In this interview with Abiola Alaba Peters, Nollywood actress Mercy Johnson Okojie talks on her appointment, her darling husband and her latest production.
See excerpt of the short interview below:
You recently shot a new movie. Why is the story line on the people of Igala?
It was more of showing to them that the Special Assistant to the Governor on Entertainment, Arts and Culture is not cut out for tribalism. It is not about the name Honourable but for us to bring the entertainment sector in the state to an enviable stage that people would want to come and learn from us. So, if we had done an Igbira story, they would say, ‘Oh, yes, no wonder, that’s where she is from’. I said let’s do something from the Igala tribe. I told them to give me what they have and they were all pointing at different stories, then we picked one and made it a good film.
You had challenges producing the movie, tell us about it?
There are always lots of challenges when you are filming. For a good start, I love to appreciate those that need to be appreciated, from the Chief of Staff, to his Excellency, to the sons and daughters of Kogi State; we got a whole lot of assistant during the filming. We appreciate them all. Their support and contributions kind of made it so easy for me during the production because we all want the outside world to come and see what we celebrate as a set of people. We were so excited to have top Nollywood actors come into the State to celebrate our culture with us through the production of a good movie for the big screen. We had some tiny issues here and there during production, but we scaled through, the rest they say is history.
Did you at a point get frustrated on the project, considering the challenges?
No. I think I had so much faith on the project. I had responsibilities on my shoulders and I decided to see it till the end. Thank God for his grace.
How were you able to manage the home front and your duty roles as the SA to the Governor?
Well, it has not been easy but I’m a home girl. There are priorities. God comes first; then family and other things follow. Definitely the family has to be settled before we talk about work. When I am not happy at home, then I can’t function properly in whatsoever capacity. God, family then others; it works well for me that way. As we are here right now, if I get a call from my children’s school about anything, I will stop this interview and run off.
You seem to like your female children than the male one, and you don’t hide it, why?
Well, people tell me that a lot. But I think my son is more inclined to his dad. The guys roll then the ladies roll on their own too. The girls roll like me; you know snake can’t birth fish, but my husband is a very quiet person and my son is just like him. When it’s time to make noise, my team rolls along.
Have you change your mind about going into politics?
No! My decision still stands.
Why don’t you want to go into politics?
I can equally effect change in my community without holding any political post. My husband is already a politician but I’m not. I think it’s enough on my shoulders that I’m responsible for some actions in the State, also an influence to people as a film person. Everything you do is under scrutiny; that public eye is enough for me. I wouldn’t want to top it with political responsibilities. I can represent my community in a good light, help people, touch lives, do the best I can, and remain a good woman, but not with a political tag.
For a while now, you have been under heavy public scrutiny, how have you been coping?
It has been God. No one can undermine the media; you guys are powerful. There is no saying that I want to dodge the media because I’m always as real as it comes. So, I’ll say it’s just God.
On Instagram, you always show off your husband and yourself as the happy couple. So there is a belief that you’re out to mock those who are not as lucky as you are in marriage, what is your take on that?
My dear, I’m not in competition with anybody. I always do me because I’m just myself. You can never tell what tomorrow will bring. I’m always me, even on Social Media.
Your kids will always want mummy around, how do you cope leaving them for days?
It has not been easy, but we are in the jet age. I’m a working mother. I have to work. However, like I said earlier, it’s all about scale of preference. I give everyone and everything its own time.
Final words to your fans and the people of Kogi State?
I want to thank my fans, without them I probably won’t have this opportunity to give or contribute my bit to the world today. So I say thank you. And to my people, you guys rock, thanks for your support and prayers always. To my Governor, his Excellency, Yayah Bello, thank you for believing in me and finding me worthy to work with you.