The Lion and the Jewel

Baroka Character Analysis

Baroka is the Bale (village chief) of Ilujinle. He's known as both the "Lion" because of his strength, and the "Fox" because of his cunning tricks. At 62 he's an older man, but he still performs impressive feats of strength despite his age. He has many wives and concubines, and he marries a new wife every few months. Though Lakunle believes that Baroka is set on preserving his traditional way of life, Baroka believes that progress can be good and necessary. However, he believes that progress must be made on his own terms and that it should not be forced on the village.

Baroka Quotes in The Lion and the Jewel

The The Lion and the Jewel quotes below are all either spoken by Baroka or refer to Baroka. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Tradition vs. Modernity Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Three Crowns Books edition of The Lion and the Jewel published in 1997.
Noon Quotes

My name is Sidi, and I am beautiful.
The stranger took my beauty
And placed it in my hands.

Related Characters: Sidi (speaker), Lakunle, Baroka, Sadiku, The Stranger
Related Symbols: The Magazine
Page Number: 20
Explanation and Analysis:

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Baroka merely seeks to raise his manhood
Above my beauty
He seeks new fame
As the one man who has possessed
The jewel of Ilujinle!

Related Characters: Sidi (speaker), Baroka
Related Symbols: The Magazine
Page Number: 20
Explanation and Analysis:

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They are lies, lies. You must not believe everything you hear. Sidi, would I deceive you? I swear to you...

Related Characters: Sadiku (speaker), Sidi, Baroka
Page Number: 23
Explanation and Analysis:

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Voluptuous beast! He loves this life too well
To bear to part from it. And motor roads
And railways would do just that, forcing
Civilization at his door.

Related Characters: Lakunle (speaker), Baroka
Page Number: 25
Explanation and Analysis:

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Night Quotes

Like the foolish top you think the world revolves around you... fools! fools! it is you who run giddy while we stand still and watch, and draw your frail thread from you, slowly, till nothing is left but a runty old stick.

Related Characters: Sadiku (speaker), Baroka
Related Symbols: The Statue of Baroka
Page Number: 32
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Ah, I forget. This is the price I pay
Once every week, for being progressive.
Prompted by the school teacher, my servants
Were prevailed upon to form something they call
The Palace Workers' Union. And in keeping
With the habits—I am told—of modern towns,
This is their day off.

Related Characters: Baroka (speaker), Sidi, Lakunle
Page Number: 38
Explanation and Analysis:

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Did she not, perhaps... invent some tale?
For I know Sadiku loves to be
All-knowing.

Related Characters: Baroka (speaker), Sidi, Sadiku
Page Number: 48
Explanation and Analysis:

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To think that once I thought,
Sidi is the eye's delight, but
She is vain, and her head
Is feather-light, and always giddy
With a trivial thought. And now
I find her deep and wise beyond her years.

Related Characters: Baroka (speaker), Sidi
Page Number: 49
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

I do not hate progress, only its nature
Which makes all roofs and faces look the same.

Related Characters: Baroka (speaker), Sidi
Related Symbols: The Magazine, Postage Stamps
Page Number: 52
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

The old must flow into the new, Sidi,
Not blind itself or stand foolishly
Apart. A girl like you must inherit
Miracles which age alone reveals.

Related Characters: Baroka (speaker), Sidi, Lakunle
Related Symbols: Postage Stamps
Page Number: 54
Explanation and Analysis:

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Dear Sidi, we shall forget the past.
This great misfortune touches not
The treasury of my love.
But you will agree, it is only fair
That we forget the bride-price totally
Since you no longer can be called a maid.

