Review of Eriri Mara Ngwugwu by G.O. Onyekaọnwụ


eriri mara ngwugwuG.O. Onyekaọnwụ is a notable Igbo literary artist. He has written five Igbo plays. His first Igbo play Nwata Rie Awọ  is published in 1980, followed by ọkụ ụzụ Daa Ibube (1982) Eriri Mara Ngwugwu (1985), Uwa Ntọọ (1986) and ọkụ Ghara He (1987). Onyekaọnwụ used standard Igbo to deliver his work. As a creative writer he writes on Igbo world view. He exhibits mastery in all his work using appropriate Igbo words to beautify his literary. Works Onyekaọnwụ language is simple and flows in reader’s mouth, because he uses standard Igbo which make the readers to read without witches. He also diversifies by occasionally introducing his own local dialect.

Awọrọ is the major, character in the drama text. The major character are characters that are lined to the from which the author explores his main idea in the play Onyekaonwu presented Awọrọ as a round character He changes and develop with time and circumstances in the play.


The major characters in Eriri mara Ngwugwu are Ọchọnganoko and ụdụakụ Ọchọnganooko

Ọchọnganooko is a major character in the play. He is the antagonist of the play and a personification of a magnificent wealth. He is a rich man who uses money and fame to get whatever he desired. He is a wealthy young and handsome man. He snatched Ụduakụ, the birds from her groom, Ndubuisis at the point of weeding and eloped with her to an oversea country. Ochọnganooko had two female children from his wife ụdụaku. But by this he preferred having males instead of female children. Ochọnganooko requested his wife, ụdụakụ, to give him a male child especially as she was pregnant and about to deliver or else, he would marry another wife. Ochọnganooko unknowingly he commits incest with his biological daughter. Indeed, he is a round character, when the nurse reveals the circumstance under which ụdụakụ, his wife got their son it brings shame to him.

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Ụdụakụ is Ochọnganooko wife. She lacks discipline; she is stubborn, arrogant and deceitful. She is a woman after wealth more than money. Ndubuisi engaged to marry Ụduakụ at a selected wedding day but she disappointed him because of love of money. She arranged with Ochọnganooko and ran away on her wedding day to oversee country. At oversea, they wedded and had two female children. Udụakụ is caught up with the cultural of her people Iduma. In Iduma land, culture demands you must have a male child.
Based on this, Ụduakụ’s husband Ochọnganooko threatened to marry a second wife. Because of this issue of a son, Ụduakụ planned with a nurse to swap a male child in case she delivered a baby girl. Ụduakụ is a round character, she is seen as a real person in life who believers that money is all.

Naming character in Onyekwaọnwụ’s play

Onyekwaọnwụ gives the right name to his characters. Most of the names he gives act according to their personalities and backgrounds and the type of names they bear. His choice of names portrays the actions of the characters in the plays. For instance, in Nwata Rie Awọ Characters like Awọrọ and Obioma bear names that are reflections of their action Awọrọ means scaling, that is the act of removing the old skin for the fresh skin to come out. Awọrọ means somebody whose way is not straight forward Awọrọ due to his name, instead of going in the normal and customary way to end his marriage customary way to end his marriage with Obiọma, he employs intrigue and insinuation as a device for getting rid of her. This is shown in the following except, thus;
Nwa anụ ọhia ị na-ebechu, taa ka ọ ga-ebiri mụ na gị ! na-agbaso onye amaghị ihe ka ọ lụwa gị O wee bụrụ mụ bụ Awọrọ nwa Mgbakurute. Ọ bụghị hụru. Mkpi mbugowe adighịagba (35).
Foolish woman you have not started to cry… Everything will end today; you are running after a foolish person to marry you… Goat, look at your mouth. So, it is me, Awọrọ, the son of Obidike, the living tiger, will marry a woman who forces herself on a man? You did not see me. A forced he-goat cannot experience erection.

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Awọrọ brought out his real colour through scaling the pretended one. In essence, Aworo’s action agrees with his name, he involves in the eating of the toad and rejecting the meat.

Obiọma mean good will, giving generously or not taken o recounting the past, interested in moving forward, a large heart. These qualities and their actions reflected in her name. Obiọma falls in love with Awọrọ because his wrestling performance. She runs away from home to Awọrọ’s home. Ekemma;s warning falls on deaf ears and Obiọma eventually runs to Awọrọ for him to marry her. Okwukọgu, Obiọma’s father, baffled by the abnormal act and sensing the danger in he says:
Gini ka a ga-akpọ ihe nke a? Onye kọọrọ ya na ohimiri na echughachi azụ na nwanyi na-agbakwuru nwoke ka ọ lụwa ya? ọ bụ ka nne ya siri mee wee mụta ya? Ya gawanụ ya bụ onye a na-agwụ ibi ọ na-eto afọ ga-ewetarịrị ihe ọ tọghọrọ n’ajọ ọhia. (47).
What will one call this? Who tells her that water flows up hil that a woman can run to a man for marriage? Is that the way her mother did and gave birth to her? Well let her go, the fly that refused to listen to a piece of advice will go into grave with the corpse. (47).
Due to her name Obiọma, when Awọrọ located her as the dịbia advised, she accepted and came home despite all the evils Awọrọ did to her. Her name reflects her actions, she is a true life person.

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Ọdịnchefu means something that cannot be foregathering so easily. The name implies can it be forgotten? Her name signifies an indelible mark of experience. The name was given to her by her mother because of the circumstances that preceded her birth. After fifteen years, Awọrọ her father married her without knowing. The name Odichefu followed her before and after her birth even in marriage. She suggested to her husband to go and marry another wife for the continuity of the family lineages since she has no child of her own. Her name ditches her action.

Eriri Mara Ngwugwu: Naming Characters in Eriri Mara Ngwugwu

Ọchọnganookọ means one who goes about looking for trouble to cause. The name connotes negative behavior, a kind of “trouble maker”. The name reflects his action. When he requested his wife, Ụdụakụ, to give him a male child, he prove that his name is Ọchọnganookọ because his wife Udụakụ does not determine the sex of a child because she is not God. Anotehr place that he behaved true to his name is unknowingly dates of his daughter Nneka.

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