Worried by the series of social problems associated with the greed of many leaders in the country, a new play that intends to address some of those issues will soon hit the book -shelves. The new play titled, Edge of the Brink , written by Ifechi Jane Odoe chronicles how Chidi, one of those persons on the lowest social ladder survives all the odds a rotten society throws at him to find himself in the corridors of power but fail to do the right thing. He and his cohorts instead of turning things around, they join the band cult of selfish leaders, who continue to deepen the wounds of bad leadership.
The author portrays the lifestyle of the average Nigerian politician who climbs to the top and forgets the very road he has passed. In the 133 page book, the author brings to the fore the case of corruption, unemployment, crimes of all sorts, broken infrastructure, incessant loss of lives and property and poverty which is prevalent in the country, while the leaders corruptly enrich themselves.
Odoe who had her first degree in Journalism from University of Nigeria, Nsukka, a Master's Degree in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos and once worked with The Guardian, where she was exposed to practical journalism and garnered a wealth of experience used her everyday experience to put the story in a dramatic format in order to deliver the message.
In Odoe's debut play, a poor man in the fictional African country of Erega is desperate to get medical attention for his pregnant wife. Extortionate doctors eventually treat the man's wife; they can't save her, but they successfully deliver the baby, Chidi, who, after becoming his father's mainstay in life, dreams of attending the local university.
In a series of quick, bare-bones scenes, Odoe portrays the boy as surrounded by people every bit as corrupt as the doctors who brought him into the world: Bogus apothecaries adulterate their drugs and inflate their prices, street vendors collude with each other to rip off every customer, college admissions officials demand large bribes and then don't deliver on their promises, bus drivers bilk their customers, and all road traffic is subject to nearly inevitable banditry.
Chidi and the friends he makes in college are eager not to right the wrongs of their society but to become rich ("No more poverty forever!" they vow) through high-handed government work. Evidently, citizens from all walks of life are equally venal: Employment officials expect sex in exchange for job placement, professors ignore their responsibilities in order to vie for the affections of "babes" in their classes, and pastors and cult leaders are virtually indistinguishable.
In these stiff scenes, a moral point is all they have to offer. The characters talk in the same stilted, arch phrases, and any natural human drama is sacrificed to underscore the author's point: Greed and corruption lurk everywhere in the rotten government system.
The text is littered with lines that read like clumsy translations ("Her joy knows no bounds as she basks in her newfound joy," etc.) and typos abound--glaring editorial mishaps that distract from what might have conveyed a certain Brechtian bleakness.
Edge of the Brink is a product of her journalistic experience combined with observation of everyday reality. She is married and lives in Lagos with her family.