In three acts and nine scenes, Dr. Chukwunyere Chukwu sets out on a journey that is common to men, in which the vicissitudes of our everyday lives are bare before us, while each person wades through the murky waters of differing challenges. As much as many persons would prefer to talk about what is bad in coated words, Aru, by Dr. Chukwunyere tells it the way it is.
This is a dramatic piece in which an action never ceases to be sustained as it builds into another. There are questions asked and answers given, while there are actions with meanings that the reader will grapple with for a long time because of seeming impermeability of the incidence and its surrounding antecedents. At the height of the interrogated issues in this dramatic piece is the death of someone, whose identity becomes inconsequential because the living seem only always to have certain iorta of attention, unlike the dead, which after the verdict of breathlessness may not find a place of remembrance.
There are several themes explored in this work, and as each unfolds one finds the stark nature of the human mind at its utmost intertwines, while the conflicting stances of frailty and strength continue at its parallel, consistently revealing the truths on both sides of a divide. Ultimately, Aru does not only emphasize retribution, but also explores certain Karmic intricacies, in which what is source for the goose is without flinch source for the gander.
It needs be made clear, that this work is truly characterized by Nigerians, but with far-reaching relevance; afterall the emotions and actions of man are to a great extent one and same across the world- wake, work and abound in the wonders of the world in which one finds oneself- and in the midst of ensuring ‘survival’, several vicissitudes are encountered and more importantly, conquered.
Death and its many unwanted devastations takes its toll. Snuffing life out the young and old, caring less about the bereaved as it leaves in its trail skirmishes amongst mere mortals. The sudden disappearance of a little boy and the discovery of his severed head days later indicate the in-equal cadence in human experiences. The hope of the young succeeding the old suffers irredeemably, when the young departs in the most heinous of manners and his death is alleged to have occurred in the hands of the old who have responsibility to protect the young. The denotation by death can be a reference to the periphery of the impermanence of human lives, but at the level of non-literal meaning, death signifies every kind of doom that one does not wish for, particularly the non-functional structures of governance and state institutions.
Dr. Chukwunyere Chukwu flays the ills of ill-gotten wealth, marital infidelity, dishonesty, disrespect, debauchery and every named vice which prevents the attainment of laudable life goals. Besides the simple choice of words in the dialogue, the author employs proverbs at appropriate junctures to buttress the points being made. He heralds the discovery of the dead boy with the words from Adda in Act One,
“The death of a bird is not questioned by any one because it belongs to no one when it flies, then the land it falls matter to no one who hardly cares”
These words are the deprecatory verdicts on the actions of man. It is such that even after an alleged killer has been apprehended, one still finds out that a thousand and one questions remain unanswered regarding the real criminal and a smudge splashed on one who is perceived culpable. Without much ado, Dr. Chukwunyere writes for one to read the denotative, but essentially has a great interest in the reader warming up to the underlying meaning of the work.
In Act Two, the clash of cultures is revealed amongst the persons of Agbala, Agala, Asaka and Amako. The assonance in their names does not in any way represent any unity of thought as each person’s identity and disposition is at best on cause of collision as issues unfold. Culture clash is thrown up for examination and each person holds a position about, not just religious faith but the rightness or otherwise of an embraced norm or a discountenanced practice.
This can also draw a lot of allusions in real life where many persons appear to have a lot in common, but unknown to many others what divides them transcends what unites them. Divisions along ideological lines are common amongst human beings and it is always sensible to address these issues before it escalates. In Aru, there are inter-locking challenges which appear not to get a resolution in good time and as such could not be wished off in a hurry.
The third part of the work unveils something that is rather shocking. Having thought at the outset that only a death was recorded, even more snuffing out of human lives continue. Death seems a leitmotif in this piece to the point that one sees the ephemeral nature of human life from a clear point of view. A collapsed building resulting in death; a careless driver running into somebody and attempt to escape infidelity resulting in the loss of other lives thus indicate results from what has been triggered. It is at this juncture that ‘The law of Karma’ takes its chunk of flesh.
Ultimately, the writer treats every aspect of human concerns; although his work strongly suggests a cause and reaction line of happening, there are some others whose experiences are unconnected to their fate, equally alluding to the many questions about why certain persons suffer incommensurately. Dr. Chukwunyere Chukwu attempts a panoramic representation of human life and encounters, thus leaving the readers to soak in the diverse emotions that play out in this work and he writes on page 128,
“Dogs will clap their hands. A hand that is seen…. Evil is not rare among men. Life has no duplicate”
The irreplaceable fact of life resonates but when a ‘dog claps its hand that is not seen, then the outcome would leave too many questions unanswered.  

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