Chukwemeka Ike

Literary Icon Vincent Chukwuemeka Ike Dies at 88

Professor Vincent Chukwuemeka Ike dies at 88 in Anambra State after a brief illness. Until his passing, Ike was the traditional ruler of Ndikelionwu community in Orumba, Anambra, a position he held since 2008.

About Professor Vincent Chukwuemeka Ike

Born in 1931 in Eastern Nigeria, Ike received his education at the University of Ibadan and at Stanford University in the United States. As a renowned author, Ike’s works infuses comedy, irony, rich metaphors, and tragedy, transcending mere deposition of history, culture, politics, and sociology. 

Ike began his career as an educator before writing his first novel, Toads for Supper, in 1965. The novel instantly drew praise from Times Literary Supplement, New Statesman, and Books and Bookmen. Subsequent works followed, including The Naked Gods (1970), The Potter’s Wheel (1973), Sunset at Dawn (1976), The Chicken Chasers (1980), The Bottled Leopard (1985). Others include Our Children Are Coming! (1990), The Search (1991), To My Husband from Iowa (1996), Conspiracy of Silence (2001), The Accra Riviera (short stories, 2001). 

His novels and books were widely read in England, the USA, and other English-speaking countries. He was the recipient of many awards and honors, a few of which include UNESCO travel grant, 1954; fellow, U.S. Agency for International Development, 1962; Ford Foundation grant, 1966; and honorary fellow, University of Iowa, 1987. In 2008 he was awarded the Fonlon-Nichols Award at the African Literature Association meeting in Illinois. 

However, Ike’s life went beyond his writings. As an educator and administrator, he contributed a great deal to the intellectual development of Africa. For years he served as the registrar of the West African Examination Council (WAEC), Accra, Ghana. The professor also served in different capacities in several Nigerian universities, including University of Nigeria, Nsukka; University of Jos; University of Benin; and Anambra State University of Science and Technology. 

Rest in peace, Professor. 

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About the Author

Jeff Omenyuru

Jeff Ugochukwu Omenyuru was born in a small polyglot town in Bauchi, Nigeria. Growing up, he was fascinated with the mechanisms of difference and how they shape our perceptions and guide us through space, which led him to writing and continues to inform his storytelling. He is also interested in helping writers close the gap between what's on the page and their imagination. Jeff mostly writes early in the morning, then sits with other people's writings through the day, either as a freelance or in-house editor at Itanile Magazine.

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