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This research work is on the theme of feminism in Wole Soyinka’s The Lion and the jewel and Ola Rotimi’s Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again. In view of the two plays under investigation. It is evident that one of the problems confronting our Nigerian society is feminism, and leadership failure. Based on the two author’s points of view, feminism and bad leadership style has attained unimaginable height and is currently assuming a pandemic proportion in the Nigerian society. Thus, through and with the full support of the political leadership class since 1960.

The study further  bring out some tactics and  practices used by politicians and military men how they go into politics not to  lead the masses but   to enriched themselves and to  participate in their selfish interest, as seen in Rotim’s Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again. However, the study further revealed that the problem with our Nigerian society is selfishness and corrupt attitude of the leaders, which on the other hand affects the masses negatively. The study therefore recommended that political leaders should desist from viewing feminism as a means for achieving what cannot be obtainable by genuine means.




1.1     Background to the Study

Wole Soyinka and Ola Rotimi are on the nation that, independence is a source of disillusionment to most African societies including Nigeria. These two authors use their creative works in portraying how African societies and their leaders are corrupt. Our Husband has Gone Mad Again is one of Emecheta’s novels that portrayed some of the African beliefs and practices that affect the female folks in the society.

According to her, the belief is that only a male child is expected to have a formal and sound education contrary to the modern belief.  Also a woman without a male child is despised by the society because girls are regarded as inferior to boys.  Consequently, studies have shown that Rotimi’s writings reflect the Nigerian’s history and local traditions in his works such as To Satir the Gods of Iron and Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again. For instance, scholar like Atanda, Kemi says, “Rotimi is a feminist with regards to the positive image pointed on the women in Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again’’ (58). 



To Chiyere Okafor, Rotimi’s Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again, she says,” it seems that the author attempts to communicate any engage in social engineering.  She further posits that, the playwright attempt to choose the use of public medium like the theatre to present his art’’ (24).


On another perspective, scholar like Banham, Martin says,” Rotimi’s intention and purpose in the use of the theatre is to make some move at social change.”(155). in the same vein, critics like Olateju Moji and Yusuf Yisa says, ’’ essentially, the play Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again seems like a farcical comedy on the surface. Some will describe it as one’’ (520).


Wole Soyinka’s pioneering effort and creative talents have been a major influence on the development of Nigerian Drama and African Literature in general. Soyinka has been internationally acclaimed for his politically provocative play which undoubtedly is a criticism of the day to day problems of Nigeria and the wider African world of selfish leaders.

The belief that women are only meant for procreation is explained in this novel.  It is on this point that the author shows this through Adah who is loved by her parent’s in-law mainly because she gave birth to children. On the other hand, a woman must have children and as many as the husband wants or else she will be despised by her in-laws and the whole society. A woman would be forgiven everything as long as she produces a child, and not just child, but a male child (28).


Emecheta advocates a change of attitude towards female and believes that this change should be initiated by women themselves.  She believes that a woman can contribute meaningfully to the growth of the society just as men can do.

Emecheta sets an example as Adah manages to get the family planning cap and fixes it independently, she is unable to hide the truth from her husband when he asked her and she is even regarded as a prostitute to their people at home by her husband because to him family planning is mean for whores.  He believes that the family planning cap will enable Adah to have other men believes that the family planning cap will enable Adah to have other men behind his back.  It is even worse that Adah should go and do such a thing without his consent; it is an abomination in the African tradition. Did Adah not know the gravity of what she had done?  It meant she could take other men behind my back…

How the innocent Adah who came to London a year before she become clever (160). According to the author, it is the general belief among African men that it is only men that can be wise and clever; the women do not know anything.  At least, that is the assumption.  Whenever she makes mistakes, she may be pardoned on the ground that she is only a woman (103).

A woman does not and should not have her own independent point of view.  The author portrays a woman who questions this dependent act of men and struggles to free herself so as to have a will of her own.  She questions thus: Was it necessary to have a husband brought into an issue like that?  Could not the woman be given the opportunity at exercising her own will? (155).


Emecheta tries to change very many African traditional beliefs that make women inferior to men through the feminist spirit in this novel.

One of such beliefs is the belief that only women can do wrong since they are believed to be the stupid and weaker sex.

Therefore, men are clever and can never be wrong. If there is a quarrel between the husband and his wife, the wife will be the one to beg for her husband’s forgiveness even if the husband is at fault.  But Adah goes contrary to this belief because she does not believe that she is at fault.

Therefore, she is not the one to ask for forgiveness.  She refuses to be an obedient servant when she is wrong… Men never do wrong, only the women, they have to beg for forgiveness, because they are bought, pay for and must remain like that, silent obedient slave (170).

Emecheta strongly portrays that women can still live and respect their husbands even when they are financially stronger than their husbands.  She shows this through Adah who despite the fact that her income is more than that of her husbands’ still respects and reveres her husband.  Her husband manages her salary and she dare not ask for more than what she is given.


Let us consider this: Adah’s pay at work was just enough to pay the rent pay for Francis’s course, his examination fees, buy his books and pay Trudy.  They had little left after this and so it was impossible for Adah to have lunch at work. (62). The theme of feminism in Ola Rotimi’s our husband has gone mad again Wole Soyinka’s the road.

Yet she works and earned the money all alone, Adah sacrifices her hard earned salary for Francis just for the sake of happiness in her matrimony. This is when Adah learns to let go. Adah started being against Francis, when she realizes that he does not care for her but for himself alone.


Right from the beginning, Francis does not care about her deteriorating health. The feminist spirit in her swung to action and she determined to be in charge of her salary. However, if Francis want some money, he can go out and earned the money himself.  For instance: So instead of handling over her pay pocket to Francis to dole out the two pounds for housekeeping to her she would buy everything the doctors and the midwives told  her to eat (175).

Soyinka portrays the custom and tradition in his Yoruba society. The Polygamous society gives importance to Bale to marry as many girls as he wants. He just uses them for pleasure and after the arrival of the new favourite, he sends the last favourite to an outhouse.


In our society, due respect are not given to women as Lakunle says “they are used to pound the yam or bends all the day to plant the millet to fetch and Scrub, to bring forth children by the groos” (7,8).

The study of the characters and their activities highlight the unexpected ending of the play delineating tradition’s triumph over modernity. In the case of Lakunle’s character, who believes in the Western value to leap at the chance to bypass the bride—price because Sidi is no longer a virgin. As for Sidi, she is the needle of the pendulum, she weaver from end to end, confused before finally setting on the traditional side.


Baroka has many wives though he want Sidi to be his wife, on seeing her in a magazine seated alone. He laments “yes yes… it is five full month since last I took a wife … five full months” (18).

Lakunle beg Sidi not to agree to marry Baroka but she has to assert herself to put an end to his clowning. “My name is Sidi. And now let me be. My name is Sidi and I am beautiful (20). Sidi sees Lakunle as a nuisance, she sees Baroka as a challenge.

Accordingly, Wole Soyinka in this novel under investigation The Lion and the Jewel. He says Nigerian leaders lack transparency. For instance, in government it is when an elected representative makes decisions that are influenced by vested interest ever than legitimate or established government has well as party regulations.


On the order hand, Ola Rotimi uses an ex-military officer named, Lejoka-Brown to portray the attitude of Nigerian leaders and how corrupt they are. He further asserts that, Lejoka-Brown is an ex-military officer who is so corrupt to the extent that he has taken to dabbling in politics so that he can partake in the national chin-chin. The theme of feminism in Ola Rotimi’s our husband has gone mad again Wole Soyinka’s the road.

According to Rotimi, one of the problems of Lejoka-Brown is that he does not have the slightest understanding of the working of politics.

Instead, he relied on his military tactics and moreover to conduct his surprise and attack campaign. Consequently, it is on this note that the research work intends to research on the theme of feminism in Wole Soyinka’s The Lion and the Jewel and Ola Rotimi’s Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again.


1.2     Statement of the Study

Soyinka and Ola Rotimi are on the view that, corruption in Nigeria and Africa in general today has permeated the society affecting human relation, family values, government, educational system, religion, law and Oder and virtually all the society as examined under the novels in research work.


1.3     Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this research work is to portray the theme of feminism in Wole Soyinka’s The Lion and the Jewel and Ola Rotimi’s Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again.


1.4     Significance of the Study

This research work will be significant to the general public. Especially, social organisations, institutions, social activists, psychological leaders and literally artists who should understand the level of corruption in the society. The study will also bring to the light the impact of corruption and other researchers who will find this work reliable


1.5     Objectives of the Study

The objectives of this research work are;

  1. To examine some aspects of feminism in the novels by the two authors.
  2. to expose the problems caused by corruption and its effects in the society as examined in the novels under investigation.
  3. to portray the origin of corruption and its consequences to the masses.


1.6     Research Methodology

The method in this research work is basically on the work of Wole Soyinka’s The Lion and the Jewel and Ola Rotimi’s Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again as its main information, while magazines, articles, internet and literature novels will be added as secondary information. Therefore, this research work is literary research method.


1.7     Scope and Limitation of the Study 

The scope of this study will be limited to the theme of feminism in Wole Soyinka’s The Lion and the Jewel and Ola Rotimi’s Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again.



No doubt, feminism practices among our political leaders have resulted in undermining the growth and stability of our country Nigeria. Consequently, Rotimi and Soyinka have being able to examine how the Nigeria society has simply been lacking in one thing that every nation, big or small, needs to archive greatness-credible, responsible and people oriented leadership.

Consequently, on this note, Chinua Achebe argued in his novel, The Trouble with Nigeria…he says” is simply and squarely a failure of leadership. He says, there is nothing wrong with the Nigerian character. There is nothing wrong with the Nigerian land, climate, water, air, or anything else.


The Nigerian problem is the unwillingness or the inability of its leaders to rise to their responsibility, to the challenge of personal example, which is the hallmark of true leadership’’ (1).

Therefore, based on Achebe’s point of view, the state of Nigeria’s pitiable socio-economic development as examined by critics in the review of related literature on Rotimi and Soyinka’s writings has shown direct consequences of the actions and inability of the leadership class that has managed the affairs and wealth of the country since independence.


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Ikemesit Akpan is my name. I am a Nigerian author. I work with I'm a researcher and a writer of academic research.

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