BY TIMILEHIN AJAGUNNA
Nollywood actor and president of Directors Guild of Nigeria, Fred Amata has explained why he and all his siblings are professional actors.
The actor’s three siblings- Zack, Ruke and Mena Amata, are household names in Nollywood.
Fred, whose late father John Amata was a famous Nigerian playwright and actor, told TheNETng that growing up watching their father’s films was a big influence for him and his siblings.
In his words:
‘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.
‘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.’
Asked if he would allow his kids to go into the make-believe industry, Fred Amata replied, ‘My father was very liberal. You can do what you want 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.’
This post first appeared on NET