Mercy Aigbe doesn’t really need any introduction. She is one of the hottest actresses in the country, has starred in an uncountable number of movies and has made the news for both professional and personal reasons. OSEYIZA OOGBODO tasked her on the secret of her success.
It’s very difficult to become a truly successful actress. What did you do to make it?
I won’t say it’s my own making. I will say it’s the grace of God Almighty, because the Bible says that your talent shall make a way for you.
And I believe that acting is the talent God gave me, so I stood upon that Word, so I put my God before everything I do, then also hard work, professionalism and discipline, I can say they are the things I’m doing to get to where I’m going to. But what’s actually taking me to where I’m going to, I can say categorically is the grace of God Almighty.
Apart from the grace of God, which is on everyone, we’ve heard tales of actresses who paid producers to feature them in movies and others sleeping with producers. What underhand thing did you do to support God’s grace?
Sincerely, I didn’t have to do any of those things. That’s why I said once you’re favored, you’re favored. When you’re favored, doors open, things you don’t expect start to work together for your good because the Lord has distinguished you from everybody else, so I didn’t have to do those things.
But what I’ll just say is that, that is not actually the way because some people might end up doing all those things and they still don’t get to where they want to.
So I just believe it’s the grace of God and your hard work that matter. At times, you are favored, but you don’t work towards your goal, towards your objectives, you don’t put in your best to be among the best in what you’re doing, so your hard work really matters. Then you have to be disciplined in this kind of job.
If people see that you’re a professional to the core, you don’t come late to locations, you don’t have unnecessary airs, you take your job like your job, they would always want to work with you because they know you are a professional. So I think those are just the things that one really, really needs to get to the top.
Do you think your comfortable background has played a huge factor in your success, in that you could afford not to be desperate while other girls who have to survive would do anything to get roles that if you don’t get, your parents would still have taken care of you?
I don’t know. I can’t really say if it was a factor in my success. The only thing I can say helped me was the training my father gave me. I can’t say it’s his money or anything. It’s the training he gave me, the morals he has instilled in me, so anytime I’m faced with any kind of challenge, I’m like ‘Mercy, what would you do that your father won’t like?’ or ‘Mercy, what would your father say to you in this situation?’ because my father is a very strict man, he’s a disciplinarian to the core.
You know all those kind of Benin men that believe they just have to train their kids well. So it’s his training that helped me not to be desperate.
I also knew deep down that I would make it and that nobody could stop me. The thing is that I’m very spiritual. I believe in God, that whatever happens to you is God.
What are your achievements as an actress?
Hmmn, what I want to achieve, I’ve not achieved. I’ve not gotten to where I’m going to.
OK, tell us what you want to achieve.
Let me keep it under wraps for now. Where I’m really going to is close to my heart and it’s my God I always tell it to, so don’t let me tell you my dreams and aspirations and where I’m going to in this industry. But what I can definitely tell you is that I’ve not gotten to where I’m going to. But at the same time, I give God the glory for how far He has taken me. At least, to God be the glory, Mercy Aigbe has come to stay.
How do you feel when people meet you and gush that they are so happy to meet you?
I feel really loved because that means they appreciate what you do, for people to want to talk to you when they see you, for them to wave at you and all that. I feel blessed and loved because I know the work I’m doing is being appreciated.
In the same vein, do area boys accost you for money?
Of course they do. I think that is their own way of showing that they are your fans. And anytime they see you, they are like ‘Ah! E fun wa lowo’ which means you should give them money.
And when they request, what do you do?
At times, I give them and at times I don’t. It depends on my mood actually. And it depends on the way they talk to me.
What is the highest amount you’ve ever given them?
I can’t say an amount in particular. I just give them as my mood dictates.