Highlight on Three Salient Issues in Maurice Udo's Part-time Lovers - Onyeji Nnaji


Human characters are divers in nature and play out in the society continually to mark differences in among the people inhabiting a same society. To play these out in works of art, playwrights explore these divers characters to explicate the reality about any given society. The same, I suppose, is what Udom intends to achieve through the character, Regina, in the play text, Part-Time Lovers.

One striking feature in the play is the love contest. Love issues dominate the play involving almost every character in the play text. The love issues show themselves obviously strong when the  clergy, who is supposed to face church works squarely, eventually become overtaken by it.

Unfortunately, the love stories presented to audience turned our heartbreaking when they eventually became a show of anger, hate and betrayal, all the characters involved in love issues notwithstanding.

Another issue presented to readers in the play is the unthinkable fight of the twins. The twins had a clash of love for one of the female characters. This situation lasted unnoticed until it went beyond control. The one that broke the Camel's back was the fight that landed them into the police station.

The fight of these twin brothers was particularly intended by the playwright to unveil certain information which the twins'presence could not let out. This is where Regina's roles became relevant.

Regina is used by Udom here to settle the bobbling thought in Pamela about how and why the secret about the true father of her twin boys should be made known. Regina lent Pamela voice and gave her the courage to resolve the conflict inside of her. We see Regina defeating every obstacles suspected would usurp her intention to uncover the secret about the identity of her twins' true father. She answered all Pamela's questions and gave her reasons to do the needful.

The third issue, and of course very important, is the reappearance of Mamboso, the Rwandan. Mamboso showed up in the beginning of the play and suddenly disappeared. He did not show up until the peak of the conflict in the play. The playwright designed him with this characterization because his reappearance is proposed to resolve the conflict in the play.

The play shows  Pamela 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 defence of the title of the play till the end where the characters themselves saw that they were truly "Part-time Loves".

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