She is one of the ingenious innards in the Nollywwod, the theatrical and delectable damsel from Kogi State. Mercy Johnson reportedly sounded very angry recently. Her anger spanned across the peddled gossip that one Emeka Duru who happened to be the Production Manager in a film she acted in, titled, “The Maid”, was going everywhere selling her integrity that he was the first to give her the first job – “The Maid”. But vigorously, she denied him, saying that he didn’t give her the first job and had not given her any before. Mercy distanced Duru, saying that he wasn’t the owner of “The Maid” and didn’t own “The Maid” and had no decision in the crew that chosed who acted in the movie and not. “The Made”, she said, was Kenneth Nnebue’s film, a film that not less than 480 girls participated in the audition.
Like many people who are intensely fearful of poverty, this Nollywood ingénue said that she loves money so much, because she likes and wants to be comfortable. But, she has a strong different view about money in a relationship. To her, true love should come first in a relationship. But, she swiftly reiterated that relationship should not be all about dating.
It is a known issue today that many Nigerian girls, but most especially, Nollywood actresses see dating as one of those world’s enterprise. To them, it is no finance, no romance. But, Mercy though had agreed that dating should not be everything, but money shouldn’t of course be the basis of everything. Sounding clerically like a maddened Pentecostal clergy, she admonished that it is time people began to appreciate their dates: by valuing the ‘person’ in their partners, their charisma, innate qualities and allow their spirits to accept the person first, and should stop concluding first with their imaginations.
What many interviewees had shied away from, Mercy Johnson did not. She revealed how she met her fiancé: Odi. She said that it was at a salon; he came to wait for her at the salon he was intimated that she usually goes to. She said that Odi is not the first who had made advances to her; she had received more than enough text messages on her cell phone from men. Buttressing her point, one of the text messages reads: “Oh! I just had a dream and Jesus Christ said you are my wife”.
She confessed that as a celeb, it’s very difficult to pick a partner when admirers send such text message, but she has find solace in Odi. She said that her fiancé never told her that he saw “Jesus” that moved him to her, but she likened everything that has brought them together to God.
This is coming from Mercy Johnson now that many Nollywood actresses allow make-belief things run into their heads instead of allowing the reality. Many of the actresses are sacrificing love on the altar for money and hardly fall in love. Mercy is not comfortable with that belief, because out there, she said; there are a host of lovers out to showcase their loves. She lengthened her point, saying that she came to realise that everyone has a lover one day that she was driving and saw a blind woman that’s pregnant; what she saw convinced her that there is true love. It is not easy for any successful person to tell the world the source of his or her power, but Mercy did. Mercy said that the Baba who does her “Juju” in Nollywood will never fail her and fade. She confessed that the Baba will always be with her for as far as she lives and that she is not going anywhere.
Hear her: “Yes o! (I use Juju). There is Baba somewhere. The only Baba that me, I know, is up there and you know he says when He begins to bless somebody people will begin to ask what is happening. My Baba’s own (Juju) will not fade o!”
The lovely Mercy loves her Odi more than words could possibly say, but not that she goes around telling people about him, she said, she only mentions him when she wants to prove a point in a discourse about relationship. Mercy that has grown thick skin about people’s allegation that she sleeps with men in the Nollywood to get roles, said that she now wore this skin because her fiancé is not complaining; the unbridled mouths could have caused her nervesquake if her Odi is complaining; but since he has blinded his eyes, people don’t bother her anymore. On a thought, Mercy said that if people are saying that she’s sleeping with all the big boys in the Nollywood to get roles that, is she as well sleeping with all her fans to buy her films? Though, she didn’t deny the fact that she gets scripts a lot, but disagreed that she is the ‘number one’ in the Nollywood, because she hadn’t got to where she’s walking to.
Against that backdrop, since she is still ‘walking’, an observer was keen to understand if she has walked out of her purported marriage as was awash on media, and, she said: “Nobody walked away. I heard about the August 17th gist and the August 27th gist and it’s funny. I know that I mentioned that I am engaged, but I didn’t give a date.”
Odimegwu Onwumere, Poet/Author and Media Consultant, is the Founder of Poet Against Child Abuse (PACA), Rivers State.