Google’s homepage on January 2, 2020, features no other face than that of Nigerian filmmaker and broadcasting executive, Uzoamaka ‘Amaka’ Audrey Igwe born in Port Harcourt, 2 January 1963 and died in Enugu, 28 April 2014. The Tech giant company also included their favourite quote by the late Top Radio 90.9 Lagos and Amaka Igwe Studios owner.
The Doodle was designed by a female Nigerian-raised, Brooklyn-based guest artist Data Oruwari. The biography of Igwe, one of the prominent figures in the Nigerian video film era of Nigerian cinema read. “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.”
“During her postgraduate studies, Igwe started focusing on theatre 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.”
The biography on Google Doodle official page continues; “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, propagating 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.”
Data Oruwari, when questioned on the inspiration behind the design, said; “Her belief was that Nollywood had the potential to put Nigeria on a global platform and a need for more women to bridge the gap in a male-dominated industry. She left behind a legacy of entertaining movies, TV shows, and a production company that propelled this vision into existence “I hope they will be inspired to dream big and be daring enough to challenge the status quo.” Igwe was in 2011 honoured with the Nigerian National Order of Member of The Federal Republic of Nigeria for her contribution to the creative industry. She died in Enugu on April 28, 2014, at 8:30 pm from an asthma exacerbation. The Doodle is specially designed to be displayed for Nigerian Google users.