Iconic Women

Chioma Ude: Founder and Executive Director of The African International Film Festival

By Hillary Essien | Mar 15, 2023

Chioma Ude is the founder of AFRIFF; The African International Film Festival. She is also the Chief Executive Officer of Envivo Communications. An ardent lover of film, she started a logistics company called Jata Logistics and that was the beginning of her journey into film. 

Her seamless execution of the business of her logistics firm and her stint as Project Manager for a travelling film festival that came to Nigeria called the Aeon Film Festival set the foundation of her experience in the film industry. Her time with AMAA (The Africa Movie Academy Awards) and many other projects led to the birth of AFRIFF.

Chioma Ude always knew that she was a “people person”. She values human relations and prioritises education. Upon venturing into the industry, fundraising was a challenge as people did not take her seriously because she is a woman. 

Defying gender barriers in the industry, Chioma Ude’s administration of the African International Film Festival has impacted the lives of many Africans; Nigerians especially. In the past 11 years, with other bodies, she has trained over 200 students in editing, scriptwriting, acting and many different aspects of cinematography. In collaboration with the Ford Foundation, Chioma Ude organised for the top 10 per cent of the students admitted yearly to be sent abroad for further training, all training expenses paid and the procurement of travel documents handled by Chioma and the organisation.

Her impact is evident in the success stories of many young people in the entertainment industry in the country and on the continent. Her passion for education and entertainment led her to start a company with her partner, Gbenga Obadina, in partnership with CISCO. The company has developed two apps; one for education and one for entertainment. 

She was recognised by METI for her incorporation of anime appreciation into the festival activities at AFRIFF and her desire to further anime culture as well as animation generally in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. Since then, she has set into motion training programs to educate people on the continent on gaming, animation, programming and other technology-related courses.

Chioma Ude has been in the game for a very long time. She always knew what she wanted to do and how she wanted to do it. Even though she was nudged by her parents to pursue a degree in Medicine, she was able to pay for her Jamb exam and begin a Marketing course, all without the knowledge of her parents. From Jata Logistics to AMAA and AFRIFF, she has handled all projects exceptionally well and keeps growing. 

Though she faced some challenges, gender barriers and fundraising to name a few. She continues to defy them all and impact the lives of many entertainers in the industry.  She plans to put Africa on the map in entertainment by training more entertainers, exposing their skills to a wider range of people, and coming up with new and innovative ways to monetize those skills. 

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