Q & A: The implication of flogging Gbanya publicly on the African royalty in LET ME DIE ALONE

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Governor Rowe had Gbanya flogged publicly. What is the implication of this on the African royalty?

The humiliation of Gbanya by Dr Rowe the colonial Governor has serious implications on the play. It reveals the weakness and powerlessness of the African traditional institution and the servility of Gbanya to the white administrator. The incident strips Gbanya of the dignity his exalted throne has bestowed upon him. This outrageous act is also a springboard for Lamboi and Musa’s evil deeds. It provides the evil doers the ample chance to poison Gbanya so they can take his throne.

The incident further indicates the outright disregard or disrespect for the African traditional institution. The outrageous flogging defines the African royalty for the puppetry it was under the colonial rule. In other words, Gbanya, a supposed powerful traditional ruler, is not only reduced to nothing but also rendered powerless and humiliated before his subjects. He cowers before the white administrator.

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This only confirms that under colonial rule, traditional rulers do not possess actual power except the one apportioned to them by the colonialists to exercise over their subjects. On the surface, they are puppets issued directives by the colonialists.

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