Nollywood actress, Empress Njamah, has been gracing our screens since as far back as 1995 when she first got into the Nigerian movie industry and has since risen to become a household name on the entertainment scene.
With over a hundred movies to her name, Njamah has unarguably won many hearts with her acting prowess.
However, that is not all there is to the Imo-born movie star. Fashion and design have always held a place in her heart just as much as being on TV screens.
In an exclusive interview with Legit.ng, the Nollywood star talks about her love for interior design, fashion, and what the experience has been like for her.
Her love for interior decoration
A visit to Njamah's cozy Abuja residence - at first glance - shows the actress is a collector of antiques. However, the presence of the numerous gold pieces in her home begins to make even more sense when she opens up about her love for interior design and how her brand, House of Empress, came about.
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"House of Empress started with interior. I have always loved to make people's home look beautiful and it wasn't the regular kind of interior. Back in the day, when you get into a house or our school, you'd always know that Empress just left here or Empress did this. So, for me, it is about taking a piece of unconvetional things and putting together, things that you don't just see everywhere. With the interior aspect, I do the antiques. I've always loved them. It's a statement of its own, a bigger statement than the regular," she says with a twinkle in her eyes.
The fashion aspect of her brand
It was after she established the interior decor brand that she got into fashion and style. According to Njamah, people often sought her opinion regarding how to style their clothes and this eventually led her into designing outfits for people.
"I'm not into crazy, going-out-of-my-way kind of dressing but I love to make people look good. There's just something about it for me," she explains.
The filmstar who currently resides in Abuja shares how her desire to create unique and modest pieces for people informed her decision to relocate from Lagos to Abuja.
"Lagos is quite regular and I wanted to dress people in such that they are fully clothed but still make a statement. So, I looked at where would be good for me and I thought of Abuja where there are Christians and Muslims who are religious and want to stay covered up but still look sexy."
House of Empress as a fashion brand became a reality after she took the big step of moving to the country's capital. With a sense of pride, Njamah maintains that she made the right choice.
Creating bridesmaids' dresses for Mercy Johnson's wedding in 2011
Up until actress Mercy Johnson's 10th wedding anniversary celebration, not so many people knew that Njamah was the person behind Mercy's bridal train dresses.
When asked about the reason she didn't make a big deal of it, seeing as it would have been important for her growing brand back then, Empress laughs before stating that she prefers for her work to speak for her.
"Those are the kinds of feedbacks I want," she says.
Recounting how that came about, Njamah delves into the day Mercy approached her with the proposal of creating her bridesmaids' dresses.
"Mercy came out of nowhere and she just said, 'Mama, I need you to do this, I'm trusting you to do this and I know that you're going to nail it.' I asked about what colours she wanted and she said everything, 'just do it, do you' and I'm like 'oh wow'. So basically, I was happy to be a part of her planning."
Despite being a celebrity herself, Njamah remembers the experience as 'not easy' as she had to work with celebrities - some of whom she described as rude back then - who were in different places thus, getting their sizes and ensuring they were available for fittings, posed a challenge.
Njamah who was also part of the bridal train says she maintained humility while dealing with the stress of ensuring the dresses were made and delivered on time.
"I was just doing my job. I wasn't doing it as a celebrity but, as a fashion designer. She was scared that they would come the night before the wedding and worried about how fittings would be corrected if need be. I brought everything to the hotel and to our greatest surprise, it was just only one person that needed fittings."
The movie star who has an Instagram following of over 800,000 actively markets her business on her social media pages.