A Google Doodle is a special, temporary alteration of the logo on Google’s homepages intended to commemorate holidays, events, achievements and notable historical figures. The doodle made by Data Oruwari, went live on Thursday as an honour of late Igwe’s contributions to Nollywood. She was a Nigerian filmmaker and broadcasting executive. Igwe was the owner of Top Radio 90.9 Lagos and Amaka Igwe Studios. She was recognised as one of the second generation filmmakers who helped begin the video film era of Nigerian cinema. She remained a prominent figure in the industry until her death in 2014.
Igwe 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 ‘Rattle snake’ and ‘Violated’, which set Amaka Igwe Studios apart in the Video film era of Nigerian cinema. “I will give you all I have, so you can add it to what you have and be better than me.” –
Amaka Igwe According to Google ‘today’s Doodle, illustrated by Nigerian-raised, Brooklyn-based guest artist Data Oruwari, 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. Uzoamaka ‘Amaka’ Audrey Igwe was born on this day in 1963 in Port harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria.
At an early age, Amaka showed deep interest in the performing arts, as she organized her school’s variety shows, taught performance dance, as well as wrote, acted, and directed plays, according to Dailytimes. 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, 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. As a champion of efficient local distribution as the basis for Nollywood’s growth, Igwe and her business partner also organized an enhanced market distribution system and helped improve quality and fairness in the industry.
On an international level, Igwe led delegations to South Africa, United Kingdom, United States and France, among other countries, to present the unique Nigerian approach to visual storytelling, propogating global awareness of Nollywood. She 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, 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, Igwe evolved a media empire by co-founding a production company, radio station, and TV network. Amaka Igwe shall be remembered as a gifted storyteller, producer, director, pioneer of Nollywood, wife, and mother of three. 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.