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Mercy Aigbe-Gentry Opens Up: Her AMVCA Dress, Hopes her 2nd Marriage will be Her Last & Says Yoruba Actors Should be Given More Respect



6. Mercy Aigbe Gentry (1)In a recent chat with Punch, Mercy Aigbe-Gentry opened up about the Yoruba movie industry – why they should be considered part of Nollywood, she will never stop working on Yoruba movies, her personal life and her recent AMVCA nomination and show-stopping dress.

Why did you kick off your career in the Yoruba movie sector?
I didn’t choose to be in the Yoruba movie sector. I started out in Nollywood and I featured in several soap operas and movies. My career took a different direction when a Yoruba film producer cast me in his movie titled Ara. The movie became a hit and I soon began getting scripts from other Yoruba filmmakers and I couldn’t turn them down because I had just launched my career. In no time, I became a household name in the Yoruba film genre.

In between this time, I worked with Lancelot Oduwa-Imasuen in his movie titled The Other Side of the Coin.

You recently spoke about Yoruba movie practitioners being discriminated against. Why do you think this is so?
I really don’t know why and it has been on for a very long time. However, we have started to get better recognition unlike what obtained in the industry four years ago. The gap is already being bridged and I think it is only a matter of time. I think we Yoruba actors also need to let people know that we are also a part of Nollywood and demand to be respected like our English counterparts. Our works will speak for us at the end of the day. I think it is about time we are respected, so the gap that currently exists can be closed.

Do you think the Yoruba movie genre has better actors?
Our counterparts in the English genre have always had fantastic stories and actors. I think Nollywood should be one and devoid of any form of disparity or segregation. The term Nollywood in my opinion means movies made in Nigeria irrespective of the medium. I am also featuring in a Hausa movie which will be released soon.

Why are actors in the Yoruba sector tagged illiterates?
This is one area where I have a problem with people’s perception of Yoruba actors. Many people think we are uneducated and can’t speak good English. I think people are not informed, so whenever someone tells me they are not aware I speak proper English, I simply laugh it off.

In the last few years, you have attained new heights in your career. Some of your fans are of the opinion that you no longer fit into the Yoruba genre.

Some people write to me and request that I should feature in more English movies because they believe that only then will I gain more acceptance and recognition. My fans believe I’m not being appreciated in my sector.

Will you eventually stop acting Yoruba movies?
I can never stop acting Yoruba movies because that industry made me who I am today. As a matter of fact, a lot of people don’t know I am from Edo State. When I began featuring in Yoruba films, I wasn’t speaking the language flawlessly, so I had to learn on the job. My industry is very accommodating and that is why I would always be grateful to them for accepting me and giving me a platform to excel. I also produced a movie titled Osas in order to connect with my Benin roots.

On her Personal Life & Acting
How have you being able to keep your home?

It hasn’t been easy and this is actually my second marriage. Before I got married to my present husband, I asked God to make this my second and last marriage because I want to stay married. Our marriage is under scrutiny all the time and a lot of people just want to find faults even when there are no faults. My previous marriage taught me to be more patient, tolerant and prayerful.

Is he comfortable with the romantic scenes you take part in?
Yes, he is and I actually kiss in my movies. I was already an actress before I met my husband and he goes through my scripts. Sometimes, he chastises for not kissing well in a movie. I could be on set for a week or more and he does not make an issue out of it. I know I married my friend and he is very understanding.

Tell us more about your AMVCA outfit that sent social media into frenzy?
People haven’t stopped talking about my dress. So many people aren’t even aware that a young, creative Nigerian fashion designer made the outfit. We shopped for the fabric together, agreed on the style and God made it a hit. I arrived at the award venue with a team and a back-up dress even though we had settled on a dress. The outfit earned me more followers and some people have even requested that my designer make the exact dress for them as their second wedding outfit.



    March 27, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    Dat dress is actually quite awesome

  2. Busarni

    March 27, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    But girl, most of the Yoruba actors cant speak English na or is it the subtitles?
    My dear I haven’t heard funke akindele, bimbo akintola, jide Kosoko etc complaining. They also feature in Yoruba movies.
    Check yourself and can you stop ranting about your amvca dress. Looking closely now; the dress is just bleh! People that have real fashion sense will see that the dress isn’t all that. Local ti take over …..

    • Ene

      March 27, 2016 at 2:56 pm

      How is she ranting?Isn’t this an interview?They asked her a queston and she answered?

    • Ife

      March 27, 2016 at 2:58 pm

      So you know them in real life? Because I don’t understand how you are making this claim. Even if they can’t speak English that means they don’t deserve respect? Half the actors in English Nollywood movies are extremely stiff partially because they cannot act and partially because English is not their first language, they are not comfortable speaking it. What Mercy said is true though, not just Yoruba actors but actors that act in our indigenous language industries are treated as though they are somehow less important than those that act in the English speaking industry. Don’t let an inferiority complex kill you as everything to you is just local.

