|Birth||28 April 1931|
Vincent Chukwuemeka Ike (born 28 April 1931) is a Nigerian writer known for a mixture of lampoon, humor and satire. He owes a little bit of his style to his Igbo cultural upbringing. He studied history, English and Religious Studies at the University of Ibadan and earned a master’s degree at Stanford university. Among many of the younger generation, he is popular as the author of Expo ’77, a critical look at academic examination abuses in West Africa. Ike was a former registrar of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC).
Born in Anambra state, Nigeria, Ike was given the Christian name of Vincent but later chose his Igbo name, Chukwuemeka as his preferred choice (meaning “God has done great”). He was raised in a strict home. His father was a farmer, civic leader and disciplinarian who instilled in his son the necessity of civic duties and education. Chukwuemeka started early education in his native town. He left his town for further education at Ife-Mbaise and then from 1945 to 1950, he attended Government College, Umuahia. He started writing at Umuahia for the school magazine, The Umuahian, and he was also influenced by teacher that included Saburi Biobaku, who had honours in English from Cambridge. Some eminent Nigerian writers who attended the school include Chinua Achebe, Christopher Okigbo, and Ken Saro Wiwa. After completing his secondary education, he studied at the University of Ibadan. while at the college, he was invited by Chinua Achebe to join the magazine club.
He is currently king, Eze Ndikelionwu of the great Aro town Ndikelionwu in eastern Nigeria, with the title “Ikelionwu XI” in his hometown of Ndikelionwu in Anambra State.
In Expo 77, Ike tackles the issue of examination abuses. He explores cheating through the eyes of a university registrar who is forced to hire a detective due to the lack of trust he has in some of his applicants’ résumés because test questions have been leaked. The detective later discovers a wide variety of examination abuses; from the parents who demand new test results for their children, to principals who allow students to bring in textbooks for closed examinations. The author believed it was partly the corruption of the nation’s leaders that had permeated the society and led to rampant unethical excesses. In later years, the word “expo” was used in Nigeria as slang for academic cheating.
Ike’s hometown of Ndikelionwu is featured regularly in his works, notably Potter’s Wheel, Toads for Supper and Bottled
- Toads for Supper (London: Harvill Press, 1965)
- The Naked Gods (London: Harvill Press, 1970) ISBN 0-00-271555-4
- The Potter’s Wheel (London: Harvill Press, 1973) ISBN 0-00-271620-8
- Sunset at Dawn (Collins & Harvill Press, 1976) ISBN 0-00-261807-9
- Expo ’77 (Fontana, 1980) ISBN 0-00-616063-8
- The Chicken Chasers (Fontana, 1980) ISBN 0-00-615947-8
- The Bottled Leopard (1985) ISBN 978-154-778-2
- Our Children Are Coming (Ibadan: Spectrum Books 1990) ISBN 978-2460-21-4