TRIBUTE: Peace Anyiam-Osigwe: Lawyer, humanitarian whose talent transcended Nollywood

Until her death, Peace Anyiam-Osigwe was one of the leading lights of the Nigerian movie industry, earning her the alias ‘Queen of Nollywood.

They say your story is your best legacy. This best describes the life and times of the late Nollywood filmmaker and founder of the Africa Movie Academy Awards, AMAA, Peace Anyiam-Osigwe.

As an industry practitioner, the late Ms Anyiam-Osigwe carved her name in the hearts of those whose lives she touched directly or indirectly during her brief stay on earth.

It was a rough start to the new year as the Nigerian movie industry woke up Tuesday morning to the sad news of the passing of the film icon.

An unfortunate opening to a year barely two weeks old, Nollywood was being thrown into mourning, with most seeming inconsolable.

Until her death, Ms Anyiam Osigwe was one of the leading lights of the Nigerian movie industry, earning her the alias ‘Queen of Nollywood.

A statement from her family confirmed the unfortunate incident.

The Emmanuel Onyechere Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe clan described the late filmmaker as an epitome of creative transcendence, an outstanding personality, trailblazer, titan, pathfinder, go-getter, humanitarian, one-of-a-kind creative, and visionary leader in the film and television industry.

“Peace left indelible imprints on the sands of time. As a family and clan, we will continue to do all that is necessary to ensure that her legacy lives on,” the statement read.

They added that the Africa Movie Academy Awards and the Africa Film Academy, along with their training programmes across Nigeria and the African continent, will carry on seamlessly the institutions she set up and with the full support of the Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe Foundation and other Institutions and Government Agencies she has worked with over the years.

Peace Anyiam-Osigwe
Born on 30 March 1969, the late Ms Anyiam-Osigwe was a Nigerian filmmaker and entertainment executive.

She was from the notable Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe family in Nkwerre, Imo State.

She was the only girl in a family of eight children, a factor which she said made her a tomboy despite conscious efforts by her mum to bring out her feminine side.

n 2014, she lost her brother, Michael, the coordinator-general of the Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe Foundation, a non-profit organisation that gives back to Nigerian society.

The departed Ms Anyiam-Osigwe bagged a Law & Political Science BA from Oxford Brookes University, Oxford.

She was a member of the Honorable Society of Inner Temple of Barristers, both in the United Kingdom.

Anyiam-Osigwe died at St. Nicholas Hospital in Lagos on Monday at the age of 54

AMAA
The most notable of her achievements was the founding of the Africa Movie Academy Awards(AMAA).

The first award ceremony was held in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Nigeria, on the 30th of May, 2005.

Subsequent editions before 2012 were held at the same venue, except for the 2008 AMAA Awards, which was moved to Abuja, FCT, for security reasons.

In 2012, the awards ceremony was held at Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, in Lagos State. The 10th edition of AMAA in 2015 was held outside Nigeria for the first time.

At that edition, the late Ms Anyiam-Osigwe stepped down as CEO of AMAA.

Author, writer
The late Ms Anyiam-Osigwe was an author with a flair for poetry. She had three books to her credit.

 

The best tribute that can be paid to the deceased is to keep her dream alive through the sustenance of her much-acclaimed project, the Africa Movie Academy Awards.

She published her first literary piece in Punch newspaper at the age of nine.

She continued her writing in an English boarding school and penned her first book, ‘ Teenage Viewpoint’.

Before entering the university, she published a magazine, ‘Clicks’, specifically written to accommodate the black population in England. Her works are centred on advocacy causes.

The late Ms Anyiam-Osigwe also published other authors under her publishing company, All Media International.

Television and film
She also made exploits in television and film. Her television career began with a talk show, ‘Piece Off My Mind’, which focused on people’s reactions to societal issues that are not regularly seen in the mainstream media.

The show was centred on advocacy issues for individuals that society usually pays little or no attention to.

 

As a host, she produced TV programmes and films from her studio PMO Global Studios. She serves on the Board of The Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe Group.

 

Other endeavours

In 2015, she began the AfricaOne initiative to commemorate Africans in the entertainment industry.

In 2012, she was bestowed a Member of the Order of the Federal Republic by the Nigerian government for her contribution to the entertainment industry.

In 2020, she emerged as the National President of The Association of Movie Producers (AMP).

It made her the seventh to hold that post succeeding Mr Ralph Nwadike.

She was the Initiator of the 100 Films Project aimed at improving the quality of films produced in Nigeria.

Tributes

Her untimely demise cast a shadow on the Nigerian movie industry, its practitioners and other stakeholders.

Former president of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, Segun Arinze, described her as an amazon and enigma.

“Feeling numb and trying to make sense of this shock. You left just like that! Peace Anyiam Osigwe you were an amazon and enigma. Everything you touched went Gold. @AMAAWARDS and more. It was a great honour working with you. Sleep on, Sister. May you find peace and rest with God,” he wrote.

Twin brothers Peter and Paul Okoye, famously known as P-Square, said they were devastated to learn about the passing of the late AMAA founder, whom they regarded as family.

“Madam Peace, as we fondly call her, has played an instrumental role in our career beyond being one of Nollywood’s most prominent advocates and promoters globally. For which we remain grateful.

“The history of P-Square cannot be written without a mention of Peace Anyiam-Osigwe,” they wrote in a joint statement.

The late Ms Anyiam-Osigwe was reputed to have shot their first music video. She was also said to have managed them at one point in their career.

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, described her passing as a big blow to Nigeria and, most notably, the entertainment industry as a whole.

 

Also, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, mourned the death of the AMAA founder, describing her as a strong and positive force in the nation’s Creative Industry.

In a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday, the Minister said he was shocked and saddened by the passing of the creative amazon, whose contribution to the entertainment industry in general and the film industry, in particular, is the stuff of legends.

The minister said the best tribute that can be paid to the deceased is to keep her dream alive through the sustenance of her much-acclaimed project, the Africa Movie Academy Awards.

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