By Tony Ogaga and Calista Nwankwo
Delectable actress, Mercy Aminu is one of the artistes defining the movie landscape in the nation’s capital, Abuja. The model-turned actress has starred in the in movies Drift Beyond Conscience, Open Field and featured in some drama series on MNET among others. Aminu is also the producer of the Hausa Language programme, Terengiwa. In this chat with Entertainer, Mercy opens up on the tragic loss of her mentor and actor, Adeyemi Collins, her love life and career.
You look beautiful, what is the secret?
[Laughter] Beauty comes from the inner part of you; it comes from within especially when your plans fall into place. When that happens, it reflects on your physical outlook and you radiate beauty. It’s not as if I changed my cream, I have been using the same soap and cream ever since.
Who is the guy in your life right now?
No guy; there is no guy in my life right now.
Is it that you are being selective or you don’t have time for romance?
I’m not being selective, I’m taking my time. I have had some relationships that didn’t work out. I once told you about my ex. Since we broke up, it has been difficult letting another guy into my life. I tried but it just didn’t work so I said to myself, ‘since relationship isn’t working right now, let me just focus on my career but along the line, if the right guy comes along, fine.’ I know he will come. It doesn’t matter how long it will take but I need to build my career; no man wants a liability for a wife. I don’t depend on guys.
What are the qualities you are looking out for in a man?
Physical qualities are not what I am after and I’m not going to repeat the ‘every lady cliché that ‘I need a God-fearing man.’ Reason? Personally, I’m God-fearing and if any guy comes into my life today, we’ll first be friends before I think of dating him.
Are you saying you can marry an ugly man?
Yes, if he has a good heart but he must have prospects. That is what I look out for in a guy, prospects.
So, what is new?
Mercy Tawa Aminu is still pushing hard, doing normal everyday jobs. I had done a couple of jobs recently. Talking about the last job I did, my character was quite challenging. I played the role of a strict mother of a 17-year-old girl. Talk about Sigmund Freud’s Electra complex and you talk about my daughter. The girl actually fell in love with her dad. The story is a beautiful one and the character I played was quite challenging. The very first time I saw the script, I never thought I could play the role, but after reading through, I said to myself ‘Mercy, you are an actor, you should be versatile.’
So, what were your challenges?
The fact that I had to be very strict was challenging. Naturally, I am not that strict but I was extremely harsh on her. I think if I have a daughter, I would be her friend. You need to watch the movie to know what I mean. I was really hard on the girl and Browny Ibuego, my co-actor was really helpful flowing along. He carried his character maturedly. After the first day I started seeing myself as a wife and mother of an adult. However, it was not the marriage thing that was my problem but the fact that I was the mother of a teenager.
How do you interprete your script?
I immerse myself in the character and cease being Mercy Aminu. There was a part I was meant to cry and it happened that I just had a mood swing after I remembered my late mentor, Collins Adeyemi and tears rolled down my cheeks.
What would you remember him for?
He was my mentor, the one who pushed me to the point I’m today. He met me when I was much younger, working as a model. We got talking and he saw one or two things in me and told me I would be a great actress. So, when I started, he was so happy.
How did you take the news of his death?
It broke me; I couldn’t believe it (crying)! Three days before he died I was supposed to see him but we couldn’t hook up. In fact, the last time we spoke, he said he was busy that he would call back. He told me his blood pressure was very high and he was going to the hospital. I called later and he said ‘Princess, let me call back’ but he never did. Little did I know it would be the last time. I would speak to him. I waited at the garden where we normally have our AGN meetings but he never turned up so I went home. It was when I got home that I saw on the AGN whatsApp group chat that his picture had been posted with a message that he had just died in his house.
What was he to you?
He was my mentor. He was someone I could boldly tell everything without holding back. The funniest thing was that I never told him about my ex after we broke up because he would be angry and would have asked me to go back to him. He loved the guy because he thought the guy was pushing me to succeed.
What did you learn from his death?
Not to procrastinate is one big lesson I learnt. I could have seen him on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday but because I procrastinated, I never did. I am happy I met him. Though he lived a short life, he impacted a lot of lives.
What project are you working on?
I’ m working on a talk show, Conquer with Tawa Aminu . Aside that I’m doing something for my state but I am not going to let the cat out of the bag yet.
It is starting very soon.