Home » Articles » Mr. Ibu: The Painful Exit of a Nollywood Legend

Mr. Ibu: The Painful Exit of a Nollywood Legend

Posted by


The news of Mr. Ibu’s death sent shockwaves across Nigeria.

John Okafor, or Mr. Ibu, as he’s popularly called, is an actor and comedian who was originally from Nkanu West L.G.A. in Enugu State.

Before he became an actor in Nollywood, he worked as a hairstylist. He also dabbled briefly into photography and he was also employed by a crate manufacturing company. After his father passed away in 1974, he relocated to Sapele to live with his brother.

Since the 2000s, he has acted in more than 200 NollyWood movies, including Mr.Ibu (2004), Mr. Ibu and His Son, Coffin Producers, Husband Suppliers, International Players, Mr.Ibu in London (2004), Police Recruit (2003), 9 Wives (2005), and Ibu in Prison (2006). He has the Mr. Ibu personality on lock; just seeing his face alone was enough to make people laugh and bring up childhood memories.

So many things marked growing up in Nigeria, and one of them was watching Nigerian movies. Before cable television, there were those shops called “video clubs” where we went to rent cassettes. Nollywood then was into archetypes, so actors kept playing the same roles over and over again until you believed that was their personality. Such is the story of John Okafor, who became known as Mr. Ibu because he acted in a movie called Mr. Ibu in 2004. That hilarious character soon became his personality. In the movie, he plays the father of Osita Iheme, and they both get into hilarious situations together.

The later part of Mr. Ibu’s life was tough. He had health and family issues, despite his notoriety. In 2020, he disclosed a terrifying case of poisoning that was reportedly planned by members of his team. Prolonged medical care was necessary to address the ensuing health issues, which included an enlarged stomach. 

Mr. Ibu suffered a leg amputation in November 2023. A health status update on his Instagram profile verified that the deceased never had diabetes but rather had recurrent blood vessel clotting in his leg and that the leg had been amputated further.

He went into cardiac arrest on Saturday, March 2. His wife and kids survived him; he was sixty-two years old.

One special thing about Mr Ibu’s style of comedy is his mannerisms and tone of voice make people laugh. He no doubt inspired Instagram comedians like Nasboi, Brainjotter, and Sydney. Nasboi even cites him as an influence.

His humor and laughter will surely be missed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *