Nigerian novelist Chukwuemeka Ike passed away on Thursday, January 9, 2019.
Chukwuemeka Ike, who was born on April 28, 1931, attended Government College, Umuahia, and earned a BA 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, 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. He was until his death, the traditional ruler of Ndikelionwu in Orumba north local government area of Anambra state, a throne he ascended in 2008.
Ike was a pioneer novelist with books that included Toads for Supper (1965), The Naked Gods (1970), The Potter’s Wheel (1973), The Biafran War-set Sunset at Dawn (1976), Expo ’77 (1980), The Bottled Leopard (1985), The Chicken Chasers (1980), Our Children Are Coming (1990), and Conspiracy of Silence (2001). You can read an excellent obituary of the novelist at our friends at Lagos Review here.
Responses to his passing have been coming from the Nigerian writing community and further afield. Here is a sample of the reactions.
I just learned that Chukwuemeka Ike, novelist extraordinaire (author of such scintillating reads as “Sunset at Dawn,” “The Potter’s Wheel,” “Toads for Supper”, “The Chicken Chasers,” and “The Naked Gods”), passed yesterday into eternity. Ike, who was born April 28, 1931, had a rich life as an academic, bureaucrat, father to an only son, Osita Ike (who preceded him in death), husband (to Adebimpe Olurinsola Ike, nee Abimbolu, who survives him), and traditional leader of his community, Ndikelionwu. His death is a big loss to the community of writers, but his formidable body of work will keep him in the hearts and memory of readers everywhere for a long time. May he find eternal rest.
#thepotterswheel #toadsforsupper #greatnessexits
Goodnight, Ancestor Chukwuemeka Ike. Thank you for the leadership, the culture, the dignity, and the stories, the stories, the stories…
— Chuma Nwokolo (@chumanwokolo) January 11, 2020
We celebrate you, Chukwuemeka Ike, and thank you for the humour, the dignity, the humanity, the satire with which you clothed us in your stories. We will continue to ensure that those who come after us read you and see slices of humanity in Nigeria through your eyes.Daalu. Deeme pic.twitter.com/MG1DTag6E5
— Cheluchi Onyemelukwe (@Cheluchi_O) January 11, 2020
The ALA is sorry to learn of the passing of Nigerian novelist Chukwuemeka Eke. Condolences to his family and admirers. https://t.co/9qeqQTpNUp
— AfLit Association (@AfricanLitAssoc) January 12, 2020
The sun sets at 88 for an African literary giant.
Chukwuemeka Ike passed away last Thursday after a brief illness.
Some of his popular works are:
Potter’s Wheel (1973)
Expo ’77 (1980)
The Bottled Leopard (1985)
Thank you for your contribution towards the growth of literature. pic.twitter.com/lR9ICCsC9k
— OkadaBooks (@Okadabooks) January 11, 2020
We have cried and mourned but will forever have you in our hearts. Your words forever imprinted in my hearts till our coming generation.
RIP Prof Chukwuemeka Ike.
Note: it is important to know the important literary icons, let history guide you to the future. pic.twitter.com/E9ThFJGkKA
— Enugu Literary Society (@EnuguLiterary) January 13, 2020
If you’re a 90s kid, you probably read classics like ‘Potter’s Wheel’, ‘Bottled Leopard’ and ‘Sunset at Dawn’.
The writer of these books, Chukwuemeka Ike passed on yesterday at the age of 88. 😭
May his beautiful soul rest in peace. ❤
Which of his books have you read? pic.twitter.com/mtv0O27FRI
— Syncity NG | Writing Community (@SynCityNG) January 10, 2020
Vincent Chukwuemeka Ike (1931-2020).
He achieved acclaim for works such as Toads for Supper (1965), The Naked Gods (1970), The Potter’s Wheel (1973), Sunset at Dawn (1976), Expo ’77 (1980), The Bottled Leopard (1985), Our Children Are Coming (1990), among others.#ChukwuemekaIke pic.twitter.com/qeKn4TkuJn
— Malthouse Press Nigeria (@malthouselagos) January 11, 2020
Rest well Prof. Chukwuemeka Ike. The stories you gave us will remain evergreen. https://t.co/HLsBD1njye
— Farafina Books (@farafinabooks) January 11, 2020