The Black Widow, Episode 1


This play was adopted and performed on BBC African radio service.

By Tim Nwanbilo

Scene I


ADANMA (phone rings).  Hello, who is on the line?


Dr. ROBERTS.  Yeah, I am Dr. Roberts calling from Orji Memorial Hospital. Please, sorry to bother

You, but are you Mrs. Adanma Chinedu, wife to one Mr. Silas Chinedu?


ADANMA.  Yes, please. Can I help you?


Dr. ROBERTS.  Not really, madam, but there is a slight problem.


ADANMA (apprehensively).  What is it?


Dr. ROBERTS.  Your husband, Silas Chinedu, was involved in an auto-accident this morning—


ADANMA (interjects, shocked).  Jesus!


Dr. ROBERTS (continues).  —at around ten o’ clock. He is lying severely injured at the hospital.


ADANMA (sounding confused).  When did this…what happened to him…how…ok, which hospital did you say he is in?


Dr. ROBERTS.  Orji Memorial Hospital, 15 Kaduna road, Onitsha. (Comfortingly.) Madam, please

take it easy. It will be better if you leave right away to come and see your husband.


ADANMA.  All right. I’m coming, but how is he doing?


Dr. ROBERTS.  Madam, come and see your husband now.


ADANMA.  I’m on my way. (Jangling of door keys about 5 seconds later indicates Adanma leaving the house.)



ADANMA.  Excuse me—


Dr. ROBERTS (interjecting).  Mrs. Chinedu?


ADANMA.  Yes, doctor.


Dr. ROBERTS.  Follow me.


(Beeping of ECG machine in background.)


ADANMA (in shaky voice). Honey?!



SILAS (in low, strained voice).  Sweetheart, I…I…love you.


ADANMA (sobbing).  I… love…you…too.


SILAS.  Take care of the children (beeping of ECG machine increases in pitch and then slowly starts to die   



ADANMA (miserably).  Honey…don’t go. (Screams.) Honey! (Bursts out wailing.)


Scene II


KELECHI.  Here, have some water.


ADANMA.  Thank you, mama.


KELECHI.  As you were saying—


ADANMA (sorrowfully).  I was holding a pot of food over the stove when the phone rang. I answered it and the

doctor told me that my husband…was…involved in an accident less than an hour. I kept praying that

it was a lie as I rushed to the hospital. But when I got to the hospital I saw Silas…he was bandaged

all over. (Lamenting.) My God, why me? Why me? Why did you have to take my husband from me?

Why? Why?


KELECHI (comfortingly).  Take it easy, my daughter. God gives and God takes.


ADANMA (shouting).  No, mama. No! It is very unfair. Why should it be Silas? There are bad men out there, not

Silas. He was a good man. (Starts crying.)


KELECHI.  Adanma, it is well. Take it easy. You are not the first to experience such a nightmare. It’s ok. Take

this hanky. Wipe your tears.


ADANMA (sniffling).  It’s like he was just waiting for me to come before dying. He told me just 2 things before he died. But it was the second thing he said that hurt me most. He said he loved me. I

was happy he loved me till his final breath. But the second thing he told me…he told me to take …care of the children. For God’s sake, how can he just leave me like that with the

children, and then say I should take care of them? With 2 of us, it was hard enough, not to talk of with me alone.



KELECHI.  But you can’t blame him. It wasn’t his fault.


ADANMA.  I know, I know, but… (Resumes  crying.) If only that truck driver had been caught, then I’ll be rest

assured he’ll be spending the rest of his life in jail for…killing…killing…my husband. (Sniffles.)


KELECHI. How did the accident even happen?


ADANMA.  He was going out in a taxi. They said this truck driver suddenly swerved his truck and went straight

for the taxi my husband was in. A head-on collision. It was too sudden; they had no chance to escape. And just like that, my husband, my life, my joy, my…everything went; just like that.


KELECHI.  He must have been drunk. These truck drivers, instead of keeping a clear head in the early morning,

they drink their eyes out.


ADANMA. If not for a ‘good Samaritan’ who rushed my husband and the others to the hospital, he could have

bled right there.


KELECHI.  Don’t cry. You have to forge on with life. The children need you to be strong for them.


ADANMA (miserably).  Aargh! death. Now I am a widow. Silas, you have made me a widow.


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