Nigerian Nollywood has again lost a star actress, Amaka Igwe. She died of asthma attack at the age of 51.
She was said to have died in Enugu where she had gone, in company of her husband, for pre-production preparations for a new Igbo soap.
She was said to have suffered an asthma attack and was immediately rushed to the hospital after initial interventions had failed but died before getting to the hospital,’ a statement issued this morning read.
Amaka Igwe, who was trained in theater arts, has produced movies, series and soap operas for television, film and video. In the 1990’s the immensely popular soap opera, Checkmate catapulted her to national renown and is among the standard-setting works for Nollywood productions. Her short film, The Barber’s Wisdom is one of the few shot on celluloid among contemporary Nigerian filmmakers, which attests to the popularity of the home video movement from which Nollywood evolves.
In addition to the central role she plays as filmmaker, Igwe is an important stakeholder in the Nigerian film industry. She is founder and organizer of BOBTV the acronym for Best of the Best TV, a film and television program market held annually in Abuja, Nigeria. In addition, it is a venue for meetings, conferences and workshops related to film/video.
Mrs Igwe is survived by her husband of 21 years Charles Igwe, three children, an aged mother, siblings and a large extended family. Mrs Igwe’s last major outing was at the inaugural edition of the Nigerian Entertainment Conference held on April 26, 2013 at the Grand Ball Room of Eko Hotels and Suites. Participating as a keynote speaker, Mrs Igwe delivered a speech on the ‘Reflections from an unapologetic commercial Nollywood filmmaker’. Born Amaka Isaac-Ene, the deceased was an accomplished writer, producer, director, entrepreneur and teacher. She is the founder of BoBTV Expo, founder and CEO of Top Radio 90.9FM, Amaka Igwe Studios, and the newly-launched Q Entertainment Networks.
The Lagos mainland based Top Radio station was launched years ago, with preparations underway to launch Q Networks, a DSTV channel in a few weeks. 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 off shoot ‘Fuji House of Commotion’. Her Nollywood projects include RattleSnake and Violated – two critically-acclaimed movies that set apart Amaka Igwe Studios in the much-criticised Nollywood industry.