Professor Shamsudeen Onyilokwu Onche Amali was born on 29th January 1947 Upu in Otukpo Local Government Area to the family of Mallam Aliyu Amali. Prof. Amali attended University of Ibadan from 1966 to 1970 where he graduated with B.A (Honours) in English and attended University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA from 1972 to 1976 for his PhD in Theatre and Drama.
Prof. Amali, who is a renowned Professor of Theatre and Drama began his distinguished career in 1970 as a Junior Research Fellow at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan and in 1977, now Research Fellow II, he moved to University of Jos as Lecturer II. At University of Jos, he would rise to become a Professor of Theatre Arts and at different times before leaving the services of the University in 2002, he was Head of Department, Dean and Deputy Vice Chancellor.
In October 2002, Prof. Amali was appointed Vice-Chancellor of University of Ilorin, a position he held until the end of his tenure in 2007. In January 2010, Prof. Amali became the Vice-Chancellor of Nasarawa State University, a position he held until December 2013.
A prominent and respected bilingual playwright, who writes in Idoma & English languages, Prof. Amali has written many acclaimed publications to his name. Some of the books authored by him are listed on this website.
Prof. Amali has achieved many firsts in his career: He is the
- the first Nigerian to obtain a PhD in modern drama
- the first Nigerian to become a Professor of modern drama
- the first professor of Theatre Arts in northern Nigeria
- first professor of Theatre Arts to become a Vice-Chancellor in Nigeria
Prof. Amali has been recognised with awards for his academic achievements as well as his contributions to national development. Some of the awards include
- Grand Order of Literary Award by English Department of University of Ibadan - 1969
- Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Distinguished Merit Award - 1992
- Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (OFR) - 2005
- Distinguished Personality Award (Musai-Du-Deen) by the Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria - 2006
- Committee of Vice-Chancellors’ of Federal Universities Award for Distinguished & Outstanding contributions to the Nigerian Universities and Educational System - 2008
- Society of Nigeria Theater Artists (SONTA) Lifetime Achievements Award - 2010
Prof. Amali is happily married to Professor Mrs. Ebele Amali, a renowned economist, and their marriage is blessed with children.