It is interesting what the movie industries in Africa have become; outstanding, refined and ever growing. Thanks to the class of great minds that have brought this to be. Emem isong is one of such great minds; an epitome of intelligence, focus and hard work. In truth, some names stand out amongst many; Emem Isong is a name that has become a signature in Africa especially amongst movie lovers. It is a name that reminds Africans of hard work, passion, diligence and the black, bold and brilliant screen play writer and producer of the classic movie “emotional crack”.
This thespian has warmed her way into the hearts of Africans, old and young alike through her thought provoking works and masterpieces. Her emergence into the Nigerian movie industry has revivified the system and has given Nollywood (Nigerian movie industry) a show in the game. Emem Isong alongside a number of producers in Nollywood represents the very best that the industry has to offer in recent times.
It wouldn’t be out of place to say that the first class script writer and producer honed her skills at the University of Calabar, Nigeria; where she studied Theatre Arts. Now I wonder what in the world must have driven this genius into the banking industry where she spent her early work days, well your guess may just be as good as mine. In the end! there really is no need for a guess for even the lady of the movies herself has this to say: “For me, doing a 9am to 5pm job like banking is more of a way of paying the bills till I could go where my real passion lies. I have always had love for drama and theatre ever since I was a little girl, There was no Nollywood. But drama, films making, scripts etc. were things I was drawn to naturally. After the home video, Living in Bondage came out in 2003 and was a huge success; I knew it was something I wanted to emulate. So, I can say that it was the moment I decided to resign and join the untested waters of movie making in Nigeria. There was nothing I felt I wanted to accomplish in the banking before quitting”. But thanks to time, Emem retraced her steps to the passion of her youth; script writing and film production. The star is now at the top of her game, doing the thing she enjoys and at the same time putting smiles on the faces of many. In her words, “I’m very happy doing what I’m doing. I have strong passion for it. And whenever I finish a movie and come across people who are enjoying my movies, I always feel elated”
Some of her movies include Promise Me Forever, Girls In The Hood, Private Sin, Behind Closed Doors, Darkest Night, Enslaved, Games Women Play, Masterstroke, Men Do Cry, Blind Obsession, Silence Of the Gods, Mfana Ibagha, Ekaete, For Real, Endless Lies and finally Critical Decision, which she describes as the very best she has ever written.
Although Emem has done greatly for herself in the movie industry, yet she is quick to point out clearly that her place is strictly in script writing and movie production but never on stage or in front of the camera. She made this clear in an interview with Nigerian Tribune; “I cannot leave my comfort point for something else, secondly, I did not become a producer for money or because of fame. I just love doing what I believe I am created to do; this is one thing that gives me joy and makes me feel comfortable. It has never been my intention to be in front of the camera or be popular. If people become stars through my work, I am happy for them. I am not an actor, I don’t ever intend to be and I don’t ever want to act in any movie, I just want to face my movies and be successful”.
Lady Nollywood as most of her friends love to call her is not just passion driven but result oriented. She is a firm believer in the Nigerian movie industry and trusts that soon, just very soon the industry will hit its highest point of expectation. “I don’t believe I have got to that point where I would say that I am comfortable with my production; I still have a long way to go as far as movie production is concerned in Nigeria. We are still falling behind compared to what they produce in developed nations, but we cannot also rule out the fact that we have come a long way and we have witnessed a lot of improvements over the years. I understand some people would love to see us churn out quality movies but we are not resting on our oars, we will get there, if not now but very soon”.
She is also a recipient of numerous national and international awards and a committed God lover. Now you know why the name Emem Isong rings a bell right?