ON Saturday, May 18, 2013, likeable movie star, Fred Amata clocked 50! And his colleagues in Nollywood, friends and admirers across the professions rolled out the drums in celebration of his fulfilled life.
Starting off with a red carpet reception, the dinner held at Shell Hall, Muson Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos was a day to remember.
Yaw of Wazobia FM and popular singer, Baba Dee anchored the fun-filled event whose highlight was a commemorative stage play (The King Must Dance Naked) to welcome the actor, director, producer and dancer to the golden age.
Some of Fred Amata’s guests included the Delta State Governor ably represented by the Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Urban Development, Sir Patrick Ferife, representative of Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, Dr. Dolapo Enitan Badru, Commissioner for Sports, Youth and Social Development.
There were also the Delta State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr. Richard Mofe-Damijo, National President Directors Guild of Nigeria, Andy Amenechi; National President, Association of Movie Producers, Nigeria, Zik Zulu Okafor; Emem Isong, Omoni Oboli, Dakore Egbuson-Akande, Monalisa Chinda, Segun Arinze, Emeka Ossai, Ejiro Okurame, Arinze Okonkwo, Ogechi Asiegbu, Oge Okoye, Tee Mac, Dede Mabiaku, Ras Kimono, Ndidi Obi, Chico Ejiro and wife, Fidelis Duker and wife, Vivian Ejike, Chidi Nwaokobia, Portia Yamahan, Lawrence Onuzulike (Lurrenzo), Florence Onuma, among others.
ENCOMIUM Weekly engaged the birthday boy, Fred Amata who has spent over 30 years on stage. Here he revealed why he is glad to hit the golden age, his expectations as well as the state of the movie industry. Fred Amata, however, shied away from his troubled marital life and his plan, having been separated for years.
What are you most grateful to God for as you hit the golden age?
I’m most grateful to God at 50 for the gift of life.
Are there things you can no longer do on account of your age?
There is nothing I have been doing before I clocked 50 that I can’t do now.
Were there target you set for yourself at 50, and how far have you gone in actualizing them?
No, I don’t set targets. I leave everything in God’s Hand.
Any regret at 50?
Not at all. Regrets are temporary.
You were back on stage this evening, how did it feel?
Elated, reinvigorated. What’s the word? Excited. This is after many years I featured in a stage play. I acted with a group of contemporaries who have given a lot to the industry.
Who did you really start out your movie career with?
I actually started acting under my father.
What year was that?
I don’t know I must have been six or seven. But in terms of television, I first went there in 1982/83 in Jos, full time. And we were the hottest dancers back then. Professionally, I give it to Ifeanyi Anyafuluhu who put me first on TV with a program I can’t remember now. After that, we started the Legacy series.
Is this the Nollywood of your dream?
Nollywood is evolving. So, at the stage of this current revolution, it’s indeed the Nollywood of our dream. It is a process. And we will get there.
At 50, companionship or marriage is still an unresolved issue for you, where do we go from here?
No, I don’t want to make any comments on my personal life.
But you are definitely happy to have your kids around today?
That was great.
What are your expectations in life?
I expect to be alive so that I can continue to profess the talent that God has given me.
What’s your word to your special guests as you celebrate 50?
I really appreciate their presence. I’m particularly grateful to my governor, Dr. Uduaghan for the birthday gift (that is a land in Asaba, the Delta State capital). It’s also special thanks to RMD (Richard Mofe-Damijo), in fact, all Nigerian, my colleagues and fans too numerous to mention. I got a pleasant surprise from them all.
- UCHE OLEHI
This story was first published in ENCOMIUM Weekly on Tuesday, May 21, 2013