Quarter Eight… A wayward Girl And A Father’s Wasted Investment
Children are an investment, so reads the gospel according to some commerce-minded parents, particularly those from a certain ethnic group. What happens to the parent when the ‘product’ fails to measure up to the value placed on it? This forms the core of Quarter Eight currently being performed at Ethnic Heritage Centre at Raymond Njoku Street, Ikoyi, Lagos.
It is a production of Kininso Koncepts, written and directed by Joshua Alabi, who used to feature prominently in Segun Adefila-led Crown Troupe of Africa. He is cutting his teeth in solo production, apparently having come of age.
Quarter Eight explores the psychology of a father whose world falls apart because the daughter he has invested his resources educating so as to shore up his floundering business deviates from the narrow path and gets pregnant. What is worse, she is unable to point out the man responsible for the pregnancy. She is today’s typical Nigerian undergraduate who feels the world is at her feet and the only way to claim is go on rampage.
We see Chief (Opeyemi Dada), an Igbo businessman, going after his debtor (who, sadly, we don’t get to see, a stream the writer or director fails to pursue to the end), at a seedy residence at Quarter Eight, where the policeman and the Corper also reside. Chief’s pretty daughter Amara, an undergraduate, accompanies him and later delivers his meal and drinks to aid his long wait for his debtor. But the action shifts quickly and Chief is negotiating with a certain Alhaji for Amara’s hand in marriage.
Amara is angry with her father for the arrangement because she is in love with the Corper, a love that is yet to be consummated because the Corper is careful to make it platonic even as Amara appears eager to push it full hilt. Chief’s accusation directed at the Corper, “A man with erection without direction” sounds hollow; he should have reserved it for his lawyer friend.
But Amara’s (Bodurin Afolabi) case is somewhat different and pathetic; she is a victim of men’s rapacious libido.