Mercy Aigbe at first glance strikes you as that outgoing vibrant relatable fashionista who just loves to have fun, fun, and even more fun- The perfect picture of a happy person who absolutely loves life. While this may be true, this Benin sweetheart has proved time and again that there’s a lot more to the dolled up Mercy as her versatile acting skills boldly declare.
The Diva who is a delight for sore eyes and bored minds sits in this engaging and exclusive interview with Happening Magazine and dishes with effortless humor, her consistent hard work as an actress including the production of her own comedy ‘Osas’ inspired by her feature in Papa Ajasco.
Interviewer: How did you feel when you won the ‘Best indigenous language Yoruba award at the AMVCA?
Mercy Aigbe: For me it was a moment of joy, I was overwhelmed because I wasn’t really expecting my movie to win due to the other contenders in the category; I was very excited when I got called up. For me AMVCA is like our own Oscars, so it was a great honor for me.
Interviewer: How have you been able to combine acting with your personal life and family?
Mercy Aigbe: It hasn’t been easy combining my career with being a wife and mother; it’s a lot of hard work. It is difficult striking a balance between these three important roles, like I tell people I have a very understanding partner – my husband is fantastic and always there for me, I am also blessed with a mum who is very supportive and accommodating who helps to baby sit my kids when I’m on set, and not forgetting my domestic staffs who help with the house chores.
Interviewer: Have you been put in a position where you had to play a romantic or sexual scene properly?
Mercy Aigbe: A bit, but not too deep.
Interviewer: Does your husband react to it?
Mercy Aigbe: My husband knows I am a professional when it comes to acting, he met me as an actress and he knows I give my best when it comes to my job. Maybe he gets jealous and he doesn’t show it, but I haven’t done anything that he wouldn’t like. He has been supportive of my career so far.
Interviewer: Which is your most challenging role so far?
Mercy Aigbe: Every movie I have featured in was challenging but the most challenging role I have played so far is ‘Osas’ – the character is a comic one, it wasn’t easy because I had no experience in comedy and it was also challenging because I had to learn my native language which I don’t speak fluently. I was the producer, the script writer and I played the lead character.
Interviewer: If we got you right, you produced the movie and wrote the script?
Mercy Aigbe: Yes. Being an actress, I am also a producer
Interviewer: We guess you just wanted to challenge your acting skills, that’s why you took on the role ‘Osas’
Mercy Aigbe: What inspired me was that, I was called up by Wale Adenuga to play Papa Ajasco’s wife. It was a challenge because it’s different from the regular role I have played in the past. So I accepted and on set I discovered that people behind the camera laughed and that motivated me to shoot my own comedy movie.
I also wanted to go back to my roots; most people don’t know I’m a Benin girl because they see me a lot in the Yourba movie genre. So I wanted my people to know I’m part of them and since I released the movie, I have gotten a lot of positive response from people.
Interviewer: And we hope the cheques are rolling in too?
Mercy Aigbe: Yes oh, that’s the ‘Koko’. I will like to use this opportunity to appeal to our people that please don’t buy pirated copies of our movies because we want the cheques rolling in.
Interviewer: Is there any role you missed out on, any role you wished you would have played better?
Mercy Aigbe: Non as far as I am concerned, I don’t think there is anyone I have missed out on but there are some roles I would like to play. For example I am looking forward to playing the role of an imbecile.
Interviewer: How did you get into Yoruba acting?
Mercy Aigbe: It’s not like I set out to be more popular in the Yoruba Genre of Nollywood, I actually started with the English genre in Super Story and Images, after that I got called up by a Yoruba movie producer and after that scripts kept on rolling in. I was featured in an English movie (The Other Side Of Life) recently by Lancelot Imasuen, I was on set with Ebube Nwagbo, Monalisa Chinda, Seun Akindele etc. I also did another movie ‘The needle’ by Famous Okaporin which also features top actors like Francis Duru, Emeka Enyiocha etc.
Interviewer: So won’t surprising if we see you in a Hausa movie tomorrow?
Mercy Aigbe: Yes of course, as an actor one should be able to do movies in different languages. If any Hausa movie producer is out there and you are watching this, I am willing to learn.
Interviewer: Tell us something you know now, that you wish you knew when you first started acting?
Mercy Aigbe: There is nothing basically, the thing about this profession is that you keep learning; so I’m still in the learning process.
Interviewer: If you were to choose 3 Nollywood actors you will like to work with, who would you choose?
Mercy Aigbe: Ramsey Noah, I like him and I think he is a fantastic actor; I like Majid because his acting is very deep and the third person will be Osuofia because he is very funny.
Interviewer: We know you are a mother with two kids, what do you do to stay fit basically?
Mercy Aigbe: I work out a lot even while I’m on set, I eat right and I also go to the spa.
Interviewer: What does fashion mean to you?
Mercy Aigbe: Fashion is everything to me, it’s an individual expression of how you want people to perceive; in general it’s your personal expression of your mood.
Interviewer: Tell us a bit about your upcoming projects.
Mercy Aigbe: Very soon I will be going on set to shoot a movie titled ‘Moyeni’. The flick is about a young lady who has gone through a bitter experience in life and how she eventually dealt with it. We are also going to be shooting the concluding part of ‘Osas’ called ‘Osas Reloaded’.
Interviewer: What causes are you dedicated to?
Mercy Aigbe: I and my team are currently working on a project which will be on providing household needs for people in need, the orphanage and widows. We are also going to be kick starting another project for children with Down syndrome; I discovered that a lot of them are segmented and this affects them a lot.
I have a film in the pipeline that is going to address that, it is going to educate parents on how to relate with them, guide them and also manage the condition.
Interviewer: What other talent do you have?
Mercy Aigbe: I can sing. I hope Don Jazzy is watching me right now, very soon my fans will know that part of me, they should watch out for me.
Interviewer: The way the African musicians are shining in international awards such as the likes of Dbanj, Tiwa Savage & Davido, do you think Nollywood would get to that stage the actors receive international recognition.
Mercy Aigbe: I strongly believe we will because if you check out the type of movies we produce these days, you will know that we have really improved in all ramification. I think I heard sometimes that there is a committee for Oscar awards in Nigeria that will look into some of our productions and put up the best for nominations.
Interviewer: Thank you very much for the time.
Mercy Aigbe: Thank you for having me.