Reviews

Rethinking Innocence and Syzygies; Revisiting Ken Erics Ugo’s Cell 2

It’s amazing how our response to a story exposes how much villainy we have stored up inside of us.

Ok so who else is yet to read Cell 2?

Like seriously?

What planet are you on?

So, if you have not read Cell 2, Pause! Click here to order yours or here to at least get a hang of the story and then come back to finish reading the rest of this post afterwards.

Now that you have read, and at least have a hang of the story, let’s move on.

Like everyone else who has read the play, you are sure to have been taken down memory lane of that one time when you were dealt with by one of our ever-increasing list of law-enforcement agencies – LASTMA, VIO, CBD, FRSC or even Agbero (rolls eyes)… There are so many colours in Gidi these days, we don’t even know who is which anymore.

You know, that one time when you were sure you were actually innocent but probably just woke up on luck’s bad side that day. I guess you must been very happy about how the book ended right?

It’s amazing how our response to a story exposes how much villainy we have stored up inside of us; It is scary that ninety-nine percent of readers of Cell 2 –including yours truly– will love how the police got just what they deserved. What is even scarier that we even begin to feel some sort of empathy for Boss and his goons as they regale us with their tales of conquest and how lucky they are to have escaped death. The scariest parts are the points where we find nothing wrong with Kenneth and his friends bonding with the older inmates and even almost find ourselves mentally chanting “Down!”

It then leaves me wondering what we really think of our justice system and whether we even recognize that there is one.

I consider it funny that in the whole excitement of being swept away with Cell 2’s rather interesting plot, we all forget to be objective.

Yes, we all have scores to settle with these “uniformed men” and sometimes pray that they get paid in their own coin for those times they “delayed” or “frustrated” us for “no just cause”, but who else bothered to ask the following questions?

What was Kenneth doing sleeping in a hostel at the time he was arrested by the police?

If he is as innocent as portrayed by the playwright, why was he away from home at such an ungodly hour in a university hostel where it is normally forbidden for even non-members/residents of a hostel to sleep in?

And then what about his friends, the ones in whose room he was arrested; were they not breaking a school/hostel rule by accommodating a non-student of their university overnight?

Whatever will be left of the psychology of Kenneth and his friends with regards to justice and the rule of law after such bonding with hardened criminals?

Albeit unreasonably exaggerated, were the Police not actually doing their job?

Do you not think that the right and wrong chasm of the supposedly innocent Kenneth and his friends will be blurred after the experience?

Whatever even became of the society into which Boss and his gang were released?

I do not mean to take sides with Runa and his gang. They by all means got served big time, but sometimes we really need all the sides of a story if we are to take any sides at all. Afterall, we say that oil and water do not mix but under the right amount of heat and with enough condiments, they can actually blend into becoming tasty soup.

Ok! This is the point where the playwright mentally corks a gun at me, so err …If you lack your own copy or have not read Cell 2, but ignored the first directive because you do not have the patience for online malls and you live in Lagos, then please stroll into any of the following bookshops to buy yourself a copy;

Patabah Bookshop; Shop B20 (Surulere Shoprite) Adeniran Ogunsanya Shopping Mall, Adeniran Ogunsanya Street, Surulere, Lagos

TerraKulture; Tiamiyu Savage Street, Victoria Island, Lagos

The playwright would also like to know what you think about his play. Stalk and bombard him on Twitter; @KenErics, Keep an eye on him on Instagram @kenerics, or drop a comment here.

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