The Comedy of Ijimere, President of Niger Area
by Olayinka Olaleye
Trafford Publishing

"You should all monitor how the circumstances of this voting will make it a free and fair election."

This is a play about a modern election in Africa. Ijimere, interim President of the Niger Area, borrows money from the Global Bank to become a candidate in the general election. He gets advice from fortune-tellers, deals with scandals such as campaign promises and money laundering, and has to appease various religious and ethnic groups. He ends up winning the election by casting the tie-breaking vote. The playwright states that his purpose was to write a story about realistic behaviors of "modern African political activists." He includes references to superstitions and folklore and lists some of the names and places in a glossary.

Students and teachers who are studying politics of African nations would find this play particularly interesting. Much of the dialogue is written as if the audience already understands the situation and how bribery, corruption, and violence end up becoming a part of it. Well-known African election situations are acknowledged, but always as part of the story.

For centuries, playwrights and authors have used the written word to enlighten people about corruption. As Mr. Olaleye puts it, "I have presented a democracy in which the citizenry cannot make a rational choice. The problem of African democracy lies in choice making and how to form a genuine society.

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