The Dawn of Full Moon… where love conquers male chauvinism
Although the themes of teenage pregnancy, poverty and male’s inhumanity to the female gender dominated the play, the playwright also attempts to explore the themes of determination and collective responsibility. To a large extent, she emphasizes the collective as well as individual roles of women in addressing the challenges of gender insensitivity as perpetuated by the men as represented by Ikedi.
Dr Osita C. Ezenwanebe’s sentiment as a feminist writer is very obvious in Obioma’s choice of actions. She is a young graduate and Ikedi’s fianc?e, who, rather than take sides with the brutal and insensitive Ikedi just to secure a home for herself and fulfills the societal expectations, chooses the path of truth, justice and equity. She refuses to see Daalu first as Ikedi’s house maid but as a fellow woman and whose course she must fight if the problem of gender inequality must be appropriately addressed.
Ikedi, as learnt in the opening dialogue with Mazi Uzoma, Daalu’s father, had lured Daalu to bed, pregnant her and abandoned her and her baby. Driven by hunger and poverty, Daalu’s father decides to impose his daughter on the culprit against his wishes. Consequently, she undergoes torture, maltreatment and humiliation in the hands of Ikedi until the timely appearance of Obioma, who discards Ikedi’s tales and ventures into the near-shattered life of the already physically and psychologically assaulted Daalu. Her unbiased enquiry produces a true picture of the prevailing situation, which greatly contrasts the malicious tales of Ikedi.
For Obioma, her marriage, her joy and perhaps, her lineage are not considered too great for the required sacrifice to liberate womanhood from gender injustice and oppression. Her display of courage and boldness endears her to the audience while her ability to break into the world of men and challenge their ego, which Ikedi epitomizes, raises her to the position of heroin in The Dawn of Full Moon.
At the end of the play, not only is Obioma able to emancipate Daalu from Ikedi’s mental and physical enslavement, she also restores her hope and nurtures her into a full moon as a medical doctor.
Other characters that the playwright employs in making Daalu actualizes her dreams include Obianuju, Ifeoma and Derick, who eventually marries her. They appear in the scene, providing the initial support that Daalu requires to survive before the arrival of Obioma.
In the series of dialogue that ensue between Obianuju, Ifeoma and Daalu, the academic position of Daalu as well as her encounter with Ikedi are brought to the knowledge of the audience.
In Daalu, we see a brilliant teenager, who is willing to push the past behind her, a determined young girl, whose greatest ambition is not deterred by the temporary setback she suffers – a teenager, who is willing to correct the mistakes of her childhood by taking a giant stride forward. At the end, she metamorphoses from the poor, sick and dejected failure to a stallion – a symbol of strength and inspiration to many of her age.
There is no doubt that the author has used the play as part of her contribution towards addressing the problem of gender imbalance in her community and Africa at large. It is also worthy of mention that though the play is set in the South East geo-political zone of Nigeria, the issue of gender insensitivity and vulnerability of women is not peculiar to the playwright’s community but a general phenomenon, especially among the developing countries of the world.
The Dawn of Full Moon is a short play of about 60 pages. The diction is precise and simple, except for the few words in Igbo language. It is a play that can be realized on stage without difficulties.
Above all, those, who have crossed the path of the author, will notice her influence in the character of Obioma. A mother, wife and lecturer at the department of Creative Arts, University of Lagos , she is dogged and unrelenting. She possess an obstinate bahaviour that recognizes no barrier, multi-dexterous handling of issues are some of playwright’s feats as we read in the character of Obioma.