Empress Njamah, dark skinned Nollywood actress is living her passion in fashion currently with her Abuja-based boutique, House of Empress, to show for it. She told Mary Ekah why she has gone into a new line of business and more
What’s new about Empress Njamah?
I have House of Empress Boutique based in Abuja. I have a spa. I have a saloon. And I’ve been working on so many things; especially my brands and I embark on loads and loads of traveling too. My free times I do one or three movies and I’m working on two more. They keep shifting, shifting because my movement no dey pure (laughs). My Boutique is it is standing firm in Abuja with branches here and there. Lagos is clustered for me but it’s not an excuse. I’m still working on Lagos. I still need a lot of people to psyche me on that because is one place is that I want to do this thing but there are loads of competition in Lagos. And then a lot of people don’t want to do their stuff but when they see you doing well with your stuff they want to get into your stuff. So I’m actually taking my time. But I have loads of customers in Lagos that I bring stuffs for more than every other place. But basically I love Abuja right now.
You seem to be falling out of love for acting?
Do people ever fall out of it? You don’t fall out of it. A lot of us are born actress or were made. So if you have it in there, it always going to be there. And then, the industry does not have an expiring date. I could have up tomorrow and say I’m not going to act for ten years and after then I come back and act like a mother because of age and time. But it is still there. So there is always a role for everyone. There is no expiring date on things like that. I try to do the movies that a worth it. The industry is filled with square-pecks-in-round- holes. And most people don’t go far because they are loads of distraction once they come in. But basically, with where I have gotten to in the industry, I don’t think I should be everywhere. That’s the truth.
You come from a family that is blessed with talented actors are you not worried the name might fade away if you keep away?
A good name will always remain; whether you are off for five years you will always be remembered for your good works. So you don’t have to do hundred movies to be what someone wants you to be.
What was the movie that gave you that limelight?
The movie that gave me my breakthrough is Girls Hotel. Till tomorrow I’m shocked that people still call me Tunika Robert. And when I hear it, I’m like e don tey. At some point, I didn’t remember my character name but oh my goodness! Tunika Robert.
What is it about you that attract controversy?
That’s a difficult one. First, I don’t know about controversies. But it’s just that a lot of people without me they probably cannot sell their magazine. I like to make money into people’s pocket. Most people just want to give stories to what people want to read. It might not be what it is but most times all those stories help us to grow.
A lot of colleagues have delved into film production. Are you going into that soon?
In my family, we are adventurous. What I like to do might not be what the next person likes to do. And then most people, I’m not saying all, most people who come doing this thing, most of them are square-pecks-in-round-whole because if you cannot be given a job as in take this job and do it for me then you want to do your own and be known. So basically, because they are doing it does not mean Empress should do it. A lot of people don’t even understand that the industry, Nollywood is not that strong. But we all know that there is no much money in this industry. So use your talent and do what you have to do. I have flare for so many things. People have flair for wanting to be a star and after being a star what else? That’s why I said movie is always there I can always fall back to it.
What do you do when you are not working?
Traveling is a hubby for me. I’m an adventurous and an industrious person but the little time I have I make sure I spend it well. But I also make sure that I have enough rest.
How long have you been wearing your claws (nails)?
I have been wearing them for over eight years. The first time I fixed my nails, they were acrylic and they were long for a character movie. After the movie it wasn’t easy to say I wanted to take them off so being with the nails for over a week brought me into it.
Why are you still single?
I’m going to say this and I don’t care how people take it: days when marriages were sweet and all beautiful are no more. If you listen to how your parents got married and how those days it was sweet, it’s not like that anymore. And then, I’ve escorted a lot of people into marriages, I won’t say I’ve escorted them out but I’ve witnessed them come out of it. So psychologically it’s not good for people and then being what we are, a lot of people think because she’s this, because she has that, I don’t think I will be able to handle her. And then a lot of people can’t stand an industrious woman especially if she’s doing well. It’s the mentality people. I’m a car freak all right. I have five cars and I’m not doing it because I’m trying to show off, a lot of people don’t even know that they are my cars. But I’m trying to be honest with you and I always trying to say it the way it is, not minding whatever. If a man comes and says because I am a car freak, he cannot handle me then I would not bother. Every woman’s dream is to get marriage but it’s not just to get married but also to get married to your friend. I want to marry my friend.
And have you met your friend?
I’m yet to meet my friend. If I had met my friend and I know that’s my friend, I don’t think that question should actually popup. If I’ve met my friend I will get married. And then I’m this type of person that even if I meet my friend; I don’t want to have a fairy tale wedding. Inauguration
Yes, don’t judge a book by its cover. People always look at Empress as flashy. She’s this and that. Trust me; I’m the simplest person you can ever meet. I’m playful, I’m jovial, and I’m interesting. I’m not blowing my trumpet. But I don’t have a dull moment.
What perfume do you wear?
Oh I’m a freak. I have a shrine. I’m not kidding. You can ask like two or three people here that knows me I have over three hundred perfumes.
Do you have a few favourites?
I wear masculine perfumes. I love strong perfume because they always have an after smell. And I’m not particular about the designers. I’m particular about smell. And I can never wear one perfume. I wear like three, four perfumes at a time so you definitely don’t know. And I’m that bad I can tell what someone is wearing, if you are wearing a known perfume. I can give you a few names. I’m wearing a Tom Ford, Black Orchid, Eaudemoiselle de Givenchy, Poison, Trouble, I think I’m wearing over six because I went to my hotel room like three times and each time I try to step out, I must always use a perfume. And I wear oil perfume most time. Most times when the weather is hot I use the oil perfume so that my skin doesn’t get burnt or affected. I have loads of perfume (laughs). That’s the only question I love answering.