Kim Oprah: I am obsessed with Kim Kardashian
Chinonso Ibinabo Opara, popularly known as Kim Oprah, is a model, TV presenter and entrepreneur. She is a former beauty queen was one of the housemates at the Big Brother Naija (BBN) 2019 Pepper Dem edition.
The Imo-born Opara is a graduate of Psychology, Guidance and Counselling from the University of Port Harcourt. In this interview with IJEOMA THOMAS-ODIA, Opara, who coined KIM for ‘Keep It Moving’, shares her passion for exploring travelling as well as other ventures.
Share with us your growing up and how it influenced your passion for what you do?
GROWING up with a single mom really influenced my passion because I saw her get past a lot of hurdles and struggles while being a nurse and an entrepreneur and raising kids in our society. She had to do two to three jobs to be able to put food on our table and ensure we have everything we wanted. So I’ve actually been working from a very young age. I started buying and selling from my secondary school days. Because I watched a lot of movies then, I would buy DVDs for N200 each and then resell them for N150 after I was done watching them. So I’ve actually been in business for a long time. I had to learn how to fend for myself from when I was quite young. I am a goal getter and determined.
Tell us about your name Kim Oprah. Why did you choose to stick to it?
I used to be obsessed with Kim Kardashian when I was in high school. Even now, I’m still obsessed. I didn’t have an English name. None of my siblings had English name because our parents didn’t give us one. So I thought that since I liked Kim so much, my nickname should be Kim. Actually, my friends gave me that idea. Also, in high school, they call your name and your surname. So I was called Chinonso Opara in school. But when I started going by Kim, it changed to Kim Oprah. That is combining the first names of two powerful women from different sectors and you can imagine what that means for me.
What informed your decision to go into the BBN house and what do you consider your fun memories in the House?
Then, I used to be managed by my friend and he suggested that BBN would be a platform for me to showcase my skills, to let people know me so I can get more jobs. I was already doing well but I needed to move up faster in the industry. That was how I went for BBN. One of my fun memories would be when I won veto power. It was one of my best moments in the House because it was like having a symbol of authority and I love authority. That really made me happy.
As a multi-faceted person, how are you able to hone your skills and be at your best?
Honestly being a jack of all trades or being multi-faceted is not easy. Sometimes you don’t know which of your skills to take more seriously than the others and then you end up leaving half projects in almost every skill that you have. VJ Adams told me something in the past when I was still trying to make my way in the industry. He said, ‘Once you harness one skillfully and everybody knows you for that skill, it’s easier to break into any other thing that you want to do’.
For example, everyone knows him as a presenter, and then he dabbled into music and then acting. Now he is a DJ. It’s easy for him to breakthrough because people had already seen that he could do this. So if he’s coming into an industry, people will know that he is going to do well. I’m very much into travelling because I’ve always loved travelling. I also have these other skills, but right now, I’m trying to harness my skills as a traveller.
A little birdie tells us you are about to launch your fashion, beauty and skincare brands. What is it like running a business?
On the low, I’ve been doing Kim’s Secret for a while but I’ve not done an official launch for it. We are currently in the works for having a walk-in store and a walk-in spa. That would be the new project that I’m involved in.
Who are your style icons?
My style icons would range from Kim Kardashian to Ciara, Michelle Obama and Melanie Trump. To me, it’s just like bits and pieces of different things that I like from different people.
What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion, for me, is who you are, your way of life. It is how you can express yourself without having to talk. It is how you want to be treated and addressed. Fashion is how you want people to relate to you.
What is your style?
I would say my style is chic and classy.
What is your most valuable fashion accessory?
I feel incomplete without my lip-gloss.
What are your hobbies?
My first hobby is traveling, and then watching movies because I’m a movie lover. I can watch movies from morning till night.
It is women’s month and as a woman in the entertainment industry, what advice do you have for budding colleagues on breaking the bias?
Dare to be different, think outside the box. It’s okay to follow trends now and then, but it’s very important to have your own identity in the crowd. Make sure that your identity is known. Make sure that you don’t waver or lose yourself in the fight to make it in this industry. Most importantly, hold on to God.