Okonkwo's relationship with Ekwefi is different than the relationships he has with his other wives. Ekwefi is more independent and strong-willed than the other women and she is not afraid to stand up to Okonkwo. Because of this she suffers severe beating from him. She was married once before and later fell in love with Okonkwo when he won an important wrestling match and gained acquired fame within his tribe. Ezinma is their only child who survived past her toddler years and is Ekwefi's pride and joy.
Okonwko thinks the world of Ezinma and often wishes she was a boy. It has been suggested that this might be due to the fact that they have a strong relationship and Okonkwo longs to have that kind of relationship with his son, Nwoye. Ezinma understands her father in a way that most other people do not--so much so, that there are times they don't even need to speak to be able to understand one another. Ezinma is smart, responsible, and very mature for her age and because of this, Okonkwo tends to favor her over the rest of his children.