Book Title: Apogee
Author: Eziwho Emenike Azunwo
Year of Publication: 2023
Publisher: Pearl Publishers International Ltd, Port Harcourt
Reviewer: Orubima Lydia Fred
The play Apogee, as the title suggests, is about women in leadership spaces and the challenges that confront them often from patriarchal structures epitomised by Onukwuari, a character in the drama. It is set in a market, a multidimensional space that is not just for commerce in African societies. The area is often excluded from a sphere where socialisation can occur and one believes that it deserves to be adjudged so. It has proved to be where many business acumen and leadership skills were developed and honed to expertise.
In this play, Emenike commits to the political dimension of making women advance their dreams to expand their space of political participation and hierarchical relations for the affirmation of their economic and political empowerment within the commercial environment. Politics is like demand and supply. In Nigeria, the politics of the marketplace has evolved to see women challenging a place where men held total sway and only a fraction of control awarded to them for control. A successful tenure or the reverse by men should not be a deterrent to the aspiration of women.
While the women organise to change the political equation, their male counterparts believe in the status quo ante, which to their dismay, is upturned. The message underscored by the playwright is for women to come together, reach the apogee or the highest point of their career, transform society not just to their advantage, but for the profit of all. The market women aspired to that point and got there.
There can be no end to women organising for society to advance or even change for the benefit of present and subsequent generations. As regards the electoral process, the need for women to harness enlightenment processes for political enlightenment reflects the fusion of native intelligence and modern approaches to electioneering. The strategist Cheari carries the day by her thermostatic effect on the women who are galvanised for action against the hem lining and oppression of women by men. There can be no end to women's real or symbolic efforts in favour of breaking the glass ceiling, even at the marketplace using political means and structures.
It does not matter if these women have seen the walls of a formal educational institution or not. The playwright's emphatic gesture to uphold women's rights and positive activism through theatre is commendable. This text has inherent capacity to move women to action. It is for this reason that the need for it to be deployed as a tool for sensitisation and action is appreciated. Though brief, there is no end to the political impact Apogee can have on women even when the fiasco in the title could have been adequately used to depict the humiliation of the men.
Azunwo, Eziwho Emenike. Apogee. Port Harcourt: Pearl Publishers International Ltd. 2023.
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