Okonkwo was born in Nigeria in 1965, and was always drawn to art. He was recruited by BYU-Hawaii to play basketball, and there he found his opportunity to nourish all his talents. He played basketball until 1993 and graduated with a BFA in sculpture, then went on to receive his MFA in sculpture from BYU-Provo in 1997. Okonkwo currently lives in Georgia and sculpts full time. His goal is to populate the world with his monumental sculptures, which, he hopes, express his vision of the goodness inherent in humanity.
Okonkwo’s sculptures of women are rotund forms that symbolize the abundance of life, “an outward manifestation of a largeness of soul." The souls are full of gesture, even in their seeming stillness. Whether enclosed within themselves, or interacting with another form, their subtle “actions” evoke a depth of empathy.
His art speaks so clearly of his motivation. “My inspiration comes from the aspect of the human soul that I find sublimely beautiful and noble.” His art is a personal statement, a unique viewpoint formed by his life experiences.