Nollywood actress Mercy Aigbe is one of the big fish in the Yoruba movie sector. Her impeccable sense of style has earned her a celebrity status in the entertainment industry as a whole and a house hold name nationally. Perhaps in a bid to stay relevant in her craft or for the love of art as the case might be, this year, the actress premiered her latest movie, Victim to loud ovation. In this interview with MUTIAT ALLI the amiable mother opened on her marriage, passion, and personal style.
What is style to you?
Style to me is a personal thing. It’s a way of expressing yourself especially the way you dress. I always say one thing; look the way you want to be addressed. Style is a way of expressing yourself. And to me it comes naturally. I have this thing about me, when I put this and this together it turns out good and people will always compliment me for it. And to me style is about comfort. You have to be comfortable with what you are wearing. When you’ve passed a certain age there are certain kind of clothes you shouldn’t be wearing.
For a celebrity it’s strange to know that you’re can talk about aging freely?
Why not? But I think you should age gracefully, slide into it, age beautifully. I for one, I’m not scared of aging but with age you should know what is appropriate for you. There are some clothes you should wear when you get to a certain age and there are some you shouldn’t wear at a certain age.
You don’t look your age. What is your beauty regime like?
That’s what everybody has been saying (laughs). Like for real that’s what everybody is saying. A lot of people are like Mercy, you don’t look your age. You look way younger than your age. And a lot of people when they get to meet my daughter, they are like, are you sure is your daughter and all that. And I just smile and my head grows big, getting all those compliments. But as for my beauty regime, I feel I’ve been blessed.
So it’s a genetic thing?
Yeah, I will say so because my mother doesn’t look her age so also my grandmother. But aside the fact that it’s a genetic thing I believe it’s a blessing also, God has blessed me and I also take care of myself. I go for facials. I exfoliate. I just pamper myself. I love myself and I feel since I work very hard I should also take care of myself.
Talking about working hard, a colleague of yours said to me that you are one actress that loves to work even when you were heavily pregnant you still worked…
The thing is that I love my job with a passion. My job makes me very happy. When am in front of the camera, I come alive. I’m happy when I’m working. Sometimes, when I’m back home for like two weeks and I’m not back to location I feel like, oh God! I need to go back to location. It’s just something that I derive a lot of joy from. Then aside that, I’m very hard working. I like to make my own money. There is this pride that comes with making your own money. Fine, my husband is okay and all that but there is this joy when I’m spending my own money. And also, I like when I buy things for my kids with my personal money not all the time daddy bought you this or daddy bought you that. Some people may want to call it pride, it’s not pride. But there is this satisfaction with you making your own money.
So it’s true that you work till you are heavily pregnant, like eight months?
No I don’t work still am eight month pregnant but I think I stopped working when I was seven months and I was forced to stop working I must tell you. My husband had to call my mother to say,” if anything happens to my child? I don’t know what your daughter is looking for? She has not asked me for anything and I said no, so I really don’t know what she’s looking for. He had to plead with me that, “sweetheart, please you need to stop working”. So I had to stop. But truth is I enjoyed working while pregnant because while I was pregnant, my tummy wasn’t all that big. I was really fine when I was pregnant, I must tell you. I could actually play a lot of roles, hiding my baby bum under some clothing so I went on and on and on until my husband stopped me.
You once said that you wished your second marriage was actually your first. Can you shed more light to it?
Yes because I married to a very wonderful person and I’ve always been this kind of girl that believes that it’s how you want your life to be that’s how your life will be. I didn’t know that there is something called fate. I didn’t know that fate can actually twist…. at the end of the day, it twisted it for good but it’s always a regret because that is not how you actually wanted it. I would have just loved to marry my present husband and have my kids but it’s okay.
What’s your staying power?
Like I’ve been saying, I love my job with a passion. When you love what you’re doing, will always want to get better and better. You will always want to do research to make you improve in what you are doing. I love my job and I also have a very understanding man. It’s takes you to have a very understanding man for you to do this job as a married woman. You understand. I have a wonderful man who supports under any circumstances because he knows I love my job. I think my passion and my love for the job has been my staying power.
There is the notion actresses don’t keep homes. What’s your take and how have you managed to keep yours?
The thing is that, marital problems are not peculiar to the entertainment. It’s everywhere. Marriages these days are not like those days. A lot of things that our mother took and our fathers took; we women and men of these days will not take it. So, it’s not peculiar to entertainers. What I have done, this is my second shot at it and I’ve taken it to God. I believe that marriage is a union ordained by Go and I’ve decided to take my marriage to God so that He actually help me. I think He’s the only one who can give me the grace because the bible says a wise woman builds her home. And that wisdom actually comes from God. It’s not easy. It’s not easy. It takes a lot of patient and prayer. I’ve made prayer the foundation of my marriage. So I’ve just taken everything to God and in my own little way, I’m trying to be the best woman my husband can ever wish for.
After you had your last child how long did it take you to go back on set?
I think when my son was two or three months. I was so bored at home. But I got myself busy going to the gym but I couldn’t wait to get back on location.
What’s the craziest thing a fan has done to you?
I remember an occasion a guy came up to me and I was with my husband, and he asked me to sign on his chest. I was so embarrassed.
But did you sign it?
No, I didn’t. I just kept laughing and laughing, I just couldn’t do it.
How do you unwind?
I love watching movies and taking my kids out.
What was the last movie you watched?
What that movie called? I can’t remember. When I’m home I just watch film with my kids.
Among several roles you played what is that role that is so dear to your heart?
I think it’s my movie Osas. You ask why? That movie allowed me to actually speak my Benin Language, speak the Pidgin language. I love to speak Pidgin Language. It also allowed me to speak Yoruba language. So it allowed me to speak the three languages I love so much. And Osas was the major comedy character I played. I never knew I could be funny. Yes, then I did Papa Ajasco’s wife and that was where I actually got inspired to do my movie.
When it comes to acting, do you have any limitations?
Yes I do, I can never act nude. And it doesn’t even come with the job. You chose to.
How would you describe Mercy Aigbe?
I’m a very nice person; I’m not blowing my trumpet. I’m very humble. I’m very playful. A lot of people know that about me. And I’m very hard working. And I don’t take nonsense.