|Intro||Nigerian Filmmaker & Creative Industries Stakeholder Champion|
|Type||Film, TV, Stage & Radio|
Amaka Igwe (2 January 1963–28 April 2014) was an award-winning and critically acclaimed Nigerian filmmaker and broadcasting executive. Igwe was the owner of Top Radio 90.9 Lagos and Amaka Igwe Studios, and is recognized as one of the second generation filmmakers who pioneered the video film era of Nigerian cinema. She remained a prominent figure in the industry until her death in 2014.
Early life and education
Uzoamaka Audrey ‘Amaka’ Igwe was born to Isaac and Patience Ene on 2 January 1963 in Port-Harcourt. Igwe was the fifth of seven children, and the fourth of six sisters. She was known as ‘GCO’ (General Commanding Officer) by her father and ‘Storm’ by her mother because she was always busy with some activity. As a child she acted as a Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture.
She studied at All Saints School and Awkunanaw Girls High School in Enugu. She boxed, played basketball, and was captain of the girls’ soccer team. During her A-Levels in Idia College, Benin, Igwe fully and publicly engaged with her creative side. She taught people in the Atilogwu dance and Idia College eventually competing nationally in Atilogwu Dance. She also began writing plays and songs. Amaka Igwe wanted to study law, although officials of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) offered her “Education and Religious Studies (Theology)” instead. Hence, she studied Education/Religion at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University).
From OAU, Igwe signed the MNET short celluloid film “Barbers Wisdom” as director and then proceeded to the University of Ibadan, where she obtained a master’s degree in Library and Information Services. She spent her time during her NYSC Youth Service as a travelling secretary for the Scripture Union and procured an M.Sc. in Information Science. She then worked at the Anambra State University of Technology and as an executive director at Eida Information Systems, before settling in the creative industry. She married her husband Charles Igwe in April 1993 and had three children.
Igwe was an accomplished writer, producer, director, entrepreneur and teacher.
A visionary and pioneer of modern Nigerian TV drama and film, she hit national limelight as the writer and producer of award-winning TV soap ‘Checkmate’ and its offshoot ‘Fuji House of Commotion’. Her Nollywood projects include Rattlesnake and Violated – two critically acclaimed movies that set apart Amaka Igwe Studios in the much-criticized Video film era of Nigerian cinema. She is the founder of BOBTV Exp. She is also founder and CEO of the Lagos mainland based Top Radio 90.9FM station, the quality content production powerhouse Amaka Igwe Studios and Q Entertainment Networks, and DSTV channel.
Igwe won a number of awards during her career, many of which could be found hung up on the staircase and hallways of her office. She kept her more personal awards on her desk. In 2011, Nigeria recognized her substantial efforts and immense contributions to the creative industry by awarding her with the Nigerian National Order of ‘”MFR,” which stands for “Member of The Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Igwe died in Enugu on April 28, 2014 at 8:30 pm, after efforts failed to save her from an asthma exacerbation. Her funeral was attended by Rochas Okorocha, the governor of Imo State, as well as personalities from the Nollywood film industry.
“I am an unapologetic commercial filmmaker. I make films to make money”.
“Nollywood is a global movement.”
- Rattle Snake 1,2 & 3
- Violated 1&2
- To Live Again
- Full Circle
- A Barber’s Wisdom
- Fuji House of Commotion
- Now We Are Married
- Infinity Hospital
- Bless This House