Theme of Love in Maurice Udo's Part-time Lovers - Onyeji Nnaji
China Achebe said that any writer who ignores to discuss issue in his contemporary society may likely end up being irrelevant. Moral decadence is dominant in our today society. This degraded societal lifestyle is dramatized by Maurice Udo through the roles of Pamela, Cordelia, Rev. Benson and Mamboso which best describes them as part-time Lovers.
As the playwright rightly chose the title of the play text, love shows itself as the central theme of the play. Reverend Benson was found to be Pamela's lover in the past. The outcome of his love affair with Pamela was the troublesome twins, Dele and Tunde. Yet, Reverend Benson made possession of another woman whom he paraded before his church members as his wife.
The call of nature finally brought Pamela to Benson following the insistence of the twin boys to know who their father is. To conceal this affection to Cordelia and the church, Reverend Benson has to claim that Pamela and her children are new converts whom he has to groom for spiritual growth.
Cordelia on the other hand has her own share of the misleading love affair. She was formally in love with the Rwandan Mamboso. Cordelia too hid her affection with Mamboso from her husband. She deceived Reverend Benson to believe that he was the father of Ndiana, her daughter.
To further promote the theme of love, Pamela's twin boys were also found in a clash of love for Ndiana. This situation moved Cordelia into making plans for Ndiana to be married to one of Pamela's twin boys. All these confused love life among the characters existed outside the knowledge of the church and her members.
What broke the Camel's back was the fight between the twins which led to their being arrested by the police. This situation brought Regina in. Regina was portrayed here as a member of Reverend Benson's church and also as the only friend Pamela has. As a friend, she advised Pamela to announce to the house that Reverend Benson was the father of her twins.
Pamela was still on the thought of breaking the news without causing any harm when the cat was led out of the bag following the arrival of Mamboso, the Rwandan. The appearance of Mamboso settled everything as it was uncovered that Reverend Benson was not the true father of Ndiana. It was also discovered that Reverend Benson was the true father of Pamela's twin boys.
The resolution of the dominant conflict in the play positioned the title, Part-time Love, better. The characters discovered, as events unfolded, that they were part-time Lovers. The plot structure runs along this axis in defense of the title of the play till the end where the characters themselves saw that they were truly "Part-time Loves".