Nollywood actor and model, Mimi Orjiekwe, was in the news last year for the wrong reason. She walked out of a marriage fans thought she was enjoying despite carrying the man’s baby. But the dame of the tube said she’d moved on from what ought not to set her back. In this interview with LANRE ODUKOYA, she speaks motherhood, passion and legacy. Excerpts…
What was life like while growing up?
While growing up, I cherished friendship and I was part of every social activity in school. I was not the quiet type. Till now, I love life and I love expressing myself.

How about your education, where did you school?
After my primary and secondary education, I went to Caritas University in Enugu where I studied business administration. I have always been a business person as well. I love money and I like to do things that bring in money. At a very young age, I bought a car for myself. I started acting when I became a beauty queen. But ordinarily, I would have loved to be a lawyer but it didn’t happen
You’re a single parent at the moment, how do you find motherhood?
Being a mother is the best gift a woman could ever get from God. It makes you discover yourself and it makes you think of another person. Since you really love your baby, you would want to protect him or her. Last year was beautiful for me because I had my baby girl. It was like a new beginning in my life; I became a mum and everything changed. I had to stop being the Mimi who loved travelling in order to take care of my baby. When my baby turned out to be a girl, I never worried. I just wished for a beautiful child. My daughter is like a little version of me.
What are you doing to keep fit and remain radiant?
Right now, I am struggling to trim down. I put on weight when I had my baby because I had to breastfeed her for a long time, but I was slim when I was pregnant. I work out every morning and I am dieting. Though I knew I would get fat and my tummy would get big, the joy of being a mother supersedes all that. You can always fix your body and it is worth sacrificing your body to have a child.
You’ve obviously had a break from the movie set, how do you plan to return?
I was on set in December. The producer told me he knew I had a baby but he didn’t mind if I could make myself available. I didn’t think I would able to do it, but I went there with my baby and we did it.
What are the things that fascinate you about life?
I love life, I love to be everywhere. I don’t like being in the office from morning till night. I don’t like to read too much, but it doesn’t mean I am not intelligent. I have always been into modelling or pageant. After winning Miss Africa Beauty Pageant in 2009, I met a director who introduced me to Nollywood and I found acting interesting. I didn’t go through the stress of looking for roles. None of my family members is in Nollywood, but I was told my grandmother was involved in drama. She was part of the drama group in the church and village square. I also have a cousin who sings. My father is not a creative person; he is a doctor while my mother is businesswoman.

Did you get express approval from your parents to become an actor?
When I wanted to venture into acting, I didn’t have much trouble convincing my father because I am the only daughter and his favourite. My father also knew that anything I wanted, I would get it. It was not the case of me forfeiting my education for acting; he wouldn’t have supported that. He became proud of me when people starting telling him that they saw me on screen acting.

You also do another business aside acting, what does that entail?
I just unveiled my makeup line. I want to contribute to the society by providing quality services. It is a cosmetics store, but we are focusing on a makeup line for women right now. I hope with time we can serve men too. In anything I do, I want to give my best. I intend to grow my business to the level of MAC Cosmetics and I know it is possible. When my retail store is ready and we have a grand opening, I will like to shoot one or two movies also. I have many scripts on my table.
How well would you say you’d grown in the industry?
I still have a lot to do as an actor and a woman, but I am enjoying my life. But if I had known better, I would have probably joined the oil and gas sector. I love acting, but there is no money there as much as the oil sector. I have a lot of expenses; I spend a lot, I have a baby, I do charity, I like to look good and I have a family to support too. For you to be able to do all these, you need to make more money.
Is there any lesson to take home from your failed marriage?
My failed marriage was just a lesson and I don’t regret the union. My baby was a product of the marriage and I love her a lot. I also believe that God made me experience it for me to be in a better place. I am not cordial with my ex-husband (Charles Billion); when I move on, I move on, but the baby keeps us together from a distance. I am not bitter with men even after the experience; I am happy. I gave my marriage my best; I cannot say I was always right, but I am a superwoman and I try my best to make everyone around me happy. I have no regrets because if you have good intentions, you will always be fine. We dated for three years before getting married in 2015; so, I didn’t rush into it.
So you might give marriage a second shot?
Yes, I plan to marry again. My marriage is my private life and I don’t owe anyone an explanation. I don’t think there is any problem in getting married to an entertainer; it is about marrying the right person. I was probably in love with him then; so, when he asked me to marry him, I thought I would be happy with him. I guess I didn’t do my research very well. Right now, if I want to get married, I have to pay attention to every little detail. I will not just fall in love with any man for his wealth or looks.
What do you consider the most frustrating matter in your life?
Fame is not a curse for me, but it has exposed me to many things I don’t want in my life. It makes people criticise you and it makes people think they know everything about you. When you see people talking about you, you will be surprised because you don’t even know those things about yourself. But I don’t blame the public; it is the life I have chosen. I am thankful to God as well as acting has opened many doors for me and made me who I am today.
What else inspires you?
My mother just left my house last week; I call her a hustler. I learnt how to be strong from her. Till now, I still learn a lot from her and she has always been there for me.
Do you think anyone is competing with you in any area of life?
I am not competing with anyone; I am just myself. If you are successful today, I wish you the best but life is not all about competition. I just do things I love to do and it has helped me.
What’s your style expression?
I think people are in a better position to describe my style. At times, I am obsessed with myself and I like to follow trends and look good every day. Sometimes too, I don’t have much time and I look very simple. I think my fashion has a lot to do with my mood, but my favourite colour is grey. I love my wristwatches; I don’t use earrings all the time. You can see that I am not even wearing one right now.

How do you relax?
I stay indoors and I like to play with the phone in a cold room. Once my baby is disturbing and I want to relax, I just run to the other room. I relax more whenever I am not in the country.
What legacy do you live for?
I want to be successful and I want to be able to help people in my society. Folorunsho Alakija is my role model. I like her a lot because she is a strong woman and I see myself becoming like her someday.

Source: NewTelegraph


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