The Lion and the Jewel
I was about twelve years old when I read Wole Soyinka’s the Lion and the Jewel, I hated the experience, I had just discovered my utopia in Mills and Boon, romantic movies; the happily ever afters, the strapping hero with pleasing ways, the heroine whose passions once unleashed couldn’t be kept from her lover and the universe of course in her magnanimity made sure the two would fall in love, get pregnant and get married, in no particular order and of course proclaim their undying love in between gasps of hungry insatiable kisses for ever and ever.
Under my blanket, drifting eyes and one of such books clutched in my hands, I had come to believe this would happen to me, this maddeningly addictive love, I was waiting for him.
This book raised doubts and later made an unbeliever of me. Lakunle the hero was quite unlikeable; his pedantry and poverty, how does one proclaim love and not want to marry ones’ love? How does Sidi not make Lakunle see reason by devising a brilliant proposal causing plan in true heroine fashion? And Sadiku? Fairy Godmother of doom; leading Sidi into the arms of Baroka, the wily old fox of a king whose cunning wins him a new bride. This book was my timely intervention from fairydom and now? I Chika Eneanya living in St. Kitts still awaits love but with partial clarity, knowing what it could be.
Chika Eneanya, St Kitts