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The character and role of Madam Hoha in the play Harvest of Corruption is the focus of this tutorial.
Note these initial points.
Please note that much of the content of this tutorial will qualify to be used to answer a question on the role of Akpara Hotel in Harvest of Corruption.
Now, if this is your first reading about Harvest of Corruption, then I believe you will need the following facts about this play.
Harvest of Corruption is a satirical drama written by the Nigerian playwright Frank Ogodo Ogbeche.
This play is one of two prescribed texts in the African Drama section of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) WASSCE Literature-in-English syllabus (2016 – 2020).
Similar examinations in parts of English-speaking West Africa and elsewhere also set questions on Harvest of Corruption.
The setting of Harvest of Corruption is principally Jabu, capital of an imaginary country called Jacassa.
Jacassa is, in fact, Frank Ogodo Ogbeche’s way of naming Nigeria and criticizing all that is wrong in that country, without openly saying so.
One additional crucial point for you
You will see that I love to give you a lot of detailed information in my tutorials. I do so on purpose.
The reason is I’m aware that some of you may need these details to be able to answer objective test questions in your particular examination (At the WASSCE level, however, we don’t have objective test questions on African Drama .So this is to benefit candidates prepareing for other examinations in their respective countries)
Moving on …
I would like us to take a critical look at the character and role of Madam Hoha in Harvest of Corruption.
We will begin with the important details about Madam Hoha’s character.
After that, we will look at the role or significance of Madam Hoha in the play Harvest of Corruption.
Areas to consider with regards to the role of Madam Hoha in Harvest of Corruption are:
- The contribution of Madam Hoha to the theme of corruption in Harvest of Corruption
- How Madam Hoha contributes to the theme of imorality in Harvest of Corruption
- Madam Hoha’s role in the development of the plot of Harvest of Corruption
- The role of women in the play Harvest of Corruption
So, here we go.
The Character of Madam Hoha
Madam Hoha is one of the female characters in the play Harvest of Corruption. She is the owner of Akpara Hotel. Akpara Hotel is a beer parlour. But this hotel is also a haven for criminal activities involving Chief Haladu Ade-Amaka, the Honourable Minister of External Relations, and his clique of nation-wreckers.
Madam Hoha happens to be one of the key members of Chief Haladu Ade-Amaka’s criminal circle.
Physical attributes of Madam Hoha
- Madam Hoha is a tall, bulky woman.
- She has an ebony complexion.
- This proprietress of Akpara Hotel has a total of three parallel tribal marks on her face. The tribal marks on Madam Hoha’s face look like the whiskers of a cat.
- Madam Hoha appears very well-fed.
She is the epitome of the kind of privileged women in Nigerian society, usually going by the description, “cash madam”. The sad reality, however, is this: Much of this cash or money is stolen or obtained through dubious means.
One important aspect of the character of Madam Hoha is that she is an example of that select group of privileged high society women of Jacassa.
Here are some pointers to this observation about the character of Madam Hoha.
- She wears gold bracelets on both hands
- She has gold rings on eight of her ten fingers
Thus, verything about Madam Hoha’s physical appearance points to the fact that, unlike most of her fellow Jacassan women, Madam Hoha has too much money, is well-connected to the corridors of power and is not ashamed to flaunt her ill-gotten wealth.
Madam Hoha’s Values and Morality
- Madam Hoha freely indulges in acts that promote the twin evils of bribery and corruption in Jacassa.
For example, as part of Chief Haladu Ade-Amaka’s corrupt circle, Madam Hoha is happy that Aloho will be employed so they can use her to work to serve their selfish interests.
As she puts it, the unsuspecting Aloho will “run the errands while we pick the bucks.”
- Madam Hoha is a greedy woman.
She is never satisfied with all the illicit money she grabs from Chief Haladu Ade-Amaka. She makes sure she keeps squeezing as much money as possible out of the equally immoral Minister of External Relations.
- Another aspect of Madam Hoha’s character is that she is obsessed with money and the desire to accumulate more .
This is a woman who clearly values money and other material possessions more than anything else.
No wonder, Madam Hoha is always busy making entries into her cash book and counting money.
The Role of Madam Hoha in Harvest of Corruption
We will now turn our attention to the role of Madam Hoha in Harvest of Corruption. The first point I’m going to address is how Madam Hoha contributes to the theme of corruption in the play.
Contribution of Madam Hoha to the theme of Corruption
Madam Hoha actively collaborates with Chief Haladu Ade-Amaka and others like Ochuole, the Commisioner of Police and Justice Odili to ensure that corruption takes root in Jacassan society.
For instance, Madam Hoha allows her Hotel to be used as a meeting place for planning and executing the unpatriotic acts. Madam Hoha herself makes sure that anytime Chief comes to her hotel, he parts with more money than necessary.
Then also, it is at Madam Hoha’s Akpara Hotel that the immoral Ochuole meets Chief Haladu Ade-Amaka to speak to him about Aloho. The plan to use Aloho as a drug courier will definitely have been hatched here.
Also, Chief’s sexual escapades with Ochuole herself, then with Aloho and many other gullible young women happen at Madam Aloho’s Akpara hotel. Consequently, the names Akpara Hotel and Madam Hoha have become synonymous with corruption and immorality.
These, then, are what make not only Madam Hoha, but also her Akpara Hotel, significant contributors to the themes of immorality and corruption in Harvest of Corruption.
Madam Hoha and the Role of Women in Harvest of Corruption
Madam Hoha is undoubtedly older than most of the other women in the play, Harvest of Corruption.
It is however unfortunate to note that the only way Madam Hoha knows how to lead the younger women is to encourage them to engage in acts that gravely undermine the very essence of womanhood.
With Madam Hoha as their de facto leader, these younger women in Chief’s criminal gang, appear to develop some kind of confidence that energizes them to do the immoral things they do without any feeling of remorse.
And with the exception of Mrs Obi, Madam Hoha has been able to lead the other women like Ochuole to commit acts that fly in the face of the dignity of women.
To the playwright, therefore, Madam Hoha is just one example of African women who help men in authority to commit all manner of crimes against the state.
Madam Hoha’s Contribution to the Development of the Plot
An answer to a question about the character and role of Madam Hoha will be incomplete without any mention of her role in the development of the plot.
So how does Madam Hoha and her Akpara Hotel contribute to the development of the plot of Harvest of Corruption?
To answer this question adequately, we must focus on the direct and indirect effects of Madam Hoha’s actions in that hotel.
To put it simply, it is the opportunity that Madam Hoha provides, through her Akpara Hotel, that enables the villainous actors in this play to commit crimes against society.
It is these crimes that will lead to the arrest, pregnancy and eventual death of Aloho. These unfortunate events in the life of Aloho, will then, lead to the arrest, trial and imprisonment of Chief and his accomplices.
As the climactic events in the courtroom at Wasa High Court of Justice draw to a resolution, all the villains are punished. Madam Hoha gets a prison term of “10 years with hard labour”.
The judge issues an order that Akpara Hotel be closed down and sealed up for good.
These measures are clearly meant to put away, for a long while, the corrupt elements in the society. But more than that, they are also meant to serve as a deterrent to persons who may wish to follow in the footsteps of Madam Hoha and her kind.
Thus, with Madam Hoha out of the picture, at least for some time, there is the hope that this will represent a major step to uproot corruption in Jacassa.
This then is the significance of Madam Hoha and her Akpara Hotel to the development of the plot.
Do you have some ideas you would love to add to this tutorial regarding the character and role of Madam Hoha in Frank Ogodo Ogbeche’s play, Harvest of Corruption? Feel free. Go ahead and say something about this topic in the comment form below.