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

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

Veteran Nollywood actor John Okafor, also known as Mr Ibu, passed away barely 24 hours after another actor, Sisi Quadri, died. He was one of the most loved comedians ever to grace the Nigerian movie industry.

For months leading up to his demise, Mr Ibu was bedridden, and his leg underwent amputation as he battled blood clots and diabetes.

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

In this article, Legit.ng spotlights Mr Ibu's legacies and some things many people never knew about him.

1. Mr Ibu grew up in Sapele

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

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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 odd jobs he did was being a hairstylist.

After a while, the movie star dropped hairstyling and ventured into photography.

3. Mr Ibu is a graduate of IMT

Years after venturing into hairstyling and photography and accumulating sufficient finances, Mr Ibu enrolled as a student at the Institute of Management and Technology in 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.

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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.

The actor became famous afterwards as he and Osita Iheme brought laughter and joy to many Nigerian homes with their unique sense of humour.

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

5. Mr Ibu won 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.

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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 writing this article.

However, in 2008, he remarried to former actress and model Stella Maris. They have three kids together.

Mr Ibu has two kids from his first marriage, two boys, Valentine and Daniel. He also has an adopted daughter, Lady Jasmine, whom people initially 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.

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He was an astute businessman with stakes in hotels and retail stores across the country. Mr Ibu was also a famous philanthropist who inspired 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.

Mr Ibu's wife raises concerns

Legit.ng earlier reported that Stella Marris, the actor's wife, cried profusely at a hospital bed amid the her husband's health challenges.

In the early hours of September 9, 2023, the movie star's wife shared a video on her Instagram page of herself crying.

Mr Ibu's wife was in deep tears as she sang a sorrowful song about how no weapon fashioned against her shall prosper because God holds the key to her life.

Source: Legit.ng

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