Plot Summary of Kongi's Harvest, a play by Wole Soyinka
Uploaded by Nabutsabi on Sep 28, 2012
Kongi’s Harvest is to be the official start of the five-year plan. Kongi is the president of Isma. He has the spiritual leader King Danlola under ‘preventive detention’ (PD). Kongi has insisted that Danlola should be seen by the people at the festival to bring him the New Yam with his own hands. Kongi has been increasingly involved in image building, before the festival comes to a shattering climax. ( The Blurb, Kongi’s Harvest, Macmillan Pub.)
There is a heavy, somber and pessimistic mood as the play begins. The king is endangered. The omniscience in the narration depicts that nothing good will come out of Kongi’s leadership over the land of Isma. According to the Superintendent, one of Kongi’s right-hand men, Danlola’s supporters have been gathering to desecrate the national anthem of the land. Consequently, Sarumi and Danlola are in detention. By so detaining them, the king has been deprived of his traditional power and sovereignty, hence conflicting with the president.
A mock prostration from Danlola to Kongi scares the superintendent, who in spite of his new loyalty to Kongi still maintains a passive respect for the king. This can attract a traditional curse, and there is the danger of overthrown.
The action of the play takes place on the eve and the day of the national celebration of Isma.
The Reformed Aweri Fraternity is in deliberation, to get an image, in formal disputation. This means they are looking for a new identity and assertion their true place or relevance to the people.
We see Segi and her drinking habits.
Secretary joins the planning session of the Aweris, whom he finds starving. At this time, Kongi enters the stage. The Aweris vow to protect the leader’s image for the next five years development plan whose keyword is harmony. In this matter, another of Kongi’s men called the Secretary observes,
“ All we want is some way of persuading King Danlola to bring the New Yam for Kongi with his own hands… the king should perform all his customary (and) spiritual functions to Kongi”.
This, satirically, is called by the Aweris: an inevitable stage in the process of power reversionism.
Meanwhile, there is clear civil unrest among the masses. A bomb for which no one has claimed responsibility has been thrown somewhere. The Aweris are visibly nervous and apprehensive of imminent coup d’etat. The Aweris are...