    • Busarni

      March 27, 2016 at 3:23 pm

      Madam calm down before you pop an artery. It,s not that serious. Madam mercy, happy easter but my opinion is my opinion.

    • Haha

      March 27, 2016 at 10:26 pm

      When them don finish you na then you go claim say “it’s not that serious” lmao!!!

    • Bola

      March 27, 2016 at 11:52 pm

      Busarni, if anything you’re the one to be told to calm down. I’m not even a fan of Mercy Aigbe but your comment was off and totally unnecessary.

    • AlabamaUncut Blog

      March 27, 2016 at 3:16 pm

      Sweetheart, it’s called fitting, and how she confidently carried herself.

    • Corolla

      March 27, 2016 at 5:31 pm

      They asked her about the AMVCA, and she responded. You are the one ranting unnecessarily.

    • Soneonecute

      March 27, 2016 at 7:24 pm

      But really I don’t know how English language has become our standards for a good movie. We enjoy Indian movies with subtitles, even Chinese movies. So she didn’t even have to justify any thing. I love Yoruba movies so much, they are more real and down to earth in their stories. It’s not a big deal if they don’t speak good English. Hey know their craft and that’s what matters.

    • Another 316

      March 28, 2016 at 8:57 am

      You’re just being a Hater, get a life

  3. Vanessa

    March 27, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    I had decided not to speak on this her AMVCA look since everyone else see nothing wrong in it. That dress is too long for her, about 3 inches need to be taken off the length, you can have a train at the back of a dress, but what is all that material wasting in front for? How was she even able to walk in it? The hair and the makeup scream drag-queenish, the hair is TOO big! I know i’ll be tagged a hater, but i don’t even care anymore, i’m not coming back to read your replies, so don’t bother. This look is as trashy as it gets. In fact, i don’t understand why Nigerian women will wake up one morning and decide to look like drag queens. Stop copying Kim Kardashian, she’s not classy, neither is she a fashionista.

    • Squansh

      March 27, 2016 at 3:47 pm

      Vanessa wu u don epp?

    • Nekky

      March 27, 2016 at 4:49 pm

      I’m with you on this Vanessa. The hair didn’t do justice to her look. Too big and tack for my liking. Thought i was the only one who didn’t feel her look that night. #myopinion

    • bruno

      March 27, 2016 at 7:36 pm

      @vanessa I said the same thing and they insulted my life, @ ada nnewi even called me poor and said I like on the outskirts of lagos in a house that doesn’t have air conditioning. lol

      I said it, her amvca look is a drag queen look. the makeup is excessive and the hair is drag queen. the transparent material around her chest area make her look old and cheap.

    • concerned

      March 27, 2016 at 8:13 pm

      Aunty Vanessa, can I kiss you right now? The entire look was Vegas-yy! You know, Vegas Show Girl meets Jersey Pageant Queen meets Snooki. Any true fashionista will know the difference between this and high fashion. It’s just that you and Busarni have balls some of us don’t have because if I had said it that day, they would’ve cursed me and my entire generation.

    • Bola

      March 27, 2016 at 11:57 pm

      I like her interview, she spoke well, and I don’t think she was ranting like bitter Busarni said. However, I agree with your comment on her AMVCA look. I think people blew it out of proportion (her slaying her whole-outfit); but that’s just my opinion. Yes, she looked nice and the dress was gorgeous, but her make up was too much and the wig was quite hideous. She looked good but it was exaggerated.

  4. Karashika

    March 27, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    Nollywood is actually 90% Igbo actors speaking In English… I don’t see them begging Yoruba actors to include them in their movies. Now everyone wants to be part of nollywood after making fun of d industry for years, soon “huausawood” or whatever will start asking to be included. Stay in your Lane!

    Ps: that dress is ugly as sin. Who is gasping this lady up. Loool

    • Tosin

      March 27, 2016 at 7:11 pm

      You should check them out too. <3 some ladies whose names I forget, and there's Ali Nuhu (handsome for life walllllahi) and Sani Danja.

    • nene

      March 27, 2016 at 7:37 pm

      biko tell them. if u speak english, hollywood will welcome u. and hollywood is not 90% igbo. there are many people from the south south and middle belt. it’s more like 60% igbo.

