Tradition stands for the beliefs of a people on certain issues pertaining to a particular society. Betrayal in the City surrounds a dystopian country called Kafira. The people of Kafira have certain beliefs and practices.
To begin with, Doga believe that the dead can avenge for their death especially if they had been killed. He summons the spirit of Adika to follow those who killed him to all the corners of the earth.
Secondly, these people believe in ritualistic cleansing. From what we get in the conversation between Nina and Doga, someone tried to burn down Adika’s final place so as to cover their tracks. The essence could be that the killer wanted to avoid being haunted.
Furthermore, tradition demands deep respect for the elderly. Nina threatens Mulili by claiming that if he saw her naked, he will lose his able sight. Mulili plays down the curse claiming that he had seen many bodies but still with a good eyesight. However, Jere humbles himself.
Doga who believes in curses, throws one at Mulili and as the play ends, Mulili surely died the way Adika had died. (Pg 10 and pg74)
The final aspect of tradition is shown when Nina and Doga prepare for the hair shaving ceremony. They believe it as a final right for the deceased and that it should be carried out according to tradition. However, Nina believes that something may go wrong given that the grave had been tampered with.
Tradition cements the authenticity of the play as an African play with tradition and aspects of belief. It reinforces the way people were trained to obey the elderly, the dead and also conduct themselves. Furthermore, Doga’s use of the proverbs shows his advancement in age and how wise he really was.