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Chukwuemeka Ike.

The Nigerian novelist Chukwuemeka Vincent Ike, who was also a monarch, has passed on at 88. He had endured health challenges, Punch reports, and was admitted to Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, where he died on Thursday, January 9. He had been, since 2008, the traditional ruler of Ndikelionwu town in Anambra State.

Ike broke out internationally with the novel Toads for Supper (1965), but is as known for his subsequent novels The Naked Gods (1970), The Potter’s Wheel (1973), the Biafran War-set Sunset at Dawn (1976), Expo ’77 (1980), and The Bottled Leopard (1985). Others include The Chicken Chasers (1980), Our Children Are Coming (1990), and Conspiracy of Silence (2001). An honourary fellow at the University of Iowa, he was the recipient of grants from UNESCO and the Ford Foundation.

Born on April 28, 1931, Ike attended Government College, Umuahia, and earned a BA in History, English, and Religious Studies from the University of Ibadan in 1955 and an MA from Stanford University in 1966. A former registrar of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and the first Nigerian to be the registrar of the West African Examination Council (WAEC), he was visiting professor at the University of Jos, pro-chancellor at the University of Benin and at Anambra State University of Science and Technology, head of the Nigerian Book Trust Foundation, and chair of the National Anti-Piracy Committee. During the Biafran War (1967-70), he was provincial refugee officer for Umuahia Province and later scout commander for Nsukka Province. In 2001, he was appointed to Nigeria’s Order of the Federal Republic.

His Encyclopedia.com page has seen more than 2.4 million views.

May he rest in peace.

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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, journalist, & Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. The recipient of the inaugural The Future Awards Prize for Literature in 2019, he sits on the judging panels of The Miles Morland Writing Scholarships and of The Gerald Kraak Prize. He is Nonfiction Editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is Curator at The Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His work in queer equality advocacy in literature has been profiled in Literary Hub. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He has an M.A. in African Studies and a combined honours B.A. in History & International Studies/English & Literary Studies, both from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He taught English in a private Nigerian university. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

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