Ichie Whitaker Forest
Ichie Whitaker Forest, Nwannedinamba I of Nkwerre Land, Imo State, the Second Son of Maazi Forest Steven Jr. and Nneoma Laura Francis (nee smith) is our cherished brother and a son of the soil, Nwafo. The American born Igbo actor who has distinguished himself in the art of Film Play and movie production is a big wig and a linch-pin in the community of entertaintment and arts. His sound intelligence is amongst others, expressed in his unusual ability to fuse his impeccable personality into his movie characters and his ardent believe in the essence of hardwork has aided his career fortunes.
He garnered these qualities and profile through intensive character study work for films, dedication and of course, absorption of the resilient and industrious spirit of the Igbo sons and daughters which were evidently expressed in his famous works such as Bird, Platoon, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, and Butler, The Last King of Scotland, Star Wars and many others.
With these challenging achievements and lavish humanitarian and philanthropic gestures, the ground was set for influx of prestigious awards and honours globally. In the mention are the Academy Award for Best Actor (He was the fourth to have won this Award in the history of African-Americans), British Academy Film Award, Golden Globe Award, National Board of Review Award, Screen Actors Guild Awards, Hollywood Actor of the Year, 2006, American Riviera Award, 2007, Artist Citizen of the World Award from France, innumerable Critics Groups Awards and Induction into the Hollywood Walk of Fame, 2007. His honorary doctorate degree, Doctor of Humane Letters from California State University on May 16, 2015, is yet another sound bite for our Obieze (Son of the King).
Nwandinamba, the proud husband to the gorgeous Actress, Keisha Nash, and a real father to their adorable four children, as a true son with the strong blood of Igbo running hot in his veins, has maintained unflinching faith in his identity. His esteem of our uncommon history and ethnicity has endeared him more closely to finding and reuniting with his people. It is therefore, not surprising when Whitaker III returned home, his Igbo land, in 2009 amidst unfathomable joy and celebration. The grace of tracing his root and the title, echichi, he was blessed with by the Kings of Nkwerre remain for him, the prestige of life and legacy. In him, hardwork, and humility meet compassion and grace, an expression which announces him a Hero of our time.