Mamadi the Silent
Kerfa the Fool
Sia Yatebere's Father
Sia Yatabere's Mother
Kaya Maghan's Griot
The Masked Chorus
Kaya Maghan's Court
(When speaking as the MASKED CHORUS, the CHIEF, the ASSISTANT CHIEF and the FLUNKY don masks.)
Chief Night is falling over Kumbi. Here and there, perhaps, curtains go up, life goes on …
Assistant Chief The whole panorama of life, the actors coming and going, perspiring and aspiring.
Flunky … and eventually expiring …
Chief … and you're becoming boring, Flunky, with all those unsuitable puns. We're here to talk about beginnings, not endings. I turn it over to you, Assistant Chief.
Assistant Chief We have actors appearing on the stage of life. Great and not-so-great, good and bad, famous and unknown. There are Kaya Maghan, Wakhane Sakho, as well as Mamadi the Silent, and Sia Yatabere … they need no introduction.
Chief And then there are others, the nameless horde, those who drift along on the waves of that great river known as Time, which endures for eternity while they float on …
Assistant Chief … as colourless as indifference …
Flunky … as transparent as poverty …
Chief As odourless as pain.
Assistant Chief As well as being barely presentable.
Flunky Because of all the flies on their eyes and buzzing around them.
Chief Their hands misshapen as their feet.
Flunky And their tongues – they say that they're deadly poison.
Chief In short, they're not really quite presentable … but present them we must. When the time comes, they'll make an appearance! And of course, as always, the usual precautions have been taken.
Assistant Chief Look, there, on the left, the Shackled Chorus. As their name indicates, their hands are shackled, but only at night. In the morning, it's their feet.
(The SHACKLED CHORUS slowly crosses the stage.)
Chief That's to avoid any unpleasant complications. If they were unchained, they could walk on their hands and salute with their feet.