MERCY Aigbe-Gentry constantly stands out among her peers as a good dresser, never drawing the eye of the high, scrutinizing fashion police on red carpets across the country. The beautiful role interpreter is currently basking in the successes she enjoyed last year which culminated into awards and nominations in recognition of her immense contribution in the industry.
In this interview with ENCOMIUM Weekly on Friday, January 24, 2014, at her hotel, La’Veronique, she opened up on her marriage, joys of motherhood and many more…
How would you describe 2013?
It was not a bad year for me career wise because I got a couple of awards and I produced one or two movies, one of which was Konfo, which was nominated for Africa Viewers Choice Awards, as Best Indigenous Movie. I also got Best Actor at City People’s Awards. So, for me it was a successful year and hope 2014 would be better.
Were you able to achieve all that you set out to achieve in 2013?
Not all but at least I was able to go halfway. There were some things I did not achieve but I’m working towards them in 2014 and bringing them to actualization.
As a film maker, one of the major challenges I encountered was having a conducive atmosphere is investing your money into something with the hope of realizing it back. By saying that, I am talking about piracy. This issue really affected us in the industry last year because it was on the high side. I just pray that this new year is better. I had a little challenge with getting funds for my movie. Most of the movies I produced in recent times were funded by me or I have my husband come in to help fund the movie.
How were you able to overcome them?
Like I mentioned earlier, I did not achieve all I set out to achieve in 2013 and it is part of why I said, I know I’m not there and would set out to achieve. It is still a challenge but I know this year is going to be better.
What are your projections for 2014?
As a person, I want to be a better person. I have a lot of things underground that I want to work on. This year, I would be working on my new project and going on location to work on a new movie that people would watch and enjoy, pass good comments. I’m also working on my NGO which I will be officially launching in April, by the grace of God. I have a whole lot of things to achieve in 2014.
January 1st marks the beginning of a new year, how does it feel being a year older?
It’s an awesome feeling but at the same time as a woman, it is not easy because you are getting old. But it’s awesome because I’m alive, healthy, my family is well, my career is booming and the Lord added another year to my year and was not on the sick bed, I did not have the cause to bury any member of my family both extended and nuclear family. So, January 1st was a time for me to thank God for all the good things he has done for me these past years. Being the first baby of the year, it’s like a double celebration and makes me feel special because I was born on a special day.
Being a year older, what are the things that changed about you?
The only thing I can say would change about me is, now I am very conscious that I am not getting younger, so I need to take very good care of myself. I have to live and look healthy by exercising more than I usually do. Once it dawns on you that you are not getting younger, maturity begins to set in. Your perception of life also changes.
Were you expecting the birthday party or it came as a surprise?
I was expecting the party, my husband told me about it and wanted me to have fun with my close friends, colleagues and families.
How have you been combining the home front with your career?
I have had so many people asking this same question and I keep saying, it is not easy to marry these very important roles and to strike a balance between them. I am a mother, a wife and a full time career woman. But because God actually blessed me with a very understanding man, he knows that I love my job, he is always there and he gives his 100 per cent support, encouragements. He also inspires me in a lot of ways. My kids too are very understanding, especially my daughter. But anytime I am home, I make sure I make out time for all the time I was absent. Anytime I’m home, I spend quality time with my children and husband and if I have to go out, I take my kids with me. I make out time to attend their open days, check out their home works and also attend PTA meetings. What makes it easy is that, I have a very understanding husband who fills in for me when I am not around.
You have been applauded as one of the best dressed in Nollywood, how does it feel?
Of course, it would make me feel happy and good. I just do my thing and people took an interest in it and say I dress well. One thing for me is, I love to be very stylish. I feel you have to look the same way you want to be addressed either in a negative or positive way. You just have to dress your age because as you get older, there are certain dresses that you must not wear but one thing people don’t know is that, you have to age gracefully and in that way, you become comfortable in whatever you find yourself wear. I just love fashion and everybody around me knows that and I also love taking pictures. Some people think it is vain but that is what makes me happy and makes me feel good. I think I have gotten to a certain age that I must do whatever makes me look good.
What dictates what you wear?
It depends on my mood and the occasion. Atimes I might just want to do the T-shirt and jeans just to look casual.
Who makes your designs?
I have a designer who is very good. She is an indigenous designer and goes by the name, House of Luminee. Her name is Kofo. She chooses the style and makes all my clothes. I just hand over the material and she always comes with breathtaking designs. Her detailings are perfect.
I take very good care of myself by watching what I eat, exercise every time I get the chance. I usually go for a massage called ‘pin rolling.’ It is painful though but I do it in order to keep fit and when it comes to food, I consume mostly vegetables, fruits and water. Once I notice that I’m stressed, I take a time out to the spa for body massage, facials and some other things that would make me look good. I thank God for blessing me with a good body.
It was alleged that you and your husband went to the registry recently, why did you do it secretly?
I just got married legally and it was not done secretly because if it was a secret, people would not get any pictures. They got pictures from my Instagram, Twitter handle and my display pictures on Blackberry. So, it was not a secret.
Why did you wait till now before going to the registry?
I can decide to legalise my marriage anytime I want and that is what I just did. So, I do not see it as a big deal. After all, we have done the traditional wedding which is more important.
How are you enjoying the joys of motherhood?
I love being a mother that I don’t know how to describe the feeling. It is something that every woman should experience – watching your children grow, having that feeling that you have to protect them is an awesome feeling. At times when I look at my son and I see how fast he has grown, I feel great. When he does new things, it amazes me. I am enjoying it and I thank God I’m a mother because it is a blessing. I feel my children are all I have got in this world. I see them as my world, they weight beyond all I have achieved. I feel my children are my life and my legacy.
What are the challenges you might have faced being a mother?
As a mother, I don’t think I have really faced any challenge. The only thing is that maybe when I have to spank them which is very normal and expected, but I have not really faced a major challenge. Truthfully, the only thing that scares me is pregnancy because of all the nine months, the swollen feet, you get very fat and all. But when the baby comes out, you forget all that you have passed through during pregnancy and labour. I am even enjoying it because as a mother, you want to give your children the best in life and also instill some morals that would make them be a better person. To your children, it’s like you are a ‘mini god.’
What is your most memorable moment with your kids?
I can’t say them all because I have a lot. When my daughter was 10 years and she stood beside me, she was already taller than I am. When my son took his first step or when he called me ‘mummy’ for the first time, I was amazed. Also, maybe when I’m giving my daughter out in marriage, that would be a very memorable day for me. But I have a lot and can’t mention them all.
What should we expect from your stable this year?
In terms of film making, there is this movie that I coordinated entitled, Ipe. It has been getting a lot of positive reviews and the trailer is also out. So, people should watch out for that. They should also watch out for the concluding part of my movie, Osas, it would be released by the middle of this year. But it would go to the cinemas first. I also have two other movies that I would be working on this first quarter of the year. People should also watch out for the launching of my NGO, Mercy Aigbe-Gentry Foundation.
What do you have to say to your fans?
I would like to say thank you for being there for me, for having my back all the time, for loving and believing in me. They actually made me who I am today because of the love they showed over time. Thank you and God bless all of you and God help me I would never disappoint all of you.
– DOLAPO AMODENI