What Is "The Lion and the Jewel" About?

The play "The Lion and the Jewel," by Nigerian writer Wole Soyinka, is ultimately about the corruption of modern Nigerian culture and the superiority of older culture. This message is portrayed through a man named the Lion and his fight with Lakunle, who has more modern sensibilities. The two fight for the love of the Jewel, a woman named Sidi.

The two personalities of the conflicting Lakunle and the Lion reflect the conflict that took place in Africa in the 1950s between rapid modernization and old world traditions. When Sidi ultimately chooses to marry the Lion instead of Lakunle, the triumph of tradition is underscored.