Mercy Johnson is a well known Nollywood star in Nigeria, nay Africa. After taking a break from the klieg lights to get married and have her baby, she’s now ready for a new project – the Mercy Johnson Foundation.
Last Friday, our correpsondent caught up with Mercy Johnson at the Boys Correctional Center, Oregun, Lagos, where she went to speak to the boys and donate some gifts. She spoke briefly about motherhood and living beyond the moment. Samuel Olatunji recorded this excerpts…
You were at OJB’s house to see him and donate money, now you are here to donate to the Boys Reform Home in Lagos. What’s the idea?
No idea, we are just promoting the ideals of Mercy Johnson Foundation. The idea is to identify the needs, evaluate and help in our own little way. All fingers are not equal; those in position to help should do so without hesitation. You will be hearing a lot about Mercy Johnson Foundation from now on. We have put our house in order and now ready to help those we can. I strongly believe that as stars we should live beyond the euphoria of stardom and the moment. We will not always be here, what happens if you look back and realise you could do a lot to make the world better when you had the spotlight and you didn’t? I want to live beyond the moment.
Why the reform homes in Lagos?
I know I’m not glamorous to a lot of people, but we must know that if we do charitable things for publicity alone, we defeat the purpose. We need to find ways to reform young boys and girls otherwise they will make life uncomfortable for the children of the privileged. At this point, I must commend the government of Lagos State for making efforts at reforming the kids. We are looking at what we can do with the state to help make the future of these children better.
Motherhood seems to have changed you…
Yes, motherhood changes women. You begin to see yourself as a co-creator. You begin to see yourself as a protector. Few days ago, I was feeding Purity and she started dragging the bottle with me with the hot water in it. She pushed the bottle, I had to quickly push her away from the water and let it pour on my arm instead. That’s the kind of protection I am talking about. I think it will also make you feel more responsible for other children as well. You begin to see them as children of some other mothers. You have a sense of responsibility to want to protect them as well.
How are you coping with your husband and the baby?
There’s nothing like coping, he’s making my job easier. He dots on her. He carries her, feeds and does everything for her such that she misses him when he’s not around. You won’t believe she sleeps on his chest every night. He understands whatever adjustment I need to make when it comes to the baby. He’s a loving father?
What about being a loving husband?
Come on now, you know that Sam. He’s the best thing that happened to me. People usually say men are not reliable, in the case of my husband he’s a blessing. It’s obvious we are his priority.
So, your step of faith is paying off?
Yes. I am not saying its perfect, but this is close to perfection. If this is what it feels to be married, I want to marry my husband again and again.
How come you took a break and still returned as number one in Nollywood?
There’s nothing like number one in Nollywood. We are all doing our jobs; it’s just that some people are busier than others. I’m glad of what God has given me.
What should we expect from you career-wise?
I’m trying to be more selective with what I do. If the script is not good, I don’t want to do it. Our market is getting core aware and advanced as the day goes by.
How come you are not an ambassador of any brand yet?
We are having discussion with a couple of brands, when we agree with the terms, you will hear from us. However, I need to quickly point out that Mercy Johnson is a blend of youth and family brand. We just can’t stand and represent any brand. If it’s not representing the youths, which is our major consistency or the family, we will not be favourably disposed to it. I can’t at this point be ‘hawking’ cleavages in the name of promoting brand. Things have changed; this is the beginning of a new era for me.