Mercy Eke won the 2019 edition of Big Brother Nigeria. She is also a television personality, model, actress and more. In this interview with Yetunde Oladeinde, she goes down memory lane to talk about her memories of the show, her relationship with Nengi, turning point in her career, mentoring young people as well as being newly appointed as ambassador of Payporte.
LET’S talk about life after Big Brother, any regrets?
I once said that if I should take anything back, what I would do differently in the house, is that I am going to be myself because I was myself throughout the show. Maybe, this time around, I would play the game as a single girl.
Did you regret falling in love in the house?
No! Love is a beautiful thing. I don’t think I regret falling in love with my ex-boyfriend. It was a beautiful experience, I enjoyed it while it lasted but life has to continue.
Let’s talk about COVID-19 lockdown last year. How did you spend your time?
Yes, last year it was really, really bad with COVID. I was indoors but the brands that I already signed with were there, I couldn’t tell them there was COVID. So, I created content in the comfort of my home and then had to put it out there. Of course, money had been paid and you have to work.
So, at that time, I was at home working with myself, creating good content and working for brands. They couldn’t do anything outside apart from us and we were on the social media. That was basically it.
We couldn’t travel or do the usual things. Everyone was just home and creating content for the existing brands came with lots of creativity.
You obviously wanted to leave the house and take advantage of the mileage that you had as well as remain in stardom. You have had that, yet you talked about worst moments, what could this be?
It varies. Worst times could come in different ways, it could be in terms of health, in form of family crisis, relationship crisis, mental crisis and a lot of other things. I have had some of this issues and it is not something that I want to put out there. It is something that we all face at some point in our lives. Most times, money is not everything. Money may not guarantee happiness. Some people may have all this things and still lack that inner peace of mind. So, when I say that I have been through it, I am coming from that point of view and talking about personal struggles that I have been through.
Tell us about your relationship with Nengi. She is also a brand Ambassador of Payporte that just signed you on. How do you intend to manage this?
That we are not friends is not true. We are actually having a photo shoot in Paris together. So, if we are not cool, there wouldn’t be such an arrangement. Most times, it is the social media that is overdoing things.
Let’s talk about the good times, some of the memorable moments in Big Brother?
I think that the good times is when I won, it was awesome. Also the relationships that I had in the house have been very fulfilling and memorable. I met some amazing people that till today it has grown to something else, something deep likes a deep connection, a deep relationship with these housemates. Of course, these are things that don’t make it to the social media. It is just us doing things, supporting each other and knowing that we are here; we went to this thing and learnt so much. And of us have a number of things in common and when you listen to our stories, we did well and wanted to better our lives. We went there and didn’t just come for the fame. Of course, some came just for the fame but we made sure that we grew from what we used to be to a better version of us.
You are multi -talented, actress, model and more. What drives the things that you do?
What drives me is the hunger for success, the desire to make it. To be able to help my family, help the people around me. As well as to be independent.
Tell us about your experience mentoring young people?
Yes, I do that. Even now, I just launched my Miss Eke Foundation in Lagos that was last week. For this project, I will be giving out N5million to young people, especially young entrepreneurs whether you have a business or not. Some have the idea but do not have the capital to drive it. So, I am bringing out this five million naira to help the young girls in my own little way. We have a form for our targets and there is a Hastag already for this. Most of them have applied and we have received over on thousand entries.
Tell us about life as Ambassador
I am the newest brand Ambassador to Payporte. It is not about how many deals that you have, it is about longevity. It is about staying in the game. It is about having these brands. There is no brand that has said that Mercy we have issues with you. I see a lot of people online fallout with the brands that they work with and bring this to social media.
I can beat my chest and say that there is no brand that I have worked with that I have ever fallen out with. That means that I know what I am doing. I carry the brands that I work with like my own brand. That is why I am very visible. All the brands that I am working with since I got out of the house; I am still working with them. I believe that
Payporte must have seen that to have still come. We have been on this since 2019. So, my brand is what I say it is. A reputable brand and that is what it is.
Did you reject any endorsement?
Yes, I have rejected a few brands, some of them signed but they didn’t come to terms with my conditions. It just didn’t work with me. I like brands that don’t like conflict. I like to work with all the ambassadors and we are there, they are paying us all this millions of naira to carry the brands to the next level. We have to bring value to these brands. But some of this brands trade off with conflict and they want to use the ambassadors to gain something. I don’t work with such brands. I like it when I am working with you and the atmosphere is calm. I can’t come for a shoot and we are sweating and at the end of the day, the whole thing would be in a mess. I want my peace and I am still growing my brand. I wouldn’t want a situation where in future a brand would say she is difficult to work with. So, if I see that from the onset, before we announce it that would be a no for me. I usually ask who is on board, are we going to work as a family and all that. If it’s fine, then I am okay. This latest endorsement is good, the people there are cool.
What are the things that you look out for?
I look out for shared values. In addition, this is a fashion brand and it is something that I am passionate about too. I first went to their page and I found that there has been a great growth. I love what they sell, I buy from them even when they don’t know. I can relate with them and I like to work with brands that I can relate with. They have beautiful outfits, something that anybody can afford. And it is affordable for every young person.
In addition, I am also working on something similar, a fashion brand. So, I would say that it is in line with what I want to do. He sees my vision and I also relate to his vision. I am therefore looking at a bigger picture, going forward to the next level. In a nutshell, I like bringing value to the brands I represent or work with.
What are the other things that occupy your time?
I am shooting my reality Show; this is actually the Season two. It is going to go worldwide and it is airing on African Magic. It is my personal show, The Mercy Eke Show. It’s all about my lifestyle, how I live, the brands I work with and what my fans should expect next. It is a reality show that covers everything about my life. It is centred around me, my family and whatever I do. Something like keeping up with the Kardashians.
What inspired you to do this?
So many things. Well, I just can’t pinpoint a particular thing.
Tell us about your romantic side?
Right now, I would say that I am single but not searching.
Let’s talk about early life. What was the experience like growing up?
I was born and bred in Owerri. My parents live there, it was interesting growing up with my mum and sisters. I schooled in Owerri from primary to the University. I read Psychology at MSUT.
Tell us about the things that you like to wear?
My style is being comfortable in whatever you wear. It doesn’t matter how much you buy it. Just like what I am wearing now. It’s Payporte and I can say that I look classy and very comfortable in it. I will wear it so far it looks good and feel myself wearing it. That is what fashion is for me, being sexy in your outlook.
What about Nigerian designers. How do you rate them?
They are great. I wear a lot of Nigerian brands when I go to events. I know that they are doing very well. A lot of them are very creative. In fact, they amaze me sometimes with their collections.
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