Mercy Johnson-Okojie and husband Odianosen Okojie have been married for four years , and in a recent interview, opened up about themselves. In the interview, the couple explained why they cant cheat on each other.
They also dished out about how they had met , and some issues their marriage has faced.
Excerpts from the interview below.
How did you meet each other ?
Odi: I met Mercy for the first time in 2008 on a flight from France . We both flew Business Class and I asked for her number but she refused. She was very down -to -earth even as a celebrity . I know how a lot of them behave but she is different . Being very focused and a goal -getter, I did everything I could just to have her including her number after I set my eyes on her .
Mercy : After the flight episode , he came around to Surulere where I was getting my hair done at a saloon. Somehow, he had gotten my number and we spoke. We talked and later had dinner .
How did he propose?
Mercy : During a conversation, he suggested that we take our relationship to the next level. While we were dating , I knew we would get married because he became a part of my life and we were very passionate about each other . There was a day we attended a wedding and he said , ‘ I think our wedding cake should have a tint of this colour . ’
Was he comfortable with your movie roles?
Mercy : He wasn’ t comfortable with the romantic scenes . I stopped taking up such roles in 2009 when I realised we were getting serious and headed for marriage . I was so in love with him that I started adjusting my lifestyle and personality to suit him . He is enlightened and well-travelled. He understands the demands of my job and has no problems with my career. He simply gives me space to fly .
What sacrifices did you make for your marriage to work ?
Mercy: I learnt how to speak his language, Ishan, in less than a year. It wasn’ t difficult for me because I was crazy about him . I bought CDS and Ishan literature and my husband also spoke the language to me whether I understood or not .
I also wanted to be part of the discussions as well. It didn’ t take me up to five months and I already knew the basics before we wedded.
Also, I cut down on my dresses. He made me understand that with age , you have to let go of certain things because life is a phase.
Do you watch her movies?
Odi: No . That is because I don ’ t really have time to watch Nollywood movies . I would rather watch the news and a little bit of soccer whenever my busy schedule permits me.
How do you keep the spark burning in your union with the birth of your children ?
Odi: We crack a lot of jokes and play together because she is my best friend . I confide in her always and she is also supportive of me as well. We go to quiet places together and also attend family engagements. With the birth of our kids , I haven’ t loved her any less ; in fact I call her my daughter .
Mercy : I buy funny cards, which I slip into his pockets, and then he would jokingly remind me about the fact that I have two children. I also dress skimpily in bum shorts and parade in the room whenever he is around .
What attribute do you admire the most in your spouse ?
Odi: My wife is an extension of myself and vice versa . When I met her , she was not a strong Christian but now I can say she is stronger than I am. She does all the praying for the family and I am very proud of her .
Mercy : It is hard to choose because Odi is the human definition of perfection , I can’t explain it . He completes and makes me a better person in all ramifications. I might have made a lot of errors if I hadn ’ t met him —I see some of my old pictures and cannot believe I dressed skimpily. You may think you are living the career but you are making errors . Our daughter , Purity, will grow up someday and see those things and I will have a lot of explanations to make .
What do you not like about your wife ?
Odi: Absolutely nothing . She does everything I like and that has kept us strong .
Mercy : My husband is too truthful and that gets me upset sometimes. He doesn ’ t pretend at all .
Why did you name your daughter Purity ?
Odi: My wife has a heart of gold —she is kind and pure . She is without blame or blemish. I decided to name her after the qualities I see in her mum .
How do you handle disagreements ?
Odi: We hardly disagree but since we wedded, I don’t think we have had any reason to invite a third party. We play a lot and handle issues maturely .
Mercy : He apologises in funny ways . Since I had the baby , whenever he offends me, he will play a particular CD and then teases me. He simply does things that make me laugh.
Do you run a joint account?
Mercy : He is concerned about the welfare of the family and has been like that from the outset of our relationship . While we were dating , he would give me money to make my hair and buy make -up irrespective of the fact that I also earn my own money . He does things that every husband should do for his wife . It was his idea. I am the sole signatory but my money is not in the account .
Odi: I love her dearly and I just want her to be independent and have access to funds whenever she desires without my permission.
You wedded at the peak of your career . Was it a difficult decision to make ?
Mercy : A lot of people asked me this question when I was getting married but at that point in my life , there was nothing too big to let go , even now. I am willing to let go of everything to be with him and be happy. I am not in competition with anybody . I want to be married, I want to be with a man , just the way God has asked it be. I don ’ t want to take his role as a helper. He is an introvert and can stay at home all day when he isn ’ t working but I am the extrovert and we complement each other perfectly .
Odi: My wife has maintained a good reputation in the industry by the grace of God and I played a little role as her husband.
What is the most memorable moment in your marriage?
Odi: We celebrated our last wedding anniversary and her birthday at the Virginia Beach in the USA . It was a very good time together.
Prior to your wedding, an ugly incident threatened the existence of your union…
Odi: It was quite unfortunate . We thank God that we are happy and everything is well. Some people always say that our marriage will not last.
Truth is , our love is built on the solid rock of Christ and based on that, we will keep waxing stronger .
What are some of the lessons learnt from the incident ?
Odi: I learnt a lot and only people who are close to me know my story . The propaganda was from people who do not know my family or me. What God has joined together , no man can put asunder .
Did it test the strength of your love for your husband?
Mercy : Yes , it did and I did not lose any friends because I never really had any . I got to understand the mindset of people who believe it is hard for you to be happy for someone when you don ’ t have what they have. They criticise what you have , yet they pray everyday for it. It taught me to always think of myself first because people will always have opinions .
What has marriage taught you ?
Mercy : Patience and it has changed everything about me— this is a brand new me. It is possible that my husband attends a party and my movie is being shown . I have to do things that represent him well at all times . Ever since I had my daughter , I learned to appreciate other children and humanity the more. My husband and children are top on my priority list at the moment and acting is secondary. I would let go of everything for them .
Do you have similar friends ?
Mercy : I don ’ t have friends at all and Odi is my best friend . As a policy , I never lie to my husband that is why I can ’t hide anything from him . We have acquaintances but no close friends .
Can you cheat on your spouse ?
Mercy : Never! Moreso, I have absolute trust in him .
Odi: God forbid that I do such .
What does Valentine and love mean to you as a couple ?
Odi: Love means Mercy. We plan to have a quiet outing and take my family out to dinner . If I have any reason to love, then I must love her over and over again in my lifetime .
Mercy : God is love but if I have to give love a second definition , I would say , love is Odi.
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