The Blood of A Stranger is an interesting play written by a Sierra Leonean writer and playwright, Raymond Dele-Charley. This play was performed at the 1977 Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) and won an award for the best play.
The play illustrates how Europeans, with the active collaboration of some unscrupulous Africans, exploited and stole Africa’s rich resources during the colonial era.
Maligu, the Chief Adviser to Santigi (King of Mando) receives a letter to the effect that a white man (Mr Whitehead) is coming to Mando for tobacco farming. He approaches Soko, the corrupt priest of Mando and convinces him to prophesy to the king and the people that they should welcome the visitor.
Meanwhile, Mando has witnessed a number of wars in the past and has not been accepting visitors. To them, visitors mean sickness, disease and war. However, because they view Soko as a trusted intermediary between them and the spirit of their forefathers, they welcome Mr. WhiteHead.
Kindo, the chief warrior and king’s son is suspicious of Soko’s claims having known Soko and Maligu to be corrupt men. On his arrival, Whitehead reveals to Maligu that his true motive is to harvest Mando diamonds and not tobacco farming. He plans to take advantage of the people’s ignorance by telling them that the diamonds are the devil’s stones. Whitehead has also lied to the king that he is going to help the village. Whitehead gives the people including the king, hard drug, gin and tobacco which intoxicate them and make them misbehave. This represents the bad influence of western culture. Whitehead attempts to rape Wara, Kindo’s woman but his plan fails. This represents the rape of Sierraleone’s (and indeed Africa’s) rich resources by the British (and other colonialists) during the colonial and pre-colonial era.
The story ends on a tragic note. Soko the priest is killed by Parker, Whitehead’s right hand man. Kindo finds out and kills Parker and exposes their evil plans. Maligu and Whitehead insist that Kindo should be banished in line with custom and tradition having killed Parker during peace time. The king banishes Kindo, his own son. Kindo kills Whitehead and leaves the village with his warriors. Kindo remains the voice of reason all through the play.
The Blood of A Stranger is a story of greed, selfish ambition, human deceit, corruption, and exploitation.
Its location is the village of Mando, old Sierraleone during the colonial era. The play is a tragedy with a linear plot structure.