MERCY Aigbe has become a household name in the Nigerian film industry after almost two decades of acting. The sultry actress has had fair share of ups and downs in life as well as a celebrity. Few years back, the actress shared a picture of her luxurious home and range of automobiles in an Instagram post and many wondered how she made it. In this tell-it-all interview Aigbe opens up on the highest fee she has ever charged for a movie role, her fears for tattoos, her two major influences, parenting as a single mum and her forthcoming film.
What has been happening to Mercy Aigbe?
Mercy has been working, I have been expanding my forte by going into the fashion business and also working on some new projects that would be made known soon. I am just taking my time but I am not in a competition with anyone.
You seemed to have slowed down on appearing in films, any particular reason for that?
I had to slow down because my business became a lot more time consuming with new branches etc. So, I had to dedicate more time to it so that I can see it grow the way I projected it.
You are a proud owner of a luxury home and automobiles, how lucrative has the remuneration been as an actress?
Being an actress has been a huge blessing. Acting brought me fame and fame had brought me fortunes through my numerous businesses and the profession itself.
So, what’s the highest you have ever charged for a movie role?
1.8 million Naira.
Which three directors do you look forward to working with?
The list is long oh. When I eventually get to work with them I will definitely mention in my interviews.
In life and acting, who and what are your major influences?
My mum and kids
From your entertainment company to other businesses and parenting, how has it been nurturing a teenage daughter?
She is no longer a teenager because she turns 20 years in a few months. She schools in Canada and I make sure to keep a close tab on her as often as possible. Even though I can proudly say she is a great girl, well mannered and her mother’s daughter. It speaks well to say she is my friend because she is usually open to me when we start a conversation, seeking opinion where necessary.
As an actress, what distinguishes you among your peers?
The word is simple ‘tenacity.’ My tenacity distinguishes me from my peers and colleagues.
What determines the script you accept for a role?
Story, roles, other cast featuring in it and crew are what determine the scripts I accept.
So, when you get a script for a movie, what’s the first thing you do?
I read the script very well and digest thoroughly because it is very important to connect to the script especially the role you have been saddled to play, that way you can deliver on your job as an actor.
Your recent film, ‘Àgbékẹ́ AyaOba,’ what’s the inspiration behind it?
Agbeke Aya Oba is a story close to my heart because it tells a story of a beautiful, strong spirited Queen. Who refused to dance to play to the dictates of the society. She broke protocols and was true to herself. What inspired this story is how fake people have become especially on social media these days and at the end of the day they tend to lead people wrongly and shift their attention from what is right.
Why the decision to film with Abiodun Jimoh?
I decided to film with Abiodun Jimoh because he is a well detailed film maker, who knows his onions. This is not the first time I am working with him so that you know, he is talented and pays keen attention to details; he is one director you can go to bed and be rest assured that work is done and in good shape.
With this film, would you be going to the cinemas or streaming platforms?
I am still trying to decide, but either cinema or any other platforms; one thing is guaranteed people will definitely love Àgbékẹ́ AyaOba because it is well detailed from start to finish.
I’ve always loved looking good. I’ve always loved getting compliments from people about my looks. I’m also a person who loves pictures, I love to dress up and take pictures of myself.
How come you don’t have tattoos? A lot of your colleagues do have it.
Maybe it’s because I dread pain. But seriously, I don’t like it on me because I’m an insatiable person when it comes to having things like that on my body. Today I may like a bird, and the following day I’ll get tired of that and want to change it. And asides that, in my job, you’ll have to play different roles, so it automatically restricts the number of roles you can play in a movie, so I feel as a professional actress, you shouldn’t, maybe to an extent, have a permanent thing on your body.
What is your fashion weakness?
The fact is, I actually like everything when it comes to fashion. I think I’m greedy when it comes to fashion, clothes, bags, shoes, everything.
Which one of those items has the highest number?
Maybe shoes, but I’ve lost count and I hardly sleep in my room now. This morning, a thought just crossed my mind that maybe I should do something for my die-hard followers, my fans, if they don’t mind, the clothes I’ve worn not more than once, very soon I’m going to be giving them out to them.