Related Characters: Lakunle (speaker), Sidi, Baroka, Sadiku
Page Number: 60
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deser

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Baroka Character Timeline in The Lion and the Jewel

The timeline below shows where the character Baroka appears in The Lion and the Jewel. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Morning
Tradition vs. Modernity Theme Icon
Men vs. Women Theme Icon
Pride, Vanity, and the Power of Images Theme Icon
...that he only means to transform the village, and that he means to start with Baroka, the village Bale (leader). Lakunle refuses to tell Sidi why he means to go after... (full context)
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Pride, Vanity, and the Power of Images Theme Icon
One of the girls says that the book surely makes Sidi look beautiful, and that Baroka is still looking at the images. The girl tells Sidi that there's a photo of... (full context)
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Sidi asks if Baroka's photo is in the magazine as well, and one of the girls says with contempt... (full context)
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Sidi declares that the images of her mean that she's more powerful than Baroka. Lakunle petulantly declares Baroka a "devil among women" and deems it divine justice that a... (full context)
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Baroka enters and the dance abruptly stops as everyone kneels and respectfully greets him. Lakunle tries... (full context)
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Baroka suggests that they resume the dance and commands his attendants to seize Lakunle. Lakunle is... (full context)
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...that he was a perfect stranger and should've been a jester instead of a teacher. Baroka asks where the village would be without Lakunle's wisdom. Sidi is barely listening. She rallies... (full context)
Noon
Men vs. Women Theme Icon
Pride, Vanity, and the Power of Images Theme Icon
...firewood for her. Sidi is engrossed in the photographs of herself in the magazine. Sadiku, Baroka's first wife, is coming towards them on the road and she startles Sidi. The women... (full context)
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Lakunle drops the wood and begins calling Baroka greedy and a trickster. Sidi asks Lakunle to be quiet, but Lakunle only drops to... (full context)
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Sadiku asks Sidi if she'll agree to be Baroka's "jewel." Sidi tells Sadiku that she won't fall prey to Baroka now that she's famous,... (full context)
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Sidi refuses. She says that Baroka only wants to marry her because the stranger increased her worth with the photos. She... (full context)
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Sidi instructs Sadiku to return to Baroka and tell him that she won't marry him. Sidi opens the magazine and points at... (full context)
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...leave but turns back again a moment later. Sadiku says that if she won't marry Baroka, he at least requests her presence that night for a small feast in her honor.... (full context)
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Lakunle asserts himself again and says that Baroka is called "the Fox" for a reason. Though Sadiku tells him to be quiet, Lakunle... (full context)
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...marked the line of the tracks, which would have brought Ilujinle modernity, fame, and civilization. Baroka's wrestler, upon seeing the prisoners working, looks horrified and fetches Baroka. (full context)
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Baroka takes in the sight and leaves the surveyor to his work. Soon the surveyor and... (full context)
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Lakunle shakes his fist and declares that Baroka loves his life too much to allow the village to modernize. He says that by... (full context)
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In his bedroom, Baroka lies in bed with his current favorite wife. He's wearing only baggy pants. Baroka’s wife... (full context)
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Sadiku enters the bedroom and bows to Baroka. Baroka asks if she's brought balm for his armpit and sends his favorite away. Sadiku... (full context)
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Baroka angrily jumps up, incensed that a young girl would say such a thing. He asks... (full context)
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Sadiku sits down and begins to tickle Baroka's feet. Baroka grabs a magazine from under the bed and opens it to look at... (full context)
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Suddenly, Baroka sits up and tells Sadiku that she's the only one he's told about this since... (full context)
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Baroka exclaims that many women's hands have caressed his feet, some clumsy, some too dainty. He... (full context)
Night
Men vs. Women Theme Icon
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...furtively enters the village center with a bundle. She pulls out a carved figure of Baroka, studies it, and laughs. She sets it down as Sidi stares. Sadiku addresses the figure,... (full context)
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..."take warning, my masters/We'll scotch you in the end" and dances around the statue of Baroka. Sidi approaches and scares Sadiku. Sadiku tells Sidi that this time of victory is not... (full context)
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Pride, Vanity, and the Power of Images Theme Icon
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...swear silence and whispers in her ear. Sidi's eyes go wide and she asks why Baroka asked her to marry him, and Sadiku whispers in Sidi's ear again. Sidi laughs and... (full context)
