In a recent interview with newsmen, top Nollywood actor and president of Directors Guild of Nigeria, Fred Amata talked about his father’s legacy and why him and his siblings ended up being professional actors.
The actor’s three siblings – Zack, Ruke and Mena Amata, are all known names in Nigerian movie industry.
Jeta Amata, is a nephew of the above mentioned is also a part of Nollywood, likewise his ex-wife, Mbong Amata. Fred Amata’s late father, John Amata was a famous Nigerian playwright and actor. According to Fred, his father was one of the pioneers in Nigerian movie industry and he produced a film in 1957, which was translated into about 100 languages and was a big influence on the Amata’s choice of profession.
“I was born into a legacy of creativity. My father was a filmmaker. My father in 1957 made what is considered the earliest film in full colour ever shot in Africa. The film was called ‘Freedom’. It was an advocacy film. In fact it is relevant in today’s present crisis in Nigeria.
“It was pre-independence and it was talking about an imaginary country that had Talakawas, Babalawos etc. The colonial government was about going out and the Africans were about taking over power. So the film was screened a lot. The film became so popular that it was translated into about 100 languages, because my dad traveled the entire world.
Fred Amata, jetta Amata and Zack Amata Pictured below:
“The film was premiered at the San Francisco Film Festival in the same 1957. It was shown in Berlin in 1957. And all of my growing up years, it was screened in Ibadan, Kaduna and everywhere in Nigeria.
“So, I grew up wanting to be like my father because he was like the lead in the film. So I grew up wanting to be like my father and I suspect all my siblings also grew up wanting to be like him. And so we all studied Theatre Arts. My father also studied Theatre Arts.
“My father was very liberal. He allowed everyone do what they wanted to do. I think I have imbibed that. My first son is an Economist. He graduated with first class from the University of Kent. My first daughter, her own is closer up, she wants to study film. She’s in London now planning to study photographer. I am encouraging her to study film. My second daughter has already acted.”
Fred has said it all; the Amatas are meant for the screen and so far, they have been doing well in it.