Mercy Chinwo should change her surname from Chinwo to Chiaroscuro. After all, they both start with the third letter of the alphabet. Chiaroscuro is an artistic term meaning the arrangement of darkness and light together. It comes from the combination of the Italian words for “light” and “dark”.
On October 1st 2022, Mercy Chinwo led the ‘prayer against corruption’ at The Gathering as Nigeria marked her 62nd independence anniversary. The Gathering is an annual praise and prayer festival of the Horn of Revival Ministry, a church led by Goodheart Obi Ekwueme.
The aim of the programme was to seek divine intervention and pray against challenges facing the most populous black nation in the world. The 2022 edition, tagged “Light out of Darkness”, was held at the Golden Bird Events Centre, Wuye, Abuja.
“It (The Gathering) is essentially an expression of priestly and prophetic intervention in the polity and intercession for the ordained destiny of Nigeria and its people,” the pre-event statement read.
“This 6th edition of The Gathering is going to be most gracious. The altar of prayer and praise is going to raise standards to pull down strongholds of wickedness, crumble corruption, disarm hijackers, and release Nigeria and Nigerians to the glorious heights of their prophetic destiny of righteousness, beauty, peace, progress, and prosperity.”
Thirty-eight days later, Mercy Chinwo thrilled the audience at the Peoples Democratic Party’s rally in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. It was the governorship campaign flag-off ceremony of the PDP.
At the event, Udom Emmanuel, the state governor, endorsed Umo Eno as his successor. The governor did the same to the other candidates of the party contesting for the Senate, House of Representatives, and House of Assembly in the 2023 elections.
Afterwards, the 32-year-old gospel musician took to the stage to serenade the supporters of the party with some of her popular songs. In a video, Mercy Chinwo could be seen giving a powerful rendition of Excess Love. The audience sang along with her.
We know the phrase holier-than-thou. And we are aware of John 8:7 and Romans 3:23. But we know that light won’t come out of the darkness if the light still mingles with darkness. Let’s point you to two other Bible verses.
2 Corinthians 6:14 (New American Standard Bible, NASB) says…
Do not be mismatched with unbelievers;
For what do righteousness and lawlessness share together?
Or what does light have in common with darkness?
And Psalm 139:12 (NASB) says…
Even the darkness is not dark to you,
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to you.
Enough of the preaching.
Let’s reiterate the need for a change of name. From Chinwo to Chiaroscuro. On second thought, though, Mercy Chinwo doesn’t have to do a change of name in The Guardian newspaper. She may well adopt Twilight as a stage name.
Twilight is the period before sunrise and after sunset, in which the atmosphere is partially illuminated by the sun, being neither totally dark nor completely lit.
We present Mercy ‘Twilight’ Chinwo’s biography.
Where is Mercy Chinwo from?
Mercy Chinwo is from Obio-Akpor, a metropolis in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. It’s one of the major centres of economic activities in Nigeria. Notable people from this local government area are Nyesom Wike, Tonto Dikeh, Monalisa Chinda, Duncan Mighty, and Julius Agwu.
And what tribe is Mercy Chinwo? Well, she’s Ikwerre. Ikwerre people are the biggest ethnic Igbo subgroup in the state.
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How old is Mercy Chinwo?
Mercy Chinwo’s age is 32. She was born on September 5th, 1990.
Mercy Chinwo’s Parents
Eno Jerry is Mercy Chinwo’s mother. She’s an Ibibio from Akwa Ibom State. Peter Chinwo is her father. Sadly, he’s not alive. He passed away when she was young.
Mercy Chinwo’s Siblings
Mercy Chinwo has three brothers and a sister. Of her four siblings, though, one is unknown. The rest are Joseph, Jovial, and Chimenem.
Mercy Chinwo: Education
Long before Mercy Chinwo’s gospel music went international, her education had been associated with the word. She attended Godswill International School for her school education. Mercy Chinwo started her secondary at Ultimate Victory Comprehensive College and completed it at The Paradise International School, both in Port Harcourt. She has a certificate in human resource management from the International Business Management Institute.
