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SOCIAL, POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC SPHERES IN NIGERIA AS DEPICTED IN “DANCE OF THE MOSQUITOES” ZIKY KOFOWOROLA

  • Type:Project
  • Chapters:5
  • Pages:45
  • Methodology:Descriptive
  • Reference:YES
  • Format:Microsoft Word
(English Project Topics & Materials)
SOCIAL, POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC SPHERES IN NIGERIA AS DEPICTED IN “DANCE OF THE MOSQUITOES” ZIKY KOFOWOROLA
CHAPTER ONE
                INTRODUCTION

1.1    Purpose of study
    The aim of this essay is to x-ray the socio-political and economic realities in Nigeria, which are corruptions as well as criminal activities prevalent in the society as depicted in Ziky’s Dance of the Mosquitoes. These various aspects of corruption shall be critically examined with close reference to the text.
1.2    Scope of study
    This essay is limited to the analysis of the stark realities or happenings in social, political and economic spheres in Nigeria as depicted in the play.
1.3    Research Methodology
    In this essay, the library forms the basis of this work. Also, internet sources are explored. Personal ideas and analysis would be greatly utilized.
1.4    The background of the author
    Ziky Kofoworola holds a PhD in drama from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He is an accomplished academic, a playwright and a theatre director. He is widely travelled and has participated in conferences, workshop, seminars or teaching programs as well as directed performances in India, Bulgaria, Germany, United Kingdom, Ghana and United States of America. His published plays Futonje and Ghasange, have been nominated for the Association of Nigerian Authors Prize (2007) and Nigeria LNG prize for Literature (2010) respectively. He has worked at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria; Ohio State University, Columbus, USA; and the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. Among his numerous academic publications is Hausa performing art and music. He is presently a professor of Performing Arts at the University of Illorin, Illorin, Nigeria.
1.5    Definition of terms in the play
Mosquito/ Mansquito: Literally, mosquito is a small flying insect that bites people and animals and sucks their blood (Oxford Advanced Learners’ Dictionary of Current English). In this play, the mosquitoes are likened to those who are corrupt in the society (mainly politicians): those who set out to siphon our National treasury and inflict pains (poverty) on the citizenry as a result of bad governance. The special breeds of mosquitoes, which are the human form of such, are the mansquitoes.
Malaria: This is used to symbolize the effects of the mosquitoes and mansquitoes on the country. These effects include poverty, as a result of the corruption and oppression by them.  
Niaghara: This is a fictional term coined by the playwright to indirectly mean “Nigeria”. This means that, the play as a whole, ex-rays the happenings in a country, Nigeria.
Zombies: This is the symbolic representation of the police officers who are criminals/ or who support criminal activities in the play (Atanda: 10)
1.6    About the play
    Dance of the Mosquitoes is a metaphor on the nature of those who have been entrusted with governance of a fictional nation called Niaghara Land. Instead of nurturing her, they oppress and suck her, dry off her resources the same way mosquitoes suck their victims, deposit disease and leave them sick. This play is an examination of the excitement and the reckless abandon with which they carry out their plundering, and the ultimate catastrophic effects of their activities on the social and economic lives of the people who voted to put them in office.
    The playwright does not really believe in the violent approach into effecting a positive change in our society, but by the way of performance; vices, corruption and bad eggs would be exposed. The narrator and chorus confirm thus:
    NARRATOR:  That I believe is what we are all doing. The                 positive approach is not to give up in                     despondency but to strive and fight, for                     fighting is the only way out.
    CHORUS:       our own fighting method is to expose the                 mosquitoes. To reduce their atrocities into                 dancing spectacles; to laugh at the                     spectacles of tragedy through a comic                     portrayal of their ravaging damages…                     (17).
    This method, by using performance, art of dance drama, using a form of satire in coded symbols, images and metaphors of mosquitoes, is to depict by using the moribund state of affairs in Nigeria, a country suffering from the effects of wanton attacks of mosquitoes, blood sucking insects as metaphors for those who are in the position of authority, but fail to lead well. Only the privileged few, the self centered ones are the symbolic representations of the mosquitoes, now mansquitoes, who in their ‘reckless abandon with which they carry on their plundering, and the ultimate catastrophic effects of their activity on the social and economic lives of the people who voted to put them in the office’ (Blur 26). The image of mosquitoes is real. In the conversation between the performers of the dance drama, we are confronted with the graphic explication of the lethargic rampage of the mosquitoes which is noted in the trauma and pains of acute malaria in a son called Niaghara and his “widow” mother in her shared excruciating pains and the agony of a forlorn motherhood. The characters inform us thus:
    CHORUS:  Mosquitoes are real. A ravaging                             creature that suck, suck and suck the                             human blood till you bleed, red with blood
