LAKUNLE – Lion and the Jewel

If you have read Lion and the jewel by Wole Soyinka – the Nobel laureate from Nigeria,

you would be familiar with LAKUNLE.

This little poem is to his tribute.

I hope Prof. Soyinka wouldn’t mind my reducing this great character to a verse.


I’m Misita Lakunle, a precious stone.

The pigs of Ilujinle are indeed too,

purblind, unsighted, unperceiving.

to see this.

My pocket is full of knowledge,

Cognition, wisdom, sapience

My days are spent fruitlessly

drumming the western ways

into those savages

when I’m not looking out

through the rotten window

for Sidi.

Sidi! as stubborn as an illiterate goat,

But I love her still

Hum my Sidi……………………..

The jewel Baroka, the crafty rogue

Snatched from my smooth fingers

Master of self-indulgence

Stole my love.


Could I have had her still?

if I had paid the bride price

maybe, maybe not

But I would have been subjected to that

Savage, barbaric, out-dated, rejected,

denounced, accursed, excommunicated custom

…..hum hum, forgive me,

but I own only the shorter

companion dictionary.


2 thoughts on “LAKUNLE – Lion and the Jewel

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