REAL NAME: John Okafor
STAGE NAME: Mr.Ibu
NET WORTH : His estimated net worth is $4.2 Million
DATE OF BIRTH/AGE: Born October 17, 1960 [currently 57 years old]
MARITAL STATUS : MARRIED
OCCUPATION : Actor,Comedian
STATE OF ORIGIN: Enugu State
CHILDREN: Has three children
John Okafor a.k.a Mr Ibu is a Nigerian Actor and Comedian in the Nollywood movie industry. His real name is John Okafor but often called “Mr. Ibu”, he is widely regarded as one of Nigeria’s most talented and richest comic characters. His acting style is characterized by stupidity, hilarious imbecility and a sharp disconnection from reality . While you all laugh at his stupidity, hilarious imbecility, he is playfully making money and piling up his bank accounts.
The comic actor has featured in not less than 150 movies including Police Recruit (2003), Keziah (2007), Mr.Ibu (2004), Mr.Ibu in London (2004), 9 Wives (2005), Ibu in Prison (2006) and many more movie that will keep you laughing for days . Mr Ibu has become an household name in the Nigerian Entertainment Industry but there are some things you don’t know about the actor which we are going to share with you on this post. Continue reading below to see his full biography.
Early Life And Background
John Okafor whose stage name is “Mr. Ibu” was born on 17 October 1961 and from the family of eight children. He is an indigene of Umunekwu Village in Eziokwe, Kanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State. The comic actor revealed in an interview that he had a rough background and said his family is the “Poorest” in his village in Enugu state. He also made it known that his career was an inspiration from his grandfather who has helped him a lot. He started hustling as an Hair dresser and also was once a butcher before he launched his acting career. He also worked as a firewood seller at some point to feed his family before fate smiled on him.
He completed his primary school education at one of the schools in the village, and his secondary school at a number of schools in delta state. After rounding up his secondary school education in Delta State , he proceeded to Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Enugu, where he studied Mass Communication.
John Okafor who is better known by his stage name “Mr. Ibu” started his career as a boxer , he quit boxing when a Delta boy battered his face in a championship fight.
Here Is What He Said in an interview with the Punch
He said, ‘’I would have been a boxer. I used to be a boxer. I was doing well until I went for a championship in Delta State.
‘’The boy I fought with was an idiot; he gave me a beating I would never forget. That boy changed my face and made me hate anything that had to do with gloves.
‘’After the fight, I looked in the mirror and I could not even recognise myself. I could see with only one eye for sometime due to
the punches he dealt me. That was the incident that made me quit boxing.’’
John Okafor’s acting career kick started in December 3, 1978 when he was featured in a commercial in a soap opera. From that point, he started getting more roles and he has featured in several Nollywood movies including the once starred alongside Aki and Pawpaw, both of whom he enjoys working with, because of their creativity.
He officially rose to prominence in the year 2004 in the movies titled “MR IBU” where he played the role of the father of troublesome kids that is Aki and Pawpaw real name Osita Iheme and Chinedu Ikedieze. His signatory name MR IBU originated from that movie and people now prefer to call him that. He has since acted in over 200 movies including Mr.Ibu (2004), Mr.Ibu in London (2004), Police Recruit (2003), 9 Wives (2005), Ibu in Prison (2006) and Keziah (2007).
This is what he had to say about becoming an actor;
“The issue is that I had never seen myself coming in front of the camera. I was initially involved in Continuity, not until the directors and producers started persuading me to come on board to act. They saw my interpretation of movie roles to be better and more original. It wasn’t as if I was running away from acting, I only wanted to specialize in my Continuity job, being behind the cameras. So at a point I started acting once in a while. I later asked myself, ‘Ibu, wetin you dey wait, go and concentrate on the thing’. So I took the advantage of the opportunity from my Producers and Directors who loved me so much.”
Before fame , John Okafor was dwelling inside poverty as suffering was the order of the day in his life, this was because he was born into abject poverty . Life was so unbearable for him when he started back then as an upcoming actor, he also revealed how he trekked from Ajao Estate to Festac Lagos state for Auditionings and rehearsals on daily basis.
Things changed in his life for the better after he acted the movie MR IBU and he now earns Hundreds of thousand naira to participate in any movie . He said that he was not in anyway born with even a spoon talk much of silver spoon and the big part of his suffering was attributed to the background he came out from
In his own words below:
‘’When I lost my father, breeze pulled down our house and we became tenants in our own village.
That was Umunekwu Village in Eziokwe, NKanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State. We were eight in number; five men and three women. We were given a room in our maternal home; there we all slept at night as if we were in a cell. One leg here, the other leg there! (laughs),’’ he said.
‘’once you are poor you are poor. You will be forced to see so many things from another angle. My father stopped training me when I was still very small. He died in 1975. That was how we became fathers to each other and to our mum. I was training myself in secondary school. I was doing all sorts of odd jobs. I sold fire wood, I did hair dressing, I was assembling wooden crates of minerals, I was involved in the snapping of wait-and-take pictures;
I was a butcher; if you want to kill a goat, cow, pig, etc, I would do it for you, cut it to your desired sizes, and take it to your place. That was how I was surviving. It was from those petty jobs that I got money to see myself through school. My elder brother later came in when he began earning money.
My brother advised me to choose part time when i bought admission form to study Mass Communication at the Institute of Management and Technology, IMT, Enugu, we don’t have time to rest because we are always busy hustling and struggling to go to school and struggle to feed ourselves and our mum.
Unfortunate, to make the whole matter worse, we lost two members of the family along the line. My brother and i suffered a lot while we were growing up but i give all thanks to God for bringing me this far because i never thought things could get better for me in life.
John Okafor a.k.a Mr Ibu is currently married to Stella Marris, they tied the knot in 2015 and the union is blessed with three healthy children. He lost his first son Emmanuel Okafor which he allegedly blamed on his ex-wife.
Mr Ibu was received a heavy backlash in 2012 for taking off clothes in front of a crowd for attention and to solicit money . Many frowned at his conduct and tagged it uncalled for.
Awards And Achievements
Mr Ibu has won quit a number of awards and i will be listing them below;
- He won Best Movie Actor of the Year award by the Peace Ambassadors Of Nigeria in 2014
- He also won awards for Best Comedy Drama, African Magic Viewer Choice Award and other International awards
- He also won the ‘best comedian’ award from the governor of Enugu State and other International awards
- Mr Ibu signed endorsement deal with merrybet in 2014
- He also signed endorsement deal with Gotv in 2014
This Biography of Mr Ibu is under update, we are working on making it more comprehensive