Actress, Mercy Johnson, was born 29 years ago and is the fourth child in a family of seven. She tells Punch that mother at the age of two to live with her ex-military officer and due to the nature of his job, she moved around a lot as a kid as he was constantly transferred from one station to another. Her growing up years, she says help her cope with life as an actress, a wife and mother. Read on...
I have grown with time and there have been good and bad times. There have been rumours and scandals. Sometimes, when I cry in movies, it wasn’t the script that made me cry. Rather, I reflect on my humble beginning and the height I’ve attained now. This makes me cry.
Journey into acting
After my secondary school education, I approached a friend for assistance to feature in a movie. He took me to the National Theatre, Lagos, but a role did not come until a year later. My first lead role was in a film titled, ‘The Maid.’ It was quite challenging to interprete because it was my first movie. When I saw the veterans on set, I fidgeted.
A star actress
Life is in phases and I cannot say I have reached the peak of my profession. I have not even won an Oscar yet! There is always a higher mountain to climb, a new vision to fulfill and I am at that point. I want to achieve new and greater dreams.
The greatest fulfillment is the ability to influence people positively through my acting.
Life is not a bed of roses; it comes with challenges which make me stronger and who I am.
Nollywood: Then and now
We have achieved feats which the old Nollywood did not achieve. It is all about progression and I am sure that in the future, Nollywood will achieve a greater feat than it is doing currently.
My husband is loving and he is an understanding man. I am so happy to be married to him. I acted a movie, ‘Baby Oku in America’ when I was heavily pregnant and he didn’t feel bad about it. He understands that I am an actor and sometimes, we need real life situations, like the pregnancy, to interpret a role. Not many men would allow their wife do that.
They are all lies. I just think the media needs to do their verification well before they put any story out. Whenever I read all manner of lies about me in the media, I wonder where all of these came from and regret being an actor. But in all, I move on and take it as one of the hazards of the job. I am fulfilled as an actor.
Mercy Johnson Foundation
I floated the foundation because of my love for the less privileged. One of my greatest joys is to see other people happy. I want to make lasting impact in my society. The objective is to identify the needs of the less privilege, evaluate them and help in our own little way. I strongly believe that as movie stars, we should live beyond the euphoria of stardom.
A sexy woman
It is inbuilt. It’s just how you feel about yourself. For me, being sexy is confidence. It mustn’t be about the hairstyle or the accessories or the big buttocks. It’s about you, liking yourself just the way you are.
My husband is a wonderful man. He makes my job easier and helps carry our daughter, Purity. He feeds her and she misses him whenever he is not around. As a family, we understand one another and we make whatever adjustments we have to make in order to have a good home.
The challenges I faced have yielded results and I am reaping the fruits of all my efforts. I have grown from nobody in the industry to becoming a top actress from Africa. To God be all the glory.
To be an actress
Talent is never enough you must constantly brush up your talent but training can come in different form. You only need to ensure that in whatever form, you are not just relying on your inborn talent.
There are many but I’m not permitted to disclose them yet. They will start unfolding soon.
My worst fear will be to leave this earth without making a huge impact.
I don’t wear what is in vogue or what everybody is wearing, I just wear what suits me and I’m lucky to have a physique that encourages everything I wear. My husband is a huge critic, so when he pays compliments to my dressing, I feel so good. He doesn’t believe that exposing anything makes you look better. He feels when you cover up, you look real nice.
To upcoming actors
Be yourself and let your talent speak for you. Don’t come into the industry because you want to be famous, but because you love the art of acting. Then try to appreciate those who were there before you.