I was meant to post this a few months ago. I found this picture amongst those who were basically hailed as “The bright young things” in Nigerian art (1966) in the Nigeria Magazine……only for me to read today from bro Obi Asika that he has now passed on smile emoticon
Well here goes….
“Born in Nimo in 1933. He was brought up in Kafanchan and completed his secondary school education at Bishop Shanahan Secondary school, Orlu but returned to Kafanchan to become the school artist in 1954.
While working as a clerk in 1955-1957 with the Labour department in Jos and Lagos, he became a taxidermist.
In 1957 he entered the Nigerian college of Technology where, after winning two first prizes in art and the prize for the poetry competition organized by the Nigerian Art Council in 1960, he graduated with a diploma in Fine Art (1961)
He went on to Munich, in Western Germany to study mosaic and stained glass techniques in 1962-63.
When he returned, he worked for a short time as a publications artist with the Federal Ministry of information.
Apart from one man exhibitions held in Jos, Kano,Kaduna and Lagos, Mr Okeke had featured in joint exhibitions in Brazil, Salisbury ( Rhodesia), Paris, Kampala and Calcutta.
He illustrated Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart and designed stage and sets for the then Eastern Nigeria Theatre Group’s production of Andre Obey’s Noah, Wole Soyinka’s The Lion and The Jewel, Sam Iyamu’s Corp Diplomatique and J.P Clark’s Song of a Goat and The Masquerade.
Mr Okeke was associated with the foundation of Various cultural bodies in Nigeria”
Professor Okeke died on Tuesday, January 5, 2016 in his native home at Nimo.
I will post a collection of his work published in 1961 by Mbari Publications