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Leopard Watch

JK Bannavti

Publication Year: 2011

In beautifully constructed verse, JK Bannavti's Leopard Watch tells the story of a Fon who out of greed and veiled impiety devastates the land over which he rules. The Fon, The King of Bamkov is in a perpetual state of slumber while an illusive beast drives terror into the heart of the kingdom, killing children as well as cattle. Neither the cries of the people nor pressure from the notables seems to have any effect on him. The population of the clan diminishes daily while the Fon sleeps, snores, and drools in the day, and growls, chews, and laps in the night. When finally the notables join the youth vigilante group to hunt down the beast, they come face to face with the devourer who narrowly escapes. A day later, one of the notables, Gwei, in a drunken state encounters and kills the leopard at night as he returns from the market. Amidst jubilation and in honor of Gwei the Fon collapses off his horse and dies. His carcass lies in the same state as that of the dead leopard.

Published by: African Books Collective

Title Page, Copyright Page

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Note on the Play

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pp. i-iii

Leopard Watch, like its precursor, Rock of God, provides us a remarkable window into the underlying rational behind a people’s naming culture. This naming culture is what I will briefly attempt to explain. ...


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pp. iv

Dramatis Personae

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pp. 1

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ACT ONE - Scene One

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pp. 3-12

(Palace in grass field Cameroon: Fon sits in his throne snoring and drooling intensely. Tawong is by his side. As Yewong walks in, Tawong moves closer to receive her. They start commenting in hushed tones.) ...

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Scene Two

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pp. 13-26

(Grove with shrubby grass cover; raffia palm in the background and an aged fig tree dominate scene: Two stools stand across from each other. A fresh banana leaf is laid a little away and between the two stools; a number of cowries, short horn, oil calabash and salt are placed on the leaf. Ngarum is not on seat. ...

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Scene Three

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pp. 27-51

(Break of day: Whistling winds, early morning cockcrows and cackling of fowls suggest the presence of a predator. Distant wailings come across in the wind. An exhausted Gwei leans on a pole in front of his house, spear in hand and scabbard slung over the shoulder. ...

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ACT TWO - Scene One

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pp. 54-65

(Sunny and comfortably breezy day: Corn beer shed in the market. Kibong, a middle aged lady is sitting at the door. A big pot from which she serves corn beer into bowls, stands at the back corner. Very clean calabash bowls are neatly packed face-down on a bamboo bench along the wall. ...

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Scene Two

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pp. 66-68

(Moonlit night: Gwei sings along the road, shouting greetings to all those with houses by the road-side as he treks by. From time to time, the eyes of an animal flash quickly by as it crosses the road. Gwei sounds a little tipsy, but sure of foot)...

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Scene Three

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pp. 69-81

(Kavi: day after Kifeh market day. Rainy season morning; bright and sunny on the green grass cover. Two women are about to leave the house when a Nwerong masquerade approaches, pulling along a bamboo pole. It stops, scans the surroundings from left to right, puts hand over forehead for a piercing look into the house and then proceeds. ...

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Scene Four

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pp. 82-88

(Banks of the Kiléy Báh River: Manjong is in full gear dancing and singing. On the foreground is a flat rock on which lies Gwei on one side and a shattered Leopard on another side. Manjong medicine experts are trying to revive Gwei. Gwei starts waking up as drumming and singing rise to a sudden high. ...


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pp. 90-95

Back cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9789956579570
Print-ISBN-13: 9789956579167

Page Count: 104
Publication Year: 2011