Mercy Johnson Okojie is one of the top actresses of Nollywood. Born into a family of seven children, MJ, as she is popularly called, had a rough time growing up. This daughter of an ex-serviceman and his wife had to pass through a lot of struggles, but all those challenges are probably what gave her the strength of character we see in Mercy Johnson today. She was able to overcome all her obstacles and emerged as one of the most successful actresses in the Nigerian movie industry.
Mercy barely hit her twenties when she made her entrance into the movie industry and her remarkable on-screen performance as a first-timer paved the way for better things to come. Today, the actress has earned a name as one of the most prolific entertainers in the country with over 170 movie credits. MJ’s hard work and perseverance have not gone unnoticed as the actress has swept awards and accolades in large numbers.
Profile Summary Of Mercy Johnson Okojie
- Full name: Mercy Johnson Okojie
- Date of birth: 28th of August 1984
- Age: 37
- Nationality: Nigeria
- Education: Secondary school level
- Parents: Mrs. Elizabeth Johnson Mr. Daniel Johnson
- Occupation: Acting
- Years active: 2003 to date
Mercy Johnson Okojie Has Her Roots In Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria
Mercy Johnson Okojie was born on the 28th of August 1984, in Lagos State Nigeria, but the Nollywood actress is a native of Okene, which is located in Kogi State. Though she is now late (her mum died in 2018), Mercy’s mum has been identified as Mrs. Elizabeth Johnson and her dad is Mr. Daniel Johnson who earned a living as a naval officer; the father of seven is now retired.
Growing up alongside six siblings, Mercy Johnson spent her early years moving from one barracks to the other due to her dad’s job as a military man. While going on transfers, Mr. Daniel Johnson would carry his family along, and needless to say, it was a tough childhood for the actress. They later put down roots in Calabar where Mercy started her primary education but this lasted for a short while before they moved to Lagos where she continued at the Nigerian Navy Primary School in Lagos.
She Hawked Drinking Water To Sponsor Her Education
Her secondary education was accomplished in Rivers State, precisely at the Nigerian Navy Secondary School located in the capital city, Port Harcourt. Mercy revealed how she had to drop out of school several times due to failure to meet the financial requirements. When it became so hard for her family to sponsor her education, the emerging star at the time resorted to hawking drinking water, as well as food items.
At a time, Mercy Johnson offered her services as a domestic maid, just to make ends meet. Coupled with her financial constraint, the actress was far from being a brilliant student, in fact, she took the decision to finally quit school and face acting after failing JAMB (university entrance examination). Fortunately, her decision turned out to be the best she has ever taken in her life.
Mercy Was Entering Her Twenties When She Made Her Nollywood Debut in 2003
After JAMB proved too difficult an exam for Mercy Johnson to pass, the young talent decided to try her hand at acting. She was just going on 20 and fresh from secondary school when an opportunity to audition for The Maids came her way in 2003. Mercy grabbed it with two hands; she was successful at the auditions with the lead character which became an instant hit and turned out to be her big break.
Her role in The Maid made Mercy Johnson a target for moviemakers who were willing to cast her in lead roles in their projects, paving way for the actress’s successful Nollywood career. Subsequently, MJ began appearing in other films like, Hustlers which made her a nominee for the Best of Nollywood Awards and Live To Remember which saw the actress win Best Actress in a Supporting Role at the Africa Movie Academy Awards, the 5th edition in 2009. Before the year ran out, the same movie also earned her Best Supporting Actress at the Best of Nollywood Awards in 2009. Here are some of her best movies;
- Live To Remember
- Baby Oku In America
- War in the Palace
- The Maidens
- Heart of a Widow
- Weeping Soul (she won Best Actress In Leading Role at the Nollywood Movies Awards in 2012)
- Facebook Babes
- My Husband’s Funeral
- Wild Target
- Heart of a Fighter
- Married to the Enemy
- Mirror of Life
- Dumebi The Dirty Girl (she won Best Actress in Comedy at the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards in 2013)
- 16th Anniversary
- 30 Days in Atlanta
- Seven & A Half Dates (she won Actress of the Year at the Eloy Awards in 2018)
According to the records, the flamboyant Nollywood actress has made appearances in over170 movie roles in barely two decades. This was made possible by her brilliant ability to blend into any role, whether rich or poor, slay queen or village girl, housewife or widow. In fact, Mercy Johnson can be best described as a round character who acts all her scripts to perfection. She became one of the most prolific actresses in Nollywood thanks to her versatility.
She Embraced Matrimony at The Age Of 27
Mercy Johnson exchanged marriage vows with her long-time boyfriend Prince Odianosen Okojie on the 27th of August 2011. The ceremony which was a grand event happened a day before the actress’s 27th birthday at the Oregun Ikeja branch of Christ Embassy. It was preceded by their traditional wedding at Iyana Iba Lagos on the 26th of August. The wedding was graced by celebrities, including the Nollywood fraternity and some top officials in the government. Yvonne Nelson – the popular Ghanaian actress was her chief bride’s maid; she flew into Lagos with other Ghanaian celebrities for the ceremony.
