Sangam Playhouse






Election Day

A Play by



An excerpt from the play. Please contact the author (chrismlalazi@gmail.com) for rights to perform, publish or use this text in any form.




Cast – 4 Characters

 

Scene 1

A toilet in the Vote Counting Centre. The Director Of Vote Counting, Judas, is peeing into the urinary. His back is to the audience. He is dressed in a suit, and under his armpit is a clipboard. Then enter a worried looking Twenty. He is also dressed in suit and tie. He comes to a stop before the toilet mirror, and arranges his tie and jacket lapels. His back is towards Judas.

 

Twenty

(Whispering) How goes it now Judas?

 

Judas finishes peeing, then he washes his hands in the toilet sink beside Twenty. Around his neck and hanging on to his chest is an official looking name tag. Finished with washing and drying his hands, Judas turns to Twenty. He writes something on the clipboard, tears the page of paper off the clipboard and hands it to Twenty. Twenty takes a look at the paper.

 

Twenty: Jesus! It gets worse and worse!

 

Judas: Those are the latest results so far, sir.

 

Twenty takes out a wallet from his pocket, pulls some banknotes from inside it and hands the money to Judas. Judas takes the money and puts it into his pocket. Then he holds his hand out at Twenty.

 

Twenty:

What?

 

Judas:

The paper, sir.

 

Twenty:

Sorry Judas, sorry.

 

Twenty gives him the piece of paper back. Judas takes the paper and tears it. He salutes Twenty, and exits. Twenty stands staring into space for a moment or two, then he takes out a hanky and wipes his face with it. Then he exits.

 

Scene 2

State House. His Excellency Poka Oka Ndiseng, dressed in a jogger short and an old fashioned vest is speaking into the phone. Also on the phone table is an ornate Oriental vase and a golf cape, and also leaning against the table is a golf club.

 

Ndiseng : ( Into the telephone)

Twenty? Can I please see you, thank you.

 

Enter Twenty, still in the same suit and tie. He is Ndiseng’s personal advisor. He bows before Ndiseng.

 

Twenty:

Slayer of lions, conqueror of mountains

 

Ndiseng: (Pointing at one of the sofa’s)

You may sit

 

Twenty sits down on the sofa, but on the edge. His right foot is beating a rapid tattoo on the floor.

 

Ndiseng:

Relax, Twenty.

 

Twenty’s foot stops tapping. He takes out his hanky and dabs at his forehead.

 

Ndiseng:

Just look at you

 

Twenty:

Things are very bad outside your Excellency-

 

Ndiseng: (Points a warning finger at Twenty)

Eh! Eh! Eh! What am I always telling you Twenty?

 

Twenty:

But this is the truth -!

 

Ndiseng:

Don’t exaggerate

 

Twenty:

I am not exaggerating!

 

Ndiseng:

Do you know your problem my dear comrade?

 

Twenty:

I tell the truth

 

Ndiseng:

And you also panic very easily if you see the truth, just like a cowardly dog. (Ndiseng mimes action of a dog barking)

WOOF! WOOF! WOOF behind a fence, and if you do this – (He mimes picking up a stone from the ground it quickly flees away with its tail between its legs. I don’t need women around me Twenty. I need men with balls as hard as this.

(He shows Twenty a clenched fist)

 

Twenty:

I am not panicking your Excellency.

 

Twenty wipes his forehead with his hanky again.

 

Ndiseng:

Then why are you are sweating like that? Or maybe you have forgotten yourself and you think state house is a bush in the rural areas and you are squatting behind it defecating?

 

Twenty:

There are only five ballot boxes left uncounted, your Excellency, and the opposition is now leading us by a very wide margin.

 

Ndiseng:

Oh, is that so? I didn’t know that

 

Twenty:

Yes they are, your Excellency Comrade Ndiseng.

 

Ndiseng:

Thanks for the information Twenty. And if you are telling the truth, then we must clap hands for our very brave opposition.

(claps his hands, a wide grin on his face)

Bravo!

(He claps his hands again.)

And by how many votes is the opposition leading us now Twenty?

 

Twenty:

Three million votes so far, and the remaining five ballot boxes only contain one million ballot papers. We have lost.

 

Ndiseng:(Bursts out laughing)

Ha! Ha! Ha!

(Still laughing, he points a finger at Twenty)

And you are now shitting in your underwear!

(Makes a long noise of farting)

Bhuuuuu!

(He laughs again, then smiles)

And anyway, why should you be frightened of the election results if I may ask? After all, it is not you who is losing, but me, Cyclone Ndiseng, to use my favourite guerrilla name.

(pause)

 

Twenty:

But this is a serious cause for concern -!

 

Ndiseng:

Let me tell you something for nothing Twenty. This is not a children’s game we are playing here. This is not ‘dancing around together in a sunny weather, teasing teasing, we
all fall down.’ Do you understand me?

 

Twenty:

Yes I understand your Excellency.

 

Ndiseng:

And neither is it a game for ordinary mortals also.

(He grins at Twenty)

Now, tell me my terrified but very educated friend, did you read comic books when you were growing up?

 

Twenty: (Perking up)

Yes yes I read them your Excellency. Kid Colt, Spiderman, Tin Tin –

 

Ndiseng waves his hand at Twenty in dismissal

 

Ndiseng:

No, not that shit. There is another one that you have left out. My favourite.

