The pupils visiting the David Livingstone Centre
David Livingstone Memorial Primary School. This was for a performance before the school and the pupils’ families.

Enter Narrator. Looks at the book in his/her hands.

I have lived here in Africa for many years and heard many stories, some good, some bad – but this story is one of the saddest, the bravest and the worst that I have ever heard. It is about a young boy and his sister who live in a village not far from the coast. Today they are playing happily, unaware of what is about to happen to them.

Enter Boy and Girl, take up position of playing a game. Freeze

Watch carefully, their story is about to begin.

Enter Slave Traders talking about how they plan to capture some people and trade them for goods with sea captains from Scotland and other countries.

Head Trader
It is very easy. The ships arrive from across the world and in exchange for a few people we will get guns, copper, cloth, jewellery . . . everything we could want. What could be easier?

Trader 1
So, how do we do it?

Enter Captain, First Mate and two or three sailors.

Ah, there are the men I was telling you about. Get the guns and other goods to show them. Our ship will soon be loaded with our live cargo!

Sailors get goods and show them to traders (mime) Traders seem very interested, shake hands, nod heads in agreement as if making a deal (some dialogue can be used here).
The traders leave and walk across country.

Trader 1 watches children playing including the boy and his sister. Trader 1 makes plan. The traders encircle the children, preparing to pounce. Scene showing children being caught.

So many slaves were caught – men and women, and also children. They were chained and yoked together and forced to walk many miles to the ships. Some struggled, some cried, some were too frightened for sound.

Sailors drag on groups. The last group has the boy and his sister. Groups freeze in front of captain.

How many are here? I need 600 for a good profit. First Mate , do we have enough to set sail?

First Mate
Aye Captain. These are the last . A few good specimens too.

Captain (after inspecting slaves before him)
Well, get them on board. Wait (pointing at boy and sister) These two don’t look too strong. I don’t want anyone who won’t survive the journey. (Looking at them closely) Hmm! They’ll do I suppose. Get the barrier in place. Remember to separate the men from the women.

Two sailors put barrier in place (mime) Scene of slaves being taken on board and chained together below deck. Two sailors left to guard them.

There was scarcely room for the slaves to move. Time passed slowly. The ship rocked from side to side as it broke through the waves. Every day the slaves were given a short time for exercise. It was here that the boy was able to hear news of his sister. He would sit near the barricade and try to speak to her. One day she did not answer. She had died of a fever that now swept through the whole ship. Food and water supplies were small, the slaves suffered more and more. Some began to plan escape!

Show escape attempt. Slaves are rounded up and taken away.

First Mate
All the slaves are below sir. Food and water is running short. We may run out soon. What should we do sir?

How much is left?

First Mate
Enough to last a day or two, no more than that.

There’s only one thing to be done then. Any slaves who are not fit and well must be thrown overboard. At least the fishes will be well fed!

First Mate
But sir! We can’t do that. They’re people after all.

They are cargo to be exchanged for money! No more, no less. We need strong healthy ones to sell when we reach the West Indies! So get rid of the sick ones now. That will leave enough food for the rest! Do as I say and throw them overboard!!!

First Mate
But sir, that’s not . . . . . .

I gave you an order. Do it!

First Mate
Aye sir.
Scene showing the men and women being thrown overboard. Captain watches.

And so the journey continued in the same way from day to day until they reached Jamaica. The ship docked, the slaves unloaded and taken to auction.

Auction scene

The slaves had been bought by their new owners to work on plantations, where the hours were long and the work backbreaking.

Plantation scene. Cutting sugar cane. Small groups. Escape attempt 2

Most of the slaves worked on the sugar plantations. But not every slave worked on the plantation. Some worked in the master’s home – cooking, cleaning, washing, sewing, looking after the children – or they worked in the garden. Boy was luckier than most. He was slave to a plantation owner who was about to return to Scotland, to run his businesses in Glasgow. Boy was to go with him. He was chosen because he was young and strong, and useful to the Master.

Scene of Boy packing, carrying heavy boxes and cases. Master is irritated when he doesn’t work hard enough. Boy beaten. Master’s children make fun of him.

Hurry Boy, hurry. Pick up that box and bring it to me. Do not drop it!

But in Scotland, Boy’s work was no better than it had been in Jamaica and what was worse – the weather! Rain, snow, wind, gales, storms. Boy had never seen anything like it! At night he was kept chained in case he should escape and around his neck he wore a metal collar engraved with the name of his master. It seemed to him that his whole life would be spent chained up, working twenty-four hours a day and never knowing love from anyone. He would never be free. Then one dark evening, his Master was coming home from his business, when he was attacked by thieves…

Scene showing Boy fighting thieves and saving life of Master. In return for this deed Boy receives his freedom.

What is your name, Boy? Do you have a name?

It is Kofi.

(Boy) Kofi
I am free. But I will go on fighting! Fighting to gain the freedom of other slaves, to get rid of slavery for ever.

All cheer.

Many Africans rebelled on the plantations. And many people campaigned against the slave trade, writing books and letters, giving talks and demanding action from Parliament. Until, eventually, the British slave trade was abolished – no Briton could ever own a slave again. But look around you. There are still 12 and a half million slaves in the world today. Has anything really changed?

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