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Pet names Naija Divas call themselves and why

BY Ayo Onikoyi

A ‘pet’ name is defined by most dictionaries as a name  only a loved one would use to  call a loved one while nickname is one that anyone would use, even people who are unfamiliar with that person. However, in the practical world the two go hand in glove and are often so difficult to separate.

But where are most interesting pet names to be found if not in the make-believe world of entertainment. For your reading pleasure, here are some of the pet names Nigeiran entertainment divas call themselves and why.

*Ini Edo
*Ini Edo

I was named Mimi,  after my dad’s mum— Ini Edo

Iniobong Edo Ekim who graduated from University of Calabar, Cross Rivers State and actually started acting in 2000 is no doubt a screen goddess who has a large fans base on account of her beauty and talent. She was voted as the first runner-up, behind Genevieve Nnaji, during the maiden edition of Vangaurd’s Sexiest Woman in Nollyoood in 2008.

Ini Edo says of her pet name: “ I’m called Mimi, meaning mummy. I was named after my dad’s mum. So, everyone back home calls me Mimi”.

They call me Swaggerlicious Osas or Olori Asiwaju Toh Bad — Mercy Aigbe

Stylish and beautiful Mercy Aigbe was born of Edo descent but found life and livelihood as a Yoruba actress of class and immense talent. Mercy is known for her versatility, a gift, which has seen her interpreting diverse roles with uncanny perfection even though she isn’t of any Yoruba bloodline.

“ I’m known as Swaggerlicious Osas. That’s a name I got from one of my most popular films ‘Osas’. Some people also call me Mummy J, The Diva but one of the most common ones is Olori Asiwaju Toh Bad. They call me that because my husband is called Asiwaju” she says of her pet names. Mercy Aigbe is happily married to Lanre Gentry, a successful hotelier.

They call me Sunshine because I’m always happy — Seyi Shay

Ask lovers of Nigerian music today to mention the top five female singers ruling the music scene right now and see if Seyi Shay’s name doesn’t pop up. Born Deborah Oluwaseyi Joshua in London to Nigerian parents, Seyi started her professional career in 2005 by producing three songs for the soundtrack to the Konami’s video game Crime Life: Gang Wars and recently took the Nigerian music scene by storm with her smash hits  “Irawo”, “Ragga Ragga”, and “Chairman”.

Mercy Aigbe
Mercy Aigbe

Concerning her pet names, Seyi told Potpourri she has several names she goes by, for different reasons. “The first one is Sunshine. The person that calls me that says it’s because I’m always happy and I am warm to others. There is ‘Irawo’ after my hit single ‘Irawo’ but my very first pet name is Sey-Seyi. My sister still calls my name twice like that till today” she says.

I’m Lady Boss because I work very hard — Emma Nyra
Emma Chukwugoziam Obi was born and raised in Texas, USA by her parents who both hail from Delta State. She attended Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas on a full volleyball scholarship where she completed her studies with a Bachelor of Science in Health Administration and a minor in Public Affairs.

Singing her way to stardom in the music industry through her three unforgetable singles“Ur Waist”  “Ori Mi Wu” and “Everything I Do” Emma  once said she intends to make her mark and to be the solution to a lack of strong voice coming from the femaleside. Down the line, it seems the Texan-Nigerian singer and rapper is keeping her word. On her pet names she said she gave herself the name “Lady Boss”. “ I call myself Lady Boss because I work hard to set my own goals and I work hard everyday” she offered.

I’m Mimi 007 — Mimi Orjiekwe

Effervescent and fun-loving Mimi Orjiekwe is still very much in the news over the beach birthday bash organised for her by her model/actor fiance, Charles Billion last week. Mimi is a popular face in Nollywood who operates from Enugu base of the movie industry.

Taking about her pet name Mimi said she is called Mimi 007, a kind of female James Bond, who is smart and sharp. “I’m called Mimi 007 because I tend to move fast,, smart and sharp” she said. The Tinsel actor, Charles Billion and Mimi got engaged on July 2013 in far away Zanzibar, Tanzania and hoping to get married any time soon.

My pet name is Spanish for sugar— Maureen Cyril

Maureen Cyril has got some thing going for herself in the movie industry. Apart from her drop-dead beauty, Maureen also has an uncommon talent that has kept her name going on the lips of top producers who have continually showered her with movie roles. She’s rising fast and her acting skill needs to be seen to be believed. Her most popular films include Lady Gaga, Console My Son, Clap of Thunders and many others.

When Potpourri asked her what her pet name is, the sultry actress replied that it’s Spanish for sugar, saying her friends call her Mausucre. “ My name is Maureen and  Mau is the short form of Maureen and my friends call me Mau or Sucre which means sugar in English. So, they mixed it up to become Mausucre” she explained.


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