I can’t have it in front of camera –Empress Njamah
Empress Njamah is one actress that has had a her fair share of controversies. In this interview with Senior Reporter, Ifeoma Meze, she pours out her heart about the most recent picture of her in an uncompromising act with a faceless man.
How did you feel when you first saw a picture purportedly of you and some guy having sex, that is all over 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 porn movie being shot and I can never be caught in that kind of hairstyle. 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 know the 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. Of course a lot of people know it is not me. Mercy Johnson also called me to advise me not to worry over the issue that I should just be myself and so many other people who know me called to cheer me up.
How did your family see the whole thing when they 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 so not you, a slight look alike but the girl is tacky and why are her eyes censored?” I did not write anything along side the picture when I sent it to him, I just wanted him 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 used to the first time. The person spreading the picture just wanted to tarnish my image but the person is not succeeding.
Did your mother see the picture?
What my mother says is, “pray for those people who are jobless.” My mother is so much of a Christian and that is how she brought us up. So instead of curse, she always tells 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 porno movie I acted and I wonder why people would think like that. Girls who act porn abroad are mostly homeless. They pick them on the streets and pay them like $500, can that buy the tyre of 2010 Jeep?
What if it was you in the picture would you say it's you, do you ever see yourself doing something like that and allow someone to take picture?
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.
So are you going to let it go like that since you know fully well that the person is not you?
I will do something about it. Some people tell me to ignore 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.
What do you think the person spreading the picture wants to achieve?
I don't really know but I have come to know something that 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 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 the 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 it's me 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, nice personality. It has not changed me one bit.
For a while you have been off the scene, can you tell us what you have been up to?
I am not a very 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 behave like one. I do a lot of things and I thank God for the fame that industry has given to me. I just came back from a movie shot 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 stuff. I do a lot of traveling because of the material I need to get from here and there.I will be traveling 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 is always an actress even if I am old I can start acting old woman part. So I haven't left my love, it comes when it comes.
Do you have a name for your outfit?
I call it The Empress.
Do you have an office now?
My office is in Abuja
The love of your life that you spoke about earlier, can you tell us about him? Are the wedding bells going to ring soon?
I am in a beautiful, loving, respected, God-fearing, relationship. I have never been this in love before. The most important thing is that I am happy. The most important thing when I give an invitation is don't force me into what you want and 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. He knows I love him so much and he loves me too.
Are you 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 I 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.
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 on 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 previous that make 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.
You said we are rated third when it comes to movies. Have you seen the movies they are putting in the cinema right now? What do you think about them?
Right now, we have beautiful stories and movies acted by wonderful artists but they mix them up with stories that just talk about nudity and sex, which is not our culture. I think they are over doing it by trying to be like Hollywood. I believe we are going to get there but they should focus more on stories that talk about our culture, country, Africa and even movies that can be shown abroad and people will sit glued till they see the end. A lot of people are sick and tired of sex and nudity. We just throw obscene things at people and the movies are just about sex and no stories. Despite all these, we still have good ones with lovely stories, artists who do well. I think if we sit down and work on our stories, we will get there.
Have you started thinking of producing movies or writing your own stories?
When the time comes, you will know.