Nigerian writer and author, Iwu Jeff has released his book, ‘ Verdict of the Gods ‘ (a play), published by Transconventional Publishers, Abuja, Nigeria.
‘Verdict of the Gods’ is a play that takes us back to our roots as Africans— the traditional belief in the gods’ phenomenon— an act of talking with gods which is not disconnected from our way of socialisation, stemming back to time immemorial. In this play, man recants his steps from the creator— the gods, and the outcome becomes calamitous; a prize for straying or taking his feet off the paths of the ‘gods’.
Bringing it home, the play is simply a compendium of the Nigerian society in doom. A society in hunger and thirst for change. A society in dire need of a saviour (who would pay the price) to restore her to her lost glory.
From the play, it is depicted that the unpleasant things and shadows of death we see in our society are brought upon us by the vicious attitude of our leaders who see evil and relax in it— issues of greed, corruption, killings etc. These things anger the ‘gods’ and we suffer for it— a case of a clash between two elephants— the grasses feel the pains. We need salvation for things to be normal again.So, ‘Verdict of the Gods’, calls for a communal effort or attempt to face our challenges and address them holistically.
Here are what great writers say about the book:
The play Verdict of the Gods quarries into the world of traditional leadership responsibility for communal well-being and brings us into contact with yet another lesson that our world has refused to learn.
Denja Abdullahi – Director, National Council for Arts & Culture, Immediate Past President, Association of Nigerian Authors(ANA), UNESCO Regional Expert(Africa), Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity(ICH) , Poet, Playwright & Culture Technocrat, Shortlisted, 2018 Nigeria Prize for Literature (DRAMA).
The reassuring kinetics of African Literature is that vibrant young writers are fanning the embers of the muse. Here is one more promising voice with his play entitled, Verdict of the Gods. The story races home with the rich escort of appropriate proverbs and the reader is rewarded by the pleasant shock of a messianic climax where a king unusually pays the ultimate price by giving his life for the redemption of his people.
Dr. Camillus Ukah – Long Listed NLNG Prize Prose 2008, Winner ANA/ Lantern Prize Prose, 2012.
In Verdict of the Gods, the twisting exciting emotional events enter one with exhilarating new form, and this confirms Iwu Jeff as one of the most important and influential writers of our generation.
Dr. Brajesh Kumar Gupta “Mewadev” – H.O.D. (English) – Eklavya P. G. College, Banda, Bundelkhand University, Jhansi, U.P., India, Secretary General of World Union of Poets (Italy)
Iwu Jeff’s Verdict of the Gods is a spectacular play that reinforces the African belief in the gods’ phenomenon. It also emphasises the fact that man must account for his deed at death-post of his verdict. What an Oedipus exemplification.
Salamatu Sule – Book Reviewer, Literary Critic and Author of Orchestra of Her Rite
I find myself highly intrigued by the characters of the play, Verdict of the Gods. The sketches the playwright carefully brings to light are quite mesmerizing and intoxicating. The lore of the gods and various individuals are laced with an indigenous cultural heritage that charms my soul in the reading, as well as expands my own consciousness. One thing that stands out for me personally is the reverence that is embodied throughout the work. This includes that of the deities as well as the elders. This play offers a great and somewhat subtle message for us all in reference to our relationships.
William S. Peters, Sr. – Poet, Writer, Activist, Publisher, Inner Child Press International, USA
Jeff Iwu’s Verdict of the Gods, which draws extensively on the author’s rich Igbo heritage, is a parabolic commentary on our country in dire need of veritable change. Like Achara, Nigeria is plagued by a curse brought on it by the ferocious greed of its scheming, homicidal and ostentatious political leadership.
In this touching tragic play, Iwu reveals that Nigeria’s problem is deeply rooted in its savage history of murder, plunder, marginalisation and exploitation of the weak. This season of change, Verdict of the Gods calls for concerted effort to unravel the problem and address it holistically. The play’s ending with the suicide by hanging of Eze Obioha (lit. the heart/will of the people), is an uncommon display of courage and acceptance of responsibility for the mistakes of past leaders.
G Ebinyo Ogbowei, Author of Let the Honey Run and Other Poems
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