    • Belema

      March 28, 2016 at 12:07 am

      Why do you talk like an illiterate? Who’s begging who for features? Where did you read in this interview that she was begging or anyone was begging to be a part of the English part of the Nigerian movie industry? Comprehension is a big problem for many of you. Some of you are just unnecessarily bitter and idiotic.
      And 90% of the Actors in the English speaking Industry are Igbo? Really?
      Bimbo Akintola, Ekpeyong, Richard Mofe Damijo, Same Dede, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, Ramsey Noah, Stella Damascus, Omoni Oboli, Jide Kosoko, Bukky Ajayi, Olu Jacobs, Ivie Okujaiye, Joke Silva, Tonto Dikeh, Monalisa Chinda, Blessing Effiong, Adesua Etomi, Fred Amata, Ibinabo Fiberesima, Matilda Obaseki, just to name a few are Igbos? Smh. You guys just create unnecessary chaos. Majority are NOT Igbos, it is well split among different ethnicities. Unsure where you got your ridiculous and inaccurate analysis from. Sit down!

  5. Tosin

    March 27, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    where can i watch her work?

    • Chiclero

      March 27, 2016 at 3:37 pm

      You can watch some on YouTube “Yoruba movies with mercy signs” that could help your search.

    • Toese

      March 27, 2016 at 4:32 pm

      Check out:
      ‘Iyawo Temi’
      ‘Omo Elepa’
      ‘Return of Jenifa’
      a ti be be lo

  6. Lou

    March 27, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    Nice interview,however it was probably a mistake but she didn’t mention the young Designer’s name, I’m sure the reference would have helped his / her hustle.

    • Tunmi

      March 27, 2016 at 9:57 pm

      I’m with you. Her mentioning it in this interview would have helped. Unless this is just a section of a longer part

  7. Squad

    March 27, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    Lol i dnt knw my own is this dress isnt even all that. You say ur opinion and pple say u re hating. This dress isnt even all that comapred to wat we ve seen on red carpets before. The dress is just well tailored and fitting other than that the hair, makeup even the purse all wrong abeg. Real fashion critics will knw this dress is nt all that and the hype surrounded however kudos to the designer…well tailored and fitting. The whole thing just off, wrong hair and purse sef

  8. Dinma Caruso

    March 27, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    Mercy is one of the few Yoruba actresses to have carved a niche in her sector. She deserves to be put on Thisday page, alongside other Nollywood actresses that put on their style A-Game. She went about airing her grievances the wrong way, but she should have been recognised. About the Yorubawood, there’s a disturbing pattern in their movies, and their stories lack depth are centred on a particular storyline : Voodoo and sorcery. A change in their plot in their storyline would savage their image. My two cents.

    • nene

      March 27, 2016 at 7:38 pm

      she is not in hollywood. funke akindele didn’t even make the list. this list was for the english speaking genre. besides the yoruba actors always say they’re not in nollywood.

    • Belema

      March 28, 2016 at 12:10 am

      Nene, please shut up! Jeez, you hardly ever make sense.

  9. Aduke

    March 27, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    @Busarni, show us your [email protected], madam Fashion police, fashion designer of the century, madam general knowledge make ur dress let’s compare,@karashika, ur comment is just like ur name.. Haters Oshi, if u re complaining about Mercy’s outfit, what will u say about Sister INI Edo. Mercy is a mother slayer when it comes to fashion. For a married woman with kids looking up to her as their role model, this is is the best outfit for her. Moreover, she is right about the discrimination in Nollywood.

  10. Gorgeous

    March 27, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    I actually prefer Yoruba movies to so called English movies. Yoruba movies have a better script, better acting and better effort put into their craft. If I have to spend a few hours on my life watching a movie, I will rather not watch vacuous nonsense.

    • nene

      March 27, 2016 at 7:39 pm

      whatever we have heard. every yoruba movie has been told before by the english nollywood, when they used to do good nigerian movies in the 90s, so nothing new there.

    • Gorgeous

      March 28, 2016 at 12:11 am

      Yoruba movies are better. And Yorubawood is the oldest film industry in Nigeria. Which is the fact. Nollywood was non existent when Ogunde and films like Yemi my lover came on the scene. So please be careful when you tell lies. Not everyone here is a kid. Yoruba movie scripts are better thought out and have more substance than the so called Nollywood. Truth is bitter

    • Belema

      March 28, 2016 at 12:15 am

      I’m from the South South, what can you say about your own Igbo Industry? Every Yoruba movie has been told by English Nollywood? You’re incredibly brainless. You best shut up before the Yoruba folks bury you. Their industry is the best indigenous industry in Nigeria. Even the Hausa industry have more content than you guys; Igbo industry. Forever talking like you’re reasoning from your ass. You just like drama.

