Lonely Days by Bayo Adebowale

Bayo Adebowale lent a voice to African widows in his book Lonely Days. Set in the rustic rural village of Kufi in South-western Nigeria, the novel tells the story of Yaremi, a woman thrown into widowhood by the death of her husband Ajumobi.

Yaremi’s humiliation, loneliness and struggle for survival in Kufi are a microcosm of the plight of widows in the larger Nigerian society and indeed in Africa as a whole. Yaremi’s character in Lonely Days is that of a hardworking and assertive widow who refuses to be cowed into accepting traditional injunctions of widow inheritance and remarriage set by her society.

In this book, Adebowale created living people, not just characters and showed his appreciation for Africa’s rich cultural heritage as reflected in its flora and fauna, in art, trade, child-raising, education, medicine and succession. In the same breath, he condemned widow inheritance and other cultural practices that subject widows to pain and humiliation.

Lonely Days celebrates the beauty, industry, talent and resilience of the African woman.

If you buy this book in the hope of buying a prose work, you would be utterly disappointed (for good though). It is not just prose but rich poetry and drama in one piece. What I find disturbing is the character of Ajumobi who beat his wife at some point only to be later described as a loving and caring husband. This however does not detract at all from the general merits of the book.

Lonely Days is a good read.


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  1. sahid kanneh Reply

    i love reading this book becouse it reflict my memory to our tradition and custom.

  2. ABDULGANIYU MUAZ Reply

    Good evening,thank you for the post of the summary of the novel lonely days.my question now are;what are the things to be done by the student who want to write wassce.secondly i want you to explain how we should write the exam(i mean tips) because i failed literature in my first sitting in Waec and i am sure of what i wrote,i did it clean but to discovered that i failed it.please i need your advice and admonition.thanks from your great friend muaz.

    • Dayo Okubule Reply

      I’m so sorry about your failure in English literature. Do not brood over it. With determination and some effort on your part, you would eventually pass the subject. If you would devote more time to reading the prescribed texts, discussing them with your teacher and going through past questions, you would realise that literature is one of the most interesting and easy-to-pass subjects. I set up this forum for discussions on the subject and I’m working on bringing some literature teachers on board to provide tips and guidelines for answering SSCE literature questions.

  3. ABDULGANIYU MUAZ Reply

    THANKS FOR EVERYTHING, I HOPE YOU HAVE SEEN MY MESSAGE I SENT ONWEDNESDAY.

  4. anumba Catherine Reply

    Good day ma, thanks for your posts in the novel lonely days. My question is what was yaremi’s fate in d end. Was she punished ? Did she survive? what was her fate?.I really need ur answer. thanks from friend kate

  5. Olive Reply

    Pls can you tell me what textual Analysis mean?

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