The Popular Yoruba actress, Mercy Aigbe-Gentry, talked about her career and style
What is your new movie Victims about?
It’s about a young lady who had to go through a lot of things in life; things she didn’t expect to happen. A lot of people experience things in life that they did not bring upon themselves; I would say it’s probably fate, providence or destiny. So she had to go through a lot of things and how she dealt with the issues. It’s a very emotional and intriguing movie. It is full of suspense. It’s a movie that teaches lots of morals, it talks to parents and also talks about marriage, because I believe that today, people don’t really respect the marriage institution. I’m sure people are just going to love it.
Is it based on a personal experience?
No, it’s actually based on different people’s experiences, a collation of the stories I heard from different people. I decided to put all together in one package. And there’s this particular thing we talked about in the movie; that’s the baby factory issue; when you have fake doctors go on the streets to pick up teenagers, giving them the hope that they are going to get rehabilitated whereas they are going to use them for their own selfish needs. They get them impregnated and then sell the babies. So, those are the things you’re going to see in the movie.
What informed your decision of bringing Saheed Balogun and Fathia together on that set?
Both are fantastic actor and actress, they have been in the industry for a long time, they are both my senior colleagues. They are people I respect so much; each of them has carved a niche for themselves in the industry. So, when I was casting, I saw that the two individuals could actually play the roles I wanted them to play perfectly well in the movie.
Did you have any issue with them?
No! They are professionals and they actually gave me their best. If you were on that set, you would have got the better picture.
Lately, you attend events with your daughter, why?
I just want her to share the red carpet experience with me. I want her to see the way mummy is doing it so that when I have to go to work, she would understand better because she would have experienced it with me. At first, she was a bit nervous when I told her she would grace red carpets and be interviewed. Because she wants to be a model, I want her to start getting used to the spotlight and all other things.
And you are okay with your daughter becoming a model?
I keep saying that whatever my kids want to do in life as a career, I will give them my total support. So whatever she wants to be, I’ll be there to support her all the way.
What steps are you taking for her to achieve that dream?
I should have launched her modelling career before now because I’ve had some agents approach me. But sincerely when it comes to modelling or the entertainment world as a whole, I’m always very scared because you have to have someone that you can trust.
For me to give my child out to someone, I have to trust that person completely, because there are lots of things that happen out there and I wouldn’t want her to be exposed to negative influences and that can happen without proper guidance.
I’m waiting for her to finish her secondary school education which is going to be in a year or so, and once she’s done, I would know that she’s ready. Then, I’ll have enough time also to manage her; I want to be her mom and manager.
You seem to have a flare for fashion, how did that come to be?
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.
When you are stepping out, how long does it take you to make-up?
It doesn’t really take that long but when I am going for an event, it takes more time than my daily make-up.
Like how many hours does it take?
Approximately two and a half hours. I think the fastest make-up artist that has worked on my face spent nothing less than one hour, thirty minutes; some actually take up to three hours. Dressing up takes about an hour to make sure everything is fixed in the right places. But for my everyday look, I try as much as possible to pick up whatever I want to wear the night before. At times, my mood determines my dress.
We learnt you are about launching your own hairline…
Yes, now we have Magdiva hair, which is going to be launched very soon. We have different types of hair. I have my own cosmetic line; it’s just about beauty.
Guys in Nigeria have complained about girls looking like impersonators every now and then; with bleaching cream and body enhancers. You are into fashion, what do you have to say about this development?
It depends on the individual, and I’ve always respected people’s opinion and how they choose to live their lives. If you feel you are dark and you want to make yourself lighter; if that will earn you confidence and comfort, I’d say go for it, but do not damage your skin in the process. I keep telling my clients that my products are not chemical-based, they are made of herbs, so you don’t need to entertain fear over my products. In the process of looking for comfort and confidence, however, please do not get your life affected, because a lot of people have lost their lives because of this.
And as for men who fall victims of the impersonators, I think the ladies are actually giving them what they want. Therefore, guys are to blame for their actions.
Do you use waste trainer?
Yes, I do because I believe it’s not damaging anything in my body; it only enhances my looks.
What won’t you ever be caught wearing?
Maybe clothes that show all the parts of my body; I won’t like to wear such. I can’t be seen wearing clothes that are revealing because I am a role model and a mother.
Why don’t you have a tattoo?
Maybe it’s because I dread pain. But seriously, I don’t like it on me, because I’m like 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 aside 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 because of the number of clothes and shoes I have. Recently, a thought crossed my mind that I should do something for my die-hard followers, my fans, if they don’t mind, I would give out the clothes I’ve worn not more than once.
What is your most expensive fashion item?
That will be a gold Rolex wrist watch my husband gave me in 2010.
What is that fashion item you can never leave home without?
It would certainly be my purse.
Is your contact lens medicated?
Yes it is; and I really love sunshades.