NOLLYWOOD actress cum entrepreneur, Empress Njamah rolled out the drums on Saturday, November 21, 2015, at Police College, Ikeja, Lagos in celebration of 10 years of giving back through her foundation, House of Empress Foundation (H.O.E).
More than 500 children from different orphanages benefitted from the event. They took home gift items ranging from notebooks, rice, drinks, goodie bags and lots more.
Nollywood was also present to support one of their own. ENCOMIUM Weekly had an interview with her about her foundation, career and sundry issues.
Congratulations. Empress Njamah’s foundation is 10. How does it feel?
I am grateful to God. I thank God for His grace and mercies.
How have you been able to man the affairs up to this stage?
Professionally, the foundation is 10. I was 15 when I started the foundation. I started celebrating my birthday with children when I was able to stand on my own. I was able to put it together as House of Empress Njamah. I am this kind of person that don’t run to people for funds. I was doing it all by myself.
We usually have nine editions in a year. Valentine, Mother’s Day, my birthday is the grind one, Independence, Easter. On Valentine Day, we visit hospitals and share love. We distribute toiletries as well. I started the foundation in Lagos. That is why I came back to Lagos to celebrate my 10th anniversary. I have been in Abuja for over six years. I thought the best thing to do was to come back to the place I started the foundation to celebrate the 10th edition. I am so happy that my children are all grown. They are all happy and doing well. So far, it has not been easy. Sometimes, I get so sober because I don’t have funds to celebrate but it has always been the God factor. The truth of the matter is that, three days ago, I didn’t have funds to celebrate this edition but God has a way of doing things. God came through for us and funds started coming in two days ago.
Recently, you built a block of four classes for children, is it because of your passion for children?
Yes, it is. I see that most of these children are intelligent, especially the blind ones. They are all awesome and smart. If God gives me the grace, I will do more. I want them all to go to school. That is why I print 3,000 books for every function then 1,000 higher education notebooks. I want them all to go to school.
What was the aim of the foundation?
My aim was to put smiles on the faces of children. A lot of people depict the picture of orphans with tears. I don’t like seeing such pictures.
A lot of people thought your foundation was borne out of personal experience, is it true?
My mom wasn’t surprised that I took to this. She said while I was growing up, I always shared my biscuits and bread and sometimes, I give them to a crying child and I wouldn’t eat. Sometimes, she scolded me because I would have shared all with the children and went hungry. Seeing children happy is a great joy to me.
Any plan to adopt any of them?
They are all adopted. I have adopted a whole lot of them.
Are you the only girl in the family?
No, we are two.
How many children have you reached out to?
In Abuja, we have 1,400 children. When I left Lagos, they were 800 but now, they are 1,000 plus. What I am doing is to work on the things I don’t like about the children. Basically, I don’t count the children. I count my joy.
Any assistance from the government?
No, I don’t like to show what I do but my friends always involve the media. A lot of people don’t do it genuinely but I am quite sincere with it. That is why I don’t look up to anybody for assistance; I look up only to God.
Why did you relocate from Lagos to Abuja?
I did that because of my business. My kind of fashion is for the Northern women. I do long dresses and my first target was Abuja.
Will you say your relocation to Abuja has affected your career in anyway?
If I am 80, I can still play a role. The most important thing is not relying only on Nollywood. If I rely only on Nollywood, I wouldn’t be able to feed these children. Nollywood is still there and my business is also going smoothly.
Do movie roles still come?
Yes, I featured in two movies about two weeks ago. Four movies I featured in are out this year. Some of them are on the internet and in cinemas.
If you love children this much, when are you looking at settling down and having your own children?
If I have the connection to ask God that, I will.
I believe you are the one that will choose, definitely suitors are all around you?
If your brother comes, I will marry him.
Does that mean you are not in a relationship?
Dem don come o!