I was sitting in the front seat of a bus and feeling stuffy and sweaty despite the weather. Gusts of wind sent dust spiraling, giving the streets a much needed sweep as pedestrians and hawkers rushed by, eager to make it to the safety of shelters before the water gates of heaven go burst. It began with just a few drops.
As the tiny drops hit the earth, the aromatic smell of the first rain of the year pervaded my nostrils as I hopped off the bus at Oregun bus stop, Ikeja. I had scarcely made it out of the bus when the rain burst out in fury. For an instance, I toyed with the idea of doing a detour but I changed my mind, the venue of the interview was less than 200 meters away and so I made a dash for it.
I had scarcely settled into a seat when star actress, Mercy Aigbe stepped into the reception clad in a tight fitting split orange pants and a black top that displayed a lot of cleavages. What struck me about her was that determined look in her eyes. She threw me the brightest smile I had received that day.
On the surface, she cut the image of a happy-go-lucky, carefree woman and beneath that I could perceive a lot of talent. It was exciting to know that the woman standing before me made her debut in 2006 in a flick entitled, Ara and six years later, she has emerged a major force to reckon with in Nollywood, and what’s more, she has her finger in every pie. Aside being an actress, she is also a scriptwriter and movie producer.
And you could guess her dad’s reaction. He was livid and practically disowned her. Eventually, Mercy had to get elders and uncles from her village that went to plead with her dad to take back his erring daughter. In order to finally settle the case, she bought a goat for her dad to appease him.
“He did not take it likely. He was broken hearted! He was so mad at me. To show that he meant business, he did not pay my first year’s school fees. I had to beg, I had to buy a goat to appease him according to tradition. I had some of my uncles come over to beg him and later, he came around and said, ‘anyway, in Nigeria, it’s not what you study that determines the job you do. My daughter, you can study Theatre Arts and still be my Accountant someday.’ He eventually gave me his blessings.”