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the Complete Review
the complete review - drama

Thirty Years for the Director

Ogali Ogali

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To purchase Thirty Years for the Director

Title: Thirty Years for the Director
Author: Ogali A. Ogali
Genre: Drama
Written: 1973
Length: 52 pages
Availability: in: Veronica My Daughter
in: Veronica My Daughter - UK
  • Thirty Years for the Director is included in the collection Veronica My Daughter and Other Onitsha Plays and Stories (see our review)

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Our Assessment:

B- : reasonably well done play about corruption

See our review for fuller assessment.

The complete review's Review:

       Thirty Years for the Director is a play about corruption. Okoro is the Boss, the Managing Director of a large company who has "the final say" on all matters.
       Unfortunately, the Boss likes to take advantage of his position of power. Early on he tries to blackmail his receptionist into sleeping with him, but she resigns her position rather than give in to him.
       Then the boss moves onto trying to collect bribes. An unqualified contractor is allowed to bid on a project -- in exchange for a little kola and a little dash (pay-offs to the Boss for his assistance). The Personnel Manager is shocked when he finds out that an unqualified contractor can bid on the project, and he also tenders his resignation, telling the Boss: "you have betrayed the cause of this nation."
       Others in the company learn about what the Boss is doing, as he has become a veritable Mr. Ten Percent. It has gotten so bad that his secretary spends much of her time sending out dunning letters to contractors who were awarded contracts but haven't handed over the requisite ten percent bribe to the Boss.
       In filling job-vacancies the Boss also doesn't look for who is best qualified but who he can milk for the most money -- unless it is a woman, in which case looks (and a certain willingness) are all that counts.
       Eventually the law catches up with the Boss, and he has to stand trial. It is the trial that dominates the second half of the play, with all of the Boss' crimes coming to light. But the case is not entirely clear-cut, as his clever lawyer is able to call the reliability of some of the witnesses into question.
       Justice is eventually served -- somewhat to the surprise of the people. Encouraged, the citizens feel that the judge has given the "green light" to go ahead and get rid of all the rotten eggs:

A must ! We must wage a total war against the forces of corruption in this country.
       The play moves along fairly nicely, with some decent drama and a happy end, good and right triumphing over corruption. It was (and is) an important issue in Nigeria; unfortunately Ogali's representation bears no resemblance to reality, and his optimism proved completely unfounded. Nigeria has been and remains a perennial top-ten finisher in any list of most corrupt countries for the three decades since the play was written. Corruption is endemic, a way of life. Ogali sought to address the issue in this play -- a noble but futile effort.
       The play is fairly simple, but quite entertaining. Both the Boss' efforts to obtain bribes and favours, and then the courtroom scenes are quite well done dramatically. The didactic intent of the play also does not weigh it down too much.

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Onitsha market literature: Other books by Ogali A. Ogali under review: Other books of interest under review:

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About the Author:

       Nigerian author Ogali A. Ogali was born in 1935 and was a leading author of the pamphlet literature sold at Onitsha market.

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