FULL NAME: Mercy Aigbe Gentry
DATE OF BIRTH: January 1, 1979
OCCUPATION: Actress, Bussinesswoman
MARITAL STATUS: Married
Mercy Aigbe is a popular Nigerian actress,producer and businesswoman, she featured in many soaps earlier in her career but at the moment she feature mostly in Yoruba movies, she has featured in many movies and she has produced many too.
EARLY LIFE AND BACKGROUND
Nollywood Actress Mercy Aigbe was born in Edo State (Nigeria), and she is the second child in a family of five.
She grew up in Lagos but she learnt Yoruba language on the actin job, before she started acting in Yoruba movies she wasn’t fluent in the language. Her father was the type who didn’t want them to lose their root so, most of the times, they speak Benin and English at home. It was because they lived in Lagos that she started picking up a bit of Yoruba. When she started, her scripts were written in Yoruba and she would pronounce words just anyhow. But because she loves her job, she had to learn and as she continued acting, it got better with it.
She knew she was going to do acting for a living that is why she went to study Theater Arts. She first went to Polytechnic Ibadan where she had her OND in Financial Studies and Instead of continuing with her HND, she went to the University of Lagos for her degree in Theater Arts.
She earned a degree in Theatre Arts from the University of Lagos in 2001.
She revealed it wasn’t easy after she got the degree because she had to battle her dad who never supported her decision to go into acting. He didn’t believe she could earn a living with it. So it was hell until her father consoled himself, in Nigeria, you don’t necessarily have to work with the certificate you have.
CAREER AND LIFE
Mercy got her break into the movie industry in 2006 , she started off acting in soaps. She did a couple of soaps before going into Yoruba movies. And it was after she featured in few Yoruba movies that she started getting more scripts from Yoruba movie producers. It’s not as if she don’t get called up by non-Yoruba movie producers and it’s not as if she does not want to diversify to feature in English movies but according to her she says she is okay with where she is and what she is doing.
She revealed in an interview when asked how much she was paid when she started her acting career: "We were not paid at all. When I started, it wasn’t easy finding people who believed in me and take the risk to feature me in their movies especially to play lead because most producers wouldn’t be sure if one is capable of playing a character for a long time even after auditioning. So when I get opportunities to express myself as an upcoming, I was grateful even when I didn’t get paid. I wasn’t paid in most of the movies, and if I got paid at all, it was peanut.I had been on the set of a movie for three weeks and at the end, I was paid N2000. And I remember on my way back home, I was crying because before I came into the industry, I already had a car and I was okay. So it was like leaving a lucrative job for an unknown place where I wasn’t even sure I would be accepted. I think my passion for the job kept me on until things became better. "
Mercy's big break into the industry was when she featured as the lead role in the then popular movie ARA. According to her, her fan base started increasing from there she started getting featured in many more movies.
Speaking on some the challenges and disappointments she faced as an actress:
"When I was a green horn, I went to a location and played the lead role in the movie. It was a shock to me when we rounded off and the producer squeezed five thousand naira into my hand. I felt like breaking down to cry. And this was a time when I already had a car and a flourishing business. I sat in my car in tears and said, “God, what is this? Is this for chewing gum or what?” but I took it and kept the hope alive. And today, I am smiling to the banks but I can’t tell you the precise figure I earn. I give God the glory."
Mercy became more popular after featuring in movies like; Satani, Afefe ife (2008), Okanjua (2008), Atunida leyi (2009), Igberaga (2009), Ihamo (2009), Ìpèsè (2009), Iró funfun (2009), Mafisere (2009) Oju ife (2009)..
Mercy Aigbe became much more popular when she did her own award winning movie OSAS (Omoge Benin) in 2012.
When asked in an interview if she has been harassed by producers she replied:
I wouldn’t call it harassment. Yes, men make passes at me because I’m very beautiful. It happens everywhere. I’m an adult and if I wanted to date someone, I would have but I didn’t date anyone.
Because I just believe that relationships in such industry doesn’t work.
You don’t trust anybody?
Exactly. I just have that thing at the back of my mind that such relationship won’t last long.
Speaking On Her Marital Issues:
So how do you cope being the second wife. Don’t you and the first wife have clashes?
"Laughs. This question is very funny and I’m going to deal with this now. What happened is that when I met him, he was already separated from his first wife. Although, they were still married, but no longer together. She lives abroad with the children. So, they were already separated when we started dating."
They weren’t divorced?
"They weren’t divorced as at the time when I met him but now, they’ve finalized their divorce and I’m the only wife. They were separated for like five years before I came into the picture and their divorce case was in court. They were divorced before we got married. A lot of people don’t know the real gist- now I’m not the second wife but the only wife."
On getting support from her husband: I’m married to Ashiwaju Olanrewaju Gentry and together we have two beautiful kids. I always tell people that I married my own husband because he has been awesome. He is mature and just a very fantastic person. He is always there for me and supports me all the way. He has actually helped me to achieve my dreams. With his help and God’s, I have been able to do so many things. I’m just blessed. I always say when you see a married woman doing very well that means she has a very supportive husband. Most Nigerian men don’t want their wives to outshine them, maybe it’s ego. I don’t know. They always want you to be dependent on them for everything you want but my husband believes in me and gives me total support. My celebrity status doesn’t even bother him, he just sees me as Mercy.
Mercy Aigbe is one of the most controversial actresses in the country, she has 3 beautiful kids and she is married to Mr. Olanrewaju Gentry.
AWARDS AND ENDORSEMENTS
She has many notable awards to her name, a few which includes;
- She won the Best Actress in Yoruba award at the City People Awards held in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
- Best Indigenous Language (Yoruba) At AMVCA 2014
- Best Actress in a supporting Role (yoruba) (2010)
- Best Actress in an Indigenous Movie Nomination (non-English speaking language) (2012)
- City People Entertainment Yoruba Movie Personality of the year (2015)
- Won Fashion Entrepreneur of the Year by Links and Glintz World Magazine(2016)
Mercy Aigbe Gentry, endorsed as a brand ambassador for Dubai Afrika in 2016.
She signed a multimillion naira endorsement deal with Elephant Gold Rice in 2014
Mercy have had several controversial issues brought out by several media houses partining to her marital life.
Mercy was scolded by many social media fans in 2015 after setting her young daughter up for modeling job she was also supported by many fans.