Write short notes on the character and role of any two of the following characters: Ajumobi, Yaremi, Alani, Segi, Woye, Deyo, the widows.
Though, not a living character, much is said about him. In retrospect, we are told of Ajumobi’s hunting prowess. His expertise in hunting is unequaled in Kufi. He married Yaremi and their marriage produced three children two daughters and a son, namely, Segi, Wura and Alani. They also have a grandchild called Woye. Ajumobi’s death is a source of sorrow for Yeremi but she is consoled by the fact that he did not die a disgraceful death.
Ajumobi was a loving, caring and protective husband. Recalling all his love, Yeremi is determined never to betray her love for Ajumobi. Through Ajumob’s friend, Deyo, we are told that Ajumobi was rich with estates and vast areas of land. In spirit, Ajumobi still protects Yaremi, stopping accidental fire, helping her unknowingly to accomplish certain difficult tasks. His absence is greatly felt in his house.
She is the protagonist of the story. Yaremi is very prominent and her role affects all other characters in the story. Her loneliness becomes glaring as she bemoans the death of her love, Ajumobi. Yaremi is a mother of three, Segi, Wore and Alani. Having lost her husband, she braces up for the challenges of widowhood. Yaremi’s love for Ajumobi is striking. Unlike other women in Kufi, Yaremi does not want to go to another man as custom demands. Dedewe, Fayoyin and Radeke are widows. They come to Yaremi to prepare her for the challenges of widowhood. Yaremi is asked to confess fur crimes she knows nothing about,
Besides, Yaremi is defiant to cultural injunctions. She vehemently resists choosing another husband during the “Cap-Picking” traditional ceremony. This opposition to cultural demands shocks the people of Kufi. Yaremi is not at all perturbed by the threat of ex-communication. She rejects Ayanwale, the village entertainer Olonade, the carver and creative art expert as well as Lanwa, the renowned village farmer.
In trade, Yaremi’s industry and prowess manifest in her taffeta trade. Her customers continue to increase by day. She is helped by her grandson, Woye to carry her wares to the market. Having studied the market situation and customer’s attitude, she prefers not to sell on credit because of the difficulty of getting back the money. Yaremi is kind-hearted and generous and this earned her commensurate respect from her women folks.
Moreover, Yaremi is a good storyteller. Her stories not only revives little Woye in his sickness but equips him with wisdom and lesson. She enjoys the company of Woye now that her loving and caring husband is no more. Yaremi is headstrong and self-conceited. She dares tradition. After her husband’s death, she vows never to marry again. She is supported by Segi, her first daughter and friend. For her love for Ajumobi, she often dreams of having him around her. She remains resolute and unshaken till the end.
He is a minor character in the novel. Alani is the only son of Yaremi and Ajumobi. Nothing is known of his childhood, only that he lives in the city with lots of perfumed harlots. Nothing is said of his role during his father’s death. For over a decade, he stays in town to ply his carpentry trade. As a result of his seeming lack of interest in his father’s assets, and his choice of city life, Uncle Deyo calls him a “Freak” after Uncle Deyo, his father’s childhood friend, takes him around to know the boundaries of their land and his late father’s estate. Before leaving for the city, he gives his mother, Yaremi some money and edible items. Meanwhile, he informs her that he is getting married to a city girl who is already pregnant for him, He is also hoping to complete his building project and does not want to be saddled with tradition.
She is one of the female characters in the play. Though a minor character, her character is outstanding. Segi is the first child (daughter) of Yaremi and Ajumobi. She is married to Olode and meanwhile, she has a male child, Woye who stays with her (Segi’s) mother, Yaremi, in Kufi. Segi is self-confident and reliable. Thus, Yaremi opens her mind to her. Like mother, Segi is unequivocal in condemning the cap-picking “ceremony”. For her, the burden of a second husband is so challenging and she would not want her mother to be involved. Segi is pleased with the transition of Woye, to an intelligent young boy, desirous of western education.
He is the youngest character in the story Woye is the son of Segi and grandson of Yaremi. He is important in the development of the plot. Ajumobi’s death leaves Yaremi exposed to the rigours of loneliness of widowhood, Woye provides the needed company. He keeps Yaremi busy by requesting stories. Though he is often frightened by the horror of some stories. When he falls sick, he is promised lots of gifts, including a catapult. Even when he packs to go with his mother to enroll at St. Andrew’s Junior Primary School, his bag reveals a few clothes and scraps of paper, chalk, including live cockroaches. He is of great help to Yaremi especially in her taffeta business as he helps to carry some of the wares to market in company of Yaremi, his grandmother.
He is a minor character but performs a major function. He is a trusted childhood friend of Ajumobi. He is not happy that Alani, his friend’s son is not interested in knowing what his father left behind. He calls Alani a “freak” to register his displeasure with the boy’s seeming waywardness over a decade. Uncle Deyo is very truthful and honest. He takes Alani to all his father’s estates and tells him the circumstances surrounding them especially the disputed ones. He loves his friend, Ajumobi and so does not want his assets to go to the wrong hands. Uncle Deyo is a friend indeed, an outspoken one for that.
The obnoxious practice of widowhood is exposed through the experience of the three widows. Three of them, Dedewe, Fayoyin and Radeke are victims of cultural subjugation. Each of the three widows is compelled to confess that she is responsible for the death of her husband. The widow in question is either forced to stay beside the late, husband’s corpse or shaved or subjected to some other practices. They lack the courage to challenge custom. Besides, they participate in the “Cap-Picking” ceremony to choose new husbands as custom demands in Kufi. They encourage Yaremi to learn from their own experience and are shocked to discover that Yaremi scorn.