence, trust, courage, steadfastness... in matters of state."

"Rock of God is a masterful stroke of dramaturgy that compresses both time and situation to enhance its own structural credibility."

"A fascinating insight into Nso mythology, history and culture...a literary chef d'oeuvre and a reference for historians and cultural anthropologists."

JK Bannavti was born in Sob, Bui Division in northwestern Cameroon, and now lives with his family in North Plainfield NJ, USA. Author of The Reapers and Freed into Jail (2007). Bannavti has worked as a Theatre actor and director in Cameroon and has taught English in the Bronx Community College of the City University of New York, and Maritime College of the State University of New York.
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