I would have been a footballer - Fred Amata
Down-to-earth Fred Amata comes from a family of filmmakers and actors but this has never made him to joke with his profession. Rather, it has motivated him to go the extra-mile and exhibit an alluring flair over the years. In this interview with Yejide Gbenga-Ogundare, he speaks on his passion, advocacy work, personality, experience and sundry issues. Excerpts:
How long have you been in the movie industry?
I have been on television since my days at the University of Jos. We started with a dance programme called Fun Time in the early 80s but for the movie industry, it was when I was posted to do youth service in Lagos with the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA). That was in 1987.
I could say that was my official starting point because I did soap opera for television; I did programmes for television; I was the production manager for a programme called At Your Service and then I started directing Ripples, which was then the number one soap opera on network television.
Then, the transition from television to movies came and I was involved. So, when you ask me how long have I been in the movie industry, I would say I have been in the movie industry before the Nigerian home video began.
It is a fact that you are a family of filmmakers, to what do you attribute this?
Yes, we are a family of filmmakers; it is common knowledge that Zack and Jeta are my brothers. I would attribute the passion for films in my family to my father, he also was into films and actually, he is credited with shooting the first film ever in Africa. The film, called Freedom, was produced in 1956 and it was the largest picture in the pre-independence era.
If you are not into filmmaking and acting, what other profession would you have gone into?
If I am not a theatre person, I would have been a footballer. Nothing else.
Do you like football that much?
I love football. I told you I had something doing in the evening, it is football. I am going to play football after this interview. I love it so much and I am a member of about three football clubs.
How would you rate Nollywood at this present time?
I would simply say Nollywood is about to explode into the world of cinema. If you recollect, what happened in the era of home video was like an explosion, a boom.
It is a Nigerian system; there is a boom in a particular sector at a certain period. During the boom in the video film industry, the chaff was sifted and local home videos went international but now I am talking of a boom in world cinema.
What Big Bamo avoids
Popular Kowonje singer, Adeboye Bammeke, popularly known as Big Bamo, avoids something like a plague. He avoids T-shirts because he believes his figure is too big to fit into one.
Is Uti really amiable?
Since his eviction from the Big Brother 3 House and subsequent return to Nigeria, many have described 25-year-old Uti as an amiable guy who did the nation proud but was merely misunderstood. This has raised questions in some quarters about his amiability as he threw tantrums frequently while in the BBA House. How then would one define amiable? Someone's perspective is obviously tilted.
Kate Henshaw-Nuttal's new love
Best actress of the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA 2008), Kate Henshaw-Nuttal, has declared her love for the Ankara fabric. She is truly happy with the Ankara revolution in the Nigerian fashion industry. Another item she can't do without is her handbag. “I must carry my handbag because without it, it will look like I am empty,” she recently said.