Nov 14, 2015 – Nollywood Actress Mercy Aigbe: Why I Remarried
Excerpts from Nollywood actress Mercy Aigbe Gentry’s recent chat with The Entertainer.
It seems you are so passionate about your latest movie, Victims?
This is my new movie, it is my latest effort. It is a very good movie and I am proud of it. I put in so much commitment in anything I do. The same passion I put into this is what I would put into my next job and it was what I actually put into my previous job. So, I am very passionate when it comes to any of my jobs.
Were you satisfied with the outcome of the private premiere?
Yes I am. People kept asking what would happen next because we couldn’t screen the movie till the end since the following day was a Monday and we didn’t want to take too much of people’s time. I discovered that everybody was asking why we stopped the movie and that made me happy because it tells me that people were following it.
Quincy Ayodele, one of my guests, recently called me to know the conclusion of the movie and when it would be out for the public. It arouses the interest of the people who came for the premiere, so it is a good one for me.
When do you plan to release the movie?
It would be open to the cinema on November 20 and after that it goes on DVD. I think storyline makes the movie different and the production was on point because I carefully selected people who worked on it. It has a very strong message in terms of social vices and the characters interpreted it well.
It is actually a story of a young lady who turned out to be a serial killer because of what she had seen and passed through. Many times people go into a life they don’t want for themselves; we need to be careful so that we don’t raise monsters. The story is very touching and emotional; it is a story people will watch and learn a lot from.
How did you come about the idea?
Most of it is actually fictitious, but what inspired me to produce it is the story of a young girl who was raped. She told me that she wished she could actually revenge because she doesn’t believe in the judicial system here in Nigeria. She believes that the culprit will not be brought to book even though she goes ahead to report to the police and if at all it takes a long process.
She just concluded that there is nothing like justice in Nigeria for a rape victim. I had to talk to her and another thing that didn’t want her to share the experience was the fear of stigmatisation. If people go through such and talk about it, you will find out that people in the society try to see them in another light because of what they’ve gone through and it shouldn’t be so. This is also part of the things Victims addresses as a movie.
What mechanism did you put in place to stop pirates from getting close to your movie?
In many interviews I have actually talked about piracy and it is a huge problem in Nollywood right now because as a filmmaker you are also an investor. You are investing with the hope of getting your money back and making profit, but it is unfortunate that there is no guarantee that you would get your money back with piracy on the increase. So as a filmmaker, you would want to be careful with the amount of money you invest in a movie and it also kills creativity. I try to put my movie on a device that pirates cannot reach.
I have tried as much as possible to take care of that. But when it eventually gets on DVD there is little or nothing I can do about that and that it what most pirates wait for. The government must come to our aid; I believe there are laws against piracy and they must be enforced. If they know that heavy penalty awaits them they would turn over a new leaf.
Asides other businesses you do including makeup and running a boutique, can you survive as an actress?
To an extent I would say yes; it is just that lately it has become very hard because of piracy. When producers want to call you for a job as an actress they think of piracy and go for low budget. It has affected our artistry and movie producers also don’t want to put in so much money. That has actually dealt with us in recent times. It is the reason most of us delved into other things to compliment acting. For now, acting is not so lucrative because of piracy.
You are from Edo State but you are mostly known with Yoruba movies…
I do English movies; it is just that I do more of Yoruba movies and got more popular in the genre. But I actually started with English movies. I did a couple of soaps and two English movies before I cross over to the Yoruba genre. I would rather call it faith, but I am a professional and I am working on my first English movie as a producer. We are going on locations very soon, precisely January.
Between English and Yoruba movies which do you consider more rewarding?
I have actually done more Yoruba movies, so I cannot answer that question in all honesty. But all I can say is that it is one Nollywood; it is the same way of production and acting. The only difference is the language or the medium the information is passed.
Why did you give marriage a second shot after your first hit the rock?
Why not? I am still very young. I don’t believe in giving up; I believe that if you try once it doesn’t work you can still try again. Your second time might even be better than the previous. So, I was still very young and I fell in love again.