Allo!
C’est moi, Madmoiselle Phantom Pages and today, I have something different for you today!
As you’ve probably realised, I try out diffrent writing styles and genres and today, decided to try for a play!
If you see this play as crazy, then you’re most likely normal because it is crazy but hey, Ideas are ideas!
Hope you enjoy my own story about two Nigerian couples in Jerusalem!

ONCE UPON A TIME

SET: IN JERUSALEM DURING THE TIME OF JESUS

CHARACTERS:

Jesus
Mary
Joseph
The Ogbonnas:, Papa Nonso, Mama Nonso, Nonso
The Ajalas: Iya Moji, Papa Moji
Mary of Magdalene
Crowd.

____________________

ACT I

 

                                                    SCENE 1

                               (In a busy evening market place in Jerusalem, Mama Nonso is seated inside her stall, fanning herself. She occasionally calls to the crowd to purchase her goods. Iya Moji passes by)

 

MAMA NONSO

Iya Moji! well done o! I am greeting!

 

IYA MOJI

(IYA MOJI turns at the greeting. Seeing MAMA NONSO, she walks into her stall and sits down on a stool)

Ah…

(She sighs heavily)

Mummy Nonso bawo…

 

MAMA NONSO

 I am fine o! You’re frowning today. What is the matter?

IYA MOJI

 (Shaking her head sadly)

My dear things have just been poor o. The kind of taxes I have been paying wo! Caesar wan kill person for this place o.

MAMA NONSO

(Tuts in commiseration)

Eyaa…Nne it’s not only you. I haven’t been able to sell anything all day!

IYA MOJI

(Fold her hands under her chin, jerking her knee)

 My dear what can we do? I can’t even get enough fish to sell…

MAMA NONSO

Ah! Why now? What happened to Simon your fisherman?

IYA MOJI

(Hisses)

That one!

(Claps hand and hisses again)

 MAMA NONSO

 (Looking confused)

O gini kwa? Did you two have a disagreement?

IYA MOJI

No o! Disagreement e no dey this one o! The nonsense man decided all of a sudden to stop fishing! All of a sudden! Ah!

MAMA NONSO

(Chuckles)

Biko Iya m. Stop making me laugh. Which one is stop fishing? Simon? That one that had been fishing kemgbe! How now?

IYA MOJI

(Shows MAMA NONSO her hands and places them back under her chin)

It is just like magic o. I heard he now follows that Jesus boy around.

MAMA NONSO

(Looking confused)

Jesus? Which Jesus?

IYA MOJI

Ah Jesus na! Aunty Mary pikin!

MAMA NONSO

Oh that one! Eh… Why is he following him?

IYA MOJI

Ah so you haven’t heard?

(Claps and sighs)

MAMA NONSO

(Holds IYA MOJI’s knee)

Heard what Iya m? Talk na!

IYA MOJI

Mummy Nonso things are happuni o. Jesus say he is the son of God o.

MAMA NONSO

 (Bursts into fits of laughter)

Biko nwa nne m. Repeat yourself. Jesus said what?

IYA MOJI

(Chuckles a little)

Is not a laughing matter ah! Jesus eh. Aunty Mary and Uncle Joseph pikin talk say him be God son o! Mummy Nonso e tire me!

MAMA NONSO

 (MAMA NONSO Laughs harder. She sighs and cleans her tears of mirth)

When this madness start nne? Ha ga kpokwa nke a gini?

IYA MOJI

(IYA MOJI sighs and gets up)

Wo! Me, I am tire! Mummy Nonso make I go house. Papa Moji would come back and be hungry. You know men. They don’t play with food!

MAMA NONSO

(Gets up as well)

Nne I know. Let me leave you nwanyi oma. Sorry I didn’t offer you anything! Greet Baba Moji for me I nu?

IYA MOJI

(Smiles and waves)

 I will. Oya odaabo o. Greet Daddy Nonso and Nonso

(IYA MOJI exits)

 

 

MAMA NONSO

 (Sits back own and fold her arms under her armpit)

Jesus? Son of God kwa? Let Amadioha not strike him dead o! Hia!

(Fades…)

SCENE TWO

(At Aunty Mary’s salon.

Female apprentices are busy washing women’s hair. Mary is walking about, supervising them.)

