Let me die alone is a play, written by John K. Kargbo. The play is a historical biography of the life and times of a legendary woman in Sierra Leone, whose name is Madam Yoko. The play talks about the quest for power, betrayal, and uncertainties in ruling a society. On this blog, you will discover the summary of Let me die alone by John K Kargbo.
This play is quite interesting, it is all about betrayal, quest for power, envy, accusations.
Summary of let me die alone by John K. Kargbo
The Chief of Senehun, Gbanya has 37 wives. His favorite out of the 37 wives is Yoko. One day, Gbanya had a dream when his father called him. According to African tradition, if such occur, it means that he will join his ancestors soon (i.e. he will die). So, he knew something bad would happen anytime, and he was sad about that.
Since Gbanya is worried about the dream, having the known that he sided John Caulker against his brother, George Caulker made him to fear more. His favorite wife, Madam Yoko, learned about the issue at hand, and urges him to stop thinking negatively.
She also, reminded him of his promise to hand over the throne to her when he finally joins his ancestors. But Gbanya insisted, claiming that the throne needs a man who will be able to handle the war situation at hand.
Next, Lamboi wants to become the chief, and he seeks for Musa (the chief priest) in order to send Gbanya to the grave. These two are members of Gbanya’s administration. At first, rejected the offer to engage in such act. Though he later accepted to do so, because Lamboi threatens that he will reveal his human sacrifice secret.
Gbanya was expecting a colonial Governor, Dr. Rowe. The expected governor later came, and questioned Gbanya for supporting a white brother against the other. When Dr. Rowe left, Musa and Lamboi engaged in their plan, and were able to poison Gbanya to death. Before he died, he tried to hand over the throne to his favorite wife, Yoko, but he died before the hand-over was almost completed.
Lamboi announced himself as the new chief of Senehun. Yoko suspects that Lamboi could be the one who poisoned her husband. Though, she maintained the position of her husband.
In the play, Jilo involved in extra marital affairs with Lansana, while Ndapi, the chief warrior, is portrayed as a woman-beater (one who involve in domestic violence against a woman).
Since Yoko served the Governor well enough, and managed the chiefdom, there was a rapid growth in her power. We also, witness a shift in her government’s seat from her primary place, Sehun to Moyamba.
With time, Yoko wishes she can switch places with one of her attendant. She wishes she’s a mother to a child, instead of a queen. Since Yoko is a Poro woman, she can not conceive.
Lamboi and Musa do not even care about anything except to take over the throne from Madam Yoko. They concluded that the only way to do that, is to eliminate her. They were surprised on how Yoko was able to manage the chiefdom, and maintain a good service to the governor. Later on, the decided to kill Jeneba and stir up the case against Yoko.
On the other hand, Ndapi catches Jilo during a romantic act with Lansana. He dragged her to the palace. Yoko promise to deal with Jilo after hearing about that. She later embarked on a visit to the governor’s place. Before she travelled, Lamboi and Musa kidnapped Jeneba, which is part of their plan to take over the palace. On hearing that, Yoko orders the search of Janeba.
While the search is still ongoing, Musa and Lamboi killed Jeneba, and poisoned the mind of the people to think that she was killed by Yoko. Ndapi, the father of Janeba was so sad to hear about that.
When madam Yoko came back from the visit to the governor, she was insulted, and called several bad names which includes ‘Murderer’, ‘witch’, e.t.c. She was surprised to witness the sudden change in the attitude of the people towards her. Ndapi accused her of killing his child.
Yoko was accused that she killed and buried Jeneba to allow good favor from the governor and maintain her power. She pleaded innocent, and denied having any hand in the killing, and burying of Jeneba.
Even Janeba’s private part and heart were cut off. Ndabi mocked Yoko of her inability to conceive a child. Later on, everyone found out that Yoko was wrongly accused of the killing of Jeneba. Ndabi, the father of the demised child, later tried to make amends with Yoko for insulting and humiliating her.
Yoko says she will reveal who killed Janeba at the Poro bush. When investigation was carried on the issue, she got to know that Musa and Lamboi were the cause of Jeneba’s death.
The queen, Yoko, committed suicide at the end. She said, “I have tasted power alone, so let me die alone”.
Theme of let me die alone by John K Kargbo
The theme of quest for leadership position
- Gender violence
- Greed and betrayal
- Colonial oppression
- Gender violence
Characters of Let Me Die Alone By John K Kargbo
- Dr. Samuel Rowe
Gbanya is the chief of Mendeland, who handed his throne to Yoko before he died. He is a polygamist who has 37 wives. He was humiliated by a colonial governor because he sided with a with brother against another. His favorite wife is Yoko.
Yoko is the 4th wife of Gbanya. She is the favorite. She doesn’t have a child because she was unable to conceive. Yoko took over the throne from Gbanya after he died. She served the colonial masters well, which earned her enough power to expand. She committed suicide. Not only that, but she was betrayed by Musa and Lamboi.
Lamboi is the master planner behind the death of Gbanya, and Jeneba. All these were because he wanted to take over the throne from Gbanya and his wife. He ran away when the people discovered about his evil deed.
Musa is the chief priest who was summoned by Lamboi to help him carry out an evil plan. He also, flee when his evil deed was uncovered by Yoko at the Poro bush.
Jeneba is the daughter of Ndapi and Jilo. She always goes to the palace, and she reported the domestic violence of her parents to the queen. Jeneba was later killed by Lamboi, and Musa
Ndapi is the chief warrior of Mendeland. He is the husband of Jilo, and the father of Jeneba. Due to the maltreatment he gives to his wife, he is known as a woman-beater. He mocked Yoko, and later apologize to her after finding out the truth.
Jilo is the wife of Ndapi, and mother of Jeneba. She is an unfaithful wife to the husband.
Dr. Samuel Rowe
Dr. Samuel Rowe is the colonial governor who visited Gbanya. He also, questioned, and abused him. Also, betrayed Yoko.
Minor characters of Let Me Die Alone By John K Kargbo
Musu is one of Yoko’s maid.
Lavalie is one of the warriors in Mende
Lansana is the man that is always having a romantic affair with Jilo.
Fanneh is one of Yoko’s maid.
Settings of Let Me Die Alone By John K Kargbo
The settings of Let me die by John Kolosa Kargbo is in Senehun, and Moyamba villages of the Mende Kingdom.
Moral lesson from the play Let Me Die Alone By John K Kargbo
The moral lesson from the play, Let Me Die Alone, is that one should avoid greed and unnecessary taste for power. Just like in the play, Musa, and Lamboi engaged to kill Jeneba, and poisoned Gbanya to death. This was because they wanted to take over the throne. At the end, they fled after being caught.
Also, loyalty is very important. Due to the loyalty of Yoko to the colonial governor, she was able to gain more power and expand to the nearby villages.
Exam questions on Let Me Die Alone by John K. Kargbo
Some exam questions you could see are:
- Who killed Janeba, and Gbanya?
- What is the name of the Chief priest?
- How many wives does Gbanya have, and who is the favorite?
- Who took over the throne from Gbanya?
- Why was Yoko accused of killing Janeba?
I hope you enjoyed the summary of let me die alone by John K. Kargbo. You can download the play from Amazon. Kindly share to your friends.