Monday, 3 September 2018


A discussion  from the play Betrayal in the City by Francis Imbuga

Francis Imbuga puts educated elites at the centre of struggle against Boss dictatorship. On the other hand, Imbuga represents illiterate Mulili as the oppressive force used by Boss to do his (Boss’) dirty bidding. According to the play Betrayal in the City, elites have a central role in striving for a better more proactive society with citizen participation. This is brought out in the efforts of struggle as presented by various characters in the play.
Adika, Jusper’s brother is said to have been killed while leading a university protest. According to Doga “Only four bullets were fired that day. Adika had four bullet wounds in his chest.” (pg4) Doga also says, “We buried our hope the day Adika was gunned down.” (pg2) Adika, represented the hope, the dream both his parents and the country was looking for to salvage the country from boss’ clutches. In his struggle, he is gunned down in an attempt to silence elites so that Boss’ could continue his reign of terror in Kafira.
However, the killing of Adika does not end the struggle for a free society. Mosese in defying the state condemns the killing of Adika. Being a university don, Mosese displays a fearless voice of the informed- those who understand their rights. Nevertheless, this earns him a room in the correctional facility.
 Another victim of struggle is Jere. He finds himself in an inexplicable situation where he is supposed to deny an old couple –Nina and Doga from performing their final religious right on their son’s grave. Confronted with the conflict between conscience and service to his superior, Jere chooses to rebel. Before being drafted into the army Jere “taught religious study for three years.” (pg22)
Finally, Jusper is a philosophy student and playwright whose parents and brother are killed in cold blood. Taking the persona of an insane individual, Jusper takes down those who destroyed his family in a carefully orchestrated plan. It is Jusper’s plan that finally brings down Boss’ regime.
Imbuga carefully uses elites as the voices of the oppressed. He places them at the vantage position of seeing what is wrong and protesting against it. However, some characters like Regina brings out a liberal stance while others like Nicodemo Kabito and Tumbo use their modest education for self-interest.


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