- It is with a heavy heart that I join this solemn gathering to bid farewell our dear sister Amaka Igwe, a writer, director and producer who distinguished herself in the Nigerian entertainment industry. I felt it was important to come here today to condole with the Igwe Family who are grieving the loss of their beloved one, and to show solidarity with the Nigerian film Industry.
- Ladies and gentlemen, the Federal Government sees Nollywood practitioners as partners in our quest for a greater Nigeria. We see so much potential for this industry; and are very proud of what has been achieved in the sector. Through their hard work and determination, the exemplars of Nollywood created a vibrant industry where previously there was nothing. And in so doing, they have kept us entertained and given audiences many precious moments of light and happiness.
- Amaka Igwe was one of the exemplars of Nollywood, which is why her passing, at this time when she still had so much more to contribute, is such a huge loss. We mourn a creative genius, a visionary and star maker who had a knack for discovering talent, the diamond in the rough. The stars created by the Nollywood system have become icons, and they enjoy the adulation of millions of fans internationally. It is indeed worth noting that many of the biggest stars of the screen got their first big breaks in Amaka Igwe productions.
- The late Mrs. Igwe was herself one of the brightest stars of the industry. She demonstrated uncommon commitment to creating compelling dramas as well as the platform and space for performers to shine. She was a media impresario and one of the rallying forces that structured and nurtured Nollywood, to achieve greater heights for Nigeria. Hers was a triumph of the human spirit, defying the odds of an outsider – I am aware that she studied Religion and later Library Science – to become the epicentre of the film industry as Script Writer, Director, Producer and Media Owner.
- Indeed, Amaka Igwe’s outstanding career as filmmaker and television content producer has brought international recognition to Nigeria. She was an innovator; and her early works including the TV series ‘Checkmate’ and the movies ‘Violated’’ and ‘Rattlesnake’, have been hailed as landmarks of film and television in Nigeria. She also gave us the longest running soap on Nigerian television, with ‘Fuji House of Commotion’.
- She will be remembered for her drive in setting very high standards and breaking new ground in the industry. She was the brain behind the Best of the Best African Film and Television Programmes Market, popularly known as BOB-TV. Perhaps Nigeria’s first female entertainment mogul, she founded Top Radio, Amaka Igwe Studios and a satellite television station, Q Entertainment Networks, among others.
- The greatest tribute we can pay to her legacy is to ensure that we retain the high standards she worked for, so that our beloved Nollywood can attain its full potential. I call on female practitioners in the industry especially to follow the all-conquering example of Amaka Igwe and strive for excellence, in the full knowledge that, with hard work and dedication, there is no limit to what a woman can achieve.
- The award winning Amaka Igwe was a colossus of Nigerian film and television, one that will be a hard act to follow. Like Professor Dora Akunyili, another great Nigerian woman we lost recently, Amaka Igwe was a tireless professional and an inspirational figure who worked till the very end. The end came in Enugu, where she was doing pre-production work on an Igbo television series. One can only imagine the benefits of such a soap opera for production in the indigenous languages. She was a people-person who worked with practitioners and themes across the whole spectrum of Nigerian life. She will be missed.
- We take solace in the knowledge that her legacy will live on. An artiste never dies because the works are there to console us in totality. Amaka Igwe was a shining light that came and conquered; and like a shooting star, her light will perpetually shine.
- I pray that God Almighty will grant repose to Amaka Igwe’s soul and give her eternal rest. And may He comfort the husband and children she has left behind, as well as other family members and professional colleagues in this sad time. May God in His infinite mercy grant them the fortitude to bear the loss.
- Thank you.
Remarks by His Excellency, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, at the funeral of filmmaker Amaka Igwe, in Ndiuche, Arondizuogu, Imo State on Friday, June 13, 2014