Dramatist personae: Gimba A poet Nusaiba A poet Audu Shugaba District head of Tandari.
1st Speaker and 2nd Speaker members of the community. Time: The present.
Synopsis: Two poets sensitize a community on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic.
Setting: Tandari Community Center, Potiskum, Yobe State. ACT 1, SCENE 1.
Gimba: We are here today to allay your fears of Coronavirus through three-line poetry.
Audu Shugaba: You are welcome, Gimba. My people will give you the utmost cooperation.
Gimba: Thank you, Sir. Is there anyone that knows about the Coronavirus?
(two people raised their hands, Gimba passed the mic to the 1st speaker).
1st speaker: It is a disease that is killing the rich people in the world.
(Gimba nods and gave the mic to the 2nd speaker).
2nd speaker: Sir, I think it is a lie by white people to stop us from going out to pray and to look for food to feed our children and my Malam agrees. That way I and my lineage will die of hunger and my religion and tribe may go extinct. (The crowd murmur in agreement).
Gimba: Is there anyone else that wants to add something to what they have said?
(A short silence followed).
Nusaiba: Coronavirus is a very tiny germ that you can’t see with your naked eyes. Viruses can make us sick, but they can’t survive on their own they need to live inside humans or animals to survive. (Audu Shugaba stood up and explained further).
Gimba: Coronavirus makes people cough, feel tired and have a fever. But older people and people who have other conditions can get very sick from it. The disease the virus causes is called Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Nusaiba: This is not the end of us, for humanity is too powerful and you are the fountain of its power.
Gimba: You don’t need to look too deep, for your prophet has told you over a thousand years ago.
Nusaiba: “If you hear that a plague is in a land, do not go there, and if it breaks out where you are, do not leave.”
Gimba: Again you don’t have to look too deep, for cleanliness is half of your faith and upon which brethren, depends your survival.
Nusaiba: Your hands you must wash, with soap and water till it lathers or just like in the viral video, you must sanitize!
Gimba: Let your mask or flexed elbow shackle the cough and sneeze.
Nusaiba: Saving yourself those around you And the community.
Gimba: People you must avoid, and your eyes, nose, and mouth your hands must divorce
Nusaiba: Stay home and self-isolate in the comfort of your beds and the company of your family.
Gimba: This is the end of our poem. (There was a round of applause).
3rd Speaker: Yallabai, how I go know if I get this coronavirus?
Gimba: You will experience symptoms like fever, tiredness and a dry cough. Some may also have a runny nose, sore throat, nasal congestion and aches and pains or diarrhoea. Some people report losing their sense of taste and/or smell.
(Aside) now she will dispel the notion that it targets only Muslims.
Nusaiba: As of 4th April, more than 1.1m people have been infected in 180 countries with over 58,000 deaths globally 3,000 in China, 14,600 in Italy, 11,000 in Spain and America has over 278,000 confirmed cases. None of these is a Muslim country.
Audu Shugaba: Thank you, Mr Poet and Mrs Poet. (laughs) Good hand and good respiratory hygiene, and prayers are indeed our only way out now. And the virus affects everyone irrespective of tribe or religion. (He continued).
In your poem, you said we should avoid people (Gimba nodded in agreement) how then will the orphans, the poor and the IDPs survive? When they rely daily on meeting people for their daily bread?