Coffee & Uche Okeke Episode 5: Remembering Ijeoma Loren Uche-Okeke

Published 05 September 2023 in Conversations

Uche Okeke Legacy Editorial

This was a special conversation that delved into the life and legacy of a remarkable soul, Ijeoma Uche-Okeke. In this interview, we explored the enduring impact she had on the art world and how her passion continues to inspire and shape the Uche Okeke legacy.

As we sat down with Salma Uche-Okeke, Ijeoma's sister and co-director of the Uche Okeke legacy, we took a moment to remember the vibrant spirit of Ijeoma. It's a bittersweet conversation, taking place on the eve of the one-year anniversary of her passing. Ijeoma was not just a devoted sister and art curator but also a board member of several arts organisations. Her contributions to the arts community were significant, and we want to honour her memory by sharing her story.


Remembering Ijeoma:

Ijeoma Lauren Uche-Okeke, affectionately known as Ijeoma or IJ, was more than just the daughter of renowned artist Uche Okeke. She was a bridge builder, a compassionate soul who could connect with anyone, regardless of their background. Her infectious laughter and unwavering dedication left a lasting impression on everyone who had the privilege of knowing her.


Ijeoma's Personality:

Salma Uche-Okeke provides insight into Ijeoma's personality. She describes Ijeoma as a person who was kind and welcoming, someone who genuinely listened to others. Her unwavering loyalty and ability to connect with diverse people made her a bridge builder. Ijeoma's passion for the arts led her to study Fine Arts and build a remarkable career in the field.


Family Background and Open-Minded Upbringing:

The conversation highlights the family's open-minded upbringing and how their father, Uche Okeke, played a crucial role in shaping their mindset. Their upbringing fostered tolerance and acceptance of different viewpoints. The Okeke family valued open-mindedness and a live-and-let-live philosophy, which was instrumental in shaping their approach to life.


Dedication to the Arts:

Ijeoma's dedication to the arts was unwavering. She had a deep passion for her career, always striving for perfection. She believed in sharing her knowledge and learning from others. Her career primarily focused on arts management, and she actively promoted her father's artwork.



Uche Okeke Legacy:

Salma and Ijeoma worked together on the Uche Okeke legacy project, following in their father's footsteps. Uche Okeke's blueprint for the project provided a solid foundation. The sisters shared a common background and a deep understanding of their mission, which allowed them to continue the work with passion and dedication.


Continuing the Legacy and Partnership:

The conversation shifts to how the Uche Okeke legacy project is continuing. Salma expresses her belief that Ijeoma would be pleased with the project's progress. The partnership with ArtFundi is discussed as an essential element in their journey. Both passion and strategy are seen as integral components of their work.


A Legacy of Joy:

Ijeoma's joy and love for life are remembered and celebrated. Her infectious spirit and enthusiasm for life were contagious, leaving an indelible mark on those she encountered. The interview ends on a positive note, emphasising that her absence does not mean a void but rather an opportunity to continue her work and spread the joy she cherished.


Ijeoma Uche-Okeke's legacy lives on, inspiring the Uche Okeke legacy project. Her passion for the arts and her dedication to building bridges between people continue to shape the art world. We hope this interview serves as a tribute to her remarkable spirit and the enduring impact she had on the arts community.




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