In chapters 4-7 of Things Fall Apart, Ikemefuna has, in three short years, developed into the son that Okonkwo wished he'd had. He seems to be a combination of the best parts of Okonwko, the physically talented "natural" male, and Okonkwo's father, Unoka, the artistic storyteller. Ikemefuna is a hard worker and a fast learner. At age 18, he can perform the manly duties: identify birds, trap rodents, and make flutes and bows. And he can also perform the duties of his agbala grandfather: tell clever folktales.
Ikemefuna is so talented that Nwoye respects him more than his own father, who cruelly ridicules his own son because he is lazy, like Unoka. In fact, Ikemefuna is too talented for his tribe, for they seem him as an outside threat to their insular male patriarchy. When he comes of age, the elders summon his execution for fear that he will weaken their core values.