Toyin Abraham celebrates rivals Funke Akindele, Mercy Aigbe

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Toyin Abraham, Mercy Aigbe and Funke Akindele

By Taiwo Okanlawon and Oluwapelumi Oluwayemi

Renowned Nollywood actress Toyin Abraham has reached out to her fellow filmmaker, Funke Akindele, and actress Mercy Aigbe in an act of reconciliation.

Known as fierce competitors in the Nigerian box office arena, Abraham reflected on the history of their rivalry in a lengthy Instagram message.

She acknowledged that their relationship had been strained by gossip and competition, stemming from their roots in the Yoruba movie industry and continuing into the Nigerian-English film industry.

However, Abraham expressed a lesson she recently learnt, recognizing that competition doesn’t have to breed negativity.

She praised Akindele for her achievements, particularly for breaking records and inspiring other women in the industry.

Despite their past rivalry, Abraham celebrated Akindele’s success and expressed gratitude for the motivation it provided to strive for greater accomplishments.

She wrote, “In the English industry, Aunty Funke and I continued the rivalry sort of. It pitted our fans against each other. We are two competitive Virgo women, we love to win and sometimes in that process, we splash dirt and mud. But with time, age, and more wisdom, I have realized we can compete without being negatively competitive.

“Aunty Funke, I celebrate you for showing us what is possible. You are a winner. You sold over 1B, you made it possible for other women to dream. You ran us street with that 1B o, this year, many of us will move to 1B and we pray God makes you bigger. Thank you for making great movies and selling them like your life depends on it. You taught other women to hustle harder.

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“I had set records in box office records, Aunty came and beat them, today I am happy because she has challenged me to set higher goals. Sis, let’s compliment each other even in competition at the box office, I owe you one post in December (only 1 o, I need to sell market…Lol). I pray that God will make all your dreams come true. I admire you and wish you all the best.”

Also offering an olive branch for peace and healthy competition in the Nollywood industry to Mercy Aigbe.

Mercy Aigbe who launched her maiden edition in December 2023 with ‘Ada Omo Daddy’ has carved a niche for herself with the hope to surpass her current feat in her next cinematic production.

Toyin Abraham wrote: “I want to celebrate two people in Nollywood. Events in time past try to make us competitors and we all know how fierce competition can be in the industry.

“The competition often leads to people in the industry taking sides thereby creating an ecosystem of competitors and tear-him or her Down syndrome.

“Please it is time we celebrate ourselves more rather than compete with ourselves. We need to create an ecosystem of more successful people so we can all have more capability to create more successful people.

“@realmercyaigbe, I celebrate the woman that you are becoming. You came to the boxoffice in December as a first-timer, and you proved your mettle. You gave it your all. You have contributed to the story of strong women in Nollywood. You made many women proud.

“Thank you for writing a better story for womanhood when the world is busy writing a different narrative about women. You are a bonafide star. If you come to the cinema in December, I owe you one post (Lol, you know I need to sell market o).

“Thank you for not making the competition in December negative. May God bless you more. BTW, you are doing a wonderful job on Michelle and Juwon, and may God keep you and your family. With Love T!”

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