The name, Mercy Johnson, sure rings an intermittent bell; just like it has become a household name. Ardent followers of Nollywood are of course ‘at home’ with her name for different reasons.
Now a mother of three, from a wedlock controversially contracted but legally executed, she is a star of many box office movies, thanks to her natural and unique acting prowess.
Suffice it to say that after roughly a decade into the institution, she can authoritatively speak on marital issues and proffer solutions. Especially, now that many marriages have developed k-legs and hitting the rocks.
There is no gainsaying the fact that due to the country’s wobbling economy, a lot of marriages had collapsed while the rest are daily threatened. Many eligible men cannot afford what it takes to take the plunge in marriage too.
Mercy, at a recent ceremony, made a workable suggestion on the possible way out of the lull in the marriages.
She wants the women to start paying the dowry! After all, a section of the Indian society, we hear, practice it and it works. Since many Nigerian women are well-off now, they can start taking the responsibility and help to decongest the crowd of ‘awaiting marriages.’ Some Nigerians present at the occasion were said to have received it with a pinch of salt. While those that merely read or heard about it are apprehensive of what it portends.
According to the thespian who apparently suffered the same fate that befalls a lot of ladies today, “a man loves his sweetheart the most, his wife the best and his mother the longest.’’
However, she actually made the weird proposal at the birthday shindig of her three-year-old son recently. The Special Adviser to the current Governor of Kogi State, [where she hails from] on Entertainment, boasted that when the son grows to the marriage level, it is her would-be wife that would pay the dowry.
She however did not advocate for compulsory implementation of her proposal but since then, Nigerians have been airing their views on the strange matter, describing it as a culture that cannot have its way in Nigeria.
“You do not learn how to use the left hand at old age. The culture of men paying ‘the bill’ in our nation and by extension, other parts of Africa is as old as history. So, I see it as dead on arrival. After all, some ladies have secretly been paying by assisting their loved spouses.
However, Newstimesafrica checks reveal that majority of Nigerian girls do not like the idea. One of them, Mercy Achu, simply described it as ‘rubbish’ and maintained that it deserves no further explanation.
Another respondent, Gbemi Owoeye, prayed that it will not be her portion to desecrate on her people’s culture. “Men have been the ones paying the dowry and somebody wakes up one day to say it should be the other way round. My hand no dey o,” she concluded in Pidgin English.
The general belief is that if the proposal is adopted, it will cause more harm to the marriage institution than we presently have. “If a woman pay dowry on a man’s head here, he is finished because he will lose his respect and value, ’’ Benson Otapo said.
Though very controversial that many expected an open challenge from her husband’s ex, her wedding which took place at the Christ Embassy, went on unscathed.
“Before Mercy makes any proposal on marriage, she should think well because she belongs to the present generation, Whether she said it jokingly otherwise, she should consider if its beneficial to the others or not,’’ Chidoka Okeke, a newly-married housewife added.
With three beautiful children to their kitty and comfortably placed in life, she and her husband, Benson Okojie may just be praying to God now to lead them safely in their everyday life.