I have known Fred Amata when there was no Nollywood.
It was in the 1980s at the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) on Victoria Island, Lagos. A time I call the Golden Age of NTA when NTA was the Mecca of the entertainers and celebrities in Nigeria. I was there before Fred arrived. Even though I was only a prolific scriptwriter and puppeteer for a weekly puppet drama produced by Rowland Henshaw and Bimbo Odekunle between 1980 and 1985, I was earning more than many of the NTA actors, producers and others when I was only 18. 19 of the 25 TV puppet plays I wrote were produced and I could afford to fly to anywhere in Nigeria and overseas and was able to sponsor the participation of Nigeria in two international children's book fairs in Japan in 1983 when I was only 20.
Fred Amata, "Aje Butter" Keppy Ekpeyong Bassey and others were not celebrities then. And I have been following Fred's career since the late 1980s to date and you cannot help falling in love with his signature efficacious smile on and off screen. He is an accomplished actor and a good director. I actually respect him more as a director, but he has been humble about his genius in directing and has denied Nollywood of many masterpieces he would have made directing more movies. He is what I call a poetic director. Therefore, his appointment as the Acting Festival Director of Abuja International Film Festival does not surprise me, because as I told Fidelis Duker, the Founder/CEO of the film festival, Fred Amata knows movies and movies know Fred Amata. He would be more appreciated as the permanent festival director.
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~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima.