Who is the "jewel" referring to in the play The Lion and the Jewel?
The "jewel" in the play The Lion and the Jewel references the character of Sidi. Sidi is a beautiful young woman who has become famous after a foreign photographer published her images in a magazine. She is considered the "jewel" throughout the play because of her beauty and prestige, while Baroka is referred to as the "lion." After finding out that her images are throughout a magazine, Sidi becomes extremely conceited and vain. When Sidi is ridiculing the Bale after rejecting his initial marriage proposal, she says,
"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!" (Soyinka 21).
Sidi referring to herself as the "jewel of Ilujinle" portrays the extent of her arrogance and vanity. Later on in the novel, Baroka successfully woos Sidi and takes her virginity after promising to put her image on every stamp leaving Ilujinle. Sidi then decides to marry Baroka over Lakunle.