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When Ikemefuna moves in to Okonkwo’s house, he’s terrified and refuses to eat until he’s taken home. Okonkwo won’t put up with the boy’s hunger strike and stands over Ikemefuna with a threatening club, forcing the boy to eat his meal.
After the force-feeding session, Ikemefuna is sick for a while, but once he’s healthy again, he’s turns out to be a happy, lively boy.
Ikemefuna is well-liked in Okonkwo’s household. He develops a bond with Nwoye and Okonkwo’s first wife, the mother of Nwoye. Even Okonkwo comes to think of Ikemefuna as a son, though he never outwardly shows his affection (surprise, surprise).