    • Luqman

      March 28, 2016 at 1:15 am

      You are entitled to your opinion, but I don’t actually agree with the notion that Yoruba movies are the repetition of English speaking films in the 90’s. As trivia as this issue is, something must be clarified. Do you know the history of Yoruba films to reach the conclusion? do you know the inception of cinema in Nigeria? Yoruba movies practitioners like Herbert Ogunde and Moses Olaiya were actually transitioning theater art group into the big screen we have today. Even before the existence of Mainframe Production, there were Isho Pepper, Oyin Adejobi, and Baba Sala that did Oru Moru that made him run into bankruptcy. This is why Yoruba movies are always real cos there is a foundation. The known fact is that Nollywood is actually taken to another level by the Igbo producers by making the industry notorious ones, but this doesn’t mean that we have take the credit away from the pioneers.
      I am a fan of Indian, Chinese (most especially anything Jacky Chan), South African series (code mixing), Koreans etc cos their scripts are made in their dialects which make it possible for them to be real That is why I like films like Igodo, Nneka the pretty Serpent compared to the Mr lover boy (Ramsey Noah and Genevieve) we did see often. That is the reason why I will always prefer Yoruba movies.

    • Luqman

      March 28, 2016 at 2:46 am

      Orun Moru.
      We have to take the credit.


    March 27, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    Her dress is elegant.But she looks like yemoja standing.

  12. Iheoma

    March 27, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    My only problem is the hair.

  13. bruno

    March 27, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    @vanessa I said the same thing and they insulted my life, @ ada nnewi even called me poor and said I like on the outskirts of lagos in a house that doesn’t have air conditioning. lol

    I said it, her amvca look is a drag queen look. the makeup is excessive and the hair is drag queen. the transparent material around her chest area make her look old and cheap.

  14. nnenne

    March 27, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    Correct me if I’m wrong.
    There’s Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa genre actors., right?

    They all deserve respect. Not just Yoruba genre/ speaking actors.

    The English genre actors , were the originators of what is known as Nollywood today. They deserve every respect and attention they are getting.

    • Olanma

      March 28, 2016 at 12:16 am

      You clearly have a problem with the Yoruba tribe.

  15. Lola

    March 27, 2016 at 8:16 pm

    Yoruba films are better than the English films un Nolywood

  16. Lola

    March 27, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    Yoruba films are better than the English films in Nollywood.

  17. Nneka

    March 27, 2016 at 8:22 pm

    The Nigerian designer really tried

  18. mz titilitious

    March 27, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    Well each and everyone of us are entitle to our opinions, I like the dress it’s fitting an elegant, if any one thinks she looks like a drag queen o whatever na ur opinion! All the fashion mofos screamin here we ain’t even seein a pix on their avatar Mtweew. Una go hide under ur phone and critize other peeps. Shw ur face and let’s see ur fashion sense. Shior!

    • mz titilitious

      March 27, 2016 at 8:56 pm


  19. Suzy

    March 27, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    ??. I’m not even Nigerian and even I can smell the tribalism from Nene! Lol

    • Olanma

      March 28, 2016 at 12:21 am

      It’s sad, she’s pathetic.

  20. nnenne

    March 27, 2016 at 10:27 pm

    @Lola… That, my friend is very subjective.
    ” Better” is relative!

    • Susan

      March 28, 2016 at 12:23 am

      That my dear is her opinion. Just like you have your own ridiculous opinion. Sit down, please.

  21. Ejiro

    March 28, 2016 at 12:23 am

    Maybe becos it was white with stones dats y dere was so much hype around it, it was just plain, and the English nollywood is already getting on international waves, this day had their reason we never asked them Wat was d criteria and all that anyways I can’t kill myself over dis issue any more

  22. ty

    March 28, 2016 at 1:44 am

    please yoruba movie are more interesting than all this nollywood movies that are now copying Ghanaian. even my foreign friends ask to watch yoruba movies all the time. nollywood movies always fall flat and no originality in their movies.

  23. nchewi

    March 28, 2016 at 4:35 am

    its a beautiful dress.shes cute./ppl get wahala o

  24. moh

    March 28, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    Serious [email protected], fenx a lot, u jes said it all, n 4 miss nene, pls get ur info ryt b4 postin cos pple r readin, ok?. Kudos 2 our yoruba theatre practitioners, if not 4 u, I’m sure thr won’t even be Nollywood.

  25. Mostest

    March 29, 2016 at 3:28 am

    At the end of the day, will an international artist ever feature in a yoruba movie? Probably not. What are the story lines? Jazz, husband snatching, ghosts looking left to cross the road or answering phones. Errrrr, NO! The subtitles is a whole issue for another day, but that is the major reason people think they are local. Truth be told, they are local. Didn’t one of the yOruba actresses just break up with her boyfriend because she put MCM and he thought she was begging another man then kidnapped her? Lmao. Just too messy

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