Summary and Analysis of Obi Ezeoba The Wisdom Of The Leopard King

by Kev


The story tells us about the history of Onicha and how Ezeoba one of the Ndi Ichie of the Obi antagonizes the king.

The white man Edward Hewett asked the Obi to shop the sale slaves in his town and he informs his Ndi Ichie to end slave trade but Ezeoba objected to what and left the meeting. The king Obi   Anazonwu was embittered with what Ezeoba did and decided to suspend him from the cabinet meeting, the Ndi Ichie pleaded on his behalf and the king asked them to go ask him to come and ask for forgiveness, Ezeoba’s pride made him fail to apologize to the king and he went to the length of heating the kings messenger and that angered the king he ostracized Ezeoba and his family from buying and selling to anybody in the community. Ezeoba made himself the Obi in his community and ostracized the king from his people; he performed the Ofala festival and became a great treat to the Obi Anazonwu. He was deceived by Owelle Osonwa and Onya Ozoma his friends and he was handed over to the Whiteman for being involved in salve trade. He was released by the Whiteman on the condition that he will not disturb the pace in his town Onich. Ezeoba died a might to his homecoming and was given befitting burial by the community


The novel tells about the Onitsha tradition and history.

The Uvie royal gong sounded in the afternoon and it was strange to hear the Uvie royal gong in the afternoon and it signifies that there is trouble in the community. The Ndi ichie gathered in the palace and invited to hear from the Obi because the cannon shots are not fired for fun.

The obi Anazonwu gave the message to the Ndi iche’s that the white man said they should stop slave trade in the town and anyone who is caught selling slaves will be taken to Asaba prison, the Ndi ichie accepted that but Obi Obgolu known as the Ezeoba said his mind, he was not in support of what the Whiteman said. He left the meeting.

The Obi suspended obiobgolu from the meeting and later changed his mind that the brings him back if he comes to apologize, he sent his Ndi iche to talk to him but the pride in Obiobgolu did not let him descend too low to ask for apology. The king went to the length of sending his servant to inform Obiobgolu to see him but he tied the messenger and humiliated him.

Iyasele Onowu went ahead to talk sense into Obigbolu but he insisted that the king should come and apologize to him and when the Onowu refused to what he said he asked him to leave his house but Onowu refused, he has to load his gun shot the Ichie but with the help of Ngeli he left the house. The Obi Ostrized Ezeoba’s family which means they will not sell or buy from anyone in the community. Ezeoba later outraised the Obi and made himself Ezeoba the leopard king, he celebrated the new yam festival and became treat to Obi Anazonwu.

Obi Anazonwu with the help of Owelle Osonwa and Onya Ozoma convinced Ezeoba to meet the Whiteman at the river bank to collect the white paper which will make him the rightful Obi of the Onitsha Ado n’ idu. Ezeoba with pride failed to heed to his wife’s pleads and advise not to embark on the journey but he did. He was arrested by the Whiteman with the orders of the Obi Anazonwu. Obi Ezeoba said he will not step his foot at Onitsha if he goes to Asaba person. Ezeoba did not eat or drink anything at the Whiteman’s prison and Edward Hewett liked Ezeoba and released him on the account that he will not disturb the town, he signed the whitepaper and he was released but e could not go back home that night, he decided to go the next morning .

Ogbogu dreamt and saw his father in the dream with his grandfather but before he could catch up to them, they have vanished. Ogbogu went to his father’s hut and saw that the rope keeping his father’s life was being eaten by a mysterious rat and he knew his father was gone.

Ezeoba was brought back home and was buried with a befitting burial. Ezeoba appeared to his son in his dream and told him he will incarnate and this time as a professor and he will be greater than obi Anazonwu.


The novel is written in African country, about the culture of the Igbo man and the story of the Onitsha Ado n, idu people.


  • Obi Anazonowu
  • Obi Obgolu (ogene)
  • Owelle Osonwa
  • Dumebi
  • Onya Ozoma

Minor characters

  • Edward Hewett
  • Obiozo
  • Ogbogu
  • Emejulu


Obi Anazonwu: he is one of the major characters of the novel. The obi of Onicha Ado n’ idu. He was afraid of losing his throne to Ezeoba.

Obiobgohi: he is called the ogene and he later took the title of Ezeoba when he was banished by the obi from associating with the people in the community. He was imprisoned by the Whiteman and he died there before his arrival to his town.

Owelle Osonwa: Obiobgoli’s friend, one of the Ndi iches who decided Ezeoba and led him into the Whiteman’s hands.

Dumebi: Ezeoba’ first wife, she is kind hearted and loved by her co-wives

Onya Ozioma: one of the Ndi ichie’s that betrayed their friend Ezeoba.

Edward Hewett: the Whiteman that is against the sell of slave and he arrested Ezeoba and kept him in his custody.

Obiozo: obi Anazonwu’s son, whom the father wants to succeed him after his, is gone.

Ogbogu: Ezeoba’s son, he took over his father position when he died.

Emejulu: obi Anazonwu’s servant.

Theme of the Novel

Theme of supremacy: this theme can be seen in the novel between the two main characters Obi Anazonwu and Obiogblu. Obi Anazonwu being the obi of the Onitsha Ado people had the supreme power to Ostrized any member who fails the rules of the town

Theme of pride: the pride in Ezeoba led to his downfall and death.

Theme of colonization: the theme can be seen in the character of Edward Hewett when he agreed to arrest Ezeoba not because of being involved in slave trade but because he will bring dispute in the town which will not favour his trading mission.

Theme of traditional conflict: the traditional conflict can be seen between the Ezeoba and Obi Anazonwu

The struggle for power: it is seen between the two characters the antagonist and protagonist, they struggle for power but Ezeoba later saw to his downfall because he had pride in him.

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