Posted in book review, Uncategorized

the book review (Lonely Days)

You probably might have come in contact with widows and only felt sorry or just sympathetic to them, but if you have not taken time to look into their world you wouldn’t understand what predicament confronted by them. Some of us believed that to treat widows with disdain is a reward for their handy work, while some of us are of the opinion that widows were responsible for the death of their husband so we must hold ourselves aloof from them or target them with repression and hostility.

This is exactly what Bayo Adebowale has succinctly brought forth in his book lonely days, he has taken the audacious move to let us realize that the responsibility for widows should not be repudiated because in their world, they are faced with tribulations and ordeals which make them wear reproachful look toward God, all their live they keep saying “why God has done this to us”

In lonely days, Bayo Adebowale made us understand that not only in the past that widows had been a target of repression and hostility, but up to this modern and civilized time of ours such practices are still common in our society, widows are items of humiliation and their rights are trampled upon by the custodian of tradition. To some people, the issue of respect for widows seems hokum and they have no retrospection about their actions toward widows that can lead them to pay homage to widows.

In this book, the author revealed the tribulations faced by a widow known as Yaremi, how she and other widows of a village called Kufi were confronted with humiliations and hostilities. He gives account of their pitiful soliloquies and mournful loneliness. Yaremi the major character on this book waggled in her thought all alone, day and night, she felt thoroughly abandoned, silence sank like sad music in her heart, she rapidly looked drab due to her prolong wailing.

Her lonely days began when the mourners left one after the other, and left her in the danger of anguish in private sorrow and while her days became blurred due to the mockery of her extended family. To Yaremi, the sun had set at mid-day because her husband Ajimobi who is to her a small god had left her to face the trials of this world all alone. Segi and Wura, her two daughters had long been given away in marriage and her only son Alani now lived in the city away from his mother. She was alone with her little grandchild Woye. Yaremi was left to labour, hour after hour under the sweltering heat, she had to do all that required of a man to place food on the table for himself and his family and take care of the home. Among what constituted to juvenile and moral decadent who later may transform into civic disobedience which are great threat to our society is breaking home, aside of divorce another way of breaking home occurrence is by the death of either of the parent especially the husband. The poor wife becomes widow who might be thrown to the ready hands of the custodian of tradition and humiliated. The inheritance that should be utilized to train the children may be hijacked by selfish husband’s relatives and leave the widow with her children to sway from the standard life and beautiful future the dead husband might have planned for the family. The tribulation faced by the poor widow might be so much, such that she either stop the children from schooling and engage them in petty trade activities or send them out to relatives whom may treat those children with disdain. This case is very common in our society except for those widows who have grown up children that cannot be manipulated or maltreated by their father relatives. But for those that their children are yet to understand life, they are always the victim.

Although Yaremi was one of the lucky widows whose husband’s relatives would not go beyond bound in humiliating them, yet the intelligent author provided us with the experience of those who were victim of the custodian of tradition who would not only aloof the widows but also target them with repression and hostility before doing. Such is the case of Dedewe who had suffered humiliation at the hand of her husband’s relatives, they sat her alone by the side of the corpse of her husband in a dark room and had asked her to confess her sins and beg her dead husband for forgiveness. Also is the story of Fayoyi whom husband’s relatives out of hatred for her, went beyond the dictates of their culture by scraping away her hair and was left in horrible appearance to be considered as the long-ago look of a mad human. The case of Radeke was pitiful when she knelt before the dead body of her husband and voiced out strings of dirges from her dry throat.

If   heaven was like going to the market in the morning

And returning home in the evening

I would have followed my husband

And run errands for him…

Urged him on and on…

To let him know that it would never be

Out of sight, out of mind…

The un-easy thing to come-by by the widows is the opposition they faced by their dead husband’s relatives when it became necessary for them to re-marry, these cruel people would force them to marry from among their ex-husband family or dictate to them whom to get re-married to and if they rejected these dictates they will be confronted with unending war, the properties of their dead husband will be ill acquired from them and they will be left with nothing to continue life with. These widows will then started fighting tooth and nail for survival especially if they were blessed with children that are yet to become adult before their husband demise, they will be quick to throw towel to their predicament and refuse to indulge in useless despair while shut away the pain in their heart and forge ahead.

Apart of digging deep the life of widows Bayo Adebowale had brought forth the beautiful memory of children of the good old days who lived in rural area, the way they trot around in the hot afternoon sun restlessly and nervously, the manner at which they were pampered and how quarrelsome the could be. The author had written it in a fascinated manner to show his artistic wizadry. He explained how Yaremi in nostalgia would narrate her hilarious childhood days story to her grandson Woye, the Author had put it in a balanced artistry way as thus “ Yaremi would begin” we were restless and nervous, more restless and more nervous than you children of today. Our crafty, mischievous eyes rotating in all directions trying to get something to complain about to our Mama and Papa, we trod the rough roads of risks, and walked the crooked footpath of hazards. Those were the days Woye, when we enjoyed adventure for the fun of it- a period of living dangerously for we young boys and girls of the village. We would leap off the branches of trees, and spin in the circles; dribble weightlessly in the wind, and thereafter crash down on the ground with a thud

Lonely days is a must read book for not only the student of literature but also for those who really wanted to know what is happening in the world of widows so as to know how to pay homage to them and support these helpless people. Try to grab a copy at your nearby book store and read.