Forget Timaya, I’m Glowing In New Love -Empress Njamah
Empress Njamah is an actress who knows her onions, having come a long way in Nollywood. Like every popular actress, she has been linked with many controversies just as she is currently enmeshed in one. In this interview with ADUNOLA FASUYI, she speaks about her life, the latest controversy Empress Njamah and many more. Excerpts:
Tell us a little about the real Empress people out there don't know?
I'm obviously different from the Empress on the screen. I'm very homely and I cook a lot. I'm a very playful person and I like people around me. When I'm not cooking, I'll be sketching designs. Aside that, I visit the orphanage every month; it's what I told God I will do. I always try to put my hands on things, because I hate to be idle.
Many people see you as a bad girl, what will you say about yourself being the talk of the town now?
It's not good to judge a book by its cover. I hate pretence and a lot of people like to pretend. If I were a bad girl, for how long do I want to pretend being nice? People see me with all colours of hair, nails and so on, but I'm so different from what they see. To Nigerians, they believe I'm weird. I like talking to people that are exposed, because I learn more from them. People that are stagnant and illiterate cannot teach me anything.
I do not sit with such people and talk about things that I'm not. A lot of people when they see me often ask, Empress, how do you cook with these nails? And I tell them that I even cut vegetables with them. When some people get to know me better, they apologise because as they come closer, they discover that I am different from what they thought. People who know me, know that I am far from weird.
Some even say you are snobbish?
If anybody says that, 'Bad Belle' will be boldly written on the person's face. I am the last person you can call a snub, because I overplay. Even my friends do caution me from playing too much with people. They remind me that I am a celebrity.
Recently, there was the controversial picture of you that was circulated around, how did you and your family see the whole thing when you came across the picture?
When I saw the picture, I sent the picture as a Blackberry message to my brother, Aquila and he replied me immediately saying, 'that is not you, a slight look alike, but the girl is tacky and why are her eyes censored?'
I did not write anything alongside the picture when I sent it to him, I just wanted to see what was flying around town and he gave me that response.
My brothers are very encouraging, we are so much of a family and they tell me to let it go, that many of my fans and friends know it's not me. They have been trying to help me to brace up.
There has been so much encouragement from my friends and family. The love of my life is also so encouraging about the whole issue, so I don't really feel as bad as I did, initially. The person circulating the picture wanted to tarnish my image, but the person is not succeeding. God will surely deal with the person.
Did your mother see the picture?
All my mother said was to pray for those jobless people. My mother is so much of a Christian and that is how she brought us up. So, instead of cursing, she will tell us to pray for people.
Someone actually told me that she heard I bought my new Highlander Jeep with the money they paid me from the porn movie I acted and I wondered why people would think like that. Girls that act porno abroad are mostly homeless. They pick them on the streets and pay them like $500; can that buy the tyre of a 2010 Highlander jeep?
Do you ever see yourself doing something like that and allow someone picture you?
What an embarrassing question? It can never be me. I can never do a thing like that and someone will take my picture. Not even for all the money in the Central Bank of Nigeria . It's a pervasive act and I cannot see myself doing such. I am a good Christian with good home training.
So, are you going to let it go like that?
I will do something about it. Some people tell me to ignore it, but I don't think that is what I want to do. As for the measures I will take, I am not letting it out of the bag right now. But I'd surely take a drastic and decisive action on it.
So, how did you feel when you first saw the alleged nude picture of yourself and a guy on the internet?
I saw the picture two months ago. Someone sent it to me and I was devastated when I saw it. I was seriously depressed. It was funny for someone to think of a thing like that or to do it to someone. I let it go because I knew it was not me, but some weeks after I saw it, a lot of people started talking about it and it started circulating everywhere.
It's good to be known for something. A lot of people know me for my hairstyles. If you look at that picture closely, you will see a tripod and a camera stand.
Secondly, the face of the person was blurred to make it look like me and as far as I am concerned, the girl in the picture was posing for the picture. It is a shooting of a porno movie and I can never be caught in that kind of hair style. I do not fix that kind of nail.
From what I saw in the picture, my bum is far bigger than that of the girl in the picture. As an African woman, you will feel bad, especially when you understand the kind of society that we are in. That is not African and a lot of people who are evil are still spreading the picture.
While they are busy spreading the picture, I am going higher to the place where God has destined me to be. The most alarming and surprising thing is that I have seen papers that have put this on their front cover. It's defamation of character and it is very traumatising for someone like me. I don't deserve it.
I thank God for my loved ones, family and friends, everybody has been encouraging me. Of course, a lot of people know it is not me. Mercy Johnson also called me to advice me not to worry my head over the issue that I should just be myself . So many other people who know me also called to cheer me up. Some people are just evil and mischievous.
