baba-1Baba Segi is a hardworking, uneducated husband to three wives: Iya segi,Iya Top, Iya Femi and father to even children. Their lives take place in Ayikara as the 20th century is drawing to a close. When Baba Segi takes a fourth wife,whose mother is furious for throwing herself away to such an oaf, Bolanle’s university degree creates tension between her and the other semi-illiterate wives: and her inability to become pregnant after Baba Segi’s ‘pounding’ is the predicament that sets emotions roiling and schemes in motion. Baba Segi’s ignorance and sexism are a source of hilarity particularly in the hospital scenes, as well as inducing belly laughs.

Being the 21st century where a good number believe in monogamy, I wasn’t sure this tale of a Nigerian patriarch, boorish and unsophisticated man and his wives would have much for me. Still, once I flipped the first page it was nearly impossible to put the book down. It was a beautiful peek into the life of polygamy! It’s a crazy write with African history woven throughout the novel not forgetting the entertaining cast of characters.baba-2
After two years of marriage, each of Baba Segi’s flowers knows the other like a wolf in a sheep’s skin. However, Baba Siegi does not know the naked truth at the time as much as they unmistakably mumble but without formal identification .I think Baba Segi should have got his wives me and my big mouth by Joyce Meyer…but you don’t expect a man who believes a collection of wives and gaggles of children implies prosperity and validation of his manhood to invest on books. Illiteracy pervades all he does( even in bed ), and this is what entertains the reader and smell the odor his life produces.

baba-3
Jealous and resentful, the three wives plan on the downfall of the fourth wife. The interloper who was stealing their husband’s attention agitated them more when she offers to teach them how to read. They are not aware that the cagey graduate has a secret that unwittingly unfolds the deception and lies upon which the household rests. Bolanle starts to heal immediately she reveals her secrets: keeping secrets is a source of deep emotional harm to the keeper and others .Hearteningly,Bolanle advises Segi,a teenager:”a real woman must always do the things she wants to do, and in her own time too. You must never be rushed into doing things you are not ready for”Another unexpectedly edifying moment occurs when Baba Segi tells his teenage son ‘only a real man can admit his weakness,’

Laymen will claim the read is obscene and lewd, but I think Lola Shoneyin’s work is factual and open. The book kept me glued to the ebb and the only time I kept it down was when sleep engulfed. It’s a stirring tale of men and women, kids, servitude, and independence. The book illuminates the threads joining what all women experience, from hardships they bear, struggle to define themselves and the fierce desire to protect those they love. These could be four ladies working together or four childhood friends and how they treat each other as they are carving their path of life .It offers plenty food for thought no matter your continent. It’s a book worth reading!

Share this on social media