Mo’Nique Imes doesn’t embrace the title “celebrity.” Even with undeniable success, a mountain of fame, fortune, best-selling books and another hit television show, she remains shy about her achievements.
“I’m just Mo’Nique,” says the Academy Award and NAACP Image Award Winner. “When people say ‘you’re a celebrity’, I say, I’m just Mo’Nique. I’m just this little girl from Baltimore, Md., who said ‘I want to be’ and put my focus on that,” the comedienne tells N’DIGO.
But there is quite a special entity about the boisterous, self-proclaimed, loud comedienne and actress. And it wasn’t until this very opportunity to speak with her that the purity and rarely seen softness of her being came to light. Mo’Nique’s projects sincerity which is the underlining factor in all that she does.
As a mother and wife, the star of The Mo’Nique Show is grateful and growing more with her eldest son while learning the personalities of her younger children. As a stand-up comedian, she embraces the beauty and the realism of being a woman. Mo’Nique stands as an advocate for spreading love and living without judgment.
“I’m a simple girl,” she states. “If we get back to loving, a whole lot of things would clear up. The moment people can say, ‘let me get back to that thing called love’, we become better.”
Mo’Nique declares that it is her obligation to give back to the community and raise awareness about causes close to her heart. She advocated for education and a cause that she’s witnessed even family members go through due to lack of communication like in HIV/AIDS.
Mo’Nique along with vocalists Rahsaan Patterson and Terisa Griffin spread the message of HIV/AIDS awareness in Chicago for the 10th Anniversary of MadMan Productions Pride Comedy Night-a show that celebrates the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT), community and raises funds for health centers in Chicago.
“John Fleming Jr., who has put it all together for the past ten years, has been so committed and passionate in just trying to help the community out because we lack the funding in our community, we lack the centers in our community, and the education in our community in reference to the disease. It’s so much that we lack in our community and I’m so honored and appreciative that this brother keeps fighting for the cause,” says Mo’Nique.
After completing the first show, Mo’Nique witnessed John giving money to a Chicago clinic and was so impressed that the following year when John called her to join the show again, she refused payment.
Mo’Nique views communication as one line of defense against the disease.
“My best girlfriend died of AIDS,” she shares. “My uncle died of AIDS, so I was able to understand it firsthand without anyone coming up to me and telling me their story. I’ve seen the story. My girlfriend trusted someone. My uncle was homosexual, he was an alcoholic and my grandmother would always tell people that he died of kidney failure because they were so ashamed and embarrassed.”
Mo’Nique’s point is that communication is truly is a matter of life and death. The importance of open dialogue is vital. For people with HIV, they don’t know their status and can spread the disease unknowingly. Lives could be saved if people were informed and empowered enough to protect themselves in the face of lust and temptation.
“Every time you show, you’ve got to give 100 percent. I want people to leave saying, ‘Mo’Nique was something else, I would come back to see her’. I don’t take those people sitting in front of me for granted.”
With the sold-out shows and box-office hits, Mo’Nique remains humble, partly due to paying her dues as the success came with sacrifice.
Don’t count on Mo’Nique’s time in the spotlight letting up anytime soon. The talking diva’s late-night talk show, “The Monique Show” on BET is in its second season of “late-night partying” and viewers are in for more comedy, A-List celebrities, and one helluva good time!
“Baby, when I watch that show at home, that show is so full of love; from the band to DJ Ant to Rodney Perry, all the guests to the audience, the love comes through the TV,” she ignites. “So I always tell people, if you want to feel real good before you go to bed at night, take a drink of The Mo’Nique Show.”
“I wear me on my sleeve so much,” Mo’Nique adds, and “what you see is what you get.”
For more with the Queen of Comedy: visit
(c) 2010, N’Digo Magazine.
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