In December 2018, the social media space went agog with the news that Nollywood actress, Mercy Aigbe had just built herself a multimillion naira mansion.
Despite being a household name when it comes to the movie industry especially the Yoruba sector with a recent crossover into the English speaking sector of the industry not to mention having a multimillion beauty and fashion business, MagDivas, many still wondered where the mother of two had gotten the money to build such a lavish orifice.
Speculations began and the rumourmongers were quick to latch onto some previous scandals that have trailed the actress. Before long, reports were circulating on blog and online media platforms that the governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode funded the construction of the building. The rumor was that the screen star was alleged in a torrid affair with the politician and of course this was the kind of story the vultures like to feed on. Who could blame them? It was a more interesting story than a hardworking woman reaping the benefits of her relentless toil.
Aigbe’s travail is but one of the many that have been attributed to many celebrities who are widely speculated not to fund their lavish lifestyles through entertainment. While some choose to keep mute about the allegations leveled against them, allowing the fans and non-fans alike be the judge, jury, and advocate, some others are quick to refute the accusations against them.
In the case of Aigbe, she took to social media to address the rumors being peddled against her and pointed out some of the other businesses that afford her the lifestyle she has. Veteran comedian, Alibaba was one of the few celebrities who came to Aigbe’s post. In a lengthy Instagram post, he backed Aigbe’s claim of not depending on movies alone to make money while also sharing a piece of advice to budding actresses.
“I told all these I-wanna-be-an-actresses… that the stars they see shine because of the other businesses. The movie is not funding their lifestyles. The movies are a labour of love and passion… it pays but they make more from other hustles”.
Thankful to have a celebrity supporter to back up her claim, Aigbe quickly responded to the post and wrote,
“This post on Bros Ali Baba @alibabagcfr has just been brought to my attention. First, I thank him for this shoutout… Thank you, Uncle
Ali, God bless you. In this world of consistent negativity, a word of encouragement is a light in the proverbial dark tunnel. Secondly, we all need to know that many of us in the entertainment industry are doing lots more outside the industry. Many of us have clothing lines, make-up lines, real estate investment, car dealership, a food company, and the likes.
The fact that you don’t know some of these things does not mean they don’t exist. When the men open doors to new houses, they are doing well or have thriving side hustle but when we, their female counterparts do great things men must have done it for us. We need to teach our young people (male and female) how to give women their DUE. We are women, We are powerful, We have dreams and work hard as much as men. Women don’t need men to validate them.
Likewise, men don’t need women to validate their manliness. Success is not gender based. You make of your life what you choose to make of it. For me, I do art for passion and Business to survive. Once again God bless you sir @alibabagcfr ….. May we finally come to the light that women own and run businesses too (whether they are on social media or not)…….
Compliments of the Season.”
Despite this exchange which can be backed up by facts and evidence, the question that still remains on the lips of many is, do artists actually make their fortune from other businesses?