Why does Sidi marry Baroka at the end of the play The Lion and the Jewel

Question: Why does Sidi marry Baroka at the end of the play The Lion and the Jewel?


The Lion and the Jewel (1962) is a famous play written by Nigerian playwright Wole Soyinka (1935-present). The play archives the way how Baroka, the lion of the play, fights with the modern Lakunle over the right to marry Sidi, the jewel of the play.

Sidi is a beautiful girl of the village named Ilujinle. Lakunle, the school teacher of the village, falls in love with her and wants to marry her. Sidi disagrees with him and gets marry with  Baroka, the chief of the village of sixty-two at the end of the play. The reasons behind the marriage are as below-


As Lakunle wants to marry Sidi, she wants a bride-price from him. But Lakunle stands to the opposite of this system. He asserts Sidi as an ignorant girl and said-

“Ignorant girl, can you not understand? To pay the price would be to buy a heifer off the market stall.”

When Sidi loses her virginity to Baroka, she finds no way but marry Baroka. Because Lakunle does not want to pay the bride-price and for that Sidi cannot marry him. That’s why she marries Baroka at the end of the play.

More Notes of The Lion and the Jewel

Concept of chastity

As Baroka has had sex with Sidi, she cannot take any other man as her husband. So, she selects Baroka as her husband than Lakunle. This decision taken by Sidi proves her concept of chastity. If she wants, Sidi could marry Lakunle instead of Baroka. But she does not do so for the sake of her respect for chastity.


As the age-old tradition goes that a woman should marry and live with only one man, Sidi also binds with the ritual. Her decision to marry Baroka is not for his manhood, but for the old belief.


Thus, at the end of the play, the situation drives Sidi for which she has to marriage Baroka and fixes her choice of husband.

SR Sarker
SR Sarker
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