Book Review: The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives by Lola Shoneyin

1 January 21, 2018 By Dang

Book Review: The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives

When I finished reading this book, I was unsettled and sober. I kept turning the pages but was met with a blank slate. What started as a funny story ended in tragedy, discovery, and triumph. Triumph that I could not celebrate because of the thick cloud of melancholy that enveloped me.

The secret lives of Baba Segi’s wives is a novel written by Lola Shoneyin.

I appreciate the vivid descriptions of the characters and location. I could see the characters in my head. The roads, shops, hospitals and the rest of the location were so vividly described, I could draw it if I was artistically gifted. When a writer can make you see pictures from words, she has hit a home run.




The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives centers around Baba Segi and his four wives. Baba Segi is a typical African Man whose pride enormously lays in his ability to bear sons, marry wives and take care of his home. Baba Segi is a filthy man but in all of his filth, he is a man full of love for his wives and his deep happiness lies in the existence of his kids. Baba Segi was a content man

How do you reconcile this man, with a man who found out he has been entangled in a web of lies and secrets? Every bad thing you can imagine happened around Baba Segi: Rape, Sex, Betrayal, lust, violence, feigned innocence and revenge. He walked around amongst everyone he trusted like he ruled them all. But, he was a prey who thought himself the hunter.

If you have read The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives you may be moved to see Bolanle, Baba Segi’s last wife as the victim. But Baba Segi is the real victim here. Victim of tradition, poverty, love, of an innocent heart and of polygamy.




If you don’t learn anything from this book, you must learn to listen to silence, actions and to never believe your own hype. You must learn kindness, you must understand that rape is not your fault. For this reason, you must learn to grow some balls as a woman and face your past tragedies and deal, instead of letting them define you. You must learn that even when you have let your past define you, you can turn things around and take the world on, like a victor that you truly are.

Knowing Baba Segi, I wasn’t surprised by how the book ended. He is a man that bares all so he is easily predictable.

This is a hilarious read but I must warn you, that is a cushion for the revelations to come.

You must read it.

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One comment on “Book Review: The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives by Lola Shoneyin

  1. Omi

    Every one who has got an amazing sense of humor needs to read the book! Lola is an exceptional writer. She has got a phenomenal way with words.




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