He Was Once the Highest-Paid Nollywood Comedian: 7 Things Many People Didn’t Know About Mr Ibu

Mar 3, 2024 | Entertainment, News


Veteran Nollywood actor John Okafor, also known as Mr Ibu, recently passed away barely 24 hours after another colleague of his died, Sisi Quadri.

March 2024 started a sad note for many Nollywood fans and lovers of Nigerian comedy. This article seeks to celebrate Mr Ibu as we spotlight some of his legacy and things many people never knew about him.

Things many people don't know about Mr Ibu
From being a hairstylist to Nollywood’s highest-paid comic, here are some things many people didn’t know about Mr Ibu.
Photo credit: @realmribu/@nigerianstories
Source: Instagram

For months before his demise, Mr Ibu had been bedridden; his leg was amputated multiple times as he suffered from a deadly ailment called blood clot and diabetes.

However, we don’t intend to make more people sad about the untimely demise of Mr Ibu; instead, Legit.ng seeks to educate its readers about the legend.

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Here are seven things many people don’t know about Mr Ibu.

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1. Mr Ibu grew up in Sapele

Even though Mr Ibu was born in the Nkanu Local Government area, Enugu state, he spent most of his formative years in Sapele, Delta state.

Mr Ibu was born on October 17, 1961, and started his elementary education in Enugu state. After finishing his elementary education, he moved to Sapele, Delta state, to stay with his brother after his father’s demise.

2. John Okafor was once a hairstylist

The Nollywood veteran did different menial jobs during his formative years in Delta state. One of the different odd jobs he did was being a hairstylist.

Mr Ibu is someone many would find difficult to believe was once a hairstylist. After a while, the movie star dropped the hairstyling profession and ventured into photography.

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3. Mr Ibu is a graduate of IMT

Years after venturing into hairstyling and photography and was able to gather enough finances, Mr Ibu enrolled as a student at the Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu state.

He graduated with a diploma as a technician from IMT. He also attended the College of Education, Yola, Adamawa state, but didn’t complete his studies and had to drop out due to lack of financial support.

4. When did John Okafor join Nollywood?

John Okechukwu Okafor joined the Nigerian film industry in 1973 as a camera crew to work behind the scenes but decided to pursue a career in acting in 1992.

He was usually used for minor roles like gateman and house help until his big break in 2004 when he produced Mr Ibu and Sons.

This was how he became famous as Mr Ibu, as he and Osita Iheme brought laughter and joy to many Nigerian homes with their unique sense of humour.

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Since then, Mr Ibu has gone on to act in over 200 movies.

5. Mr Ibu won his first AMAA in 2005

John Okafor’s fantastic performance in Mr Ibu earned him his first international award, the African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA), in 2005 for Best Comic.

He has several other awards, both from the AMAA and the AMVCAs. In 2014, he won the Best Actor in Lead Role at the AMAAs, and in 2012, he was nominated for Best Comic Character at the AMVCAs.

At the height of his career, Mr Ibu was once the highest-paid Nollywood comic actor. He used to charge N1m to star in a movie.

6. How many wives does Mr Ibu have?

The veteran actor got married thrice in his lifetime. The name and identity of his first wife couldn’t be confirmed at the time of publication of this article.

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However, in 2008, he remarried to former actress and model Stella Maris. They have three kids together, a couple of girls and a boy.

Mr Ibu has two kids from his first marriage, two boys, Valentine and Daniel. He also has an adopted daughter, Lady Jasmine, who most at first thought was his biological child.

7. Mr Ibu is an MFR, hotel owner and philantropist

John Okafor was named a Member of the Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria MFR in 2012 by former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.

He was an astute businessman with stakes in hotels and retail stores across the country. Mr Ibu was also a famous philanthropist who used to run a non-profit organisation meant for young Nigerians.

After months of struggling for his life in the hospital, Mr Ibu passed away on March 2, 2024, weeks after he was released from the hospital. The veteran Nollywood comic will be missed dearly.

Source: Legit.ng





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