Photos of Nollywood star, Mercy Johnson and her daughter, Purity aboard a train in Lagos surfaced online recently and they have been met with mixed reactions.
While some felt the actress shouldn’t have boarded a train, others hailed her for it. Reacting to the buzz created by her adventure on a train in Lagos, Mercy explained in a statement she has issued on the matter:
“My picture and that of my daughter, Purity in a Lagos train has surfaced online and quite a number of people have asked me what I was doing in a train and in Lagos for that matter; not Paris or London.
“I was around Iddo at Ebute Metta when my Range Rover developed a mechanical fault and I had to make a very important appointment in Ikeja regardless of the usual traffic congestion in Lagos. Luckily, a member of my management team was around, he suggested a train ride and we were in Ikeja in less than 30 minutes but that is not the crux of this statement,” she began.
According to the actress, many people have tried to get an explanation of sorts from her at one time or the other since the incident.
“Like I mentioned earlier, I have had to answer questions in private and public as to why I would board a train because trains in Nigeria are considered a means of transportation for the masses and not-so-rich people. A friend called and said I just devalued my brand by being on the train with ordinary people. I couldn’t help but laugh. Are we extra ordinary people because we are celebrities?
“In as much as I understand the concept of branding, packaging and exclusiveness, I will never trade the experience to sit, interact and feel the pulse of so-called ordinary people.
“By the way, I am part of the ordinary people. I grew up as an ordinary person among ordinary people. Why would I avoid them now? Would that be because I am now famous? Without these ordinary people, how would I have been famous in the first place? Without the so called ordinary people, where would Nigeria’s growing population of so-called well packaged celebrities be today?
For the purpose of clarification, I was not on that train due to lack of money to get a well packaged cab or to get somebody to bring another car from the house but, my car developed an unforeseen fault and I needed a fast, reliable and convenient alternative immediately as there was urgent business to be attended to and I respect time a lot.
“The train was available where I was; most importantly, I did not want to turn down the opportunity to be with the people who would ordinarily not have access to me so I grabbed the opportunity with both hands and here we are. I want to thank my co-passengers, officials of the train for treating me with absolute respect and courtesy, I am indeed, very grateful,’ the Kogi State-born actress said.