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.

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May he rest in peace.

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