Everyday, Google creates a daily image on its search engine home page. These things are called ‘doodles’ and they are situate above the search bar. Furthermore, the doodles also celebrate notable people. Therefore, for January 2, 2019, the doodle was late Nigerian filmmaker, entreprenur and CEO, Amaka Igwe. She passed away on April 28, 2019 at the age of 51.
Her death was caused by complications from an asthma exacerbation. She was born on January 2, 1963 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria. And January 2 was her posthumous birthday.
Amaka Igwe’s Doodle was illustrated by Nigerian-raised, Brooklyn-based guest artist Data Oruwari. And celebrates award-winning Nigerian writer, director, entrepreneur, and producer Amaka Igwe on her 57th birthday. Igwe helped transform the Nigerian film industry and built a media empire from the ground up.
According to Google.Com, Uzoamaka ‘Amaka’ Audrey Igwe was born on this day( 2nd Jan) in 1963 in Port harcourt. Rivers State, Nigeria. At an early age, Amaka showed deep interest in the performing arts. As such, she organized her school’s variety shows. She taught performance dance, as well as wrote, acted, and directed plays.
During her postgraduate studies, Igwe started focusing on theater and what she considered to be her first gift: writing. She developed her first television series screenplay, Checkmate, widely considered the best Nigerian soap opera of the 1990s.
This led to her directorial debut in the feature film Rattlesnake (1995 for Crystal Gold Limited). A smash hit in her home country, followed by films like Violated (1995 for Crystal Gold Limited) and A Barber’s Wisdom (2001 for Mnet). Which helped set a higher production standard for “Nollywood” at the time. She wrote and directed the phenomenally successful Fuji House of Commotion (2001-2012 for Crystal Gold Limited). Which gave her dominance of the national television series industry.
Passionate about growing the local industry, Amaka Igwe also helped organize the guild system that served the executive boards of the Association of Movie Producers. And was also a patron of the National Association of Cinematographers, the Screenwriters Guild and the Guild of Movie Editors.
Also, as a champion of efficient local distribution as the basis for Nollywood’s growth, Amaka Igwe and her business partner also organized an enhanced market distribution system. Thus helped improve quality and fairness in the industry.
On an international level, Amaka Igwe led delegations to South Africa, United Kingdom, United States and France, among other countries. To present the unique Nigerian approach to visual storytelling thus propogating global awareness of Nollywood.
The filmmaker also co-founded the African Film and Media Content Expo. Entitled BOBTV, with Big Picture Limited. With the aim of providing a global platform for Nigeria’s creative industries. For 11 years, they presented BOBTV to the world. Hence engaging more than 400 departments from 104 Nigerian universities, as well as the Motion Picture Industry Practitioners and the Nigeria Government through its agencies.
Cementing herself as a matriarch of Nollywood, Amaka Igwe evolved a media empire by co-founding a production company. A radio station, and TV network. Amaka Igwe shall be remembered as a gifted storyteller, producer, director, pioneer of Nollywood, wife, and mother of three.
As a result, In 2011, she was announced as a Member of the Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (MFR). An award that honors Nigerians who made significant contributions to the nation.
Here’s to Amaka Igwe, a true pioneer of Nigerian entertainment.