Dorothy Njemanze is a Nollywood actress. In this interview with Deborah Ocheni, the CEO of Dorothy Njemanze Foundation speaks about her fashion philosophy, why she can act nude, been raped for more than 20 times and sundry issues.
Do you follow trends in fashion?
I’m not conformist; I don’t know how to do what others do. I’m real and I promote local content because I like people thinking out of the box.
How will you describe your style?
I’m not conformist when it comes to fashion, I love local content as you can see, I’m flaunting my Owerri hair (natural hair), my nail is painted green and white , I have had BBOG written on my nails for years now and it will remain so until the girls are fully accounted for. I’m that much of an advocate. I feel ecstatic that some of the girls are freed but the parents of the ones who are still missing are very much traumatised; the girls need to be accounted for.
What determines what you wear?
My mood and the where I am going to
Is there anything you are unlikely to be caught wearing?
None that I can think of for now because I am an actress and it depends on the script.
Can you act nude?
I will play nude if I believe it’s important. I love nature and provocative art is one thing I’m particularly drawn to because it inspires people towards humanity.
How easily do you get your fashion items in Nigeria?
I am a local content person; I love them made in Aba
What is the highest amount you have spent on fashion items?
You will not see me spending so much on clothing but I don’t joke with bold accessories.
How do you feel about the publicity you are getting as regards rape?
I’m not interested in the publicity, what I am interested in is educating Stainless Precious and ensuring that people understand that rape is a touchy issue and not something to be joked about. I already have publicity and that is not what I’m looking for. All I need is for people to be educated because many people are not aware that rape is a touchy issue and there will be no issue if they get to know.
How far have you gone in sensitising people that rape should not be joked with?
Up till now, Stainless Precious did not say what he did was wrong; he is still saying he is a man but he brought himself down to apologise to me for the sake of peace. You see, fundamental issues are raised here and I am ready to go legal so that I can use him as an example to other people to know that when people are raped, they have issues they deal with for the rest of their lives.
You don’t come and joke with them to their faces. Somebody else would have gone up to the stage and attack him but I went up the stage to grab the microphone from him and ask him to stop, that such is not done.
As we speak, there are still people who are of the opinion that a comedian can joke with anything. If the big master of comedy in Nigeria Ali Baba can go to the point of coming on air to apologize and caution expressly that rape is not content for comedy why can’t Stainless Precious learn? He has refused to learn, he thought he was shaming me, oh no because he that is down fears no fall. I have nothing to lose, if I offer to do something, I will do it with all that is in me.
He went as far as contacting Actors Guild of Nigeria, Abuja chapter, releasing pictures of me online and telling them that someone like me is not good enough to run a public office.
I am not going to use my private part to run the office; I have a lot in my head and I intend to use it very effectively. My reputation precedes me nationally and internationally. I am issue-driven and I am not letting go on this case until he realises that what he did was wrong.
Does your background influence who you are now?
Largely; I am a human being and I respond very negatively to whatever offends humanity.
What do you mean when you said you had been raped for more than 20 times?
I mean it when I said I had been raped for more than 20 times; the first one happened when I was eight years old and several other occasions. The truth about it is that, I have got to the point where I can speak about it, and being able to speak about it has encouraged a lot of people to come to terms with their own situation.
It is okay not just to be raped but to speak about it and know that there are many others who have been raped several times and are still alive and willing to do better things with their lives.