“I Once Gave Out 85 Pairs Of Shoes To Orphans And Still Had 200 Left” – Empress Njamah
Actress, Empress Njamah, tells ‘Nonye Ben-Nwankwo about her fashion and style
Read Excerpts below:
What does fashion and style mean to you?
I think they are everyday life. Your fashion is your style.
Do you think you are a fashionable person?
It is not for me to say. My style might be different from what the other person calls fashion. And my fashion can be different from what another person calls her style. I don’t think there is anybody who will say she doesn’t like the way she looks. But basically, it takes a good eye to know good fashion.
Do you have that ‘good eye’?
I don’t go out of my way for fashion. My fashion, in a simple word, is comfortable.
Are you daring in fashion?
I will not say I am not daring. As an actress, I have to be versatile. But you have to be daring at the right function. What I wear in Nigeria is different from what I wear abroad. It might be fashionable to you and an eyesore to some other people. Basically, I dress for the event and the country. Sometimes, you need to make a statement but you have to be comfortable while making a statement.
Have you made a fashion flop before?
Everybody at one point or the other has made such mistake before.
Is there a particular event that comes to mind easily?
I went for a pre-award party one day. I was one of the nominees. I think I was over dressed for the event.
Can you remember what you wore?
I wore a bandage hugging short dress. I was too dressed up. I stood out. It is always good to stand out but it is not good to obviously stand out. I don’t have any regrets though.
Empress is known for her hairstyle. How come you don’t make it simple when it comes to your hair?
A lot of people always talk about my hair before my name while trying to introduce Empress. It is not a logo. It is just that everybody has one thing they are used to and they like doing. Over the years, I was one of the few that started wearing expensive Brazilian hair before it became a craze. I like to wear very full hair. Most times, it takes two people to make my hair. I wear what three or four people can wear. I am a hair person. Sometimes you make your passion your profession. I sell human hair but I started wearing it long before I started selling them. For a lady, your hair should stand out.
What else should stand out apart from the hair?
Your hair, your bag and your shoes should speak volumes. It is not necessarily your dress. If you have a good bag and a good shoe, it covers your outfit.
You also wear different colours of hair extensions…
I am adventurous when it comes to hairstyles. I have worn all the hair colours that anybody can think of but I wear them in a subtle manner, as such, you can’t fault the hair. I do not like people who criticise what they do not have the courage to do. Most people want to be adventurous. If you listen to what people have to say, I think you will go the wrong way when it comes to fashion. I am very colourful in all ramifications. I like bright things. It takes a lot for me to wear a black outfit for a burial ceremony. I try to put a colour to it. Fashion is a thing of the mind.
You also have so many footwears
I was able to give out 85 pairs of shoes to orphanages in Abuja and Lagos. I was left with more than 200. You would feel you have given out enough but at the end of the day, when you go back and count, you will find out that they are still there.
Have you stopped buying?
I sell shoes. I have been a shoe lover for a long time. You make your passion your profession. I have been into it long before I started the business, and that is why I enjoy doing what I do now. People call me to advise them on the footwear to use for a particular occasion.
What is the most expensive fashion item you have?
If someone spontaneously tells you something, then it is not true. If you can afford something very expensive, then you can buy other things at that same price. You cannot just possess one expensive item and you have that thing on your head. For security reasons, I might not want to mention them, but I have quite a lot of things that I bought and my friends ask me if I am crazy. It is my passion. I work hard so I can be able to spend my money.
Do you love perfume?
I am a perfume person. I have bought a perfume that is worth over N300, 000. I have over 200 bottles. It is either you are into something or you are not. It doesn’t mean that there is no cheaper perfume that smells better than that one, but it is something you like and you want to pick it.
Are you driving your dream car at the moment?
I am blunt. Cars come out every year. Each time you buy your so-called dream car, another one will come out. But I am driving a comfortable car. I’ll hit my hand on my chest and say, ‘I love my ride’. But it is not my dream car. I don’t want to read this piece in two years time and feel stupid.
Do you wear tattoo?
A lot of people see me and they feel I must have tattoos all over my body. But I don’t have any. It takes a close friend to vouch for me. I don’t have anything against tattoo, but it is not my style. It is a fashion but not my kind of fashion.
What of body piercing?
It takes 30 minutes for me to take an injection in a hospital and they even use baby needle to inject me.
So what do you drive now?
I have Range Rover, a Highlander and Camry.
How is your business doing?
It is doing great. I call it House of Empress. We are based in Abuja. Lagos is clustered. I have not left acting. I am even on set this weekend.