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Sidi suddenly tells Sadiku to stop. She says that she wants to accept Baroka's invitation to the feast so she can mock him. She says she'll ask forgiveness and... (full context)
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Sadiku tells Lakunle that his betrothed is currently eating with Baroka. Lakunle seems pleased that Sadiku called Sidi his betrothed, but he quickly corrects her that... (full context)
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...doesn't read, write, or think. He accuses her of doing nothing but collecting women for Baroka. (full context)
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In Baroka's bedroom, Baroka and his wrestler are wrestling. Sidi enters Baroka's house and yells the traditional... (full context)
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Sidi asks if Baroka's wives also get the day off. Baroka says that the "madness" hasn't yet reached his... (full context)
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Sidi seems disappointed by this explanation, and Baroka asks what more a woman could do to him. Sidi hastily agrees that there's nothing... (full context)
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...though she suddenly remembers why she came in the first place. She kneels and tells Baroka that she comes "as a repentant child." Baroka feigns confusion and Sidi explains that her... (full context)
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Baroka asks if Sidi thinks he's offended that she entered his bedroom without being announced. When... (full context)
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...again and adopting a mischievous tone, says she thought the favorite was a "gentle" woman. Baroka says he thought the same, and Sidi asks if the favorite was dissatisfied with Baroka.... (full context)
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Watching the men wrestle, Sidi offers that she thinks the wrestler will win. Baroka asks her if she wants the wrestler to win. Sidi hesitates before offering a riddle... (full context)
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Sidi asks Baroka if he's experiencing a time of change right now, and Baroka replies that he doesn't... (full context)
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Pacing and making more rude gestures behind Baroka's back, Sidi asks Baroka if he'd pay the bride price to this man if Baroka... (full context)
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Baroka asks if the man is rich or repulsive. Sidi says he's rich, but old. Baroka... (full context)
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The wrestler pulls out a low bench and sits on the floor. Baroka sits down as well and the two begin to arm wrestle on the bench. Composing... (full context)
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Embarrassed, Sidi stops dancing when she sees Baroka eyeing her with confusion. She tries to recover and says that this time the wrestler... (full context)
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Baroka, seeming desperate, asks if the man is still fathering children. Sidi says that he used... (full context)
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Baroka acts annoyed and accuses Sidi of making him lose his wrestler. He sends the wrestler... (full context)
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Sidi's use of "beg" seems to anger Baroka and he accuses her of taunting her elders. He explains that she shouldn't listen to... (full context)
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Baroka nonchalantly replies that he accepts his life without complaint and only dislikes the "new immodesty"... (full context)
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Baroka hands Sidi the envelope and asks Sidi if she knows what the stamp is. Sidi... (full context)
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Baroka goes to a strange machine in the corner of his room and calls Sidi to... (full context)
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Baroka asks Sidi if it's too much to ask for her beauty to grace the mail... (full context)
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Baroka says that he and Sidi both have sensitive souls, and says that though they're a... (full context)
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Baroka assures Sidi that she's not dumb, just "straight and truthful." He says that he and... (full context)
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...Lakunle paces and looks worried and angry, while Sadiku looks content. Lakunle insists angrily that Baroka killed Sidi. He says that he'll drive Sadiku out of her home for plotting with... (full context)
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...passes, Sadiku greets him. After their exchange, she looks confused. Lakunle laments Sidi's fate in Baroka's dungeon and vows to rescue her. Sadiku and Lakunle hear mummers (street performers) and Sadiku... (full context)
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The dancers dance the story of Baroka's downfall. Baroka is portrayed as comical and only tolerated by his wives. Sadiku watches the... (full context)
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...offers to kiss Sidi's tears away but Sidi pushes him away too. Lakunle declares that Baroka must have beaten Sidi and tells the women that he warned them this would happen.... (full context)
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Looking up, Sidi calls Sadiku and Lakunle fools and says that Baroka lied to Sadiku about his manhood. She says that he told Sidi "afterwards" that he... (full context)
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Sidi looks surprised and asks if Lakunle really thought she'd marry him after sleeping with Baroka. She asks how she could possibly choose a younger man after experiencing the wonders of... (full context)
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...offered bundle. Sidi stands, turns to the musicians, and asks them to sing her to Baroka's home. The musicians take up a festive song and everyone in the market dances. A... (full context)