How far is it correct to say that there are two protagonists in Unexpected Joy at Dawn?
It is absolutely correct to say that there are two protagonists in Alex Agyei-Agyiri’s Unexpected Joy at Dawn. The two protagonists in the text are Nii Tackie and Mama Orojo.
The novel tells the parallel stories of these two characters, their experiences in both Ghana and Nigeria, and their attempts at reunion. The events in the text revolves round the two characters.
The narration takes the readers through the journey paths of both Mama Orojo and Nii Tackie, intimating the readers as the plot progresses of their individual experiences and their common goal which is to reunite.
The novel narrates Nii Tackie’s Ghanaian experiences, gives the reason he left Ghana for Nigeria, highlights his journey to Nigeria, and shares his Nigerian experiences. It also tells of Mama Orojo’s religious involvement in Nigeria, her industriousness, and how she goes to Ghana in search of her long-separated brother.
In between these parallel plots, there is Joe, a character who mediates between the two. He has been with Nii Tackie and so could tell Mama Orojo what he knows of her brother.
The conflict of the novel which is the separation of two siblings needs to be resolved with their reunion. Their reunion in the unlikeliest of manners and an unexpected turnaround of events unite not just the two siblings but also link the parallel plots the author initiated right from the very beginning of the novel.
In other words, none of the two characters is more important than the other. Mama Orojo needs Nii Tackie just the same way Nii Tackie needs Mama Orojo. The author’s use of parallel plots emphasizes the principalness of both characters. So, if Nii Tackie is the protagonist hero in the story, Mama Orojo is then the protagonist heroine. The two in their respective ways initiate and drive actions in the story.