(Enter IYA MOJI into the salon)

IYA MOJI

 Ah! Aunty Mary. You’re in today. Afternoon ni o!

MARY

(Sees IYA MOJI and smiles)

 Iya Moji. Customer. You’re welcome. Please sit down.

(Makes a chair available for IYA MOJI)

IYA MOJI

(IYA MOJI sits and removes her scarf)

 Ah thank you my dear.

MARY

 (MARY moves behind IYA MOJI and runs her fingers through her hair)

Your usual wash right?

IYA MOJI

 Yes o jare. The hair is itch me bad bad.

MARY

(MARY combs and begins to wash IYA MOJI’s hair)

So Iya Moji how is Daddy and Moji?

IYA MOJI

 They’re fine o. How is Joseph and your children?

MARY

 (Pours water on hair and continues washing)

They’re great. Joseph wants to retire from his carpentry business and hand over to James.

IYA MOJI

Ehen? But is not righti o!

MARY

 (Pauses for a second and continues)

It’s not right?

IYA MOJI

 (Clicks tongue)

Lailai!

MARY

 (Rinsing and patting hair dry)

How is it not right?

 

IYA MOJI

Eh na! The business is supposed to pass on to the first son. The business is supposed to be for Jesus, beeni!

MARY

 (Smiles)

Well…my son Jesus has his ministry. He cannot take on the business. It has to be James.

IYA MOJI

 (Turns to face MARY)

Ah Aunty Mary! So the rumors are true! You and Joseph are letting Jesus go mad up and down? Ah! Aunty Mary! He’s your first son o! You’re supposed to sit him down as his mother beeni! Sit him down and tell him to stop his madness before they arrest him o!

MARY

(Laughs)

Iya Moji it’s not like that. Jesus was called into this ministry. You see I conceived him before I knew Joseph. An angel, Gabriel appeared to me and told me I would bear a son who would be the Saviour of the world. Jesus is the son of God.

IYA MOJI

 (Stands up slowly, a look of disbelief on her face)

I can see where your son got his madness from. Ori e o pe! Instead of you to take my advice and be a good mother you’re here telling me stories. Angel Gabriel appeared to you?

(Claps hands and laughs in derision)

Angeli Gabriel ko. Angeli Malaika ni!

MARY

(Affronted)

I am telling the truth! I was conceived of the Holy-

IYA MOJI

(Interrupts)

Make i hear word abegi! Take your money!

(IYA MOJI drops coins into MARY’s laps and walks away, mumbling about stupid women and angels. MARY stares after her, confused, mouth open)

(Fades..)

SCENE 3

(At the house of the Ogbonnas. In the morning, Mama Nonso, runs out of her house crying and screaming)

MAMA NONSO

PAPA NONSO! PAPA NONSO OOOOOO! BIAKWA! BIAKWA! PAPA NONSO!

(A young man, NONSO, carrying a bag over his shoulder tries to come out of the house but MAMA NONSO runs back and blocks him. She holds his shirt.)

NONSO

(Trying to remove his mother’s grip on his shirt)

Mama leave me alone! Leave me alone let me go!

MAMA NONSO

(Still crying)

I’m not leaving you alone ooooo! Nonso i choro igbu m! You want to kill me! PAPA NONSO!

(NONSO struggles to move past to no avail. PAPA NONSO rushes to the scene and holds his crying wife.)

 

PAPA NONSO

Nwanyi O gini! O gini n’isi ututu a! This early morning! What is it? What is happening here! Mgbo Nonso! What is happening!

NONSO

(Pointing at his mother)

Papa! It’s mama! She won’t let me go and join Jesus and be a disciple!

MAMA NONSO

(MAMA NONSO begins screaming again, throwing herself on the ground)

Ewoooooooooo! Anwula m ooooo! Jesus anapuna m otu nwa m nwere! Jesus has stolen my only son! Anadioha biakwa eeeee!

PAPA NONSO

(Shouts angrily at his wife)

Nwanyi mechie onu! Shut up let me listen to the boy!

(MAMA NONSO stops screaming, biting her fingers, crying silently)

 

PAPA NONSO

(Turns to face his son)

Nonso. Where are you going to?

