Chinwo is a PORT Harcourt (Rivers State) born talented singer, Mercy
Chinwo was the winner of the 2012 Nigerian Idol reality show. The
pretty artiste who mesmerized millions of viewers with her fantastic
vocal delivery and great performances, most notably, Fela Anikulapo’s
Zombie, may not have lived up to the high expectations of Nigerians when
she won the competition 17 months ago.
Mercy, in this interview revealed that the much publicized promise of
a N7.5 million recording contract was never fulfilled to her by the
organizers. She also spoke on why she’s been working low key, her
family, love life and much more…
|Winner of the Etisalat Sponsored Nigerian Idol Season 2 competition,
Mercy Chinwo showing off her brand new Toyota SUV car at the Grand
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It has been So long since you won the Nigerian Idol reality show. How has the experience been?
say it has been a great privilege for me to have won a competition of
such magnitude which changed my life. It’s been God all the way and I’m
grateful that I’m here. I have been recording, performing at events and
trying to make sure I get myself out there and keep my fans updated
with whatever I’m doing and it’s been fun for me.
Do you agree with the school of thought that your career has stalled since you won the reality show?
Says who? I won’t say yes, because I believe that when someone stays
back to work hard for what he or she believes in, there’s always growth
and I believe that a time will come when people would begin to
appreciate what I’ve been doing and what I do.
People have been wondering why you haven’t dropped any material?
I know their expectations are high and I want to use this medium to
say I’m sorry for keeping you guys waiting. It’s a promise that I’ll
drop some very good songs very shortly. It’s more like a one-man hustle
right now for me. I’m proud to say it’s a one-man thing because if you
don’t go through challenges you won’t know your strength.
I understand that part of the reward for winning Nigerian Idol was
a N7.5 million recording contract, is it true that you didn’t get it?
As I speak to you, I’m a one-man standing. I am not in any record
label, I am alone. I have to say the truth. I am not or was never tied
to any record label. I get a producer do my song and keep the hustle
But you got the cash prize?
Yes, I got N7.5 million cash.
Has it not been difficult doing everything on your own?
It has been fun for me. I get to learn every day but it’s annoying
when you know that you have this thing on the inside and you’re not
supposed to be there and you don’t get that push. I had to take my
destiny in my hands and do it by myself, and I’m proud to say that life
has taught me a lot of things.
Are you open to joining a management or label if a suitable offer comes or do you prefer doing it solo?
Two heads are better than one. If a record label comes up and then
have a good plan and offer for me and my career, it’s not just about the
money, I will be glad to do it. But I’m not on any record label now.
You made your acting debut recently in Yvonne Nelson’s House of Gold. How was the experience?
I happened to travel to Ghana. At first, I was shy and even scared
because I didn’t know what the outcome would be. When I watched the
movie, I was so amazed at my performance. The movie is a cool and
entertaining one. The role I played was funny. I happened to be a maid
that ended up as the madam of the house. Trust me, I enjoyed myself.
Do you now plan to take more opportunities in acting?
Yeah, nobody would want to be successful with something and stop.
Everybody likes progress. I love progress and I’m happy that you all
love the movie, House of Gold. I wish to do more.
What’s your relationship with Omawumi?
She is my mentor and my friend. She’s like a mother to me. She has
been my backbone. She has been of good help to me and I’ll thank her for
everything. I love her so much.
But there are whispers that she’s the one hindering your progress by hiding you?
Not at all. Omawumi is one person that would encourage talent if she
sees one. On no account should they say that. Nobody is in charge of
my destiny and nobody should say what they don’t know.
How has the transition been from Port Harcourt to Lagos?
Lagos, for me, is a hustling city and I like it. There’s this
feeling I get staying in Lagos. Nobody’s ready to go out there and do
what you are supposed to do for yourself, that’s how I see it. If you
want to make it in Lagos, you need to work hard. The difference between
Lagos and Port Harcourt is this, when it comes to entertainment, Lagos
is its home and I would say it anywhere. Lagos, for me, is the place to
Did you record any song before Nigerian Idol?
I’ve been recording before Nigerian Idol, getting myself prepared in
case I get any opportunity. You never can tell who would want to help
Tell us a little about your background.
I come from a humble background. I’m from Rivers State. I happen to
be the first child in a family of six and my parents have always been
supportive. Even when I started as a child, they encouraged me and
How was growing up for you?
Growing up for me was fun until I lost my dad. Ever since, it’s been wishing I had someone that I could call a dad.
Is Mercy in a relationship?
Yes, I’m in a relationship (laughs). No, I’m not.
Who is your ideal man?
Any man that would stand by me through thick and thin. Someone I would call my friend and he would treat me as his sister.
A word to your fans?
I know a lot of people are waiting, they still love me and they want
to hear from me. It’s not going to be too long. I promise you’ll get
something from me very soon. My latest song, Padi Padi, will be out in a
matter of days or weeks.
a gracious entry on the music scene this year with her very first
official single “Testimony” Produced by Rotimi Keys. While many might
think this is long over due, she believes this is just the very right
time. Having been through her fair share of lifes challenges, from the
days of little beginning to her grasp with fame, she pens down this song
of encouragement to as many embattled people out there hoping they can
find expression and solace in the words of her song. “Very few people
know where I am coming from and it makes perfect sense that a lot of
people who never got to see my pain but see all of my Glory have the
impression that I always had a silver spoon. My life is one word is a Testimony” – Mercy Chinwo