‘’LONELY DAYS’’—BY BAYO ADEGBOYEGA
THE AUTHOR -BAYO ADEGBOYEGA: The novel ‘’Lonely Days’’ was written by Bayo Adebowale Adegboyega, a novelist, poet, librarian, community leader, Senior Lecturer in English and former Deputy Rector of Ibadan Polytechnic. He is the founder of the African Heritage Research Library at Adeyipo Village,. Ibadan, Nigeria.
SUMMARY OF CHAPTER ONE
Yaremi lost her husband Ajumobi and became widow. Her husband died honourably. Yaremi was the last person Ajumobi saw before he died. Nine months later, she was abandoned by friends or mourners. The extended family left her alone and became lonely. Her two daughters were married out. Segi married a palm wine tapper, Wura married a blacksmith who was known as the ‘’Iron Man or Sokoti’’. There was nobody to keep her company. Alani her only son was an expert furniture carpenter who lived in Ibadan. He had abandoned Kufi his home town. Kufi was a lonely settlement to him.
Sometimes when the roof of her husband house was leaking, it was Deyo, Ajumobi’s bosom friend that helped her. Yaremi main job was dyeing taffeffa cloths in indigo solution. The only comfort Yaremi had was Woye her grandchild. Woye did assist her in pounding taffeta pleats with mallet. Pounding and hitting taffeta was always accompanied with songs.
SUMMARY OF CHAPTER TWO
Yaremi’s kitchen was always a busy one. She was all along alone and felt the impact of her husband. Her kitchen was the traditional home of the engulfing smoke where vegetables were chopped, cassava flour sieved, thuds of pestles always punished the mortar on the earthen floor. Cooking was a great thing and energy-exhausting to her since there was nobody to assist her. Women of Kufi were powerful singers. Songs were a means of expressing consent and dissent; to intimidate rivals, vexing opponents, make children to sleep, to arouse husbands to action, to attract lovers’ attention, to seduce concubines, to praise men for their wonderful achievement.
Yaremi sang the song of the hot fire that must ignite slowly but steadily, fire that must burn a woman’s fingers, yet give no pain. Yaremi was ready to work through the fire of life now that her husband had died. Yaremi hated lazy people. She always laughed at lazy maidens in Kufi. She told them that men had no patience with silly women. Despite Yaremi’s hardworking and what she went through every day, she was fresh and never lost her beauty.
SUMMARY OF CHAPTER THREE
The widows in Kufi were subjected to secluded life. Widows were barred from using public roads. The river road was meant for them and was referred to as widows’ road. The road was neglected, untidy and muddy. The widows dressed in the same way—black cloth. During the period, their hairs were matted and unkempt, no necklace and ear-rings. Even when music is played , they were not allowed to dance.
Dedewe was asked to sit down alone by the side of her husband corpse in a dark room. She was told to confess her sins. She was subjected to humiliation and was accused of killing her husband. Fayoyin was given libation to lick when her own husband died. it was held to her lips, to purge her of all the sins they insisted she too had committed. The people sprinkled cold water on her head, to soften the texture of her hair. A barber was asked to barb her hair. A barber was asked to barb her hair. It was barbed to the roots. She cried and lost her voice.
Finally, Radeke was asked to kneel before the dead body of her husband. Radeke sang the widow’s traditional song of innocence and lamentation. The people called her liar.
SUMMARY OF CHAPTER FOUR:
Yaremi never thought to be a widow. She never asked Dedewe, Fayoyin and Radeke about loneliness. She realized that there was a time for everything in life. She worked on a daily basis. Work had become medicine against her loneliness and frustration. At leisure time, she had always found time to exchange pleasantries with neighbours and asked them harmless questions. She told Woye that in her younger days, they were more restless than Woye and his groups. She went on to explain that games like hide-and-seek were played in her time. According to her, there was mutual understanding among the youth in Kufi.
SUMMARY OF CHAPTER FIVE:
Woye was always busy. He took after his grandmother. Woye loved to daydream, loved walking alone in the dark, loved keeping the company of goats and dogs. He also hated to be abused and scolded. He loved counting the stars in the sky during moonlight nights. Yaremi was caring even to the chicken she had. She did all she could to protect the chicken from hawks. She dressed up the stump of an old tree like a man in front of the house. she gave the stump two outstretched arms, one leg and an unusually long neck, then an oversize cap, to make it appear like some kind of sullen-looking monster.
