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The objective of this tutorial is to help you understand the character and role of Mrs Obi in Frank Ogodo Ogbeche’s play, Harvest of Corruption.
Yes, Mrs Obi may be a minor character in Harvest of Corruption, but, nonetheless, we cannot easily ignore her. This is due to the fact that she occupies an important position in the Ministry of External Relations – the focus of this satirical drama.
Who is Mrs Obi in Harvest of Corruption?
Mrs Obi is a civil servant who works at the Ministry of External Relations in Jabu, capital of Jacassa. Specifically, Mrs Obi is the secretary to Chief Haladu Ade-Amaka, the Honourable Minister of External Relations.
She also doubles as the receptionist in the Ministry of External Relations. She is the one that all visitors to the Minister must pass through in order to have any form of audience with him.
A dutiful and an anonymous civil servant – Mrs Obi
Unlike Ochuole, Mrs Obi appears to be a dutiful civil servant in Harvest of Corruption. Like most civil servants, she tries to focus on her duties while trying as much as possible to maintain a level of anonymity.
Thus, officially, Mrs Obi barricades herself behind her office work as she watches, at close range, the corrupt activities going on around her.
However, Mrs Obi’s indifferent attitude to the immoral behaviour of her boss and her colleague, Ochuole, is not without exception. This is a secretary who enjoys the usual office gossip that prevails in places of this nature.
Mrs Obi’s office gossip partner is Ayo, another employee in the office of Chief Haladu Ade-Amaka.
A voice of criticism in Harvest of Corruption
Frank Ogodo Ogbeche employs Mrs Obi as a critical voice to lambast the corrupt behaviour of such crooked characters as Chief and Ochuole in Harvest of Corruption.
So, at the same time that she appears to remain detached from Chief and Ochuole’s corrupt practices, Mrs Obi sometimes criticises these two. She takes a good swipe at these villains whenever she pleases.
For example, we hear her call Ochuole “the devil incarnate”. She also describes their nefarious activities as a sort of “hide-and-seek game”.
How Mrs Obi contributes to the development of the plot of Harvest of Corruption
One other key role that Mrs Obi plays in Harvest of Corruption is that she contributes, in her own small way, to the development of the plot of the play.
Mrs Obi is the one that goes to inform the Minister about the arrival of the men from the State Security Service (SSS).
Obviously, Mrs Obi is only performing her office duty here as usual. But on a more important level, this singular action, however insignificant, serves as a catalyst. It leads to the arrest and prosecution of the corrupt Minister and his accomplices.
It is difficult to see Mrs Obi as a completely flawless character in Harvest of Corruption. The way she appears to enjoy criticizing her boss and Ochuole may be a sign of envy.
It could be that inwardly, Mrs Obi harbours a feeling of bitterness towards Ochuole, for example. She appears to resent the situation where Ochuole has free access to all the goodies while she remains sidelined.
But, on the whole, Mrs Obi, in contrast to the immoral Ochuole, plays a more dignifying role in Harvest of Corruption.