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Dad Tried To Stop Me From Acting -Mercy Aigbe

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by Tope Olukole

Mercy Aigbe is gradually becoming a force to reckon with in the movie industry. She recently spoke with TOPE OLUKOLE on the movie industry and about her marital life.

Can you share with us the joy of motherhood?
It’s indescribable. It is awesome being the mother of a new baby boy.

So, how does your husband feel?
He is very happy and has been joyful since I delivered.

It was expected that you would deliver the baby abroad?
Yes. I meant to travel abroad but I decided not to go because of the stress, and I would be lonely over there. Moreso, my husband insisted he wanted to be by my side from when I go into labour till delivery. He was happy to be the first person who would carry his baby, and I couldn’t take that away from him since he is his first son.

Perhaps your son will also be part of some movie productions in future?
I can’t say anything about that but all I can say is that I am getting back to work pretty soon.

What defines a good actor?
A good actor is someone that can take in a character and portray it convincingly such that when people are watching you, they won’t even be seeing you as a person but they would be seeing you in the light of that character you are portraying at that point in time. You must be professional to the core and deliver your role pretty well.

How and when did you get into acting?
I started acting professionally about five or six years ago. Acting is something that comes to me naturally and I can categorically say I am a born actress.

Right from childhood, I knew I had the talent for acting. My father thought he could change that by forcing me to study accounting, but when I could take decisions for myself, I went back and studied Theatre Arts at the university.

So, I have an Ordinary National Diploma in accounting and B.A in Theatre Arts. I have always known that is what I wanted to be, so I went for it. The other thing that I could also say made me go for it is because I also love to impact positively on people’s lives.

Who were some of the actors that influenced you as a kid?
I used to love Barbara Soky and then there was Rosemary, who played the role of Tara in a popular soap opera then. She was always screaming. I was so much in love with her character then. Over time, I fell in love with Liz Benson and Richard Mofe Damijo and lots of others

Why did you settle for Yoruba movies despite the fact that you are not Yoruba plus the fact you speak the English Language quite fluently?
I actually started with the Igbo movies. I did a soap then and a couple of movies in English. I later got a script from a producer in Ibadan and when the production came out, it was a hit. That was how I started getting scripts from the Yoruba section of the industry and before I knew it, I had become a household name. That’s the story; it’s not as if I chose or prefer doing Yoruba movies.

What was growing up like?
I grew up in Lagos. My growing up was interesting but not so rosy. It was interesting because I have loving parents but not all that rosy because my father is a disciplinarian. He is the type that doesn’t take nonsense from any of his children.

He is a proud and typical Bini man and he used to flog me a lot because I was very stubborn then. He doesn’t believe in sparing the rod and spoiling the child. It wasn’t easy back then but I am glad today he did all that because some of the things he taught us then are helping me till date.

What are some of the challenges you encounter as an actress?
Nigerian journalists have not been fair to us actors. It’s often very sad when you see untrue, dirty details about you in the papers. They rubbish our reputation in order to sell their papers and it’s so heart breaking.

Again, in the industry, you see people being envious of you. They feel jealous because they feel one is relatively young in the industry and getting more roles than they who are veterans in the field.

But what they don’t understand is that it is by the grace of God. The Bible says that it is not the power of he that runneth but by God, that showeth mercy. God even says in the Bible, “I will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.”

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