She’s a graduate of the University of Port Harcourt, where she earned a degree in linguistics and communication studies.
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Mercy Chinwo’s Career
Mercy Chinwo began her career as an actress before switching to music. She came into the limelight after winning the prestigious singing competition, Nigerian Idol Season 2, in 2012.
Her first single, Testimony, was released in 2015, to critical acclaim. She proved not to be a flash in the pan as her second single, Igwe, released a year after, was an instant hit too. On February 20th, 2018, she released her debut studio album, The Cross: My Gaze.
The 16-track contemporary gospel songs were released by EeZee Concept. It had guest appearances from Shady B, Fiokee, Chris Morgan, and Olaitan Odoko. Her second album, Satisfied, a 13-track album, was released on July 3rd 2020.
All across churches and homes in Nigeria and beyond, Mercy Chinwo’s songs, especially Excess Love, can be heard.
It all started at the early age of six when her parents observed she was always singing. She loved to perform around the house to both people and objects. Her parents encouraged her by putting her in the children’s choir of their local church – The Apostolic Church.
“It later developed into my singing with the adult choir and even as a backup singer,” she said.
“I got involved in several competitions, winning many of them. That’s how I started my professional music journey.”
Musicians like Wizkid, Timaya, Simi, Banky W, and CKay started out in church like her. Unlike her, though, they veered into secular music. One wonders why she remained in the church.
“A fish cannot survive outside of its source,” she said.
“Jesus gave me this gift, and I am fulfilled, staying aligned with God’s purpose for my life. There’s nothing compared to the joy and peace that comes with serving God.”
While not limiting God’s blessings to material possessions, it looks like gospel music in Nigeria is not as financially rewarding as mainstream popular music. A Davido or WizKid doing better than an Aiyefele or, erm, Mercy Chinwo.
“The blessings of the Lord make rich and add no sorrow,” she said.
“This is my testimony; every aspect of my life as a gospel music minister has been an interesting journey. The more value you give, the more results you get.”
Talking about results, the gospel music industry is growing and the minds of the practitioners are now open to opportunities, locally or internationally. And indeed, there have been collaborations in the gospel space at an international level. But can there be collaborations between gospel musicians and mainstream musicians? Would she consider a collaboration with a non-gospel musician like, say, Portable?
“First of all, gospel music is mainstream,” she said.
“As regards collaborations, I have a message. So, I will only be inclined to collaborate with artists whose values align with the message the Lord has given me.”
Mercy Chinwo featuring Portable is highly unlikely then.
Before going solo, Mercy Chinwo was a backup singer to performers like Sammie Okposo, Joe Praize, Buchi, Chris Morgan, and Preye. But none of them is her role model. Any prize for guessing who it is?
“Musically I’m a huge fan of Tasha Cobbs and Michael W. Smith. But above all, Jesus is my ultimate role model.”
Surprised? We reckon not.
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Mercy Chinwo’s Berets
Mercy Chinwo has been renowned for her soulful yet upbeat style of worship music since she hit the limelight in 2012. Since then, she has been a fan favourite. But her beret, like her music, is generating interest, too.
“I just needed to be different,” she said.
“I felt I needed to be unique with not just my craft but also my style. And that’s how beret wearing came about. It has now grown into an online business at MecEmpire on Instagram. In a word, my fashion style is modest.”
Mercy Chinwo’s Record label
Before starting her own record label, Mercy Empire, she was signed to EeZee Concept. The label is owned by Ezekiel Timothy. This Christian record label also manages music ministers like Frank Edwards, Preye Odede, and Hilda Dokubo.
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List of Mercy Chinwo’s Songs
We all know that belting out a song can make us feel happy, especially when doing boring household chores like ironing. But it can also prevent asthma attacks, help after a stroke, and even make childbirth pleasurable. Here are some of Mercy Chinwo’s songs that make us feel good.
