But the jovial, down-to-earth Mimi, had a sling of controversy thrown her way when she was accused of being a lesbian for keeping and displaying pictures of various girls as her Blackberry DP (Display Pictures). In this chat with Weekend Groove, she opens up on why she keeps pictures of different girls as her BB Display Pictures, her career and many more. Enjoy:
How did you get into acting?
It was a bit easy for me. I met Chico Ejiro on Facebook and told him about my intention to go into acting. He invited me for an audition and that was how it all started for me.
When did you know you could act?
I have always loved acting right from my childhood. Back in primary school, I would gather my friends together and got them laughing by putting up different acts. It was then people started taking notice of my talent. Even,some of them advised me to go into acting. It is a childhood passion that has now been realised.
You said you have been acting since 2010. How many movies did you do in 2012 alone?
2012 was really hectic. I had to go back to school full time. So, my studies took most of my time. Right now, I am in the University of Lagos and I’m studying philosophy. Even at that, I still managed to shoot about six music videos last year.
So, who have you shot music videos with in the past?
I have shot videos with people like KAN, Brymo, Rex, Terry G and several other Nigerian artistes. I was even picked as one of the top ten video vixens by Linda Ikeji, the blogger.
What is the actual difference between doing music videos and doing movies?
There isn’t much difference between the two. Both involve acting in the real sense but the acting in movies is more intense than the acts you need to put up in music videos. However, for me, the big difference is in the pay. Music videos pay far more and it doesn’t take much of your time like movies do. While movies takes months to wrap up, music videos can be a day thing.
Are you telling us that doing music videos are more lucrative than acting in movies?
Yes, it is. For one, the time you spend in producing just one movie, you could spend the same amount of time doing over ten music videos.
Now, give us an idea of how much it pays for one music video production ?
I can’t tell you that now. It’s like revealing my salary to the whole world. All I can say is that it pays well.
We learnt that artistes usually take advantage of girls who do music videos, is it true?
It is everywhere, not only in the music or movie industry. It is more of a personal thing. You see, it depends onthe individual.If that is what you have come for, fine, you get it but nobody forces anybody on anybody. For me, I have not experienced such since I started singing.
But some artistes usually make passes at you?
Yes, of course. Like I said , it depends on what you are set to achieve. If that is what you set out to achieve then, you are bound to get it.
So when passes are made at you, how do you fend them off?
You just nicely turn them down…
(cuts in) Is it that simple. Imagine somebody grabbing at you roughly and suddenly…?
(cuts in) That has never happened to me. Maybe it is in the way you carry yourself but that has never happened to me. Besides, I work with decent and respectful bunch of people who are too nice and cultured not to consider that. All the artistes and directors I have worked with are not rude or indecent to descend that low. Maybe it happens in other places but I have never had to face such a situation. Never.
How far do you intend to go in acting?.
I intend to go very far. You know, it is something I really like to do and I have no intention of dumping it entirely for music video or anything. I just want to finish my education first. Education is important because if you are educated people would take you more seriously. After my education, I intend to come back with a storm, and probably do one or two movies of my own, with my own money.
Between doing movies and music videos, which one are you more involved with right now?
Music videos of course, because it doesn’t take all my time. In 2012 I featured in more than five videos.
And those five paid enough to last you the whole year?
Yes they did. Apart from that I also organise girls for music videos.
How do you mean. Like an agency or what?
Yes. Most of the directors are my friends and they ask me to bring girls for music videos. So, I organise girls for their videos. All they do is ask me to bring girls with certain specifications and I search for girls with those specifications. Sometimes, I provide nothing less than five girls for a music video and what I do is to get paid from the girls’ payment.
How much percentage do you take off their cuts?
Well, sometimes I take up to 40 per cent.
So, what do you look for in the girls you pick?
The shape is the most important feature. The girl must be very curvy with nice skin colour, not necessarilylight-skinned and the height doesn’t matter. The type of girls to choose often depends on the director’s specifications. In some instances, the director may require a busty girl, big backside girl or even a slim-waist girl. Generally, a sexy curvy girl passes.
There have been a lot of girls on your Blackberry (DP) Display Picture. Does this have anything to do with your sexual preference?
I don’t know what you are talking about but those girls you have been seeing on my DP are some of the girls I selected for a music video.
Why do you flaunt them on your DP?
(laughing), is it giving you headache or is there any problem with that?
Some have said you flaunt them because you are a lesbian and are involved with them.
(laughing) I don’t want to talk about that.
What do you mean you don’t want to talk about that?
Are you done? I don’t want to talk about that. Next question.
Are you a lesbian, Mimi?
No. next question.
Are you in a relationship?
Yes I am.
So what attracted you to the man?
I guess the physique. I also like guys with a good set of teeth. He must also be handsome, tall, well built and God-fearing.
As an upcoming artiste, imagine you are given a script that entails you having séx on set, would you take it?
Yes, because it is only make-believe. You are not actually having séx but making it look like you are having sex.
But what if it involves exposing vital parts of your body?
Well, if the money is good enough, I will take it. The whole idea is make-believe and getting the job done. It has nothing to do with my person.
Who do you consider your role models in the industry?
In Nigeria, I have Mercy Johnson and Genevieve. I used to like Rita Dominic but not any more because she has not lived up to my expectation.
What do you consider first before taking up a role?
The role itself. I must be able to assimilate it and project it to perfection before I can take it on. Then, I look at how it would be viewed by the society and the likely criticisms that may arise from it. Then, I look at what impacts it has on the society. I like to do films that pass messages to the society.