What do you think the person spreading the picture wanted to achieve?
I don't really know, but I have come to know something with us blacks, a lot of people don't like it when you are smiling. A lot of people don't like it when you are happy or progressing, but it will not stop the fact that God will continue to bless me. There are phases people pass through in life and this is a phase that I am passing and I know it will pass me by. It's just a matter of time.
False rumours don't last. Let's face fact; the person in that picture is not me. Many people know that is not me, but because of the fact that they are just evil-hearted, they want people to believe I was in the picture. I really thank God for the fact that I put my knee on the floor everyday and ask God for guidance and strength.
It has not changed Empress, the playful, jovial and nice personality. It has not changed me one bit. Except there is no God, then they will win but since there is God, I know he will fight for me. I thank the people that have been encouraging me, I am very grateful for their kind words at this time.
You have been off the scene for a while, what have you been up to?
I am not a proud person, so I am not going to say that I am tired of shooting home video. It's about time we did movies. We are like third-rated in the world and we should not behave like one. I do a lot of things and I thank God for the fame that the industry has given to me. I just came back from a movie shoot in Owerri. I played the role of a lawyer. I have not stopped shooting movies. I select my scripts and I shoot.
I run a lot of things. I run a bridal make-up outfit. I do interior decorations. I do furniture and other decoration stuffs. Basically, my hands are on deck. I do a lot of travelling because of the materials I need to get from here and there.
I will be travelling to New York very soon. I am doing what I know puts smile on my face. Nollywood does not have an expiry date; once an actress, always an actress, even when I am old, I can start acting old woman. So, I haven't left my love, it comes if and when it comes.
The interior decoration and make-up thing; was it your dream or is it that roles are not coming in?
I have always been an artistic person. I am very good with colours. It got me into being able to play with colours. The roles do come but I make my choice on the script to act. I'm also coming up with a lot of things that I will not want to talk about until they are out. I am not an idle person; I don't know how to stay idle. I am very adventurous. I am somebody who loves to put her hands on deck. I am hardly jobless.
Did you take classes in design?
There are some people who are born and there are some who are made. I grew up playing with colours. I started putting things together and I realised I was good with stuffs. I experimented with somebody and before I knew it, it turned to a project from there.
I did three houses in Victoria Garden City and someone's office and from there I told myself I needed to do it. So far, it's been wonderful. I have two houses I have to go and fix and they are in Abuja. It's encouraging and it has come to stay.
Do you have a name for your outfit?
I call it The Empress.
Do you have an office now?
My office is in Abuja
Do you design what you wear?
I sketch my dresses for my tailor. The only thing I don't do is run the needles through, but I love to sketch most of my outfits. Most of the things I wear are very colourful and it's because I tell the tailor specifically what I want and I sketch them down, if necessary, so there will be no mistakes.
I can't be disclosing his identity like that, but I do know I am in a beautiful and respectable, God-fearing relationship. I have never been this much in love before. The most important thing is that I am happy.
One step at a time. Let God do His own part. It's not all about marriage. A lot of people are married and are not happy. I am in this relationship and I am happy and that is what counts.
I am dating my friend. You can see it from my eyes that I am so much in love. You can see I'm glowing, that's the power of love. He knows I love him so much and he loves me too.
So, you are saying that when you were with Timaya, you were not this in love?
The bible says that the fullness of the days endureth. We always talk about today and ask God to lead us about tomorrow. Yesterday is gone, yesterday is history. I would like to talk about what will make me happy than what will make me sad. I am happy right now and don't want anything that will spoil my happiness. Talking about him is not important. I don't like dwelling on things that will not move me forward.
I thought you had a swell time with him. So, his memory now makes you sad?
Can we please drop that and dwell on something positive and promising? No more comments on that.
Do you think Timaya will miss you for anything?
I like talking about things that will make people happy. I don't like to stick to some old stories that at some point you wish you can erase it from your memory. Everyone has made mistakes. I am not the first to get into a relationship that was not meant for me and I won't be the last.
There are lessons that you learn from the past that makes you appreciate what you will get in future. If some things didn't happen, you won't see the reason to be happy with a good person. I am happy right now and that's basically what's important.
Would you say your eyes or bum are the most cherished part of your body that give you roles?
We have different structures. I cannot answer that because what you may consider catchy may not be catchy to the next person. Some people will say things like I love the fact that she's African, I love her complexion, her eyes, some just say my body shape and some my diction. If you ask me, I'll just say I'm a full package, because I won't say anything negative
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