The Plights of Widow In Contemporary African Society A Study Of Bayo Adebowale’s Lonely Days
Bayo Adebowale was born on June 6, 1944 in Ibadan, Oyo state, Nigeria. He is a novelist, poet, librarian and short story writer. As a literary scholar, he has written a lot of literary texts, which include Out of his mind, Village harvest, Lonely Days etc.
In a typical African society where women are treated as objects, it is almost normal, if not normal, to see widows being encapsulated in victimization, marginalization and ill treatment by members of such society who claim to act within the confines of some barbaric laws and tradition of that society. This inhumane act leaves these widows in a pitiable state, and those who can’t endure the torture, join their deceased husbands afterwards. However, amidst such unpleasant circumstance, few women still summon up courage to defend themselves even with the last drop of their blood. These women, most times, emerge victorious in their fight against society.
The above assertion is evident in Bayo Adebowale’s Lonely Days as it showcases the unpleasant circumstances which come with being a widow within the context of a Yoruba community in the western part of Nigeria. The novel shows the horrible traditional widows’ rite women go through after the death of their husbands just to prove their innocence. With Yaremi being the most victim, the rights of other widows (Fayoyin, Dedewe and Radeke) are trampled upon by the custodians of tradition. These widows are denied access to better life, and at worst, thrown into outer loneliness. Although Yaremi has been a friend of loneliness since the death of her husband, she is a strong resistance to societal dominance. Her unshaken refusal to abide by the custom and tradition of her society makes her distinct from other widows.