Following the death of veteran Nigerian filmmaker, Paul Emema, who died early this week, two of his colleagues have described his death as a great blow to the film industry in Nigeria.
Speaking about late Emema, Nollywood director and producer, Tunji Bamishigbin described Emema as a creative genius who returned from school to write the TV series titled I need to know.
Bamishigbin said: “Emema was encouraged by our celebrated boss, late Jimmy Atteh, who was then head of National programme. Along the line, he later teamed up with a private production house in Ikeja to produce the programme, which was sponsored by one of the international agencies. The programme l remember gave Funke Akindele (Jennifer) her first exposure, as a teenager to the business where she played a role. Paul there after moving on to documentary productions, where he made a huge success”.
Bamishigbin who is director of popular soap opera, Palace said he was shocked by the death of the “intelligent and very industrious” man who was always ready to take on challenges. “But as a Muslim, l take solace in the word of the Quran lnnalilahi wailaih rajiun” from God we came to Him we shall return” May God grant him peace in heaven…. adieu Paul you made your mark that will remain a reference in future documentation of our industry.” Bamishigbin concluded.
On his part, producer Francis Onwochei who broke the new of Emema’s death paid glowing tribute to the man he described as one of the greatest writer that Nollywood has produced.
He told eelive.ng : “ Paul will be remembered mostly for creating and writing the very popular soap operas..which on national television .. Behind the Clouds and Supple Blues. in the late 80 through 90s. He was a leading writer amongst the very best in Nollywood of the 90s through way past 2000. When South Africans came with New Directions he won the writing pitch with his script. BARBERS WISDOM which was directed by AMAKA IGWE..on 35mm.. Paul did loads of documentaries for the Delta State Government throughout Governor Uduaghan’s tenure. He studied Mass communication in University of Uyo. He also wrote a play with the title A Plague of Gadflies. He wrote and directed Footprints of Father Tansi. which I produced in 1999 in Enugu as commissioned by the Catholic Church. He also wrote produced and directed a 26 episodes TV series on oil pollution which we film at EPP sometime in 2006. He did a lot of commercials for many front line private sector concerns. He was a though bred writer and director. Gentle but very firm and highly opinionated. A very passionate perfectionist who didn’t talk much and with so much brilliance. And his death is a very huge loss to Nollywood but I pray for comfort for his family and all of us his friends, it is a huge loss,” Onwochei said.
Until his untimely death on Tuesday at age 52, Emema was a member of the Association of Movie Producers (AMP), Director Guild of Nigeria (DGN), Independent Television Practitioner Association of Nigeria, (ITPAN) and Advertisers Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) among others. He is survived by his wife and 11 years old son. He is also said to have his father who is over a hundred years alive. Burial preparations according to reports will be announced by his family soon.
May his soul rest in peace.