In the play, the plot revolves around Sidi’s decision about which man she will marry. She is the most renowned beauty of her village and, as such, believes she can freely choose among her suitors. Finally, she decides to become Baroka’s second wife rather than marry Lakunle. While Sidi initially seems like a very modern young woman who would be attracted to the equally modern school teacher, Lakunle, she proves to be more complex.
Sidi is portrayed as being extremely vain, a trait that is exacerbated when her photograph is published in the newspaper. Sidi’s limited endorsement of modern changes also surfaces when Lakunle, although claiming he wants to marry her, refuses to pay the bride price on the basis of its being an old-fashioned custom. She interprets this as a sign of cheapness that will likely continue into their marriage and result in her husband not buying her lovely things. Sidi also understands her own intelligence and takes pride in being treated well; Lakunle patronizes her and, despite his modern pretensions, sees his role as dominant, which she resents.
Baroka has retained his role as an important social and political leader largely through his shrewd assessment of human nature. He understands that Sidi is more ambitious than she is modern. Rather than talk down to her, he both tricks her by faking impotence and flatters her by proposing to make her even more famous, by putting her face on postage stamps.