Uche Okeke was born in 1933 in Nimo, Anambra State Eastern Nigeria. At an early age, Okeke became acquainted with traditional Igbo folklore and traditions at home and school. His ardent love for the arts can be traced to his mother who was skillful in "uli"- a form of body and wall painting popular among the Igbos of Eastern Nigeria. He studied Fine arts at the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology (NCAST), Zaria. While in NCAST, Okeke founded the Zaria Art Society alongside other undergraduate art students. Together, they embarked on a retrospective tour of their indigenous cultures to fuse local content with western techniques. He died in his hometown, Nimo in 2016 after a brief illness.

The Conflict (After Achebe) is an illustration of a scene from the book Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. In Achebe’s story, after the convert, Enoch unmasked an Egwugwu — one of the nine masquerades representing the ancestral spirits of the nine villages of Umuofia — the Egwugwu burnt Enoch’s compound. In the book Achebe says “the band of Egwugwu moved like a furious whirlwind to Enoch’s compound and with machetes and fire reduced it to a desolate heap”. Achebe continues, “And from there they made for the church, intoxicated with destruction … Mr. Smith was in his church when he heard the masked spirits coming … he walked towards the approaching spirits ... Discordant bells clanged, machetes clashed, and the air was full of dust and weird sounds … For a brief moment the onrush of the egwugwu was checked by the unexpected composure of the two men. But it was only a momentary check, like the tense silence between blasts of thunder. The second onrush was greater than the first. It swallowed up the two men.”


  • Title: The Conflict (After Achebe)
  • Creator: Uche Okeke
  • Creator Lifespan: 1933/2016
  • Creator Nationality: Nigerian
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: Nimo
  • Creator Birth Place: Nimo
  • Date Created: 1965
  • Location Created: Nigeria
  • Physical Dimensions: 123 x 91cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Yemisi Shyllon Museum of Art, Pan-Atlantic University
  • Medium: Oil on Board

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