Mercy Johnson is one of Nollywood’s favourite actresses. This beautiful woman who hails from Kogi State is happily married to Prince Odianosen Okojie and has a beautiful daughter, Purity. After being crowned as one of Nollywood’s best by many movie buffs including ace producer, Charles Novia, this extremely talented role interpreter has never ceased to work hard; with every moment; she brings something new to the table. In a recent interview she talked about her marriage and career as a whole. Excerpt
How has motherhood been with you; not forgetting your life as a single lady?
They are two different stages that can never be merged with each other because being a lady is just about you, but being a mother is like having someone’s life in your hands, the way you train her is what she grows up to become, so being a mother is much more important and taxing than being a lady.
How are you able to merge being a mother and a wife with your job?
Merging all of these with my job is not taxing, that’s where the scale of preference comes in; my family is more important when they need me, my career will wait for me to attend to my wife and mummy duties and later on, career can return and take its place.
Which time has been your happiest moment as a mother and wife so far?
It was when I got married but my happiest as a mother was when Purity took her first steps as a child. Otherwise, it has always been a happy moment, I didn’t marry a person, I married my partner, and soul mate, it can’t go smooth all the time, the joy is what keeps me going.
What attracted you to your husband?
Every time I look at him, I just fall in love with him over and over again. It wasn’t his look or flesh that attracted me, it was his spirit I fell in love with. When you fall in love with somebody’s spirit, it never dies and that’s what happened. I always say that my husband is the face of God to me on earth.
Is your husband a jealous type?
He is not but we are humans and no matter how liberal you are, there are something you just shouldn’t do because life is in phases, men come in sizes, so we have to go with one according to our sizes and play along with our own.
Am I? Acting deals with passion, when you love what you do, you improve on it on daily basis, I think may be because I do diverse roles and I try to interpret it to the best of my ability; that should be why I merited that tag.
Who are those that really influenced your acting career?
I’d say, the only person that has influenced and challenged me, aside abstract and nature is Genevieve Nnaj! She pushed me to the extreme, made me do what I couldn’t imagine I’d do.
Some people believe Genevieve’s era has passed, do you support this?
People’s eras don’t pass. She is a fantastic actress that can stand the test of time. I wouldn’t speak for her but I’d say her era hasn’t passed; our industry has not been able to do something that pushes people to the extreme anymore.
As one of the A-list actresses in the industry today, don’t you feel threatened by the emergence of new acts in the industry?
Talents never fade, I know who I am, you know what you have and since you are aware that people out there want what you have, they watch what you do. One thing I’ve never heard from people is that I don’t know how to act and when I watch my movies and I see flaws, I’ll feel bad but because I put in all my all in it, most won’t notice. What this means is that that Mercedes Benz can’t fade off despite lots of brands outside there. Benz will still remain Benz and other cars.
How have you been managing the show of egos and rivalry, especially among fellow actresses?
I think I’m a very humble person, whether we like it or not, ego comes up. Egos pop up with everything you do in life. But individuals differ from one another and that’s where the individual traits come into play. You are who you are and you don’t have to compete with anybody. Competition is good when it is healthy and constructively based it has advantages and it’s welcome.
People watching you all over the world on TV would like to know how you live your life outside the screen?
It’s the normal way everybody lives, basically I start up with waking up at night when Purity needs me, waking up later in the morning to get her dressed, getting my husband’s meal ready, and when they leave, then the house chores continue, and when I’m free I like watching movies as well.
Do you still have the time to hang out with your husband like when you were single?
Not at all, my family is a priority and other hangouts don’t matter to me anymore. Though, sometimes we still do lunch or dinner out there but you know Purity takes more of the time and that is why that is restricted at least for now.
What’s the limit you can go in acting?
Because I’m passionate, I’d get into a new world when I’m on set, but I don’t do romantic roles, I can act a romantic character that can portray romance but anything that takes me to the extreme, I avoid it, because my husband complimented me perfectly and I don’t have a reason to embarrass him.
What are the causes of many broken marriages in the Nollywood?
I can’t really say, but I think it has to do with the partners involved; that is why I told you God has given me my own partner whom I love his spirit and not the look or flesh. I only want you all my fans to continue to pray for me for my marriage to work till death do us part … smiles
Can you have a joint account with your husband?
I’d love it because I can always take his money; it won’t be a bad idea to spend his money like I want to with the joint account. My husband has money and spending it without taking consent won’t be a bad idea.
What do you think is the reason for the death of stage play in our society today?
I haven’t been lucky to do one but I’d love to. Most people would rather watch movies at home; I guess it has to do with era or change. You’d rather watch a movie at home than go to watch a stage play.
If you weren’t acting, what would you have been?
I’d be a writer; I have a habit of reading everything, around me, everything I come across.
Courtesy: Excellence Magazine