NONSO

(Sighs)

Papa…I said I am going to join Jesus. Papa he works wonders! He made the mad man down the street well papa! He heals people! I saw it with my own eyes! I believe he’s the son of God and I want to obey his Father in heaven.

PAPA NONSO

(Shaking his head, looking dismayed)

But Nonso you cannot just leave us. You’re our only son. You need to settle down, marry and give us grandchildren eh Nonso nwa m…

NONSO

(Slowly slinks away from the door)

Mba papa! No! Jesus said we should seek the kingdom of God first and his righteousness. I am going. Papa. Mama. God bless you.

(NONSO runs away. PAPA NONSO tries to chase him, screaming for NONSO to come back. MAMA NONSO begins screaming and crying, rolling herself on the ground)

(Fades)

SCENE 4

(The same day, in the afternoon.
At Joseph’s carpentry workshop.
JOSEPH and one of his sons are busy working on a table.
PAPA NONSO walks in with MAMA NONSO.
JOSEPH notices them and stops what he is doing.
He looks confused at their sombre faces)

JOSEPH

(Motions them to a long bench)

 Mr. and Mrs. Ogbonna. Is there a problem? Please seat down.

PAPA NONSO

(Shakes his head)

This is not a sitting matter Mr. Joseph. If we wanted to sit down we’d have stayed at home.

JOSEPH

(Looking confused)

 Ok. I am sorry. Please what is the matter?

PAPA NONSO

(Clears throat before speaking)

The problem is your son Jesus. He has stolen our son Nonso away with his…his cult.

 

JOSEPH

(Sighs and sits down)

Jesus again. If I had a denarii every time someone came here to report about Jesus, I will be a rich man. Today, it’s the Pharisees coming to complain. Tomorrow the Sadducees would come from another corner. Now you people. What am I to do?

MAMA NONSO

(Kneels down, pleading)

Papa Jesus bikozie nu. Just speak to your son. Tell him to bring Nonso back biko. He’s our only son. Otu nwa a m muru…

(MAMA NONSO stays crying again. PAPA NONSO consoles his wife)

PAPA NONSO

(To his wife)

Ebezina nwanyi oma m. Biko o?

JOSEPH

(Sighs and wipes his forehead)

Mr. Ogbonna I’m sorry but I cannot help. Jesus is not my son. I am just a poor substitute for an earthly father. I cannot persuade him to do anything against ‘The will of his Father’. I am sorry.

(JOSEPH goes back to his work. PAPA NONSO consoles MAMA NONSO and they walk away)

 

(Fades)

SCENE 3

(At the Ajala residence)

(IYA MOJI is screaming at her husband who has just been caught sleeping with another woman, Mary of Magdalene. He is wearing only a wrapper. Mary is beside him cowering, trying to cover her nakedness with a cloth hastily tied to her chest)

IYA MOJI

(Screaming at the top of her voice)

OLOSHI! OLOSHI! OLORI BURUKU! ORI E DA! STUPID MAN! SANGO WILL KILL YOU TODAY! USELESS MAN!

(IYA MOJI holds his wrapper and pulling it. BABA MOJI is trying to prise her hands from it)

BABA MOJI

(Trying to hush his wife in a low tone)

 Bukola o da be o! O ti to-

IYA MOJI

(Ignores his pleas and continues screaming)

GBE ENU SOUN! USELESS MAN! YOU’RE NOT ASHAMED OF YOURSELF! BE DISGRACING YOURSELF WITH STUPID SMALL GIRLS. AH! BABA MOJI!

(IYA MOJI leaves him and drags MARY)

 

IYA MOJI

IWO! IWO! Mary Magdalene abi kini oruko e!

(MARY sobbing and covering her face so IYA MOJI‘s slaps land on get arms)

IYA MOJI

Omo oshi! Omo ale jati jati! Useless girl! That’s how you go about sleeping with peoples husbands! O ri e!

 

(IYA MOJI tries to year the wrapper covering MARY‘s nakedness but MARY holds on to it tight)

MARY

(Sobbing)

 I am sorry Ma… Please…

IYA MOJI

Shut up there! Oniranu! Abi you! Mary Mangelina abi Angelina! Angelica nko! Omo odo! They will stone you today!

