Sahel Personality of The Month: Mr Ibu

We pay tribute to an iconic character who brought us joy and made us laugh for decades.
The Nigerian entertainment industry sadly lost a legendary figure early in the month whose stellar performances was acknowledged, admired and had great impact on the Nigerian entertainment scene and beyond.

Mr John Okafor popularly known as Mr. Ibu, was a Master in the craft of acting and comedy with his demeanour, eliciting fits of laughter among his audience. He was a beloved star of the screen.

Born October 17, 1961, in Umunekwu, Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State, he had to overcome challenges early on in life, moving to Sapele, taking odd jobs to support himself and his family.
After trying his hands in professions such as hair styling and photography, he went to a film audition where he was spotted by legendary actor Pete Edochie who saw his talent and the doors of Nollywood was opened to him.
His big break came in 2004 with the movie Mr Ibu, which tells the story of a single father and his son as they journey through life.
It was a hit.
Others in the Series followed including Mr Ibu 2, Mr Ibu and his son, Mr Ibu in London, Ibu in Prison, which were among the over 200 Nollywood movies he featured in. This impressive list include Coffin Producers, Husband Suppliers, Issakaba, 9 wives, Bafana Bafana, Store Keeper, Police Recruit, Keziah, men on the run.
John Okafor was the ultimate Nigerian. He used comedy to bridge divides as he stepped into kannywood film industry in Kano collaborating with kannywood actors, enriching the wider Nigerian film industry. One of his best known Kannywood film was the Hausa comedy Hajiya Babba, about two sons from the south of the country in search of their father in the north and began a new life after reuniting with him. Another was Oga Abuja.

Last year Mr Okafor revealed he was ill. Sadly he succumbed to the illness on the 2nd of March 2024, leaving behind a vacuum and an indelible footprint on the African entertainment scene.
Sahel Standard honours the memory of Mr John Okafor.
He will be sorely missed. We deeply appreciate your immense contributions to entertainment.
We thank you for the smiles and laughter you brought us.
Your legacy lives on.

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