Back to Africa Check

Popular Nollywood actor Mercy Johnson doesn't have cancer – Facebook post is clickbait

IN SHORT: A series of Facebook posts claim that the popular Nigerian actor is dying of cancer. But this is false, and appears to be an attempt to make money from the gossip mill. 

Posts published on Facebook in Nigeria claim that one of Nigeria's most popular actors has been diagnosed with cancer.

The caption to one, which appears to be a link to a website, reads: “Super actress Mercy Johnson has confirmed that she was diagnosed with cancer, this morning, We pray that God Heal Her. Please if you have a good heart Drop a prayer for her. Kindly type GÉT WELL SÔON.”

Mercy Johnson Okojie is a Nigerian actor, producer and director. Her films include Battle on Buka Street (2022), The Legend of Inikpi (2020) and Weeping Soul (2011).

The link includes what appears to be a screenshot from a video, showing a collage of photos of Okojie, and the claim that Okojie is not only ill with cancer, but “dying”.  

This link was also posted here, here, here, here, here and here.

But is this news about the actor true?

Mercy Okojie false cancer claim

Clickbait for money

The link shared on Facebook does not lead to an article or video with more details about Okojie’s health. Instead, it directed us to a page with a QR code and the instruction “Scan to download the app”.Mercy Johnson Cancer Hoax

The link appears to be clickbait, possibly to generate advertising revenue or payments from downloading the app.

On 14 January 2023, Okojie posted a video saying she didn't have cancer, but had had a cancer scare.

However, the Facebook posts falsely claiming otherwise – and possibly making money from the lie – are still circulating months later.


Republish our content for free

We believe that everyone needs the facts.

You can republish the text of this article free of charge, both online and in print. However, we ask that you pay attention to these simple guidelines. In a nutshell:

1. Do not include images, as in most cases we do not own the copyright.

2. Please do not edit the article.

3. Make sure you credit "Africa Check" in the byline and don't forget to mention that the article was originally published on

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters

Want to keep reading our fact-checks?

We will never charge you for verified, reliable information. Help us keep it that way by supporting our work.

Become a newsletter subscriber

Support independent fact-checking in Africa.