(People begin to gather at the scene)

IYA MOJI

(IYA MOJI begins to yell at them)

Stone am o! Kill this stupid girl! Idiot! Stone this stupid man I call my husband too!

BABA MOJI

(Begging IYA MOJI)

AH! BUKOLA! STONE ME! Ah! What will Moji say! Bukky! Ma binu!

IYA MOJI

(Continues screaming, tying and untying her wrapper)

Why didn’t you think of Moji when you were between this Omo oshi’s legs! YOU ARE MAD! O RI O PE!

(She tries slapping him but he dodges. The crowd gets agitated and begin to pick up stones. MARY is crying to herself, trying to hide her face in shame. Suddenly the crowd goes quiet and parts. JESUS walks in to the scene)

JESUS

(Turns to IYA MOJI)

Woman, what is happening here?

IYA MOJI

(Glares at him and hisses)

I see you don’t have respect again eh Jesus omo Mary! You’re calling me woman! Is that how to address your elders?

(JESUS ignores her and turns to an onlooker, asking the same question)

ONLOOKER

Mary was caught fornicating with Baba Moji so we’re going to stone her.

JESUS

(Stares at them all and a hush falls)

Is that so? Ah nnkan be…

 

(He squats on the ground, doodling without lifting his head up)

He who is without sin should cast the first stone.

(With that, JESUS ignores them all, still doodling. The crowd drop their stones and slowly disperse. JESUS lifts up his head and it is just him, IYA MOJI, BABA MOJI and MARY there.

 

JESUS

(Turns to MARY and BABA IBEJI)

Where are your accusers?

(MARY shrugs, still sobbing quietly. JESUS turns to IYA MOJI)

 

JESUS

Forgive. As your Father in heaven forgives you your lies and gossip, forgive them. Sin is sin. Your lying is just as bad as their sin.

(Just as JESUS is speaking, PAPA NONSO rushes into the scene, carrying his wife, who looks dead. He comes to JESUS and falls at his feet, crying)

PAPA NONSO

Jesus! Please! Nonso said you perform miracles. Biko! My wife! She just fell down and won’t talk. She’s shaking. Please. Help her!

(IYA MOJI rushes to MAMA NONSO‘s side)

 

IYA MOJI

(Places hands on head and starts wailing)

Ah! Mogbe! Mummy Nonso! Ah! Daddy Nonso o! Ah!

JESUS

(JESUS touches MAMA NONSO‘s forehead)

Rise up and walk

(MAMA NONSO‘s eyes flicker and open. She stands up, looking dazed. They’re all in shock.

PAPA NONSO kneels at JESUS’ feet. BABA MOJI and IYA MOJI follow suit. MARY joins them)

 

IYA MOJI

Ah e jo! Your mother was righti o! You’re the son of God true true! A miracle worker noni!

BABA MOJI

Please! Omo mi! Have mercy on me!

MARY

Yes Sir! Mercy.

JESUS

(Rises)

Go and sin no more.

(JESUS leaves them kneeling and bewildered and walks away. They all stand up.)

 

BABA MOJI

(Turns to his wife)

Iyawo mi. Forgive me. I will never do this again. I will never cheat on you. E jo. Bukky… Omo toh shan.. Ife mi…

IYA MOJI

(Mellows and sighs)

You will not kill me o Baba Moji. Eh…Ok o…

MARY

(Comes forward and kneels at her feet)

I am sorry ma. I will never do this again. This is all I do to feed. I have no other job…

IYA MOJI

(Helps MARY her up)

I have heard you. As a young girl, don’t go and sell your body for money. It is not goodi o! To be breaking marriages ah! Is a evil something beeni! I forgive you. I can employ you in my fish business. I need an assistant. Oya go and dress up first.

MARY

(Gets up)

Ah! Thank you Ma! Thank you!

(She runs inside the house. PAPA NONSO hugs MAMA NONSO)

 

 

 

MAMA NONSO

(Still dazed)

He healed me…

PAPA NONSO

Yes…

 

MAMA NONSO

Nonso…

PAPA NONSO

Nonso is fine with him. Jesus is…He is a God man. Nonso is fine.

(MAMA NONSO sobs softly and scene fades)

THE END o!

———————————————————————————————————

😀

TEE HEE!

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