I will be discussing in this brief tutorial the extent to which Aloho can be held personally responsible for her troubles in the play, Harvest of Corruption.
One question that is bound to crop up in any critical discussion of Frank Ogodo Ogbeche’s play, Harvest of Corruption is this:
Can the main character, Aloho, be held personally responsible for the hardship she has to go through and for her untimely death?
My simple answer is this: To a very large extent, yes. Aloho must share the blame regarding what happens to her in the play, Harvest of Corruption by the renowned Nigerian playwright, Frank Ogodo Ogbeche.
The following is my argument to the effect that though other factors may have created conditions for Aloho to cause her to act in ways that lead to her sad end, she herself cannot escape blame completely.
Aloho has the free will to choose
Aloho, as an individual, is an adult who knows right from wrong. She has the free will to act in ways that will not cause her and her friend and benefactor, Ogeyi any future worries. But she chooses to do the opposite.
Aloho chooses to act out of self-interest, not thinking much about the feelings of her friend – a dependable friend who may not have secured a job for her, but has given her free accommodation and food all this while.
Everybody, Aloho herself included, knows much about the bad character of Ochuole. This is why one wonders why Aloho fails to see the writing on the wall. Even if she cannot reason for herself, the persistent words of caution coming from Ogeyi, her friend and roommate, should be enough to make her hold herself from the brink of the abyss.
As a born again Christian, Aloho fails to apply what she has learnt in the scriptures so as to be able to face her difficult situation of joblessness. She has chosen to place the attractions of the ostentatious lifestyle of dubious characters like Ochuole above her Christian morals.
The Alohos of this world could have done better. They could have allowed their higher moral upbringing to stop them from falling prey to the temptations of a hopelessly corrupt system.
Nonetheless, Aloho is not entirely to blame for her troubles. Others factors and individuals are involved.
We must never forget that the psychological pain caused by unemployment is so devastating that it has the potential for making otherwise good people find and accept any job offer without much scrutiny. This is exactly what has happened in Aloho’s case.
The immoral Ochuole plays a significant role in the fate that befalls Aloho. She easily convinces a born again Christian like Aloho to do things against the teachings of her faith – all because Aloho is desperate for a job.
Chief Haladu Ade-Amaka must also share the responsibility. Chief and other scoundrels in national leadership positions like him find it easy to manipulate desperate, vulnerable youth who have been denied opportunities, to perpetrate heinous crimes against society. In fact, Ogeyi holds Chief personally responsible for Aloho’s death. This is why she makes sure that the Minister is made to face justice.
A corrupt, inefficient system
The state or society at large cannot escape blame for contributing greatly to Aloho’s predicament. Corrupt state institutions manned by equally corrupt and incompetent officials are behind such social problems as lack of jobs for young university graduates.
The dysfunctional civil service, run by an unscrupulous political class creates situations where jobs are offered to people of no merit whatsoever while Aloho and her like stay at home to suffer unnecessarily.
Under such trying circumstances, Aloho concludes that she has no other choice but to put aside her high moral standards, play along with the dictates of the reality she is forced to face so as to achieve her career dreams and earn a living for herself and for her family back home.
In conclusion, it is very clear that Aloho’s personal lack of good judgment, and the disastrous choices that she makes, as a result, are largely responsible for her troubles. But this does not in any way take away the fact that other factors and individuals have contributed to what befalls her. Notable among these are Ochuole, Chief, and the entirety of the corrupt, inefficient state apparatus.