Articles

Fred Amata: Why I Don’t Appear In Many Movies

01 Jun 2013

Views: 4,042

Font Size: a / A

Fred-Amata-0106.jpg - Fred-Amata-0106.jpg

NOLLYWOOD SHOWMAN FRED AMATA WALTZED INTO THE CLUB OF 50 RECENTLY. HE WAS CELEBRATED BY FAMILY MEMBERS, FRIENDS AND FANS FROM FAR AND NEAR. AFTER THE CELEBRATION, HE SHARES THE STORY OF HIS LIFE AT 50 WITH LANRE ODUKOYA


MY 50TH BIRTHDAY EXPLOSION…
We thought it was going to be just a modest celebration but in the process of achieving it, the thing just exploded. First of all, we thought it was going to be an activity like the Celebrity Charity Challenge which was the football match and I could get sponsorship. So, I made a lot of noise. I tried to reach people and we got a lot of product supports but no real financial sponsorship. We managed to pull it through anyway. And the amount of goodwill exhibited by everybody across board was massive.

HOW I FEEL AT 50… 
Most sincerely, I don’t feel differently from how I felt twenty years ago. Perhaps I take a little longer to recover after, for instance, a football match but I still play football like I used to play with the same passion. Actually, sometimes I hear my colleagues say, ‘take am easy o’ whenever I’m on the pitch. Truth is, sometimes, you get a little pang here and there and some kinds of pains you have never experienced in your life in a part of your body that you never noticed. Apart from that, because I play football so much, I would also think that maybe I got a kick that I didn’t realize early enough.

ABOUT THE NOVELTY MATCH…
We had hoped that the football event would be an all comers affair, we tried our best to put it out and we thought we could do in Teslim Balogun stadium which seats about 25,000 people. That was to tell you the size of crowd we thought we could muster. But when we realized that we had not done sufficiently enough to raise that kind of crowd, we approached the Lagos State Government for the Campus Square where we finally staged the match.

ASPIRATIONS AND FULFILLMENTS…
The truth of the matter is that I’m very liberal in my approach to life and I’m very content. And I expected that at fifty, I’d be perhaps a lot more comfortable than I am now. But that is materialism and it’s neither here nor there. At fifty, I’m a proud father, I’ve been married and enjoyed a good chunk of life and I cannot say that I wanted to be a governor and now I’m not. Perhaps I thought Nollywood would be in a more advanced state and done more internationally, but having said that, we’ve done quite a bit internationally.

MY WIFE’S ABSENCE AT MY BIRTHDAY…
I don’t really like talking about my family. I think I deserve my privacy, but that is not to say that I didn’t know that she would not be coming. She had a good reason not to come and for the benefit of rumour mongers, we’re very good friends till now. It is part of my nature, I don’t have enemies. I keep only friends.

THE STATE OF NOLLYWOOD…
I don’t think that things have not fallen in place for Nollywood. I think it’s a concept of let’s say, Nollywood has done X amount of international productions that are actually shaking the world. That’s all. But it’s an evolution and at this stage, I think it’s very good.
WHY I COULDN’T INVITE SOME CLOSE ACQUAINTANCES…
This is a particularly touching topic because it is the only sour point of the celebrations. We had incidents complicated by various challenges. First I would say it happened between staff, logistics, courier services and incident of missing invitation cards and all my phones developing strange problems. I lost all my contacts and could not reach the people closest to me. I really apologize to my pals, very close people to me. You would be shocked if I describe the kind of people I couldn’t have around. I’d even sent letters across to some of them to save the date, but at the crucial time, everything started going wrong at almost the same pace and time. When the invitation cards got missing, we made plans to do invitations by SMS because there wasn’t enough time to print more cards. And to send text messages to all my contacts that I lost became another dilemma. So, we started to source these contacts from different places and we missed a lot of people who are very close to me. 

WHAT TURNING 50 WOULD TAKE FROM ME…
I have been making a lot of noise saying life begins at 50, but I truly think it’s a mental state of readiness to take on new challenges. But regarding things that I used to do that I’ll stop doing, I don’t know any yet. I love human company as I have robust relationship with friends, colleagues, acquaintances and I doubt if there’s much to change because I’m a very consistent person. I’ve very liberated and free-spirited. There might be a little more doggedness in pursuing the same old things that I’ve always pursued. But it doesn’t change the fact that it’s the same process of thinking that will create the ideas that I chase.

WHY I AM SELDOM IN MOVIES LATELY…
It has to do more with the evolution of the industry and the stage it is. About five years ago, I released my film, Letter To a Stranger. Now, in the five years preceding that, I had been offered quite a number of projects that I’d either done and after some hiccups, they couldn’t release them. And if you’ve followed my career well enough, you’d observe that I’m not the kind of actor you see in many movies. I probably would just have done at most ten in a year when my peers were doing sixty or more than.

IF I WAS NOT BORN AMATA…
Whether I would or wouldn’t have been an actor if I wasn’t from the bloodline of the Amatas amuse me. First of all, I grew up knowing a father who was doing all that I wanted to do - a playwright, actor, director and filmmaker. So, it’s hard to say that without all of these influences. I could have been something else. For me, I couldn’t have been anything else coming from that family given my disposition, passion and the environment. Secondly, if I came from somewhere else, the question would be, ‘will I still have this disposition?’ At a point in time, I struggled not to be a filmmaker. I wanted to work in the oil and gas sector. During my NYSC, I was posted to Lagos. After the Orientation Camp, I was led straight into NTA where I met the people who gave me the impetus to marry what I studied in school with the practice outside school.

WHAT I WOULD HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY…
I don’t think I want to do anything differently. Over the years, a few things that I thought I would have done differently turned out to be, ‘oh, thank God I didn’t do it differently’. Thank God I never insisted on finding a job in NNPC because maybe I would be a richer man, but would I be as fulfilled as I am now? There are several things like that including sensitive areas in my story and it made me come to a conclusion that regrets are temporary. By the time you weigh it against the scale of time, what you thought was wrong becomes what should really be.
From this point on, there’s this consciousness that I’m 50. So, what do fifty year old men do? There seems not to be any change. I can tell you that at 50, I know what I want and you’d believe me.

Tags: Entertainment

Comments: 0

Rating: 

 (0)
Add your comment

Please leave your comment below. Your name will appear next to your comment. We'll also keep you updated by email whenever someone else comments on this page. Your comment will appear on this page once it has been approved by a moderator.

comments powered by Disqus