Veteran Comic Actor John Okafor, Famously Known as Mr. Ibu, Dies at 62

March 2, 2024
MR IBUE DIES AT 62 | Report Focus News
Veteran Comic Actor John Okafor, Famously Known as Mr. Ibu, Dies at 62

The Nigerian entertainment industry and fans worldwide are mourning the loss of the iconic Nollywood actor John Okafor, affectionately known as Mr. Ibu, who passed away at the age of 62. The news of his death was confirmed by Emeka Rollas, the President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, who announced that Mr. Ibu succumbed to a cardiac arrest. This tragic event marks the end of a remarkable career that spanned over two decades, during which Mr. Ibu became synonymous with comedic excellence in Nigerian cinema.

Mr. Ibu’s journey to fame began with his breakthrough role in the film “Mr. Ibu,” which not only earned him his career-long nickname but is also celebrated as one of the best performances in a comic role in Nigerian cinema. His exceptional talent and unique comedic timing led him to star in more than 200 Nollywood films, including hits like “Keziah,” “9 Wives,” and several sequels to “Mr. Ibu,” cementing his status as a legendary figure in the industry.

Tributes have poured in from colleagues and fans alike, highlighting the immense contribution Mr. Ibu made to the entertainment world. Actress Mercy Johnson-Okojie and former UN rapporteur Joy Ezeilo, among others, have expressed their sorrow, remembering him as a beloved figure who brought laughter and joy to many. Nigeria’s Culture Minister, Hannatu Musawa, also paid homage to Mr. Ibu, describing him as a household name whose career was dedicated to making families smile.

Mr. Ibu’s death occurred at an undisclosed hospital in Lagos state, following a period of significant health challenges. Last year, his health issues became public when he had one of his legs amputated after a crowd-funding scheme was set up to cover his medical bills. This period was further marred by personal turmoil, as his son, Daniel Okafor, and adopted daughter, Jasmine Chioma, were arrested on suspicion of hacking into his phone and embezzling $60,700 meant for his medical expenses. They are expected to face court proceedings on March 11.

The later years of Mr. Ibu’s life were described as “tumultuous” by Nigeria’s Punch newspaper, notably due to the actor’s claims of surviving several attempts to poison him. Despite these challenges, Mr. Ibu’s legacy as a comedic genius who brought laughter and happiness to countless viewers remains undisputed. He is survived by his 13 children, leaving behind a legacy that will continue to inspire and entertain for generations to come. His passing is not just a loss for the Nigerian film industry but for all who found joy in his work.