Q & A: What is the significance of Alaka and Gbonka to the plot development of “The Gods are not to Blame”?


What is the significance of Alaka and Gbonka to the plot development of The Gods are not to Blame?

Gbonka and Alaka are two significant characters in Ola Rotimi’s The Gods are not to Blame who contribute immensely to the plot development of the play. Gbonka is the messenger of King Adetusa while Alaka is an apprentice to Hunter Ogundele.

At the beginning of the play, Gbonka is assigned the responsibility of taking the cursed prince to the evil grove to kill. He is also present when King Adetusa was killed at Ede where three parts meet. These two events indicate the relevance of Gbonka to the plot development of the play and his overall importance in the Ola Rotimi classic.


Gbonka is first sent for by Odewale to clarify the circumstances surrounding the death of King Adetusa and help identify the former king’s murderer.

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However, as it turns out, Gbonka’s recount of the details of King Adetusa murder only heightens the tension in the play. It matches a similar event which Odewale has told Alaka of. The meeting of Gbonka and Alaka unknots the mystery of Odewale’s identity both as his father’s killer and his mother bed-sharer.

Alaka is introduced into the play as a medium to probe into Odewale’s past. He had an intimate relationship with Odewale, his master’s adopted son. He confirms Odewale’s hot-temperedness as a trait he had cultivated from childhood.

Alaka comes into picture to tell Odewale that “his father” is dead, a news that obviously dispel Odewale’s fears of killing his father and marrying his mother.

It is through the intimate dialogue between Alaka and Odewale that the reason Odewale abandoned his supposed parents is made known; and of how he killed an old man in Ede for insulting his tribe.

In other words, the appearance of Alaka rips open a lot of information from Odewale’s past. It is also through Alaka that it is made known that Hunter Ogundele and his wife Mobike are not Odewale’s true parents.

The defining point is when Alaka and Gbonka meet each other in Odewale’s palace in Kutuje. This is when the remaining layers of the mystery are removed.

The two characters are significant in that they are instrumental in the unravelling of Odewale’s true identity and that of King Adetusa’s murderer. Thanks to their revelations, Odewale is identified as the child who years back was destined to kill his father and marry his mother – a prophecy at which time he has fulfilled. Besides, Gbonka and Alaka are largely responsible for the tragic outcome of Ola Rotimi’s The Gods are not to Blame. Their revelations set tone for the tragic end.

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