Before Ajumobi died, a hawk perched on the roof of Ajumobi’s house. People saw this as abad omen. Yaremi was referred to as a witch as a result of this incidence. It was a subject of discussion in the village. There was nobody as witness to Yaremi. Ajumobi came back fromfarm felt tired and could notgo out the second day. He was not comfortable and fell into hallucination. He made a lot of incoherent statements. The village herbalist was invited. He examined Ajumobi and said the water had been broken and its content spilled on the floor. This was a recap of how Aajumobi died.
SUMMARY OF CHAPTER SIX
Yaremi become the beginning of all issues in her own private little world. This lonely life made her unhappy. There was nobody to monitor her for whatever she did. She become a freed woman she wanted. She wanted to feel love again, to feel supported, protected and looked after. She needed a man to pester with demands, to urge with requests, to protect, provoke with expensive jokes. All these were gone in her life. Then the memory of Ajumobi lingered on in her life. She remembered how her husband used to go and hunt for animals. Ajumobi’s dog also felt the absence of its master. The dog howled all through the night when Ajumobi died.
Ajumobi did not fulfil his life dream before he died. he vowed to replace the rusty iron sheets, to concrete the dilapidated verandah, to repair the old garden fence, build a yam barn on his farm. It was his plan to extend his mud house by two rooms. He also planned to marry the second wife. it was his plan to cut the big orange tree in the garden upon which a strange yellow bird perched on. Above all, these plans were not meant before he died.
SUMMARY OF CHAPTER SEVEN:
Moonlight night in kufi village was always a memorable one. It was a period for children to play, for adults to tell stories of all kinds. It was always made the children to be exited whenever they saw the beautiful moon. During this period, the women in Kufi were always seen picking kolanuts that dropped down. They also used it to collect cocoa leaves.
Yaremi had a sober reflection on her past glory. She remembered when she scolded her husband, insulted him, and her first day in Kufi’s village. She danced on that day and her husband was deeply moved. Ajumobi beat his wife as reflected by Yaremi. Beating of wives was a common thing in Kufi. Yaremi asked questions that were not answered. She asked Ajumobi to resurrect and come back to fulfill all the promises he made before he died.
SUMMARY OF CHAPTER EIGHT
Yaremi sold her taffeta cloths at Oyedeji’s market. She always stopped at Fadina village for a brief rest while going to Oyedeji to sell her taffeta cloths. Her taffeta cloths was the best in market because of the designs. The taffeta had cow’s feet and the neck of giraffe designs all in green and yellow background. She had many debtors and vowed never to sell on credit again. She had customers spread across Abonke, Fakinde, Fabotoki, Lagbe and Larukan.
Woye fell sick and could not move his legs and arms. He fell into hallunicination and dreamt, of many strange things. An old woman pursued him, he played football with unidentified boys, he saw an old witch that ate stones, pebbles, drank owl’s urine and fed on lizard intestines. He walked acrobactically round the village, his legs were up and down, he sang strange songs, a gorilla carried him to the high branch of a tree and fed him like a baby with mango fruits and orange juice.
Yaremi warmed Woye with hot water, apply paraffin ointment to Woye’s face. She used what Woye loved to woo him for him to have quick recovery.
SUMMARY OF CHAPTER NINE:
It was the customs of Kufi’s people for their women to stay at home while husbands go to farm. The women always eat the leftover food from their husbands. They practiced polygamy and the women competed for affection and love. Yaremi was a philanthropist. She gave out bowls of cassava flour and perches of locust beans, measure of dry corn and cramps of tobacco powder to her colleagues. Her generousity and influence did not go down well with the men in the village. She was seen as a threat to them. Some argued that she had taken the role of men in the society. Some men made attempt to woo Yarlemi. Ayanwale was a drummer and very famous in entertainment industry. He approached Yaremi but there was no response from her. Another suitor was Olonade; the village wood carver. He was referred to as twins father. He carved images of twins to recall deceased twins back to the world and others local things. Another suitor was Lanwa. Lanwa was a great farmer. It was reported that during one of his harvest seasons that he engaged the services of women from ten villages to peel cassava tubers for him. lanwa was Ajumobi’s half brother and by tradition, he thought he should share from Ajumobi’s properties both human and material resources. With al these criteria these men had , Yaremi remained unmoved.
THE AUTHOR AND SUMMARY OF EACH CHAPTER
‘’LONELY DAYS’’—BY BAYO ADEGBOYEGA