    NARRATOR: Thank you dear playmates. Thanks for                         agreeing that mosquitoes are real, and                         suck till you bleed, and bleed, and                             bleed red with blood… ( 8-9).
1.7    The Review of Related Scholarship            
    In the international community, corruption is a bane for it impedes the growth and development of democratic institution (Al Gore 10). Generally, corruption can be regarded as a canker worm that has eaten deep into the fabric of many developing as well as developed countries. In whatsoever form, corruption is an anti-ethical behavior, which is detrimental to the development of any society; this is evident because it pursues the selfish interest of the individuals in the society.
    Yemi Atanda, in his review on Dance of the Mosquitoes by Ziky Koforowola, stresses the role of the local community in combating corruption in Nigeria. He said that eradicating corruption is not a sole responsibility of one person but rather a combine effort of all and sundry. In his “macabre Dance of Mosquitoes for good governance”, he said:
        ‘…, the war will have to be waged by the entire                         community, there may be various and                                 many conflicting interests, yet there is a                             common denominator- to live in peace. It is                             pertinent to say that in peace there is progress.                         But can there be peace when the entire                             community watches on the                                     macabre dance of mosquitoes? (1)’
The above extract buttresses his fight against corruption as shown in the play.
1.8     The theoretical background on corruption
    Klitgaard broadly viewed corruption as misuse of office for unofficial ends. According to him, a “catalogue of corrupt acts includes- but not limited to- bribery, extortion, influence peddling, nepotism, fraud, the use of ‘speed money’ (money paid to government officials to speed up their consideration of a business matter falling within their jurisdiction and embezzlement)”.
    Corruption is the efforts to secure wealth or power through illegal means, private gains at public expense or a misuse of public power for private benefits. In addition, corruption is a behavior which deviates from the formal duties of a public role, because of private gains. This definition includes such behavior as bribery, nepotism, and misappropriation (Banfield 56). Dike adds that corruption is an anti-social behavior conferring improper benefits contrary to legal and moral norms, and which undermine the authorities’ efforts to improve the living conditions of the people. Corruption causes a reduction in quality of goods and services available to the public, as some companies could cut corners to increase profit margins. Corruption affects investment, economic growth, and government expenditure choices; it also reduces private investment.
    According to Igbuzor, corruption is one of the major challenges of democracy in Nigeria. There is no doubt that corruption is pervasive and has eaten deep into the entire fabric of corruption by implementing one program or the other. All these programs failed, not necessarily because of poor theoretical articulation but due to faulty implementation and the prevailing socio-economic and political conditions. The conduct and the behavior of the political elite and the advocates of these programs are in sharp contrast to what the programs were/are advocating.
    Meanwhile, the fight against corruption has taken an international dimension. In Sept, 1997, citizens from 93 countries gathered in Lima, Peru, at the 8th International Conference against corruption and adopted what is now known as the Lima Declaration. The Lima Declaration noted that “corruption erodes the moral fabric of every society, violates the social and economic rights of the poor and the vulnerable, undermines democracy, subverts the rule of law which is the basis of every civilized society, retards development, and denies societies and particularly the poor, the benefits of free and open competition”.  
    Corruption is a social problem that has interested many scholars. Ruzinder asserts that corruption in Africa is a problem of routine deviation from established standards and norms by public officials and parties with whom they interact. He also identified the types of corruption in Africa as bribery, private gain, and other benefits to non-existence workers and pensioners (called ghost workers). The dishonest and illegal behavior exhibited especially by people in authority for their personal gain is corruption. According to the ICPC Act (section 2), corruption includes vices like bribery, fraud, and other related offences. Gbenga asserts that corruption is contagious. According to the perception index of Transparency International, Nigeria was ranked 144th out of the 146 countries, beating Bangladesh and Haiti to last position.
    Gerald and Naomi Caiden suggest three definitions of corruption: public interest, public duty, and market centered. Public interest corruption refers to bribery or other rewards leading a functionary to favor those who offer bribes and to damage the public interest in the process. Public duty corruption refers to behavior that deviates from the formal duties of a public role because of so-called private-regarding pecuniary or status gains. Market- centered corruption refers to attempts by individuals or groups to influence the bureaucracy. The Caidens comment on the weakness of each definition, such as the imprecision of the “public irresponsibility”, and the difficulty of dealing with divergent social norms for the conduct of public office. Peter DeLeon, in discussing political corruption in the United States, defines it as “a cooperative form of unsanctioned, usually condemned policy influence for some type of significant personal gain, in which the currency could be economic, social, political, or ideological remuneration”. Clearly, it goes beyond bribery, which is the focus of some other scholars’ definition of corruption.
