The plot has several heads of state of some African nations posing for a statue at the U.N. They expect to have the statue on display somewhere in the U.N. The main character driving the events is fictional version of Idi Amin named Kamini. The other heads of state are likewise fictionalized by name but not by character. There is an introduction to they play that states very clearly that, to paraphrase the famous qualification, "any similarity between the characters and persons living or dead is entirely intentional". They grouse about how difficult ruling is and how one needs to be strong and crush one's enemies. Kamini in particular is almost comically ignorant of simple ideas, like how currency works. One hopes that Mr. Soyinka is exaggerating the level of ignorance and capriciousness that are exhibited by Kamini.
There is one character that is either underwritten or not fully presented well. I wanted to understand more of her motives and her place in the situation. Her name is Gudrum and she is a Scandinavian journalist who seems to blindly support everything that Kamini does, I have no understanding of why she does what she does knowing that Kamini is essentially a horrible, violent bully. She seems to respect his power.
There are two major events that happen one is the torture of the head of the Kamini's central bank. He tries to explain that printing more currency will only make that money useless and his unfortunate choice of words (toilet paper) for a comparison gets his head flushed in a toilet for "the remainder of the play". Even after Kamini uses the toilet to deposit some solid waste. The other is the assault of the unnamed sculptor. There is a major misunderstanding of why he is there. To explain that would take too long but he confides a negative opinion of Kamini to Gudrum which she shares with Kamini which is the behavior of hers that confuses me. Kamini beats the sculptor nearly senseless.
The play ends with the Russians and Americans squabbling over Kamini's demands (this was written in 1984 and the end of the Cold War was still 5 years away), when news arrives of a coup back in Kamini's country. He decides it is a lie and makes plans to attack the U.N. which he does as the show fades to black.
The play packs an intellectual and political punch. It says much about the abuses of power. Although somewhat, dated there were still some very cogent and timely ideas about rebellions and sovereignty of states and how they are fostered and maintained.