Mimi Orjiekwe: I Accepted Charles Billion Proposal Blindly, My Failed Marriage Was A Lesson
Nollywood actress Mimi Orjiekwe in this new interview with Saturday Telegraph reporter Lanre Odukoya shrugs off the gloom arising from her failed marriage. The mother of one reveals the cause of her marriage’s faulty foundation and what she will do differently when next she gives marriage a second try.
Enjoy the excerpt below:
What was growing up like for you?
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 educational background?
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 I would have loved to be a lawyer but it didn’t happen.
What experience are you sharing about being a mother?
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 will 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.
Are you going to get back your curvaceous look to keep your glow?
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.
What was really your attraction to acting?
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 the life of 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 a drama queen. 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 consent from your parents to be acting?
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 started telling him that they saw me on screen acting.
What other projects are you working on?
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 service 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 much would you say you have grown in profession and other areas of life?
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.
Your marriage didn’t work, sadly; did it set you back in any way?
My failed marriage was just a lesson and I didn’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.
Are you ever going to 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. 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 would you do differently if you have a second chance?
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’s your take on industry rivalry?
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.
How do you describe your style?
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.
What do you do to relax?
I stay indoors and I like to play with the phone in a cool room. Once my baby is disturbing and I want to relax, I just run to the other room. But I relax more whenever I am not in the country.
Is there a known legacy 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.