 

Twenty:

You mean Wonder Woman your Excellency?

 

Ndiseng:

No, not that lesbian

 

Twenty:

I know whom you mean now. Hercules.

 

Ndiseng:

Wrong again. Not that overblown white man.

(He suddenly flexes his muscles, and his face twists in effort)

But the Incredible Hulk! You!

 

Twenty: (Smiling)

The Incredible Hulk! I love that one! He is my hero!

 

Ndiseng:

I am the new Incredible Hulk of this continent Twenty.

(He whispers to Twenty, his face screwed up in excitement, and his fists bunched)

And do you know why?

 

Twenty: (Shaking his head and whispering also)

Why, your Excellency?

 

Ndiseng:

Because I am going to be the first president of the USA number two, the United States Of Africa of course! And that day is around the corner. Just mark my words.

 

Ndiseng is still standing. He suddenly flexes his muscles like a champion body builder, and roars like Hulk.

 

Ndiseng:

The Incredible Hulk, descended from the lofty heights of Mount Olympus itself – no, no, not Mount Olympus, that’s crap, but Mount Kilimanjaro, the backbone of the world, indestructible, an immortal force, and come that day even that Obama himself will be asking for autographs from me.

 

He roars like Hulk again, and struts towards Twenty in the Hulk manner. Reaching Twenty, he grabs him and trips him to the ground. Twenty quickly rises up. Ndiseng roars again, grabs Twenty and trips him to the ground again. Twenty lies on the ground, and Ndiseng struts around the stage roaring like the Incredible Hulk, and still flexing his arm muscles. He goes back to Twenty, who still lies on the ground. He places his foot on Twenty and poses, as if he is a model taking photographs. Then he stands back and offers his hand to Twenty.

 

Ndiseng. (Offering Twenty his hand and laughing)

Get up Comrade Minister! Get up! Woooo! You look so undignified lying on the floor like that.

 

Twenty takes the offered hand and rises to his feet. He brushes himself down, then sits down on the sofa again.

 

Ndiseng:

That is the lesson Twenty. Never worry, nobody can defeat the Incredible Poka Oka Ndiseng, blood descendant of the great King Oka Ndiseng 1, slayer of lions, and conqueror of mountains. Who can defeat such a man Twenty? They can’t, not even with all the assistance of their fucking weapons of mass destruction. I myself am a weapon of mass destruction.

 

Twenty:

Yes you are your Excellency.

 

Ndiseng, breathing heavily, stares at Twenty for a moment or two.

 

Ndiseng:

I want you to go and write a speech for me Twenty my dear.

 

Twenty:

What about the presidential speech writer your Excellency-?

 

Ndiseng:

You have never asked me such questions before on any of my decisions

 

Twenty:

My apologies-

 

Ndiseng:

You are the only person I trust now, can’t you see that Twenty? That should put a smile on your face. Come on, smile for your President my dear Twenty. Come on don’t be ashamed, smile for Poka Oka Ndiseng.

 

Ndiseng is smiling widely at Twenty. Twenty gives Ndiseng a twisted smile.

 

Ndiseng:

Wooo! What a smile!

(He claps his hands in amazement)

But bravo Twenty. Bravo! You really tried, I know this is a very difficult time for you just as it is for everybody who depends on me.

(He stops clapping)

But still, I need a good speech from you that I will read to the nation just before the final election results are announced at 6pm today,

(He looks at his wrist watch)

And it is 2pm right now.

 

Twenty:

What shall I say in the speech, your Excellency?

 

Ndiseng:

Just anticipate me Twenty, I know you can rise up to the challenge, and also show why I am paying you so much money from our poor bankrupt national coffers.

 

Twenty:

Yes your Excellency.

 

Ndiseng;

Good, very good, I knew I could always trust you.

 

Twenty:

Yes your Excellency.

 

Ndiseng:

Tell me again Twenty

 

Twenty:

Yes your Excellency.

 

Ndiseng:

The opposition is lying isn’t it so?

 

Twenty:

Not about the vote results your Excellency.

 

Ndiseng:

I do not mean that you fool. Can’t you concentrate on other things for a moment besides the votes?

 

Twenty:

Pardon me your Excellency, I thought you meant the votes

 

Ndiseng:

I meant that they are lying that I am a bad man. They are telling that to the whole world and making me look like a vampire or something like that Am I a bad man Twenty?

 

Twenty:

As far as I am concerned you are not your Excellency.

 

Ndiseng:

Good, can you please repeat that?

 

Twenty:

You are the most honest man with a very kind heart in the whole country your Excellency. Even angels can’t meet your kindness.

 

Ndiseng:

So you see. I am a very good and honest man who has the interests of the people and the security of the countries resources foremost in his heart. Where can you ever hope to meet a President like that in the whole world Twenty?

 

Twenty:

Nowhere else your Excellency.

 

Ndiseng:

Exactly, and please do not forget to put that in the speech Twenty.

 

Twenty:

I shall put it your Excellency.

 

Ndiseng:

Good, you are dismissed for now.

 

Twenty:

Yes your Excellency.

 

Twenty bows and exits.

 

 






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