After a woman of the Umuofia tribe is killed at Mbaino village’s market, the Mbaino tribe offers Ikemefuna to Umuofia as recompense for their crime. Ikemefuna comes to Umuofia during the Week of Peace.
Ikemefuna is put under Okonkwo’s care indefinitely (until the elders of Umuofia decide what to do with him) and lives with Okonkwo’s family for three years.
Ikemefuna is initially intimidated by Okonkwo’s family, but as the years pass, he grows into a lively, well-liked boy.
Ikemefuna becomes great friends with Nwoye and exerts a masculine influence over the younger boy.
When the decree comes that Ikemefuna must die, Okonkwo lies to Ikemefuna and tells him he is going home.
Ikemefuna does not initially believe his adoptive father, but on the trip he eventually comes to believe that he might actually see his mother again. He sings a song from his childhood.
The men of Umuofia ambush Ikemefuna. When Ikemefuna begs Okonkwo to help, calling him "father," Okonkwo slashes the boy with his machete.