Tam Fiofori: Biography, Career, Education Of A Multi-Talented Nigerian Artist

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Tam Fiofori

Personal Stats

Full NameTam Fiofori
Date of Birth1942 (approximately 80-81 years old)
BirthplaceOkrika, Rivers State, Nigeria
Other NamesUncle Tam
EducationKing’s College, Lagos; King’s College London

Career Highlights

Tam Fiofori is a versatile artist with a remarkable career spanning photography, filmmaking, writing, and music. Here’s a closer look at his journey:

Early Life And Education

Born in Okrika, Rivers State, Tam Fiofori grew up in Benin City, where his father, Emmanuel Fiofori, was a teacher at Edo College. He received his early education at King’s College, Lagos, and later pursued university studies at King’s College London, initially focusing on writing and music.

Career In Music And Writing

Tam Fiofori’s travels since the 1960s took him to the United States, where he became associated with the legendary Sun Ra. He even invited Sun Ra to Lagos for FESTAC ’77, an iconic cultural festival, and wrote about this experience in the Nigerian journal Glendora Review. Fiofori’s writing extended to various art and literary publications in the US and Europe, making him a key figure in introducing underground black creativity to the American national consciousness during the 1970s.

Film And Media Contributions

Fiofori’s career expanded to the world of film. He served as a film consultant to Rivers State Council for Arts and Culture, directed the Rivers State Documentary Series, and worked as a consultant and scriptwriter for NTA Network on documentaries. He was also a founding executive of the Photographers’ Association of Nigeria (PAN).

Notable Films

Tam Fiofori’s films are a testament to his dedication to documenting Nigerian art and culture. Some of his notable films include:

  • “Odum and Water Masquerades” (1974)
  • “Biodun Olaku: Nigerian Painter”
  • “J. D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere: Master Photographer”
  • “Olu Amoda: A Metallic Journey” (2015)

Published Work

Fiofori’s contributions extend to the world of literature. He published a “print documentary” titled “A Benin Coronation: Oba Erediauwa” in 2011. This work beautifully captures the Benin City Coronation ceremonies of Oba Erediauwa, providing a unique blend of photography and detailed text that offers valuable insights into Nigerian heritage.

Awards And Recognition

Throughout his career, Tam Fiofori has received numerous awards and honors from organizations such as the Pan African Writers’ Association (PAWA), iRepresent International Documentary Film Festival, and Music in Africa.

Legacy And Contribution To Art

Tam Fiofori’s diverse talents and dedication to documenting Nigerian culture have left an indelible mark on the world of art, photography, and cinema. His works continue to serve as a valuable resource for understanding the rich cultural heritage of Nigeria and its connection to the global artistic landscape.

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