The Cross: My Gaze (2018)
Elevated EP (2023)
No More Pain
Regular ft Fiokee
Excess Love Remix Ft J. J Hairston
Power Belongs to Jesus
Mercy Chinwo’s Awards
Mercy Chinwo’s unmistakable voice and talent have earned her local and international awards. Some of them are…
Africa Gospel Music of the Year, CLIMA Africa Award 2022
Africa Gospel Artiste of the Year, CLIMA Africa Award 2022
Best Gospel Artiste, CLIMAX Awards, 2018
New Artiste of the Year, Africa Gospel Awards Festival (AGAFEST), 2019
Female Artiste of the Year, Africa Gospel Awards Festival (AGAFEST), 2019
Song of the Year ‘Excess Love’, Africa Gospel Awards Festival (AGAFEST), 2019
Gospel Artiste of the Year, Galaxy Music Awards, 2019
Female African Artiste of the Year, Gospel Touch Music Awards, 2019
Artiste of Excellence West Africa, Africa Gospel Music Awards, (AGMMA), 2019
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Mercy Chinwo’s Acting career
Mercy Chinwo made her acting debut in the 2013 movie, House of Gold. She starred as Lucia in this Ghanaian/Nigerian comedy movie produced by Yvonne Nelson and directed by Pascal Amanfo. She featured alongside Yvonne Nelson, Omawumi, Majid Michel, Ice Prince, Eddie Watson, and Francis Odega.
Mercy Chinwo’s Husband
Mercy Chinwo’s husband is Blessed Uzochikwa from Delta State. He’s the head pastor of The Waterbrook Church, Lekki, Lagos. Blessed Uzochikwa holds an advanced project management certificate from Stanford University. He’s a Microsoft Certified IT professional.
On June 23rd, 2022, the fans of the gospel singer were pleasantly surprised when she announced her engagement to the pastor.
“I am grateful to God that this happened at the right time,” she said on her YouTube channel.
“For me, it is divine. I want to use this medium to encourage you out there. Trust in God, yours will definitely happen. The thoughts that He has for you are of good and not of evil to give you an expected end. No time is too late. God is very intentional about your life. It does not matter what anyone thinks or says, what matters is what God’s word says about you.
“I am not just getting married to my friend, I am getting married to someone that will join me in my walk with God. It is interesting because we are here to fulfil a purpose.”
The couple got married on August 13th, 2022, in Port Harcourt. The wedding attracted many celebrities, like Obi Cubana, Banky W and his wife Adesua Etomi, Waje, Chigurl, Joe Praize, Pita Sings, and many others.
“It’s been a beautiful journey; marriage is a blessing. It has indeed affected my career positively,” she said recently.
“The Bible says one will chase a thousand, and two ten thousand, and I am excited to see all of that become my reality doing life with my gee.”
The two gees live in Lagos.
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Mercy Chinwo’s Net worth
Mercy Chinwo’s estimated net worth is $1.5 million. She makes her money from music, acting, stand-up comedy, and other unknown sources.
Mercy Chinwo’s Cars
During her 29th birthday, she was gifted with a brand-new Lexus ES350 by her record label, EeZee Concepts. Another car gift came her way when she clocked 31. This time, it was a Toyota Land Cruiser SUV from her husband.
What Ezekiel Timothy can do, Blessed Uzochikwa can do better!
Mercy Chinwo’s House
As we said earlier, Mercy Chinwo lives in Lagos with her husband. But her residential abode is not for public knowledge like her songs.
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Mercy Chinwo has a passion for music and God. She remained committed to her vision and value as she continued to propagate Jesus Christ through her songs.
And she has picked up several life lessons on her journey through life.
“I’ve learnt that many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is God’s will that prevails,” she said.
“This has helped me totally depend on Jesus in all areas of my life. Also, whatever it is you want to achieve can only happen when you are intentional about it.”
As intentional as associating with ‘light’ and ‘darkness’.