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Nwosu, Joy

Posted on May 21, 2014 in Filmmakers Database, N | 0 comments

Joy Nwosu in Il nero

Joy Nwosu (Joy Ifeoma Nroli Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko)

Actress and film critic (Enugu, Nigeria, 8.27.1940)

Born into a music family, in Enugu, southeastern Nigeria, Joy was surrounded by various musical activities and was introduced to music at a very tender age. In her early teens, she joined the St. Bartholomew’s Church Choir, Enugu, where she received her first lessons in music, participated and won several choir competitions. Between 1958 and 1961, Joy attended the Holy Rosary College, Enugu, where she obtained the Grade II Teacher’s Certificate upon graduation. While at Holy Rosary College, Joy represented her school in festivals and won first place prizes. At this tender age, she had already started assuming prominent roles in operatic works. Her brilliant performance motivated the Holy Rosary Sisters to offer her scholarship to study music at the Royal College of Music, Dublin. The Eastern Nigerian Government overturned the scholarship offer from the Holy Rosary College and awarded their own scholarship to send Joy to study in Rome. Joy went to Rome in 1961 with one big ambition, to study and become an operatic singer. She was fortunate to be admitted into one of the world’s best schools in voice production, Conservatorio Di Musica, Santa Cecilia, was accepted in 1962 to study voice and got her diploma in 1965. In 1966 she enrolled International University for Social Studies Pro Deo, choosing a curriculum in Mass Communications, with a specialization on film. In those years, she had some experiences in acting, working at Cinecittà studios as extra for historical costume films like Cleopatra (1963) or Italian productions like Elio Petri’s La decima vittima (1965). More consistant the role she played in Giovanni Vento’s debut Il nero (1966), a film shot in Naples and involving two boys born of Italian mothers and black American soldiers that were part of the Fifth Army. In 1967-68 Joy worked at Unitelefilm, translating films for this society, specialized in the production of documentaries and supported by Italian Communist Party. In 1968 Joy graduated with honors, presenting a thesis that was to be revised later, together with Giovanni Vento, released by Roman publisher Tindalo under the title Cinema e Africa nera (Cinema and Black Africa), and reprinted in a critical edition in 2014 by Aracne editrice. Back to Nigeria, Joy dedicated herself to music and singing, pursuing an academic career at University of Lagos. Earning her PhD in Music Education in 1981 from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA, made her the second Nigerian woman to receive a doctorate in music. In 1996 she migrated to US, settling in Irvington, New Jersey, where she dedicated to teach music in public school and to the direction of choirs. 

Italian Filmography

La decima vittima (Elio Petri, 1965, ff, act),  Il nero (Giovanni Vento, 1966, ff, act)

Frame taken from:

Il nero. Dir. Giovanni Vento. Filmgroup, 1966.



Contributors: Maria Coletti and Leonardo De Franceschi, with Francesco Russo

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