Honoring the legacy of Peace Anyiam-Osigwe: A tribute to a mentor and visionary

The passing of Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, one of the world’s brightest angels, is devastating. Her favourite quote from Theodore Roosevelt, “It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed,” embodies her relentless work ethic and determination. No one can deny her hard work and dedication to success.

I had the privilege of working with ‘Madam Peace’ as my boss and mentor. Her unwavering belief that anything was possible, and another of her favourite quote from Theodore Roosevelt, “Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering,” inspired me with grit and resilience.

Our relationship was special and unforgettable. My own journey with her began when I, a young boy serving in Enugu, sent a proposal to her during a 2019 ‘AMAA homecoming event’, and she gave me the opportunity to work with her. In early 2021, I, along with friends Abiola Durodola and Luqman Adamu, met her in person in Lagos to discuss ways to help Africa Movie Academy Awards recover after the pandemic. With the help of other friends, we were able to support her through a difficult time.

Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, MFR (TED Fellow) is a beacon of hope and optimism, even in the darkest of times. As a leader in the African film industry and a trailblazer for young filmmakers, she is an inspiration to many. With a Bachelor of Arts degree in Law and Political Science from Oxford Brookes University and a member of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple for Barristers, Peace has a wealth of knowledge and experience to draw from.

Throughout her career, Peace has demonstrated commitment to community and humanity. She spent three and a half years working as a Finance Services Manager and Computer Network Supervisor for Community Home Care (now Westminster Care Force Limited) in the United Kingdom, and also served as a High-Level Administrator for the London Borough of Barnet Skills Acquisition Department.

Peace’s passion for the development of the African film industry and global film industry is evident in her work as a jury member for various international film festivals, including the Berlin and ION film festivals. She was a founding member of the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) and is a frequent commentator and speaker on African film and culture.

As a producer and filmmaker, Peace has been instrumental in the growth and development of Nollywood, and facilitated the first international trip of Nollywood as a group in 2004 to the United States under the organisation of the Filmmakers Cooperative of Nigeria. She chairs the African Film Academy (AFA) and is the founder of the African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA), which has grown into the premier award programme for African film in the past decade.

Through her work with AFA, Peace has received numerous awards and accolades for her efforts in training young filmmakers all over Africa. The Film-in-a-box Project, which she established, has trained over 5,000 young filmmakers and set up film-making centres in various African countries. She is also a recipient of the UNESCO’s African Vision Award for Innovation at the 60th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in France, and was the President of the Association of Movie Producers. Peace’s dedication to the film industry and her unwavering belief in the power of storytelling to inspire and unite make her a true force for good in the world.

Peace Anyiam-Osigwe was a trailblazer in the creative industry, mentoring and supporting many young talents including the Nigerian pop duo, P-Square. As a versatile creative, she has published three poetry books and acted as a publisher for several authors including Oji Onoko’s Glimpses of our stars. For over 15 years, she hosted her own talk show, “A piece of my mind,” which featured prominent figures such as former presidents John Kuffour of Ghana, Abdoullaye Wade of Senegal, Charles Taylor of Liberia, music icon, Youssou N’dour, and business guru Bamanga Tukur. Her goal was to provide a platform for people to express themselves, ask thought-provoking questions, and gain knowledge in the process.

As the only daughter of African Sage Emmanuel Onyechere Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe, Peace was also heavily involved in her family’s business and charitable endeavours. She served as an Executive Director in the family foundation and had several successful business ventures, including her fabrics business, Rainbow Fabrics, and her real estate endeavours, particularly a mass housing project for the youth. Peace was truly a serial entrepreneur.

I had the privilege of working under Peace’s leadership at a young age of 21 on the most prestigious award in Africa. She not only gave me projects to work on but also exposed me to high-class celebrities and places. She even went as far as to help me obtain a passport, allowing me to travel the world. Her mentorship and guidance were invaluable, and I am forever grateful for the opportunity she gave me. She will be deeply missed, but her legacy will live on through the lives she touched, platforms she created, and the opportunities she provided. Rest in peace, Peace Anyiam-Osigwe.

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