Comment on Yaremi as a strong-willed character in Bayo Adebowale’s Lonely Days.
Yaremi is a strong woman from Adeyipo village, married to Ajumobi, a man from Kufi village with whom she lives in Kufi.
Lonely Days revolves round the character of Yaremi; her actions and inactions. Yaremi is a woman with a mind of her own. She becomes lonely upon the demise of her husband. In Ajumobi, she loses a companion, a confidante, a husband and a friend. She undergoes a lot of challenges after her husband’s death. Worthy of note is her perseverance and resoluteness all through.
She feels the vacuum created by her husband’s death. As a result, she overworks herself to fill the vacuum. She beats and dyes taffeta. She sells her taffeta in the market. She also goes to the farm. These do not hinder her normal chores. She attends to Woye’s needs and nurtures him to good health. She tells Woye stories about her childhood days in Adeyipo Village. Within the space of moons (months), Yaremi has morphed into a fabric dyer, a farmer, a trader and a storyteller.
It is also remarkable to note her passive resistance to her husband’s intent to marry a new wife.
After her emergence from widowhood, the village elders decide, as the custom dictates, that she would marry another man. The trio of Dedewe, Fayoyin and Radeke, who were once widows like her, advise her to follow the dictate of the elders. But Yaremi would not have this. Her love for her late husband is unwavering.
Thus, she scornfully rejects proposals from the contending suitors (Ayanwale, Lanwa and Olonade) and walks out of the cap-picking ceremony. She is unmoved by the men and their caps. She remains steadfast in her decision even when she is ostracized by the entire community.
The elders pronounce her expulsion from Kufi Village. Yaremi however remains adamant, insists on staying in Kufi Village.