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Chukwuemeka Ike's books light up Twitterland

The death of Eze Chukwuemeka Ike, a literary master, has ignited a great conversation in the social media over his writing style and which of his books are the best.

His books include masterpieces such as Toads for Super (1965), The Naked God’s (1970), The Potter’s Wheel (1973), Sunset at Dawn (1976),  Expo ’77 (1980), The Chicken Chasers (1980), The Bottled Leopard (1985), Our Children Are Coming Home (1990), and Conspiracy of Silence.

Commentators and eulogists outside the social media are also weighing in on the great debate, including Nigeria’s First Citizen who singled out four of the books for mention in his eulogy.

President Muhammadu Buhari noted the late author’s “exceptional creativity in communicating wisdom in simple ways through books like ‘Toads for Supper,’ ‘The Potter’s Wheel,’ “Sunset at Dawn,’ The Bottled Leopard’ and other publications, which have been used by many institutions as teaching tools, within and outside the country.”

Atiku Abubakar agreed with the President in two of the four: Toads for Supper and Sunset at Dawn.

Respected literary critic, Ikhide R. Ikheola picked two of the novels with a campus setting as his favourites, with The Potters Wheel as the first.

He explained his choice in another tweet: “Ike’s The Potters Wheel is innocent of political correctness. It offers a refreshing, honest and important insight into 1940s/50s Nigeria. Chukwuemeka Ike’s fictions about Campus life in the 60s and 70s Nigeria are the most important narratives to date of campus life – bar none.

Another Twitter user, Olugbenga Olawoye said Ike’s books “defined his childhood” and he then used two of his favourites to wax lyrical:

Writing under the handle @gugbai Shi Lindon singled out The Bottled Leopard as the best, supported immediately by another user.

Commenting on his style Dr. Ngonadi, like Buhari, said he loves Ike’s simple and and phenomenal expositions.

In all, there is no way that Twitter Nigeriana will not have a little bit of politics thrown in for good measure:

The votes will continue to be tallied until his Majesty’s remains are committed to Mother Earth.


Drop a comment below (in the comment section) for others coming by, as you just did – on either your favourite Chukwuemeka Ike novel(s) or on his writing style.

Ogbuagu Anikwe
Ogbuagu is a prose stylist and a cross-cutting media manager with hands-on experiences in print, online and radio organisations in Nigeria. He interrogates sociopolitical issues and communicates solutions to them with a trademark simplicity and disarming depth.