Popularly called Odi, Mercy Johnson’s husband is a known politician and philanthropist. The Edo State indigene met Mercy in 2008 and later popped the big question with a diamond ring. His marriage to the Nollywood star was not his first as Prince Odi was previously married to Lovely who gave him two kids before their union hit the rocks.
Considering Odi’s first failed marriage, people never really expected his second attempt at matrimony to be any different, especially with a celebrity of Mercy Johnson’s caliber. However, the Nollywood star proved them all wrong by leading a happy and peaceful married life for a decade and still counting. Besides, their marriage is devoid of the usual drama that is synonymous with celebrity marriages. Even when they were rumored to be going through some marital problems back in 2018, the couple emerged from it stronger than before. According to Mercy, Odi is her pillar and strength, in fact, the couple does a lot of things together like their slimming tea ads.
MJ Was 28 When She Became A First Time Mother
Secured in her position as Mrs. Mercy Johnson Okojie in 2011, the Nollywood star didn’t let the grass grow under her feet before becoming a mother. She achieved this on the 30th of December 2012 when her first fruit Purity Ozioma Okojie joined the family; Mercy was just 28 at the time. She was 30 when her second child Henry Okojie was born on the 15th of October 2014 and 31 upon the birth of Onosetale Okojie, her third child whose birth date is the 11th of December 2015.
Earlier in 2020, the actress announced that she was expecting her baby number four and on the 4th of May 2020, Divine Mercy Ehinomen Okojie came to complete their joy. Her birth took place in the United States of America.
What We Gathered About The Nollywood Actress’ Family Members
Facts about Mercy Johnson’s marriage and children will always emerge in the public arena, however, little or nothing is known about those she spent her formative years with. A little digging has revealed that the Nollywood star’s childhood is bursting with interesting info!
Mercy is the middle child in a family of seven with three older siblings (sisters) and three younger ones (brothers). The Johnson family is a big one. In several interview sessions, Mercy has told tales of her growing up years. According to the mother of four; she has a closer affinity with her brothers more than her sisters. Always being in the company of the boys made her a tomboy; when she is not on the move, running around the whole place, Mercy will be found at the very top of the nearby trees.
During her formative years, life was really tough for the Johnsons, and to assist their parents in keeping the family going, the children went to work early. One of the Johnson boys started bricklaying work, and another took to selling sachet water and moi moi just to put food on the table.
Unfortunately, it has proved difficult to get current information on the Johnson family as Mercy seems to prefer keeping them away from the prying eyes of the media. However, one of them named Joseph Junior Johnson just emerged on the movie scene.
Joseph Junior Johnson
The media described Mercy’s younger brother as an upcoming actor in Nollywood. The youngster is trying his best to make his presence felt in Nollywood, thanks to his passion for acting and hard work. This may be early days for Joseph, but his perseverance will surely project him into prominence
Mr. Daniel Johnson
Mr. Daniel Johnson is Mercy Johnson’s father who served in the Nigerian Navy. According to reports, the ex-serviceman had a rough marriage with his wife Elizabeth as they always resorted to fighting. A rumor about their separation broke out at one point but we cannot say how true it was.
Mrs. Elizabeth Johnson
Mercy’s mother Mrs. Elizabeth Johnson is no longer with us as she died in 2018; the cause of death was not disclosed. Upon her demise, Mercy Johnson took to Instagram to mourn the woman who gave her life, saying she never expected that her mum would die so soon, but it became a reality; life happened. She also mentioned in her post that in times like this, you don’t need anybody to teach you how to let the tears flow and when to stop.
MJ said you don’t need anybody to show you how to mourn a loss or how to fill up that empty and painful hole left by death. Mercy is known to be close to her parents. Even after the hardship passed, she continued to live with them in their Badagry home. She supported and cared for them before breaking out on her own.
Twin Sister Rumor
A while ago, the internet got busy with intriguing speculation about Mercy Johnson; it was rumored that she may have an identical twin or a sister who is very close in resemblance. However, it later turned out to be a viral gossip which is not strange among stars as many of them have been accused of having secret boyfriends, husbands, lovers, and even twins. It just happened that the girl in the pictures going viral looks a lot like Mercy but they don’t share any blood ties.
Mercy Johnson Okojie Grew Up In a Not So Affluent Family
In a not so affluent family of nine (seven children and their parents), there are bound to be some financial constraints, another issue is living space because of the large number, then food will constantly be in short supply. This was the case with Mercy Johnson’s family life during her formative years when they had to survive on her father’s salary as a serviceman. The Nollywood star passed through several life hurdles that have strengthened her character.
In fact, she once recalled how her parents would often fight each other as the family was saddled with so many issues. She also reminisced on a certain time in their lives that they had to resort to living in an uncompleted building. The roof of the unfinished building according to her was dented, thus, whenever it rained, the interior of their house will be all soaked up. Even the walls of the house were not plastered and paint on the walls was just like an unrealizable dream. As if that was not enough, they had to battle for space with lizards littered all over their floors.
Their hardship notwithstanding, Mercy Johnson’s family had to pass through a nomadic existence and may likely fall into a worse situation than where they were coming from. According to the Nollywood movie star, things were really tough. Though it might sound dramatic, the Johnson family has always been a caring and loving one even in the midst of penury. According to reports, they have maintained a close relationship over the years.