    These other scholars, however, do notice that the meaning attached to particular, such as bribery, varies from culture to culture. One calls offering an item of economic worth to a public official a bribe, but another culture says it is a gift from our hearts to you, and refusing it constitutes a rejection of our goodwill. The essential point, as Susan Rose-Ackerman says, is that, “societies differ in the way they channel self interest. Endemic corruption is the misuse of public power for private gain”, implies that, corruption is relational. It occurs at the interface of the public and private sectors. In the same vein, Kimberly Ann Elliot argues that the most common definition of corruption is abuse of public office for private gain, although she distinguishes petty corruption and grand corruption. Petty corruption tends to involve lower- level administrators and their interaction with private actors concerning such matters as taxes, regulations, licensing requirements, and allocation of government benefits. Grand   corruption, in contrast involves high- level political participation in such matters as procurement of so-called big-ticket items like military equipment, civilian aircraft, and infrastructure, or politics decisions about allocation of credit or industrial subsidies. However defined, corruption is ubiquitous. Elliot notes, “It occurs in democracies and military dictatorships, and at all levels of development and in all types of economic systems, from open capitalist economic systems, from open capitalist economy, such as that of the United States, to centrally planned economies such as the former Soviet Union’s (p.1). Although corruption varies across the world, it is unquestionably a global phenomenon. Just in the 1990s, alone, we have witnessed, in the words of Patrick Glynn, Stephen J. Kobrin, and Moises Naim a “ corruption eruption”. They ascribe it to a number of causes, not the least of which is the globalization of the economy. Global economic integration, the increasing permeability of national borders, and “the emergent of an Electronically Networked International Financial System” collectively contribute to the opportunities for corruption.
    When considering the opportunities for corruption, recall the existence of relational views and that corruption exists at the nexus of the public and private sectors. As Rose-Ackerma suggests, “corruption depends upon the magnitude of the benefits and costs under the control of public officials”. Since government buys and sells goods and services, distributes subsidies, and participates in privatization. There are many incentives for corruption among private citizens and public officials. For example, Elliot maintains that democratization and market reforms in developing countries and the transitional economies in Eastern Europe may, in the short run, “introduce new reforms of corruption or allow more virulent reforms to take hold”. In advanced economies, she points to the campaign finance scandals in the United States, the political dissatisfaction and turmoil in Western Europe and similar difficulties in Japan as evidence that corruption is by no means limited to developing nations. To put it simply, opportunity for various types of corruption is everywhere.
    John Locke outlined the doctrine of the separation of powers, indicating the danger of oppressive and arbitrary rule when all functions of government are exercised by a single person or institution. The growing corruption in Nigeria can be traced to people holding power at the federal, state, and local government levels. Gray and Kauffman have argued that, in an underdeveloped capitalist economy, corruption is widespread for two main reasons. First, the motivation for corruption is strong; second, opportunities to engage in corruption are numerous. The motivation for rural-urban migrants, newly engaging in a modern economy, to earn wages and extra income, is very strong. It is exacerbated by general poverty and by low public sector wages. In Nigeria, as in other state-centric countries, the dominance of the state in economic activity ensures that the opportunity to obtain economic rents is present. Furthermore, the discretion of many public officials is broad and rules and regulations are poorly disseminated and institutions and accountability is weak. Corruption does not involve just people in government, but also to people in both private and public positions and even traditional rulers.
1.9    Justification  
    In the light of the aforementioned, it could be deduced that the focal point of Ziky’s depiction of the social, political and economic realities in the play is on corruption and dysfunctions in the society.
    To the best of my knowledge, nobody has written on this play or on the said topic, aside Atanda, who in his review, concentrated on the joint fight against corruption, but failed to give a critical analysis on the social, political and economic realities as a whole.
1.10    Thesis statement  
    Therefore, this essay examines the social, political, and economic realities in Dance of the Mosquitoes.

SOCIAL, POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC SPHERES IN NIGERIA AS DEPICTED IN “DANCE OF THE MOSQUITOES” ZIKY KOFOWOROLA

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Details

Type Project
Department English
Project ID ENG0226
Price ₦3,000 ($9)
Chapters 5 Chapters
No of Pages 45 Pages
Methodology Descriptive
Reference YES
Format Microsoft Word

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    Details

    Type Project
    Department English
    Project ID ENG0226
    Price ₦3,000 ($9)
    Chapters 5 Chapters
    No of Pages 45 Pages
    Methodology Descriptive
    Reference YES
    Format Microsoft Word

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