Professor Shamsudeen Onyilokwu Onche Amali was born on 29th January 1947 in Upu, Otukpo Local Government Area to the family of Mallam Aliyu Amali. Amali attended University of Ibadan from 1966 to 1970 where he graduated with B.A (Honours) in English before attending University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA from 1972 to 1976 for his PhD in Theatre and Drama.
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 where he rose to the position of a Research Fellow II before moving to University of Jos as Lecturer II in 1977 and was one of the pioneer staff of the Department of Theatre and Communications Arts. At Jos, he would rise to become a Professor of Theatre Arts and before leaving the services of the University of Jos in 2002, he was twice elected as Dean of Faculty of Arts (1986 - 88 and 1988 - 90); was Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration) from 1990 to 1994 and was the speaker at the 7th inaugural lecture of the University of Jos in 1998, where he presented the "The Amalian Two Theories on Cultural Creativity and Change".
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. At both Universities, he made his mark by creating conducive environments for learning and academic research excellence.
A prominent and respected bilingual playwright, who writes in Idoma & English languages, Prof. Amali has many acclaimed publications to his name, some of which are listed in the books section of this website. This distinguished son of Idoma Land has achieved many firsts in his career: Prof. Amali is the:
- first Nigerian to obtain a PhD in modern drama
- first Nigerian to become a professor of modern drama
- first professor of Theatre Arts from 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
- 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, who is from a family of professors, has been married to renowned economist, Prof. Mrs. Ebele Amali since 1972 and their marriage is blessed with three children; Musa, Hauwa and Mohammed.