BEING A SECOND WIFE WAS NEVER MY DREAM, BUT_ _ _ _ Actress Mercy Aigbe
Why my husband didn't want me to have my baby abroad
She was one of the celebrities that graced a reception party organized on Sunday, October 10, by a Lagos-based magazine in honour of three respected actors in the Yoruba home movie industry: Yinka Quadri, Taiwo Hassan and Abbey Lanre. It was obvious that a number of the guests wanted to behold her, especially because she had been out of the social circle for some time, following the birth of her baby recently. Indeed, Mercy Aigbe, an actress and producer, did not disappoint her numerous fans on the occasion; she was outstandingly good. In this interview with BABATUNDE SULAIMAN, this mother of two talks about motherhood, love life, her first failed marriage and other interesting issues
Congratulations on the birth of your child.
(Smiles) Oh! Thank you very much.
So, how will you describe your experience given the fact that the baby came several years after you had your first child?
Yes, you are right. As you said, I had my second baby several years after my first child. So, it is as if I am starting all over again. My first daughter is nine plus, so one tends to forget what it is like to be a mother. But the birth of my new baby seems to be bringing back some memories; so, it is as if I am just starting. It is not easy, but (pauses)…
Certainly, you must have nursed some fears, especially before you went into labour. Could you recall some of the thoughts in your mind then?
My fear actually bordered on what would happen to me during labour. This is because doctors usually say that if you put too much gap between your kids, it will be as if you are going through the whole process for the first time. But I give God the glory that everything went well.
To me, it is as if you are too much in a hurry to come back to the social circle. So, what did you miss most while you were away?
No, it is not as if I am so much in a hurry to come back to the social scene, but I just feel it is time for me to go back to my job.
Is this your first outing then?
Then, these people (Yinka Quadri, Taiwo Hassan and Abbey Lanre) must be very dear to you.
Yes, they are. Yinka Quadri, Abbey Lanre and Taiwo Hassan (Ogogo) are big names in the movie industry. Besides, I played the role of Yinka Quadri's wife in the first Yoruba movie I did when I came into the industry in 2002. For me, it was a very pleasant experience. Yinka Quadri, whom we call chairman, was so nice to me and I didn't feel intimidated in any way. I think that is how the big names in the industry should always encourage the people coming behind, rather than trying to push them down. So, Yinka Quadri is a complete role model. The way he treated me on that movie set really has always made me respect him very muchThis is a man I had been looking up to even before I came into the industry. So, for me to play his wife in a movie when I was still new in the industry means a lot. So, that's why I am here tonight to honour him and the two other great actors.
Have you also been featuring in movies?
Yes, I have done about six movies since I came back to the industry.
I know you have once been in a failed marriage, so what will you do to keep your new marriage?
Well, most of the time, when you even put in your best, it still doesn't work fine. So, the first thing I have done is to put my marriage in God's hand because I believe that whatever is in God's hand will never fail. Also, I have decided that whatever my husband wants is what I will do. However, I just give God the glory for the kind of husband He has given me.
How much of him did you know before you got married to him?
I would say I know a lot about him before I got married to him. I saw some qualities that I actually wanted in my kind of husband in him: He is understanding, mature and tolerant. He also knows me very much.
But he has a wife already. So, were you not bothered?
No, I wasn't.
Really? But I know being a second wife couldn't have been part of your childhood dreams.
Actually, it wasn't part of my dreams. But this is fate at work again. Actually, where most people are in life is not where they planned to be. What I know is that whatever fate thrusts upon your life, you have to make the best use of it. It is not as if I actually wanted to be a second wife and all that, but when I met him, I fell in love with him because he is really my dream man.
But it is strange that until the news of your pregnancy broke out, both of you were always denying you were in love.
I don't think I ever denied being in love with him, did I? I mean I never denied my affair with him. Probably, I didn't grant an interview, saying I was dating Larry; but I didn't deny being in a relationship with him. I don't think I ever denied him. The reason I didn't grant an interview talking about our relationship was because I wanted my relationship to be on a solid footing before it became public knowledge. When you make too much noise at the early stage of your relationship, you are invariably giving people the opportunity to pry into your affair. I was silent about it for me to be able to solidify everything. That was what I did and it worked out well for me.
What frank advice did your parents give you when they knew you were going out with him?
It is somehow complicated! This is because (pauses)… I don't know how to say it, but it is complicated. No, really, it is somehow complicated and this is the only thing I can tell you. But when my parents actually found out that I wanted to marry him, I had to wait till I knew that he was actually the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. Of course, they were like, 'Why do you want to marry someone that is…', but I made them realize that the first person I was married to was a single guy, but it didn't work out. We even went to school together. So, I had to make my parents understand that it is not a matter of whether or not he has a wife. So, being married to a single or married person doesn't determine the success or otherwise of a marriage. So, I just made them understand that this is the person I want to spend the rest of my life with.
But your father wouldn't have liked it.
Yes, initially, he didn't like it, but later, he had to support me. This is because parents, generally, want the best for their children; and since they believe that this is what will make me happy, they gave me their support.
Are you so pleased with what fate has given you, so to say?
At first, I was like, 'God, why did this have to happen to me?' But today, I just give God the glory. That is why it is said that every disappointment is a blessing. So, no matter what you are going through, you should always have it at the back of your mind that there will always be a light at the end of the tunnel; and I am a living testimony. In fact, where I am today is the best thing that could ever happen to me.
It was reported that his first wife fought you when she found out about your affair with her husband. How will you react to this?
Why would she fight me? She couldn't have fought me because we have always related very well. In fact, her kids love me very much.
Any time I travel and I am in Dublin, I stay with her.
So, she's not in Nigeria.
Yes, she is not in Nigeria. She is in Dublin, but she comes home regularly.
Some people say you married him because of his wealth.
I am not poor! Why would I marry a man because of his money? I am a very hard-working woman. I work for my money. So, I married him because I love him. I work for my own money and I make my own money.
Why did you choose to have your baby in Nigeria?
What happened was that my baby is actually my husband's first son. In all, we have four girls; so, my baby, Olajuwon, is our first son. So, my husband actually wanted to be the first person to receive his son and he didn't want to travel abroad. You know, it wasn't easy, the excitement of seeing his first son and all that, and I just couldn't take that away from him.
Was he in the labour room with you?
Of course, he was the first person to see his son. He actually insisted that he wanted to be in the labour room with me. You know men now…he was anxious and all that.
Has anything changed about you since you got married?
I think my attitude to life has changed since I got married. I am more mature and responsible now. I have to cook and do some other things; and I have a lot of people who are looking up to me in the family.