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The Lock on My Lips

Lock on My Lips, The

Pepertua K. Nkamanyang Lola

Publication Year: 2014

The Lock on My Lips foregrounds gender, narrative and identity in its representations. It tells the story of a woman who defies traditional patriarchal boundaries that deny women their rights, most especially the right to landed property and buys land in her name. Discursive constructions, ëtravelling conceptsí, metaphors, multiple perspectives, narrative, imagery, folklore, anthropological objects, and mixed-genre plot structure (narrative-(poetic)-drama), combine to tell the story of gendered beings and thus pave the way for exploring the interdisciplinary potentials of the play-text. Land and genre are gender markers. Land is definable through power and authority, constitutes the material with which masculinities are constructed, and thus becomes a space where women are excluded. The play equates land with patriarchal ideology of male virility and supremacy, but creates a mixed-genre fragmentary structure to disrupt the very patriarchal power erected through the metaphor of land.

Published by: African Books Collective

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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The Playwright

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Perpetua Nkamanyang Lola is a Senior Lecturer of English Literary Studies and Literary Theories at The University of Bamenda, Cameroon. She had served as Organization and Research Documentation Officer in Justus Liebig University, Giessen, Germany, and is presently Head of Service for Extra-African...

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Preface & Acknowledgment

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pp. v-viii

I would like to thank the University of Douala for their financial support in the realization of this project. As a writer, one imaginatively reproduces environments and influences in a language that is environmentally alert and receptive. My opinion that writers are readers and reapers implies that I do not wish to arrogate the...

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Foreword

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pp. ix-x

The fight for women’s rights continues to be a major issue amongst feminist scholars, writers and activists since Mary Wollstonecraft. While it must be admitted that major grounds have been covered over the decades and women are seen more and more to be very efficient partners in development and not just subordinates or people...

Characters

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pp. xi-xii

The Prologue

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pp. xiii-xvi

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ACT I

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pp. 1-68

Shey’s photograph and family picture each hang on the wall. In the centre of the sitting room is an imposing interwoven cane chair with a broad-shouldered and umbrella-like platform that provides an impression of a house within another. The house seems deserted except for a dark-skinned giant sitting on the biggest of the cane chairs flanked by smaller ones arranged around it, and looking at the wall...

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ACT II

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pp. 69-94

Shey Ghamogha: (Installs himself on the cane chair. His wife perches on a stool. (Closes his eyes and tries hard to remember). “Use pillow diplomacy when all efforts have failed”. (Opens his eyes slowly and speaks alluringly). Maayuh, Mwerong is impatiently waiting for my reaction. Mwerong will personally supervise our...

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ACT III

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pp. 95-124

Mrs Ghamogha: (Looks at her wristwatch). Kila, hold the edges together. Rub soap all over. Keep the soap away. Now, rub the dress with the palms of your two hands (bends forward to assist). Kila, I planned to go to one office. I will soon...

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ACT IV

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pp. 125-174

(A big hall constructed with mud bricks imposes itself in front of an inner compound. Wave-like tracks of brown lines creep up the walls and disappear through the roofs. Sitting on two large well-designed bamboo stools are Shufai Nsaw and Shufai Sarbam. The Shufais are wearing zebra coloured long gowns that touch their feet. Sewn onto their thread-woven caps are beads of variegated...

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ACT V

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pp. 175-212

Ability: (Hands an envelope to Inspector Lucas). The booty is heavy. Oil Barrister Johnson’s lips. Shey has agreed to give a portion of that land to us if he wins the case.
Inspector Lucas: That’s a big contract.
Ability: If the trap fails to catch a rat, it returns the bait to the...

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Postscripts

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pp. 213-215

Lola’s The Lock on My Lips is a brilliant meditation on the ambiguity of land ownership in contemporary Cameroon. In it, Lola uses the simple metaphor of a family misunderstanding over a piece of land to explore the broader disturbing subject of land tenure in the Cameroon nation state. The author opts for legality where the...

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9789956791576
Print-ISBN-13: 9789956791088

Page Count: 234
Publication Year: 2014