I am just like any other normal girl next door. Most people know me as Mercy Johnson but did not bother to find out about the Ozioma aspect of me. Mercy Johnson Ozioma are my real names and Ozioma in my dialect (Kogi State) means a girl with good luck. The fourth child in a family of seven, I was born more than 28 years ago to an ex-military officer.
I left my mother at the age of two to live with my father who was constantly being transferred from one station to another as a military man. I am proud of my dad because he taught me all I needed to know about crossing the bridge from being a child to an adult. When I was in secondary school, I would wash my mates’ clothes and polish their shoes to get paid so that I could also pay my brother’s school fees and whenever names of people owing school fees were mentioned, I was always on top of the list. I faced a lot of embarrassment in school. My teachers flogged me; my uniform was always torn and tattered and when someone stole, they pointed at me because of my poor condition.
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It was a miserable life, but today, I thank God I lived a wretched life throughout my school days. I faced so much humiliation and that made me shy. Amidst all these, my greatest inspiration came from my dad and that kept me going.
I witnessed lots of sad moments. I failed my first JAMB examination but passed on the second attempt. If I could have my way, I want to be a child again and live big. There was a time I stopped schooling to hawk pure water, plantain and other things. Do you know I was once a housemaid and also did some menial jobs for a particular artiste to make ends meet? I washed her clothes and did some other things in her home town to survive.
Today God has raise me from rags to riches. My transformation is purely an act of God’s kindness and favor. I OWE GOD EVERYTHING. My little advice to humble people like me who are still going through a lot is that, please never ever give up, and trust in God alone, HE can’t fail you when your entire hope is left on Him.