A critical analysis of the theme of betrayal in Francis Imbuga’s Betrayal in the City, Game of Silence and Man of Kafira This study examines the kind of influence postin dependence realities have had on Imbuga as a playwright. More specifically it is an exploration of some aspects of Imbuga’s dramatic transmission of these realities. A critical analysis of the dominant theme of betrayal, in Betrayal in the City, Game of Silence and Man of Kafira helps illuminate the realities. The guiding assumption is that drama in Africa carries a political dimension and is therefore socially committed. Drama may thus be read as a barometer of social change and progress. Imbuga’s drama artistically presents topical socio-political issues through dramatic exploration of the theme of betrayal and in the process reveals the playwright’s perception of society. The analysis starts off with a survey of the historical background of the three selected plays.
This way we arrive at the origins of the theme of betrayal. The physical setting is Africa where the goings-on include the strangling of nascent democracy and the attendant oppression of the common people by the ruling elite. As Betrayal in the City demonstrates, the consequence of this state of affairs is a popular desire for change. Game of Silence is a dramatic critique of the culture of silence in which the playwright seems to advocate popular reaction against autocratic and anti-life forces. As Imbuga’s ideological stance as a writer becomes clearer in this play, we advance into Man of Kafira and its dominant theme of power crisis and the related positions of the former head of state. In the final analysis, we have read and understood society through Imbuga’s drama.