The Lost Marriage Rites is a play about 16 year old Adikini, who is pressured into marriage, so that her brother can use her bride-price to marry his wife. Okwerede’s family had faced hard times and marrying Adikini off would not only get his son off his back, but also feed the rest of the family. “Mama Adikini, do you remember that old man Okoik, the chief of the neighboring village…? Okwerede starts a conversation with his wife, Asioto about marrying off their daughter. Oh yes, the old man satirically named Okoik, a meme for a person with a big belly in Teso, was his solution. “Mama I am not ready for marriage, let alone to that old man.’ Adikini begs her mother, who will not hear of it, but insists she gets married soon.
Maybe seeking shelter with her friend would help, so Adikini flees hard, as the big bellied fella is just started. But so is the story of Adikini, the dilemma of her father, the in-exposure of her mother and the selfishness of her brother, Epaja.
It might not be a play modern enough, even reek of shaky attempts at proverbs, maybe even come off as a bit surreal, but The Lost Marriage Rites uses simplicity to make a point.
Dare I say, the Katakwi born playwright, Gerald Malinga, in this play looks far back into the old Teso traditions. Malinga, a Medical laboratory practitioner, whose only encounter with literature was from a class at Teso College Aloet, might have had the past, but his character, Adikini ,is much alive in our societies.
Review written by Caroline Ariba for the New Vision.