GLOSSARY – The 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 these terms. This list poem is to her tribute. I hope Prof. Soyinka wouldn’t mind my reducing this great character to a verse.

Odan tree – a place to hide and watch your prey and competitor – 1

Village Center – a place for village idiocy – 1

Window – a space to poke your head and make silly noise at a mad man’s object of admiration – 1

Window – a perfect place to get your head whacked

Village belle – synonym for village bimbo – 1

Pail of Water – something to shamelessly seize from a maiden’s head if you like to get a little wet and a quick way to get rid of your neck if you hate it – 1

Buzzling Noise – noise to be made at a pompous teacher’s conquest – 1

English Suit – attire to be worn in a backward village if you like the name “mad man” – 1

Tennis shoe – perfect footwear for a madman – 1

Breast – a word an educated illiterate cannot say – 2

Beads Counting – a career to pursue if you get a lot of stupid men blabbing at you – 8

Kiss – unclean licking of lips, strange unhealthy mouthing to practice on a village belle – 9

Stranger – a drunken adventurous foreigner stupid enough to fall at the sight of a naked unsuspecting model- 10

The Book – a mini god with the super powers to instil over-rated pride in a maiden’s empty brain – 10

Village latrine – place to place an ugly old man’s picture in a magazine – 11

Motor car – a one foot devils own horse, a sensible option for the dusty road – 14

Wheels – a part to give young maidens to play in order to pinch their behind – 14

Camera – a one eyed box capable of getting you a splash in the presence of a naked village belle.

Weapon – decorations for a barbaric war lord’s mud house wall – 26

Machine – an invention of a local goldsmith used for the seduction of a young maiden – 26, 50

Magazine– Pages of paper made to make a local champion – 49-51

Pillow – place to hide a weapon of seduction – 49

Stamp – weapon of seduction – 50

Bed – platform to corner a young naïve maiden – 51

Oil lamps – appears from deserted stalls at the end of a market day – 64

Names of Characters:

Baroka – Crafty Rogue, Master of Self-Indulgence,Bale, Lion of Ilujinle, Fox of The Undergrowth, Living God Among Men, Devil Among Women, Lion, Greedy Dog, Insatiable Camel of A Foolish Doting Race, Die-Hard Rogue, Voluptuous Beast, Savage Thing, Degenerate.

Sidi – Bush Girl, Village Maiden Head, The Village Goddess, Ruth, Racheal, Ester, Bathesheba, Jewel of Ilujinle, Unfledged Birdling.

Sadiku – Old Hag, Faithful Lizard, Unformed Creature, Withered Face.

Lakunle: School Master, Mad Man of Ilujinle, Fool, Book Worm, Akowe, Man of Knowledge, Book-Man, School-Man, Scarecrow, School Teacher.


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