-Dies from asthma attack
+Her enduring legacies
Veteran Nollywood film maker, Amaka Igwe is dead. She passed on last night (Monday, April 28, 2014) after suffering an asthma attack.
Confirming her demise, Amaka’s hubby, Charles Igwe said, “It’s a rude shock to the family.”
ENCOMIUM Weekly learnt that the Nollywood icon, credited with over 50 movies, died in her Udi, Enugu State homestead, where they went for a movie project. The couple was to proceed to Port Harcourt, Rivers State when she lost the battle to death at 51.
Born January 2, 1963, Amaka Igwe (nee Isaac Eneh) got married to Charles Igwe, who is also a producer, on April 17, 1993. They are blessed with three children.
And widely acknowledged as one of Africa’s greatest film makers, some of Amaka Igwe’s works include Rattlesnake (her debut or first born as she calls it), Checkmate, Violated, Fuji House of Commotion, Solitaire, among others.
Amaka Igwe, MFR from Obinagu-Udi, Enugu State, attended Girls High School, Awknanaw, Enugu, Idia College, Benin, University of Ife, where she studied Education/Religious Studies. The late producer later proceeded for her Masters in Library and Information Science at the University of Ibadan. A former assistant at the then Anambra State University, she was the MD/CEO of Amaka Igwe Studios, Moving Movies, BOB TV and Top FM. She was at the verge of establishing a television station when she passed on.
Meanwhile tributes have been pouring in for the late Nollywood amazon. Prolific film producer, Don Pedro Obaseki, PhD, described her as the “singular most important woman in the creation and evolution of Nollywood.”
Dr. Obaseki said, “She dedicated her young adult life to the creation of Checkmate, the soap opera that produced the first stars of Nollywood.” He also hailed her debut movie, Rattlesnake as “the first artistic success in Nollywood’s videography.”
Also speaking with ENCOMIUM Weekly after receiving the sad news, the CEO, Africa Music Academy Awards (AMAA), Peace Anyiam Osigwe, said she was saddened by her demise:
“I received with sadness this morning the news of the passing away of my big sister and Nollywood icon, Mrs. Amaka Igwe (MFR). The motion picture industry in Nigeria and Africa will sorely miss this revolutionary who raised the bar of professionalism with her artistic excellence early in Nollywood when it was not fashionable. Amaka Igwe gave herself and applied herself to producing films and soaps that are pacesetters. She was a creative entrepreneur of outstanding qualities who came, saw and conquered in her 51 years of existence on earth. May God rest the soul of our departed heroine of Nollywood.”
The National President, Actors Guild of Nigeria, Ibinabo Fiberesima is also mourning Amaka Igwe.
Although she had not released any official statement as at the time we filed this report, she used the deceased’s picture as her Blackberry Display Picture, while her message was simply, Rest in Peace (RIP), Amaka Igwe.
The President, Association of Nollywood Core Producers, Comrade Alex Eyengho has equally expressed sadness over the sudden death of the popular film maker. In a phone chat with us, Eyengho said, “Why should the great Amakia Igwe bow to death now? A substantial part of Nollywood and the African Motion Picture industry is dead with her sudden demise. She was, indeed the Duchess of Nollywood. She never did any business outside Nollywood and the Nigeria entertainment industry generally. She gave the industry her all. As the Madam chair of the Nigerian Entertainment Business Group (NEBG), she worked tirelessly to reposition the industry. It would be hard for any female Nollywood practitioner to step into the big shoe Amaka has left behind.
“The beginning has come to the end… Amaka Amazon Igwe, salutes and bows! Drum beats, drum beats, drum beats, accolades and accolades for the accoladed… the visuals have become words. Nollywoodians mourn.”
He also posted on his Facebook wall on Tuesday (April 29) afternoon.
Eyengho who is also the Vice President, International Federation of Film Producers Associations, FIAPF, said Amaka Igwe would be mourned by, not only her family, the entire entertainment industry, the nation at large.
We also spoke with cerebral film director, Dickson Iroegbu who prayed for the repose of her soul, saying she was the greatest Nigerian film maker!
Nollywood’s most prolific film maker and Amaka Igwe’s protégé, Emem Isong was equally short of words when ENCOMIUM Weekly spoke with her on the evening of Tuesday, April 29. Obviously in tears, Emem Isong said Nollywood has lost one of its finest hands.
President Movie Repoters Guild of Nigeria (MORGON), Azuh Amatus also joined in mourning the creative amazon.
“We at MORGON are in tears and indeed shocked by the sudden death of veteran movie producer, Amaka Igwe. It is indeed a tragic loss to the movie industry in particular and the creative community at large.”
From torrents of tributes in the social media to heart-touching condolence messages, colleagues, friends and fans of Amaka Igwe have been mourning the creative genius whose sudden death rattled them to the bones.