ISBN 9789956763894
Pages 44
Dimensions 203 x 127mm
Published 2016
Publisher Langaa RPCIG, Cameroon
Format Paperback

Who is Afraid of Mongo wa Swolenka

A One Act Play

by Mbuh Tennu Mbuh

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“Africa’s past and present autocrats, all rolled into one, are here lampooned in the person of His Royal Excellency Bob Gbadarango Binyambutu Buthablaizi aka BGB², Celebrated Leader of Nubialand and Guardian of the Revolution. Steeped in a recognizable political ethic of self-aggrandizement, self-gratification, demagoguery, violence and neo-colonialism, Buthablaizi seeks to maintain his hold on power by fair or foul means. On the other hand are the forces of change, embodied in the exiled Mongo wa Swolenka and his group of home-based genuine intellectuals who must do battle, not only with an evident Gestapo machinery but also with belly-minded turncoats, to restore sanity to the land. In his one act tragi-comedy, Mongo Wa Swolenka, Mbuh Tennu Mbuh’s satirical project foregrounds the role of the intellectual in society from the Foucaultian premise that where there is power, there will be ‘strong’ opposition. The playwright’s eclecticism, witnessed in the intertextual interstices marrying aspects of African/world history, politics and literature to good effect, beautifully integrates characterization, humorous dialogue, poetry and apt diction in this wake-up call to African tyrants and intellectuals alike.”

Eunice Ngongkum, Associate Professor, African Literature, University of Yaounde I

“In this succinct yet intricately imagined and profoundly crafted play, Mbuh has returned to the question of the failed postcolonial state with a fresh breath. The play is an apt dramatization of all what has gone awry in the postcolonial nation. The playwright deftly describes this sorry state of affairs with his neologism “gunocracy” which symbolizes the complete failure of the state apparatus: failed leadership that relies on the argument of the gun to not only impose and maintain itself in power but equally to implement its anti-people policies, failed intellectualism which fails to stand up for and educate the masses but rather opts for betrayal of the popular cause and the argument of self-aggrandizement. This dense yet humorous play is set in Nubialand the representation par excellence of what every black African state has become; caught up as it were in the tragic hold of its unpleasant colonial past, the machinations of a treacherous international system and its own numerous internal tensions.”

Professor Blossom Fondo, Associate Professor of Postcolonial Literature, University of Yaounde II

In Who’s Afraid of Mongo Wa Swolenka? a book launch is planned which, from information given to His Royal Excellency Gbadarango Binyambutu Buthablaisi, by a traitorous intellectual seeking preferment; and by his security agents, is a campaign led by disgruntled writers and intellectuals of Nubialand for the return of their exiled colleague and international award winner, Professor Mongo Wa Swolenka. How the celebrated leader of Nubialand and master of gunocratic politics responds to the prevailing circumstances is the nerve centre of dialogue, action and morality in the play.”

Nkemngong Nkengasong, Writer and critic, University of Yaounde I

About the Author

Mbuh Tennu Mbuh

Mbuh Tennu Mbuh hails from Pinyin in the North West Region of Cameroon. He obtained his B.A., Maitrise, and Doctorat de Troisieme Cycle in English Literary Studies from the University of Yaoundé (I), and holds a PhD from the University of Nottingham. He is a two-time laureate of the Bernard Fonlon Society Literary Award, and a founding member of both the Yaoundé University Poetry Club (YUPOC) and of the Anglophone Cameroon Writers Association (ACWA). Having taught in America as a Fulbright Scholar-in-Resident, Mbuh presently lectures in the Department of English Studies, University of Yaoundé I.

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