- Baroka – The Balè or viceroyal chieftain of Ilujinle, a Yoruba village in the realm of the Ibadan clan's kingdom. A crafty individual, he is the Lion referred to in the title. At 62 years of age, he has already sired 63 children.He is also the son.
- Lakunle – The progressive and absurdly arrogant Westernised teacher. He is in his twenties.
- Sidi – A beautiful, yet somewhat egotistical village girl who is wooed by both Baroka and Lakunle.she was also the village belle. She is the Jewel in the title.
- Sadiku – The chief's sly great wife, chieftess of his harem.
- Ailatu – Baroka's favourite, who loses her place in his affections due to her jealousy.
Village girls, a wrestler, a surveyor, schoolboys, his assorted consorts and various musicians, dancers, mummers, prisoners, traders and so on.